Our Team

Our Team

Our Chairman, Tom

Having had an interest in farming and the countryside from a young age, Tom studied Land Management at Reading University before beginning a career as a Chartered Surveyor. After working in UK-based practice, in 2011 Tom had the opportunity to become involved in advisory work across Europe and further afield. This led Tom to establish his own agricultural consultancy practice in 2016, advising UK farming businesses, as well as becoming involved in research work for an international network of agricultural economists and advisors. Tom has a particular focus on research projects in Africa as part of this international work, having developed a passion for the continent during several research trips there, and sees knowledge exchange as a key part of the agricultural development of these countries.

Tom joined the Marshal Papworth committee in 2011, attending the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth conference in Zambia in September 2012 as one of the Next Generation Delegates, and became Chairman of the Marshal Papworth Fund Committee in December 2015, a position that he has held since then.

Tom commented:

 “  The scholarship programme is such an effective way of making a difference, and Marshal was a true visionary in the way he thought he could best help agriculturalists in the developing world. Giving knowledge to someone is so powerful, but making sure that the knowledge is passed on and shared is even more important. Our students are selected for that ability to not only to learn but to communicate and impart that newly-gained knowledge to others”.

Marshal Papworth Co-ordinator – Sandra Lauridsen

Sandra has been working with the Marshal Papworth Fund for over eight years and is responsible for co-ordinating both scholarship programmes, including liaising with university and education partners, student pastoral care, visa applications, accommodation requirements, itinerary development and even sourcing suitable clothing to keep students warm during their stay.


The best part of my role is when I first meet the students. It’s so nice to finally see the face behind the correspondence and learn more about each student, their life at home, their families and their expectations from the scholarship.

It’s so important for Marshal Papworth to continue to provide scholarships to students in developing countries, because it gives many students opportunities that wouldn’t be available in their own country. Our scholarships are open to all students irrespective of family name or connections; they are awarded purely on merit.

Bringing students to the UK for their learning is a crucial part of their development and our vision. We offer students hands on learning, which helps them immeasurably in sharing knowledge and skills once they return home.

By getting involved with our Fund, you will immediately see the difference that our scholarships make to each individual student, they are genuinely grateful for the education opportunity we provide and are desperate to pass on their new found skills and knowledge for the good of their communities.

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Stewart Papworth

Stewart Papworth is the younger brother of Marshal, the founder of the Marshal Papworth Fund. Stewart grew up, like Marshal, working on the family farm where they grew potatoes, sugar beet, wheat and root vegetables. He and his brother were both members of the East of England Agricultural Society and active within the farming community.

Following the untimely death of his brother, Stewart was determined to uphold the Papworth family name and see that his brother’s wishes were fulfilled. Marshal had stated in his will that he wished part of his estate to be used to educate agricultural students from developing countries. Stewart took over the management of Marshal’s farm until the sale was completed and helped to establish the Marshal Papworth Fund.

Stewart has taken an active interest in all activities related to the Fund since its inception; he meets with and gets to know each student who comes to the UK to study, as well as attending a number of the organised field trips.

Stewart was inducted into the College of Benefactors at the University of Reading on behalf of the Marshal Papworth Fund. He is a lifetime member of the East of England Agricultural Society and a member of Cambridgeshire R.A.B.I. committee.

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Emily Craven

Emily is originally from Peterborough and an active member of the Royal Agricultural Society of the Commonwealth. Through this, she has been very privileged to travel on several trips to developing countries to work including Malawi and Papua New Guinea.

She has always supported the work of Marshal Papworth and was lucky to see the impact the scholarships have in-country when visiting alumnae in Malawi. She joined the committee in 2016 and is looking forward to creating more opportunities for future students.

Professionally Emily works as a Large Animal Vet in Essex and also has taken on the much-reduced family herd of British White Cattle.

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Alice Townsend

Alice was brought up in rural Northamptonshire, she studied Agriculture at the Royal Agricultural College and Reading University; following this she worked on farms across the UK, Australia and New Zealand. She is currently the estate manager at Newbottle Estate.

Alice has held an interest in agricultural process in developing countries for a number of years working in agricultural and rural development both in the UK and overseas. She worked in Ghana, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda for several years on a range of projects.

Alice has also travelled extensively in other parts of Africa and regularly goes back to oversee some micro enterprise projects in Ghana which she has started with friends.

Alice got involved with the Marshal Papworth Fund 3 years ago because of her deep rooted passion for improving the agricultural landscape of an area, so that it benefits fully those that use it for food and income. She commented: “Working all over Africa means I have seen how poor land management, environmental degradation and inequality affect the farmed landscape and those trying to live there. Alongside this the lack of education limits opportunities for change. This makes education fundamental to change and it is crucial for people living in these conditions to have access to new ideas and knowledge.”

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Stephen G Harris

Stephen, now retired, worked with HSBC Bank as a Corporate Agribusiness Manager where he financed successful large integrated farm and horticultural businesses.

Stephen is a past Chairman of the East of England Agricultural Society and for many years was a Trustee and Director – the Society manages the Marshal Papworth Fund.

Throughout his time in office he was passionate about the delivery of the charitable objectives of the Society which included close involvement with the Fund.

Alongside his professional association with the Fund, Marshal Papworth, the Funds founder, was a cousin of Stephen’s wife Honor. He said: “I have been closely involved with the Fund since inception and have been able to see the difference our support makes to the lives of the students that come to the UK to study, and the beneficial impact on their communities when they return home.”

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James Parrish

James joined the Marshal Papworth committee in 2008, in December 2015 he completed a four-year term as Marshal Papworth Fund Chairman.

Born in Chicksands, Bedfordshire, James grew up on his family’s farm and went on to study Agricultural Marketing at Harper Adams University College, with a gap year working for Waitrose and M&S in America. James later went on to achieve a Master of Business Administration from Cranfield University. James works within his family’s arable and vegetable crop farming business.

James commented: “What sets the Fund apart from other charities is the experiential learning opportunities that it offers students by bringing them to the UK to study.   I believe that this approach equips students with valuable problem-solving skills, which in turn gives them the courage and confidence to challenge farming practices once they return to their home countries.”

His inspiration to support the Fund comes from the legacy it beholds and the numbers of students that have, and continue to, benefit from its scholarships.  He is whole heartedly committed to driving the reach of the Fund to ensure that more students and communities around the world are able to improve their lives and learn valuable sustainable farming practices in order to achieve a more secure future.

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Thomas Benjamin White Beazley

Thomas runs an arable farm in Pavenham, North Bedfordshire, growing wheat, barley and oilseed rape. He also has an area of permanent pasture by the river Great Ouse where the family graze a small herd of Sussex cattle; the produce from which they sell on their farm.

Thomas is a former chairman of the East of England Agricultural Society and has been involved with the Marshal Papworth Fund from its early stages. From the outset, Thomas knew very little about the problems facing third world agriculture and its allied industries.

He commented: “The Fund’s practical hands on approach to learning approach at all levels is what sets it apart from other charities. It has been fascinating to see the Fund evolve over the years, to speak with and get to know the students and then watch and read about their exploits once they return to their home countries. It’s also been great to see our students benefit from the wonderful educational opportunities that the UK has to offer, and how the broad knowledge they offer can be used to broaden the individuals skills once they return home. It makes any problems facing those involved in UK agriculture pail into insignificance. Also the Funds connection with the East of England Agricultural Society and its members is invaluable as the networking opportunities it provides gives past students an enormous knowledge base on which to draw, both at a practical level and an academic level. ”

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Charles David Reynolds

Charlie grew up on his family’s farm, and has gone on to continue tradition, becoming a fourth generation farmer. He has spent over 20 years in the industry in roles encompassing farm management and more recently as a farm business and technology consultant.

Upon completion of his college studies Charlie travelled to South Africa and worked in Zimbabwe where he was able to gain an understanding and background knowledge of agriculture in developing countries.

Whilst living in Zimbabwe Charlie made a number of friends that were in college over there; they were able to share real insights into what it was like working in the agricultural industries of a developing country.

When talking about the Marshal Papworth Fund, Charlie said: “I have been on the Marshal Papworth Committee since its conception in 2001. It is both humbling and rewarding to hear from the students how they are willing to leave their families to come and study in the UK, all for the benefit of their community’s and country. The Fund is special as they are proactive in seeking out individuals who are able to pass on the knowledge gained from their studies for the benefit of as many people as possible.”

Charlie took over as East of England Agricultural Society Chairman in 2022

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Nigel P Goodall

Nigel retired from a 41 year career as a Farm Manager in April 2018. He worked for a short period in the Tropics, returning to the UK to pursue a career in farm management in Essex, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire, being mainly involved with cropping and some livestock.

Nigel is experienced in global agriculture, having spent the first 10 years of his life in Kenya where his father was a livestock officer on the experimental farm at Ol Joro Orok, he then moved to a grasslands research station at Kitale, in Western Kenya. Nigel returned to school in the UK in 1961, then studied at RAU between 1970 to 1973 after two years farming in Somerset and central Wales. After Cirencester Nigel worked for two years in Venezuela with Vesty group, before returning to the UK.

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Sheila Halder

Sheila has been resident in Uganda for much of her working life. She has worked in agricultural projects in the north-west with the Church of Uganda and with Kulika Charitable Trust based in both UK and Kampala. In the UK she was part of a team running a training programme for students from East Africa who came to the UK for around eight months (1997-2000). Here learners encountered both practice and theory of sustainable agriculture and farmer-to farmer communication on a farm in Berkshire, accredited by the University of Reading’s Agricultural Extension and Rural Development Department. Her experiences living in rural Uganda have underpinned a strong belief in supporting and building up community-based structures, links and networks and resource people, and a wider interest in understanding the systems nature of innovation spread.

She has also done short contracts in Burkina Faso, Niger, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, and as part of her work for Ripple Effect (formerly Send a Cow, with whom she has had over 25 years engagement in different forms) has led a technical team across east and southern Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Rwanda and Burundi).

She returned to the UK in 2017 and has now moved into work as a medical scientist as part of a family business, returning to the natural sciences of her earliest years’ work.

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Our Team

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