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.

I am a Chartered Accountant and have been the Trustee with responsibility for the financial aspects of the Trust since I joined the board in 2009. I had previously been employed as the Finance Director of Commonwork between 1999 and 2004. The formative part of my career was as a merchant banker. Thereafter I became a finance director of large and then small companies and charities. Latterly, I have been involved with start up businesses the most recent of which has been assisting the establishment and development of my sons’ business, Foodari Limited, distributing local Kent produce to schools, hospitals, caterers and others.

Vice President and Director, Global Journal Content Management, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

I have worked in academic publishing for 35 years after training at the London College of Printing and am currently head of John Wiley & Sons journals content management. I am responsible for the operational management of approximately 1600 learned journals across all the major academic disciplines. As a Trustee I contribute my knowledge of the corporate business environment and experience of running large, global teams. In my spare time, I also make handmade books which have been exhibited widely and are held in collections in the UK, US, Pakistan and Germany. I am a member of the Letter Exchange.

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. After Neil died, I acted as director of Commonwork for a short period, and also took a second degree, in Public Policy Studies at Bristol University. I have been a Trustee since 1978.

I became a Trustee in 2016.

My first career was as a paediatric nurse before a career break as a full time mother of three. From there I retrained as a teacher and now work in a small semi-rural infant school as assistant headteacher. I have found inspiration for my teaching work at Bore Place, and I took part in the 'Leading for the Future' pilot course here in 2010. I have subsequently completed the MA level education module, 'Schools for the Future' offered jointly by London South Bank University and Commonwork. I continue to seek to incorprate learning for sustainability into education practice. I became a Trustee in 2013 and am delighted to work with Bore Place and give something in return.

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

My early career was lecturing and teaching biology and ecology in higher education, returning to rural Norfolk where I was brought up. Moving to Kent in the late seventies, I then found a role at Commonwork bringing organisational skills as well as technical expertise to the farmed landscape. Anxious to bring my passion for the natural environment to bear on local decision making, I soon made the move into local government in Kent starting as County Ecologist. My career there spanned 23 years, with 10 years as Director of Environment and Waste, a role requiring strong influencing skills and diplomacy, strategic leadership and corporate nous, financial as well as political and people management. The lessons I have learned and my environmental background are relevant to the Board. I have life-long passions for hockey (now a junior coach), wildlife and landscape, walking, and at last can indulge in mixed media art classes…and have several other voluntary roles.

I am an organic farming consultant with a particular interest in developing a more sustainable agriculture, one that addresses the social and environmental roles of farming, as well as its financial performance. This has involved me in the long-term management of organic farm businesses, research, policy work and training in the UK and elsewhere. I am co-editor of the bi-annual Organic Farm Management Handbook, Managing Director of the Institute of Organic Training and Advice and with my partner run the family farm in the Shropshire Hills. My involvement with Bore Place began in 1997 when the farm started organic conversion, first as an adviser and subsequently as a Trustee.

I became a Trustee for Commonwork in 2016. I am a qualified accountant with over 25 years experience.  I have worked at Kent County Council, since 1989, where I have carried out a wide range of roles mainly in the finance field but also in business intelligence and transformation.  Currently I am acting as interim Finance Director for Kent County Council’s new property company GEN².  I have been honorary treasurer for a number of years of the Kent Foundation for Young Entrepreneurs - a Kent based charity helping young people set up their own businesses – although I have now given up this role in order to free up some time to support Bore Place.  

I look forward to using my financial knowledge to help the Commonwork Trust continue with the fantastic work it carries out.


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