retailRIGHT scholarship winners immerse themselves in the seventh OSS Foundation programme

A huge congratulations to everyone who secured a retailRIGHT scholarship to attend the Oxford Summer School Foundation programme from 25 to 29 June 2018.

A total of 83 delegates attended the programme and the following individuals were able to take part through a retailRIGHT scholarship:

  • Adi Clarke
  • Anna Tucci
  • Calven Gayle
  • Debbie Hodgson
  • Fran Gooch
  • John Burke
  • Molly Clayton
  • Rebecca Bailey
  • Sam Thompson
  • Tom Harris
  • Vanessa Drummond.

Aim of the programme

The Foundation programme took delegates on a personal journey, aiming to build confidence in themselves and their role back in the workplace. The course provided delegates with the opportunity to reflect on their own approach to leadership and management, gain a wider understanding of their role and the impact that successful leaders can create.

The intense but fulfilling week pushed delegates out of their comfort zones, covering key principles in teambuilding, goal setting, coaching and presentation skills. Delegates immersed themselves into the tasks and challenges and were inspired by keynote speakers such as Laura Brown, Retail Director of Harrods and Peter Pritchard, CEO of Pets at Home.


One key learning from the week was the importance of reflection and the impact it can have in our everyday lives. Having reflected back on their time at OSS, here is what some of the scholars had to say:

“What a week it was!”

“Having spent more than 20 years in retail, mainly within HR and training, I was given the opportunity in June to attend the OSS Foundation programme on a scholarship from retailTRUST and what a week it was! As we all know, the world of retail is fast-paced and intense, we very rarely get the time to stop and think, let alone reflect on what we do well and what we can improve on as leaders. These five days in Oxford certainly provided me with that opportunity, not only providing me with the time to reflect but also to receive feedback on how I lead, challenge, support and coach others. But, just as important was the chance to meet with and listen to people from different backgrounds, different jobs roles and different companies all within the retail sector, which I found enlightening. An experience I will always remember and refer back to.” Debbie Hodgson, Head Office Training Manager at Iceland

“An intense, fun, inspiring week of learning.”

 “I just wanted to say thanks to you for the great experience of OSS week. I have never had such an intense, fun, inspiring week of learning in my whole retail career. All the content was so valuable and the people I met will always be in my heart. Thanks for your hard work, you and all your team have been amazing. I will make sure that everyone in Paul Smith will know about this great opportunity.” Anna Tucci, Deputy Manager at Paul Smith

“The programme is an amazing platform.”

“My feelings going in to the week were completely different to those coming out of it - OSS is invaluable and I’m so glad I was given the opportunity to be a part of it. From the activities and keynote speakers to the team members and group leaders, the programme is an amazing platform for anyone who wishes to develop themselves in their career but also on a personal level. My advice to anyone faced with the chance to attend is to take it with both hands and immerse yourself in what is the best roller coaster you will ever go on!” Fran Gooch, Marketing Executive at retailTRUST

Educational and vocational grants

If you are interested in a training course to develop your career and need financial support, apply for one of the 20 scholarships we have available through our educational and vocational grants. Click here to find out more.