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About Minerva

As procurement specialists in the schools sector Minerva offers a unique service to independent schools and academies.  We understand that schools have their own distinctive characteristics and challenges and use our knowledge to meet your specific needs.

Our audit process combines information on cost reduction opportunities together with advice on improving your school's purchasing practices.

With a ‘no savings, no fee’ guarantee Minerva can give you peace of mind that engaging us is financially risk free.

At Minerva we stand for the traditional values of openness, honesty and integrity.  Our aim is to provide you with a commercial solution whilst maintaining a personal relationship enhanced with a large dose of enthusiasm for what we do!

We really are passionate about helping you to save money and develop robust purchasing strategies for your school.

Contact us today to see how we can help you.

Our Main Contacts

Lorraine Ashover, Director

Lorraine Ashover is Managing Director of Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited.  Fulfilling a long-standing ambition to be her own boss Lorraine set up Minerva in 2010 in direct response to feedback from the school bursar community and helps schools reduce cost, streamline procurement practices and save time. 

The company looks after many independent and academy schools and manages significant spend on behalf of clients.  Prior to setting up Minerva, Lorraine worked for Barclays Commercial for 20 years, the last seven of which were as an Industry Specialist in the education sector.  When not working Lorraine runs after her daughter Maisie, escapes into a good crime novel and bemoans the demise of her beloved Nottingham Forest!

Nathan Whittaker, Tender and Compliance Manager

Nathan joined Minerva in May 2016.  Nathan possesses six years of procurement experience in a number of sectors including education, healthcare, social housing and the private sector.

From his previous roles Nathan has worked with schools on procurement projects covering many different categories from small purchases all the way up to large OJEU tenders for school consortiums.

When not at work Nathan can most likely be found in the outdoors travelling or hiking in one mountain or another both in the UK and abroad.

Kerry Harkins, Tender and Compliance Officer

Kerry joined Minerva in March 2017. Kerry has had an extensive career within the procurement and purchasing industry, both in the UK and Australia. She has worked in the private, and public sectors, and has procured services on behalf of the UK Nuclear Waste Executive, UK electricity generating industry, and the Victorian Government in Australia.

Upon returning to the UK, Kerry has most recently been working in a local primary school, and has first-hand experience in relation to the challenges experienced within the UK education sector. She is committed to helping schools achieve greater value for money within their procurement spend, and passionate about easing pressure on budget constraints.

At weekends, Kerry is either getting up in the wee hours of the morning to watch her cherished Australian Rules Football team (St. Kilda), or out exploring the many wonderful cities in the UK and Europe. 

Plum Garland, Executive Assistant

Plum joined Minerva in May 2015. Previously Plum worked at a London University and, prior to that, at a Local Authority. From her previous roles, Plum brings experience of supporting busy people with busy calendars, whilst trying to keep the office running smoothly.

When not at work, Plum can usually be found watching rugby, covered in paint and glue making something crafty, or clutching her Kindle.

Maisie Simper, Work Experience Girl

Maisie joined Minerva in 2016. Maisie has lots of knowledge and can work under pressure. She is ready to help in all situations. Whether the work is hard or easy she pushes though to find a solution. Maisie is there to help the business. She is part time and when she is off she reads, does Sudoku and word searches and also does arts and crafts.

Work for us!

Interested in what we do and want to join in?  Find out more about working at Minerva.

Awards

Below are just some of the awards we have won. Click here to view more


Stevie Award Winner 2012    Best of Best 2014.jpg      Awards2016FINALIST-01.jpg   

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  • From start to finish the whole procurement process was smooth and easy. All I had to do was provide current documents and then sit and wait for the results, which have given us a saving. We will definitely use Minerva again. Thank you very much.
    – Liz Halliwell, School Business Manager, Stroud High School
  • Minerva understood the requirements of the Aylesbury Vale Academy very clearly and completed the exercise in a very objective and professional manner. Because they understood our needs, the specification was as relevant as possible and we believe that the process has delivered the most optimum outcome in terms of selected providers of our services.
    – Hans Copas, Finance Director, Aylesbury Vale Academy
  • Above and beyond our expectations! When Oxfordshire academies’ business managers engaged Minerva to procure a new payroll provider, we did not expect that this would be the beginning of a strong on-going partnership. In fact the service from Minerva has been well above and beyond our expectations. It has undoubtedly been the best decision the group has made. Lorraine and her team are extremely responsive, months after the procurement element of a project has been concluded they are always happy to support us if an issue arises or to provide assistance or advice on a particular aspect of the contract or service provision. In an era of sales people who ‘over promise and under deliver’ it is refreshing to deal with an organisation with integrity and commitment that genuinely puts the customer first. I cannot recommend Minerva highly enough.
    – Alan Lane, Strategic Finance Consultant, John Mason Academy Trust
  • It has been a pleasure to work with Lorraine at Minerva on the Telephony services lines and calls project. The level of detail supplied in the report was excellent; the report explained the procurement process, the details of the proposals received and a summary of the findings. A beneficial saving was made with a minimal amount of time and input from myself i.e. only a few telephone bills and a copy of the contract. Although there is no obligation to take up the findings and recommendations I felt confident and reassured by Minerva’s in depth expert advice and research to follow their recommendation and achieve best value for the school.
    In addition, Lorraine carried out a comprehensive quick ‘sense check’ of the proposed Reprographic contract, accessing a network of internal and external resources she was able to provide me with a very useful detailed response.
    So thank you Minerva, I am grateful for being able to tap into your expertise and to receive such a responsive service.
    – Gill Taylor, Business Manager, Barnwood Park Arts College
  • “I cannot speak highly enough of Minerva Procurement and of Lorraine Ashover and her colleagues. I have been most grateful for the advice and help given in renegotiating better deals on everything from utilities to stationery with copiers, printers and postage in between.
    Lorraine is a delight to do business with and her cheerful and professional manner are always reassuring us that we are in safe hands.
    You have nothing to lose and everything to gain; I can highly recommend Minerva Procurement to you.”
    – Tanya Hutt, Bursar, Lyndhurst School
  • “It is now a month since the outcome of the negotiations that Minerva undertook on behalf of the School and that the resulting transport contract has been in force.   Can I firstly say a very big thank you for the time you personally put in to obtaining the baseline information and the comparison of services and costs and briefing me on the results.  The quality and standard of the groundwork and the final report was first class and exceeded all my expectations.   As a direct result of your involvement we now have a supplier who meets an agreed and realistic specification, with proper terms and conditions in place, at a very acceptable price.  I genuinely sleep much sounder at night knowing that this area of school operations is assured.
    As I said at the time, if it hadn’t been for Minerva I would still be using an unsatisfactory service provider, simply because I did not have the time available nor the necessary expertise to review and revise the situation I had inherited.  Once again – thank you – and please stay in touch.  If required I would unreservedly recommend Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Limited for similar projects.”
    – Roger Walker, Director of Operations , Notting Hill & Ealing High School
  • I wanted to formally thank you for all the extremely hard work that you and Lucy put into supporting us through this complex process which has enabled us to secure excellent services at very competitive prices. Your tenacity and willingness to chase down every detail has made the ‘maze’ much easier to negotiate and has certainly given me a great deal of confidence that due process has been followed correctly.
    – Mary Shorland, School Business Manager, EP Collier Primary School and Nursery
    Mary Shorland, School Business Manager, EP Collier Primary School and Nursery
  • I am pleased to have the opportunity to provide a letter of recommendation for Minerva Procurement Consultancy Services Ltd. We began our association with Lorraine Ashover, their Director, a little over 7 months ago and whilst our association has not been that long her company has always provided us with a high quality and first rate service at competitive rates.

    In particular Lorraine has enabled the College to make significant savings on our utility contracts, our reprographic function and most recently our franking machine contract. Her attention to detail when listening to our needs, identifying appropriate solutions and then presenting her findings has been exemplary. Her Procurement Audit Reports are comprehensive, free of industry jargon and identify the costs and savings involved with both current providers and proposed alternatives in a clear and unbiased fashion, leaving us free to make our own judgement on which proposal best suits our needs.

    Minerva’s ‘after-sales’ service has also been excellent. Lorraine runs her firm with integrity and skill and she herself is friendly, approachable and highly professional. She is readily available by both phone and email and her response to any concerns or queries has always been timely. For example, we experienced ongoing problems with the suppliers of one of our gas contracts, however having contacted Lorraine the whole matter was taken out of our hands and, most importantly, she worked with them on finding the best solution for us. Problem solving is an extremely time‑consuming and costly activity, and to be able to confidently pass this over to someone else in the sure knowledge that they are serving their customer’s best interest at no additional cost, has been a great bonus.

    The industry knowledge demonstrated by Lorraine and her team at Minerva has I am sure been the reason why they have been able to achieve such successful outcomes on our behalf, their business terms are straightforward and transparent, and I would recommend their services to you without reservation.
    – Robert Lougee, Bursar, Salesian College Farnborough Limited
  • immediate savings, amounting to £000’s…..Minerva Procurement Consultancy were thorough, detailed and analytical in their approach whilst not being intrusive…..I would have no hesitation in using Minerva again, for any audit, small or large, and would recommend their service to anyone
    – Jonathan Frost, Bursar, Rookwood School Trust Limited
    Jonathan Frost, Bursar, Rookwood School Trust Limited
  • “…the procurement exercise has generated significant savings for the College.
    The College obviously has to ensure that all suppliers are covered to work with children and Minerva was able to ensure the suppliers have relevant cover. Minerva provided support throughout the process and was available for interviews and meetings to ensure the decision making process was made simpler.
    The work Minerva completed for the College enabled us to review all proposals in a very clear manner and was instrumental in making sensible decisions on the projects. I would have no hesitation in recommending the services of Minerva for future procurement in the College or for other businesses.”
    – Derek Fargher, Financial Controller, Bradfield College

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