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Carole Howells MBE (1942-2015)

Carole Howells (BA 1963)

16 November 2015

Carole Howells MBE (BA 1963), champion of the voluntary sector in Newcastle upon Tyne for more than two decades, passed away in June of this year aged 73.

A forward-thinking and fashion-conscious student, Carole studied philosophy and psychology at the University, beginning an academic career that later saw her taking a post as a research psychologist at the University of Leeds, gaining an MA in Education at the University of the West Indies, and receiving an MBA from Durham Business School.

One of her closest friends at Bristol was feminist writer Angela Carter (Cert Ed 1963) who, according to a forthcoming biography, described her relationship with Carole as one of the most central in her life. An assiduous correspondent, Carole gave her letters from Angela Carter to the British Library.

As the Director of the Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service (NCVS) from 1987 to 2009, Carole passionately argued the case for the charitable sector, being awarded an MBE in 2001 for her efforts in her services to the voluntary sector.

Carole acted as an eminence grise to a number of leading voluntary and public sector figures, and she also represented the voluntary sector on the boards of various organisations and institutions, including those of Newcastle College, the Northumbria Probation Committee, Tyneside TEC, and was a member of the regional advisory group for what is currently known as The Big Lottery.

Priding herself on developing her staff and giving them responsibility, a number of Carole’s protégés have gone on to run their own successful organisations.

Carole is survived by her younger sister, Penny, and by her nieces, Lucy and Charlotte, who describe Carole as a loving, inspiring, and formidable influence on their lives.

Further information

This obituary has been kindly provided by George Hepburn OBE, a friend and mentee of Carole, who recruited him in 1988 to be the first director of the Community Foundation of Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.