PressPad Foundation

Statement – The PressPad Charitable Foundation announces new trustees

June 2022
The PressPad Charitable Foundation announces new trustees



This month’s appointment of two new trustees to the PressPad Charitable Foundation (PPCF), journalists Alex Collins and Narzra Ahmed, comes at a significant time as it prepares to expand its programmes, following a demanding first year establishing itself during the pandemic.


Collins and Ahmed will take over from the existing board members from June 2022, and are set to play a pivotal role in ensuring that the organisation’s activities meet the demands of its service users. As PressPad alumni, the new trustees are well placed to make an impact.

Collins, a BBC World Service radio reporter and producer, says: “Having been involved in the accommodation pilot scheme back in 2018, I join the PressPad Charitable Foundation at an exciting time, and am ready to take on more responsibility tackling diversity issues from different angles.”


Ahmed, a showbiz reporter for, says: “I am delighted to be joining the foundation; as someone from a working class, British Asian, non-London-based background, I have faced many obstacles in pursuing a career in journalism and arranging internships, and PressPad has been invaluable for me.”


The initial board of trustees made up of Alexandra Shakespeare (Chair), Marcus Ryder, Frank Starling and Darshan Sanghrajka, joined to support the foundation’s set up, and in that time have contributed to a long-term strategy, established key governance, and assessed the impact of its first programme PressPad Remote.


In its first year, PPCF received donations from the Archewell Foundation and DMG Media. A second season of PressPad Remote was crowdfunded and successfully delivered by its sister social enterprise, PressPad, and the impact was published.


Olivia Crellin, founder of the charity, and also a trustee, says: “We are all very proud of what has been achieved in the past year. Looking ahead, the new trustees will focus on delivering the vision developed by our four outgoing trustees – all industry leaders who were kind enough to give their precious time and passion to the initial shaping of PPCF.”


Developing a new board of trustees for the foundation comes at an exciting moment for the PressPad mission, as its sister social enterprise soft launches its host-mentorship platform with a digital pilot, this summer.

Collins and Ahmed are the first of several appointments the foundation is looking to make over the coming months. The charity is also looking for trustees passionate about improving socio-economic and regional diversity within the media (journalism, TV, film and current affairs). We seek particular expertise in the following areas: legal, accountancy, fundraising and marketing. We welcome interest from anyone with an understanding of the industry and its issues. You can find out more information here.

The commitment required amounts to only a couple of hours each week on average but as this is a small charity only in its second year of existence the foundation is looking for those particularly interested and able to be hands on, be that in making introductions, writing policies and grant applications or delivering events. The full expectations and responsibilities of a trustee can be found on the Charity Commission website here.

If you are interested in joining the PressPad Charitable Foundation as a volunteer or would like to inquire about getting involved as a trustee please contact us at or for more information, visit:

Alex Collins is a journalist for Witness History at the BBC World Service radio where he has worked as a reporter and producer. During his time at the BBC, he worked at Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service on secondment as Head of Radio and Music. He volunteered for a number of years making radio programmes for National Prison Radio, which is run by the Prison Radio Association. Alex was also one of the first PressPad hosts during the initial 2018 accommodation pilot.

Narzra Ahmed is a showbiz reporter for and has written for NME, Time Out London, VICE, Cosmopolitan, Red, Women’s Health and more. Ahmed is also a PressPad alumni. The pilot scheme helped her gain work experience in 2018 in London.

Olivia Crellin is a journalist and a documentary filmmaker – as well as the founder of PressPad.The situation with unpaid internships was so bad when she started out that she calculated that a one-way ticket to Chile would be a more cost-effective option, AND help her learn Spanish. After time in South America, she went on to graduate from Columbia Journalism School, before being lucky enough to do a lot of paid internships and fellowships in the US with the likes of VICE News, AJ+, the BBC Washington bureau and The Wall Street Journal. Ironically it was one of only two unpaid internships she did at the BBC World Service that led to six years at BBC News. After becoming Head of Multimedia at openDemocracy, Olivia moved on to Oxford Brookes to become Senior Lecturer in Multimedia Journalism.

The PressPad Charitable Foundation was founded in February 2021 by Olivia Crellin and aims to advocate for, financially support, and educate those from lower socio-economic backgrounds who aim for a career in the media. PPCF aims to work alongside and with the UK media to create an environment which provides real opportunities and representation for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds.