The Team

Cowley Road Works is made up of a board of volunteer trustees, an Executive Director, a number of volunteer advisers and a small but dedicated freelance staff team who work part time to cover all aspects of organising the event. If you would like to find out about joining the team please see vacancies, join or team of volunteers or email director@cowleyroadworks.org

Clare O’Hara
Executive Director

Clare O’Hara comes to Oxford from multi-arts venue Cambridge Junction.  As the Junction’s Head of Development she implemented a six figure fundraising programme, expanding the young people’s programme and supporting a new communities programme.

Clare worked especially closely with Total Arts, the Junction’s young disability leadership group, as they developed their annual flagship inclusive Film Festival.  This experience will be invaluable at Cowley Road Works which is spearheading inclusivity in the arts. Prior to her work in Cambridge, Clare was Trusts & Foundations Manager at the Royal Court Theatre.

Clare says:

“Cowley Road Works is such an exciting organisation and I’m delighted to be joining the team at this crucial time. We’re working hard towards next year, and then coming up in 2021 is our big, 20th anniversary carnival. I’m new in town, so get in touch with me anytime to share your thoughts on carnival and our other projects. I’m looking forward to getting to know everybody involved -or keen to be involved- with carnival and Cowley Road Works.”

You can get in touch with Clare at director@cowleyroadworks.org.


sarah airey

Sarah Airey
PR and Marketing Officer & Press

Get in touch with Sarah if you would like more information about Carnival for articles and broadcast. Also if you would like to get involved as an official film-maker or photographer. Sarah has her own marketing communications and PR consultancy, the Buzzworks, and joined the team to publicise the Carnival for the first time in summer 2014. She has extensive experience and works with many businesses in Oxfordshire and beyond. She also organises the annual Blenheim 7k charity run at Blenheim Palace.
marketing@cowleyroadworks.org / sarah.airey@thebuzzworks.co.uk

Heather Dunmore

Heather Dunmore

Heather was a founder member of the team involved in setting up Oxfringe (Oxford’s Fringe Festival), becoming Festival Director in 2011. Alongside her role at Cowley Road Carnival she is a published playwright.


Anya Fox

Anya Fox
Artistic Producer

Anya has been running the Carnival procession since 2011. She has a background in theatre and works mainly on large outdoor community events, as a procession and production and stage manager.

Anya’s passion for her work is fired by being able to give communities and individuals the opportunity to come to the streets and show themselves off. Cowley Road Carnival is a wonderful example of this, she says: “it is a great to see  what people, from different cultures and diverse backgrounds, can achieve when given the chance”.

To contact Anya please email her at artistic_producer@cowleyroadworks.org

Benjamin Turner
Technical Coordinator

Benjamin hopes that his experience working with large outdoor events combined with his love of music and the arts will lead to a fruitful relationship with Cowley Road Works in his role as Technical Coordinator. He has proven experience working with the vibrant dynamics of Oxford, including being the lead Event Management contractor for the St. Giles Fair, Site Manager for Oxford Christmas Light Festival and Production Manager for May Morning. He is keen to dive deeper into Oxfords cultural offerings and help continue to make the carnival a success.

Benjamin has also worked as part of the event control team for Boomtown Festival, as a entrance manager for the London New Year Firework Show and as part of the production team behind Brighton Pride.

If you want to contact Benjamin, please email  technical@cowleyroadworks.org

Gemma Fryer
Volunteers Coordinator

This is Gemma’s first year with Cowley Road Works although she has been an attendee at the carnival for many years. She has a background in theatre and volunteer management and a longstanding love for carnival, costume and the Arts. As well as attending Venice Carnival, Gemma has worked on and participated in Notting Hill Carnival. She is a print designer and illustrator and has a passion for diversity, equality and working in the community.


If you want to volunteer or contact Gemma, please email: volunteers@cowleyroadworks.org

Stalls and Traders Coordinator

contact  stalls@cowleyroadworks.org

Volunteers photograph by Laura Greene
Volunteers photograph by Laura Greene


Volunteers are vital to our team. We have all sorts of roles available to work with us throughout the year – from helping with our accounts and book-keeping to photograhy, social media and marketing to stewarding on Carnival Day itself.

If you would like to join our team of volunteers please email volunteers@cowleyroadworks.org


We rely on the enthusiastic support of our Board of Volunteer Trustees.

We currently have vacancies to join the Board. So if you have an interest in the Arts and Culture, or feel you have experience and knowledge to offer, please contact us at director@cowleyroadworks.org