Four new recruits join our Community Business Panel

Power to Change welcomes four new members to the Community Business Panel, who will help the Panel continue its vital role of advising and challenging Power to Change in its mission to create better places through community business and promote a community business movement.

Founded shortly after the launch of Power to Change Trust in 2015, the Panel is a diverse team of 15 community business leaders from across England who provide strategic insight and challenge to our Board and Senior Leadership team. Panel members serve at least two years, with three panel members standing down each year  to allow new members to join.

The four new members are Jen McKevitt, Joanna Holmes, Rebecca Vipond, and Robert Ashton. They will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience of different sectors, activities and stages of development of community business. In particular, their knowledge will help to inform Power to Change’s approach to Sectors – particularly on Health and Social Care – and representation of key Place-based work for Bristol and Liverpool.

Jen McKevitt is Chief Executive of Back on the Map – a community business addressing the failing housing market and tackling unethical lettings practices in the private rented sector. With range of residential, commercial and land assets in Sunderland, Back on the Map is championing people-powered regeneration.

Joanna Holmes is CEO of Barton Hill Settlement – a community resource centre serving a diverse inner-city area in Bristol. She is also the former Chair of Locality and believes co-operation is key to the growth of the community business market.

Rebecca Vipond is co-founder and co-director of socially-engaged creative food enterprise Squash. Rooted in Toxteth, Liverpool, Squash uses food as a tool to improve wellbeing, connectivity and resilience within its community.

Robert Ashton is co-founder of Norwich Mustard as well as an author, publisher and social entrepreneur who has worked on a wide range of community-led initiatives in Norfolk. Norwich Mustard is a community benefit society formed in response to the closure of Colman’s mustard factory in Norfolk by Unilever.

Departing the Panel are: David Chapman – Director of Totnes Community Development Society, Richard Noon – Trustee of Meltham Carlile Community Hub, Brian Dawe – CEO of SAFE Regeneration and Warren Carter – Chair of The Bevy Pub. We thank them all for the significant contributions each has made to Power to Change during their tenure.

All our new recruits share a belief in the potential for community business to bring about positive change and social improvement in the communities they operate in. We warmly welcome them all to the Power to Change family!