Jonathan has been a trustee of FareShare Sussex since 2003, and treasurer since 2008, but in January 2020 was made Chair of Trustees – and has risen to the challenge of a year like no other! In his years with the charity, Jonathan has seen the expansion of the board of trustees to ten members, more diversity in the board, and a blossoming of the little community-action project that he begun working with.
As head of the board entrusted with protecting FareShare’s values, Jonathan describes the charity’s vision as ultimately being to deliver to people in need, but he also lays emphasis on the importance of an inclusive and respectful workplace. ‘When everyone has a common objective, social distinctions between a diverse range of people are broken down’, Jonathan tells us, and a positive community atmosphere is fostered.
Jonathan is proud of how smoothly the board of trustees has transitioned to online working, despite the challenges of multiple national lockdowns. With the flexibility of an online workplace, meetings can be streamlined to 90 minutes rather than 2.5 hours, with trustees fitting their lives more easily around responsibilities to the charity. However, Jonathan is particularly pleased with how he has been able to make sure everyone’s voice is heard in the meetings, not only those who are most comfortable with the technology. With the greatest challenge this year being meeting the increased needs of the community in the pandemic, the board ensured that any extra financial support was proactively reinvested in helping FareShare to grow in the future, including the purchase of two new, greener vehicles for food delivery!
Ultimately, Jonathan sees food as a ‘community-enhancer’: he wants to use his business skillset to help the charity help vulnerable people. When he’s finished a hard day’s work, running his software company and heading up the board of trustees, Jonathan likes to relax watching Formula 1, cooking, or playing video games with his teenage kids.