Abigail is a strategic communications expert. Prior to joining Leeds 2023, she spent over a decade at the social change organisation the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) leading its public engagement, grassroots and digital transformation strategy.
Abigail’s work there was focused on telling a new story about people and places trapped in poverty, in order to shift public attitudes and build support for change. She commissioned and led JRF’s award winning Talking about Poverty programme and also designed JRF’s approach to storytelling: moving beyond the traditional ‘case-study’ approach to collaborate and co-produce alongside poverty campaigners and grassroots activists.
Raised in Yorkshire, Abigail recently commissioned the photography exhibition Picture Britain with JRF and Comic Relief, and she has also worked with the Leeds Poverty Truth Commission on Fighting Shame, a documentary commissioned by Guardian Films. She was co-producer on Sean McAllister’s critically acclaimed BBC2 documentary ‘A Northern Soul’ which was filmed in Hull during its year of culture in 2017.
Prior to JRF, Abigail worked in the field of architecture, first as Head of Press at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) where she helped to launch the Stirling Prize on Channel 4, and then in Melbourne, Australia working for Denton Corker Marshall, the architects of the Stonehenge Visitor Centre and the Manchester Civil Justice Centre.
In 2020 she was recognised for her contribution to charity campaigning in the Outstanding Leadership Category of the Sheila McKechnie National Campaigner Awards.