“I joined The Southern Co-operative when it was called Portsea Island Mutual Co-operative Society (PIMCO) and I was a teenager, because of my belief in Co-operative values: caring for others, community concern, democracy, equality, plus the ethical values of honesty, openness, self-help, self and social responsibility.
I have been involved voluntary youth and children’s work all my adult life, starting as a Sunday school teacher which led to organising events and outings, and leading services. In the last few years I have also been doing one to one mentoring in secondary schools and interacting with pupils at a breakfast club. In recent years I have done voluntary work in the Fairtrade movement.
Since 1974 I have been a voluntary trade union representative, promoting and protecting members’ interests and representing them with management, as well as representing my local members to the national union by attending conferences and framing policy based on their views.
I studied theology, world religions and ethics at Winchester University and in the last 10 years have preached, mainly in the Church of England.
As well as the voluntary work outlined above, I have done paid work as a manager, technical caseworker, examined business accounts, written reports, dealt with Health and Safety issues, recruited and trained staff, been an NVQ assessor and conducted funerals and burials.
Since being a Director of The Southern Co-operative, I have visited all our food stores, our Starbucks coffee shops and many of the local food producers who supply our stores. I have visited the Co-operative wholesale distribution centre in Hampshire, several of our funeral homes, our natural burial ground, Clayton Wood, and our crematorium, The Oaks. These visits give me great insights which I can use within my role on the Board.
My hobbies include cooking, cycling, DIY, gardening (especially vegetable growing) sailing, travelling and walking.
I am committed to maintaining The Southern Co-operative as an independent local business that supports its colleagues, local communities and local producers.”