University of Hull Master’s student Sue Turner has received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her Services to Social Justice.
Sue Turner OBE, currently studying for a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, has throughout her career worked to improve the lives and outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged people living in society.
Growing up in a small town outside Bolton which was plagued by unemployment, addiction and poverty, Sue was brought up by her Mum, a hard-working nurse, and became the first person in her family ever to go to university when she studied Law at Bristol University.
Sue – who has launched her own company, AI Governance Limited – has now received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
She said: “When I read the letter saying I was going to be awarded an OBE, I was bowled over that someone had noticed that I’ve been trying to help people have better opportunities in life.
“This award really is for all the amazing people across our area who donate their time and money to give others a “hand up”.
“I’m very proud of so many great things about this country but it is shameful that 20% of people in the UK live in poverty – and the gap is growing. There’s so much more that we all need to do.”
Previously Director of Communications for The Bristol Port Company, Sue realigned the company’s corporate social responsibility to focus on supporting the communities closest to the port.
She then became Chief Executive of Quartet Community Foundation (Quartet) for five years, during which time she transformed the organisation’s focus to be “of and for” the West of England’s disadvantaged communities.
Sue was also instrumental in establishing Bristol’s City Funds (a collaboration between Quartet, Bristol City Council and Bristol & Bath Regional Capital) as an innovative place-based giving fund to tackle deeply ingrained inequalities in the City.
“When I was a kid I would wake up to hear Mum hoovering at 6am before she went to work,” Sue said.
“She would leave us food on a timer in the oven so we had a hot meal when we got home from school.
“Mum gave me self-belief and never told me I couldn’t do something because of where I had come from. Throughout my career I’ve tried to find ways to help disadvantaged people and I passionately believe in helping more people have a fair chance of a good life.”
Sue has also founded AI Governance Limited, a company which works with businesses and policy makers to ensure AI and data are used ethically and positively benefit the most disadvantaged people in society.
Also recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours was Professor Sarah Gilbert – now Dame Sarah Gilbert.
Dame Sarah Gilbert completed a PhD in biochemistry at Hull, and played a leading role in the development of the COVID-19 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.