The OPT team
Debbie Dance has been the Director of Oxford Preservation Trust since 1999. She was brought up locally and has spent her career in the built and natural environment working as a chartered surveyor in the commercial market before being awarded a distinction in her MSc Historic Conservation from Oxford Brookes University. She has worked in London, Birmingham and Oxford, and has completed a number of award winning conservation projects including OPT’s regeneration of Oxford Castle.
Debbie has held a number of honorary national roles, and is currently Chair of the Historic Chapels Trust, and a Trustee of the Oxford Historic Churches Trust as well as the Oxford Playhouse.
She has been past Chair of the Historic Towns Forum, UK Association of Preservation Trusts and a former Trustee of the Churches Conservation Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund South East and conservation judge for International RICS Property Awards. Debbie was awarded an OBE for her services to Heritage in 2013.
Membership, Events & Fundraising Officer
Stephen has always had an involvement in farming and a love of history, heritage and the countryside, so joining the team at Oxford Preservation Trust was a dream come true. Prior to this, Stephen worked on various fundraising projects including an endowment campaign for the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust. In his spare time, Stephen volunteers for various Community & Charitable organisations.
Phil Doubtfire joined the Oxford Preservation Trust in 2014 as Administrator. Previously, Phil worked in various IT and Operations roles in Rolls-Royce, TV Licensing and Card Payment companies.
Planning and Projects Officer
Natasha has an MSc in Land Management from Reading University and is a commercial property surveyor. Prior to joining OPT in June 2016, she specialised in providing planning and development advice to the public and charitable sectors, including the redevelopment and re-use of historic property holdings. In addition to her role as Projects and Planning Officer at OPT, she is a trustee of two Oxfordshire-based community charities.
Rachel Sanderson joined Oxford Preservation Trust in 2016, bringing with her a broad range of experience in managing land in an ecologically sensitive way. She has previously worked for BBOWT, the Chiltern Woodlands Project and the Chilterns Conservation Board.
Planning, Projects and Awards Officer
Born and raised in Norfolk, Helen first arrived in Oxford to study History at Oxford Brookes before progressing on to study for an MSc in Historic Conservation at both Oxford Brookes and University of Oxford jointly, which she completed in 2015.
Helen joined the Trevor Osborne Property Group to help run the Oxford Castle site before moving to Oxford Preservation Trust in 2016.
Assistant Membership, Events and Fundraising Officer
Having a passion for all things medieval, Alice graduated from the University of Winchester with a BA(Hons) in History in 2016. In the future, Alice intends to take further interdisciplinary study focusing on Early Medieval history, languages and manuscripts.
Previously, Alice has volunteered for OPT in the preparation of Oxford Open Doors and became interested in the Trust’s work. Keen to pursue her interest in the city’s history and beauty, Alice joined the team in January 2017.