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Bury St Edmunds entrepreneur Craig Dearden-Phillips set for honorary degree from Anglia Ruskin University

A Bury St Edmunds-based entrepreneur who writes in The Guardian and works with people suffering from mental health problems or learning disabilities is set to receive an honorary degree.

Craig Dearden-Phillips, MBE, will receive the Doctor of Business Administration from Anglian Ruskin University (ARU) next Tuesday at a ceremony in Cambridge.

Professor Roderick Watkins, vice chancellor at the university, said: “It is my pleasure to present Craig Dearden-Phillips MBE for the award of Honorary Doctor of Business Administration.

Craig Dearden-Phillips, MBE. Picture: Tom Soper.
Craig Dearden-Phillips, MBE. Picture: Tom Soper.

"We look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship with Craig and we are delighted to formally welcome him into the ARU family."

Craig, a father-of-three, is a social entrepreneur, author, mentor and adviser.

He is the founder of VoiceAbility, a social enterprise with a £10 million turnover which has won numerous awards for its work done with people with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

His venture Stepping Out has assisted NHS and local government staff to form over 30 new mutual organisations as well.

As an author, he has written three books on social sector leadership and is a regular contributor on the topic to The Guardian and trade journal Third Sector.

Craig’s link with ARU started in 2008, when he spoke at the founding conference of Third Sector Futures, the specialist unit at ARU that deals with charity and social enterprise.

Since then, he has continued to support the university, speaking at a charity course summer school in 2017, and at the Third Sector Futures’ leadership conference in 2013.

Craig, who most recently set up Social Club, a business club for 130 third sector leaders with five clubs, three in London and two in Manchester, thanked Anglia Ruskin University for the degree.

“Receiving this is a great honour and I want to extend my thanks to the university and all of those who have supported me in my ventures," he said.

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