IoD Yorkshire and North East: Director of the Year Awards



Davie Parks has been shortlisted as a finalist in The Institute of Directors (IoD) Yorkshire and North East Director of the Year Awards. The IoD Awards are an annual celebration of leadership talent, success and achievement.


Davie is a finalist in the innovation category. This category recognises leaders that have developed an innovative and transformational idea that displays creative thinking and that has beaten the competition and been developed and applied to improve commercial performance, operational effectiveness or customer engagement. You can view the full list of finalists by clicking here.


Davie has worked in Youth Justice Services in Glasgow, Belfast, North Tyneside and Newcastle upon Tyne. Davie established The Skill Mill in 2013 in response to increasing concern over lack of employment opportunities for young people coming through the justice system. The Skill Mill was set up to provide young people with progression routes into employment and to date has employed 158 young people with 15 re-convictions, a rate of 9.5% which compares with 72% nationally for young offenders will 11 or more previous convictions. The first Skill Mill team began working in Newcastle in 2014 and others soon followed in the North of England and even in the Estonian capital, Tallinn. There are now a total of 8 teams operating across the UK in Newcastle, Durham, Leeds, Rochdale, Birmingham, Nottingham, Croydon and Surrey with a team due to start work in West Sussex February 2021. Skill Mill brings together many of the threads important to Davie; Social Innovation, Co-creation, multidisciplinarity, desistance pathways and environmental care. Davie is also vice chair of the Cooperation in Science and Technology Action: Multi-Disciplinary Innovation for Social Change. A European wide programme involving 39 countries exploring Public Service Innovation, Design Thinking through Higher Education Social Entrepreneurship programmes. It is an EU Horizon 2020 programme.

During the Covid Crisis Davie pivoted Skill Mill to start producing reusable PPE in response to concern about PPE waste and cost. The masks that Skill Mill produce are being sold across the world and create even more positive environmental and social impact. If you would like to order face masks also with your logo/design please get in contact info@theskillmill.org. More info here.


The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and within three years they were awarded a Royal Charter to support, represent and set standards for business leaders nationwide. You can find out more about the IoD by clicking here

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