Trustees

The Commonwork Trust is a registered charity. The board of Trustees meet four times a year

The Trustees are responsible for ensuring all activities funded by the Trust meet its registered charitable aims. They oversee, monitor and evaluate the organisation's work to ensure activities efficiently and effectively serve these aims. They work alongside the Commonwork Director who also attends the quarterly meetings.

Edward brings over 40 years’ commercial experience at a senior level in academic publishing to his role as Chair of the Commonwork Trust. He became a Director of Blackwell Science in 1999 while his most recent position was as Vice-President and Director, Global Journal Content Management, at John Wiley & Sons, where he was responsible for the production (in print and online) of over 1600 learned journals across all the major academic disciplines, a budget of approximately $60m and over 100 members of staff, located worldwide.

Amongst other duties at Wiley, he specialized in copyright and intellectual property law, and chaired the global committee responsible for publication ethics. Having managed large teams in a number of jurisdictions across the world, he also brings his extensive understanding of contract and employment law to his role as Chair of the Trust.

In addition to his commercial experience, he has had extensive involvement in the charitable sector. During his time in publishing, he served on a number of industry bodies, including latterly as a Board member and Treasurer of ORCiD, a US-based non-profit focused on disambiguation of the scholarly record and researcher workflows.

He also served as Treasurer for The Listening Centre, a low-cost counselling service based in an area of high social deprivation in Oxford, from 2008 to 2015.

Edward has a separate career as a calligrapher and lettering artist, whose work is widely exhibited and is held in public collections in the UK, Pakistan, Germany and the US. He is currently Chair of the Irene Wellington Trust, an educational charity focused on education in the Lettering Arts.

In 2019, he was elected a Trustee of the Crafts Study Centre, based at the University of the Creative Arts at Farnham and one of the UK’s major locations for the preservation and study of craft.

Hannah Bird is a Wellcome Trust Clore Fellow with 15 years’ experience of developing new programmes and strategy across cultural, educational and scientific organisations.

She is delighted to support Commonwork Trust in their strategic ambition to ensure visitors to Bore Place consider their relationship with and impact on the natural world. She brings experience of leading cross-disciplinary climate change expeditions in the Arctic and Andes for Cape Farewell - producing artworks, events and films with the BBC, Southbank Centre, Tate, Eden Project and Natural History Museum, directing the Culture & Climate Change Networked Residency Programme for Open University and University of Sheffield, and undertaking a residency at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab exploring the role of creativity in the pursuit of scientific knowledge.

Hannah has a keen interest in encouraging good governance and leadership across the Charity Sector. She sits on the steering group for Get Creative and her consultancy Bird & Gorton, in collaboration with Cornwall Museums Partnership was one of 13 organisations awarded DCMS funding in 2019 to devise and deliver a programme of activity building Digital Leadership capacity at board and senior management level. Other governance and leadership consultancy includes work with cities, large and small arts organisations, museums, universities, funders and creative businesses including National Theatre, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, Midlands4Cities and Clore Leadership Programme. She enjoys working within a rich network of cultural leaders to bring the right people and ideas together to imagine new and better solutions to complex challenges.

I was born in London in 1932 and educated at Sherborne School for Girls and Somerville College, Oxford, where I read Classics. In 1955 I married Neil Wates, and we went on to have five children (of whom Edward is the eldest). I've worked in several voluntary organisations, and as a Juvenile Court magistrate in inner London, setting up projects such as a Family Day Care programme in Brixton. As a result of this work I became concerned about the powerlessness and waste of talent of ‘ordinary’ people, and Neil and I were also convinced that the exploitation of natural resources, unfair world trade and the materialism of our culture would lead to an environmental disaster unless our whole attitude changed.

This led to the setting up of Commonwork at Bore Place and we also became Quakers. In 1983-5, in order to better equip myself as a trustee, I took a second degree in Public Policy Studies at Bristol University’s School of Advanced Urban Studies, and received the qualification of Master of Science, which has proved useful and valuable. After Neil died, I acted as director of Commonwork for a short period, have been a Trustee since 1978 and have taken on the role of Trustee Emeritus since February 2017.

Former Director of Environment and Waste, Kent County Council (retired 2012)

Hailing from rural Norfolk originally I have lived and worked in Kent over the past 40 years. As a Trustee I contribute knowledge and senior experience of the public sector business, staff and project management environments, and local government political arena. I bring wide experience of ecology, environment and waste issues, services, contract management and 'public good' projects. Post retirement I have several other voluntary capacity roles, including as a conservation volunteer.

A local resident with a passion for the natural world and the charity sector. Nigel’s background is in the financial as well as charity sector, and therefore has some knowledge and experience to help to support the development of the Commonwork Trust. He spent over 20 years working in the financial sector before running a project for Business in the Community which encouraged small and medium sized enterprises to support their local community and voluntary groups. He recently retired from the role of CEO of Funding for All which he co-founded. Funding for All is an independent charity that supports small to medium sized charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises across Kent and Medway in all operational activities by using a team of specialist mentors.

Paul is passionate about sustainable development and hopes his commercial, finance, academic and third sector experience will help the Commonwork Trust to expand its work in environmental and social sustainability.

Paul worked in the corporate banking sector for over 30 years. He was the Lloyds Banking Group’s first Sustainable Development Director, developing the strategy and business case for supporting corporate customers as they seized business opportunities and managed the risks of the changing world. He also took on a Group-wide role working closely with the Board of Directors to develop and implement a range of strategic sustainability initiatives.

Paul's academic experience includes having been a Senior Associate and Academic Tutor for over nine years at the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

Paul was interim CEO of the UK’s largest corporate foundation during a period of strategic and leadership transition. Paul is currently a Trustee of Oasis International and the Oasis Foundation (Oasis is a global organisation and one of the largest operators of Academy Schools in the UK) and was formerly the Deputy Chairman of the Mayor of London’s Sustainable Development Commission and an elected member of the steering group of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative.

I spent my early career in direct farm management both with the private farmers and also with the Co-operative Wholesale Society.

Since 1992 I have worked as a farm advisor and for the last 18 as an independent consultant. I specialise in providing advice to organic dairy and arable farming businesses, helping clients to develop their organic farms to remain profitable but deliver the wider benefits of organic farming in the form of high quality food, enhancing bio diversity and reducing the harmful effects of agriculture.

I have been involved at Bore Place as a technical advisor to the farm for over 10 years. More recently this has also included providing more strategic advice to the Farm Manager and Director.

I became a Trustee at Bore Place in 2017, and in addition to my professional role I am keen to see greater engagement between farmers and the general public, helping farmers to communicate the benefits of organic farming.

Away from work I am a keen walker and cyclist and have a passion for the natural environment and conservation of our landscape.

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