Careers Beyond the Ordinary

How to turn the skills you have, into the career and lifestyle you want


From Public Sector to Social Enterprise:
How to go from teaching and public policy to setting up a social mobility charity or sustainable fashion business centred on women’s empowerment

This week we’re excited to welcome Karen Arthur from Reddskin UK and Joyce Connell from Insight Outreach to discuss how they built careers in teaching and public policy respectively, before launching their own businesses with social impact at their core.

Many of us see changes we’d like to make in society or have social causes that we want to champion, but working out how to get started and how to make social impact careers financially sustainable can be daunting. On Wednesday 2 September, Joyce and Karen will share their inspiring stories with us, and give us all food for thought on how we too can have an impact with our own careers.

Joyce worked on human rights and criminal justice policy in the Ministry of Justice and now focuses on social mobility, founding Insight Outreach, a charity increasing underrepresented students’ access to top universities.

Karen was a secondary school teacher who founded Reddskin UK, a sustainable fashion business with an emphasis on the links between fashion and mental wellbeing, especially for women.

This webinar will be particularly relevant for anyone looking to get involved with social impact projects or to launch their own social enterprise, as well as for those looking at careers in public policy or teaching and interested in where those roles might lead you.

With Isla Lamparelli, Exeter Uni student and Edu-venture Exeter founder, our speakers, Joyce and Karen, will discuss:

  • How they grew their careers in teaching and public policy after university
  • How they switched careers to launch their own social enterprises
  • How they championed their social causes and made their work more than just a job
  • How they built up the necessary skills and network to achieve their goals
  • Stories of friends and acquaintances who followed similar routes to differing end goals
  • Their tips for how you can get started in pursuing your own social impact projects


6-7pm (BST) Wednesday 2 September 2020


This event has now finished.


This event has now finished.

Our Guests

Karen Arthur
Karen ArthurFounder
ReddSkin UK
Karen is an ex-teacher now Fashion Creative, private sewing tutor, stylist and speaker who has been sewing for over 40 years. In the past few years, she has focused on creating beautiful clothing for women who appreciate hand-crafted care and slow fashion.

Karen also teaches people of all ages to fall in love with their sewing machines during private sessions. Pre-Covid she also ran workshops in schools to teach all ages about sewing, textiles and fashion.

Karen speaks publicly on fashion and mental well-being, diversity in menopause and loneliness. Her video feature for @StyleLikeU ‘Getting Dressed: A self-acceptance project’ has reached over 370k views on Youtube, and her

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Karen successfully swerved her business model to create Wear Your Happy® Face Covers to remind people not to touch their face.

Karen is currently conducting research around menopause that centres on Black UK women.


Joyce Connell
Joyce ConnellCo-founder
Insight Outreach
Joyce is the founder of the Oxbridge Mentoring Scheme and Insight Education, and co-founder of Insight Outreach, aiming to increase access to top universities for underrepresented students. She graduated from Oxford University and completed an MSc at Birkbeck University whilst working full-time as a Policy and Project Manager for the Ministry of Justice, focusing on Human Rights and Criminal Justice.

Joyce discovered a passion for education while writing her dissertation, researching and comparing educational systems at home in the UK and abroad. She created Insight Education in 2006 which ran the precursor of Insight Outreach’s Oxbridge Mentoring Scheme. In the same year, she was elected to the board of governors at one of England’s leading academies where she set up a similar in-house programme.

Joyce has an excellent track record of mentoring students from diverse backgrounds into Oxford, Cambridge and other top UK universities. Passionate about raising aspirations among bright students, promoting equal opportunity and social mobility, she also runs programmes and workshops to help prepare students for the job market, and an online ‘Scholars Programme’ in several countries around the world.