Member Monday #015

Every Monday we profile one of our Members. This week in we are joined by Proprietor 395, Mrs Jane Owens.

Who are you?

My name is Jane Owens. I am a school governor of many years standing in Primary, Secondary and Special Schools where I am the chair of those boards. I am also the chair at two multi-academy trusts. These schools are all in Wirral where I live. I also chair a faith school in Liverpool.  

I am a National Leader of Governance, designated in 2012, and I work with governing boards across the country to help them improve their practice. I set up my own company Purple Governance Limited  a few years ago. Much of my governing and supporting others is done freely but I do get paid for more complex pieces of work.

What is your greatest achievement?

I was honoured to be awarded an MBE for my voluntary role in education in Wirral. I had a fabulous few days in London with my husband, my son and daughter in law and was presented to His Royal Highness Prince William at my investiture.

Can you give one interesting fact about yourself?

My daughter had cystic fibrosis and died unexpectedly 15 years ago this year the day after her 22nd birthday. I used to fundraise actively for Cystic Fibrosis Research Trust and she used to come with me. Now I have restricted myself to not having birthdays or Christmas and ask people to donate instead to CF – I raised over £300 on my birthday last year from friends.

What brought you to The Athenaeum?

I was invited to dinner by one of your former Proprietors, Dan Longman. I think I found my spiritual home so I treated myself to membership for my 60th birthday some years ago.

Is there anything you would change about the Athenaeum?

I would love you to be open at weekends but quite understand that the use of rooms for private functions is an important funding stream for the club.

Do you have any Athenaeum memories or stories that you wish to share?

In my job, I often have to meet people that I have never met before and was doing that just before the lockdown. I had informed Jack that I was expecting a visitor as is my usual practice. A lone man walked in and smiled. I asked him if he was ‘Martin’ and he replied that he was. We happily sat making small talk before getting into governance. Wrong Martin but a pleasant chat before the real Martin walked in. 

What would you say to anyone considering joining the Club?

This is the most delightful venue with staff who are a credit to the institution and is a haven of relaxation away from the busy streets outside. It is also a lovely, safe place to meet friends or colleagues for coffee or lunch untroubled by the bustle of public venues. I have yet to find time to join some of the extra activities on offer.

If you are interested in membership, you can find more information at , or by emailing

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