Who We Are
Gillian Boughton Willmore
I have worked at Durham University since 1992 and was appointed Vice-Principal of St Mary’s College from 2000 until the end of 2013 while teaching in the Department of English Studies (from 1996 until 2015) and and in Theology (from 1999 until 2019), winning the DSU Durham Student Teaching Award in 2012 in the category Outstanding Assessment and Feedback.
I am an Honorary Fellow of St Chad’s College, a Visiting Fellow of St John’s College and an Honorary Life Member of St Mary’s College JCR.
Outside the University I am Chair of County Durham St John Ambulance and have recently been appointed Chancellor of St John International, the first woman Great Officer, Dame Grand Cross. Current local Trusteeships include Durham City of Sanctuary supporting mainly Syrian refugees settling in Durham; & separately Friends of the World of Bede in Jarrow where I participated in Anglo-Saxon Jarrow/Monkwearmouth archaeology as a student in the 1970s.
Following work in support of the Afghan women graduates who were brought to Durham between 2009 and 2013 and advocacy for a residential space for women, the St Mary’s College Boughton Wing was named in 2015. I taught English voluntarily in Changi Women’s prison while working for the British Council in Singapore and was the first woman chaplaincy voluntary visitor of the High Security Women’s Wing in HMP Durham in the 1980s and 90s before it was closed. I support the Willmore Postgraduate Mathematics Scholarships in memory of my late husband Tom Willmore and also fundraise for the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem which offers free ophthalmic help at point of need without regard to political or religious affiliation.
I was involved in community development professionally and was Chair of the Community Development Exchange and of Action with Communities in Rural Areas. I am currently a Trustee of DUS and Durham City of Sanctuary and I am Chair of The Durham Singers. I have been on the Governing Body of both Grey and St Chad’s College.
I have over 30 years in business development, and consultancy in the welfare to work and training sector. I have two children, three grandchildren and have lived in Durham since 1986.
- Career: Primary School Teacher in Kent 1974 -19
- Educational Psychologist in Doncaster MBC 1980 – 1989
- Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist in Durham LEA 1989 – 2011
- Formerly Trustee at Azure Charitable Enterprises, Cramlington, from 2015 -2018
- Was the managing partner of regional office of national practice for chartered surveyors and project managers.
- Now the sole practitioner of Construction consultancy practice
- Trustee to Dame Allan’s Schools Development Fund
- Director of ‘The Knowledge Foundation’, a charitable trust set up under the auspices of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors to implement training and education programmes for chartered surveyors and other associated professions.
- Chairman of Patient Group of local GP Practice