John Willetts, one of the principal figures behind the creation of FareShare East Midlands, is to stand down as Chairman of the campaigning charity at the end of the year.
After a 10-year stint, which has seen him take on the roles of van driver, volunteer Project Director and Chairman, Mr. Willetts has decided the time is right to hand over the reins to new blood, in the form of retired vet, Andrew Wilson. It has been an incredible 10 years, reflected Mr. Willetts.
In our first 12 months, we redistributed some 42 tonnes of food. Now its almost twice that amount every month, such has been the rise in demand from organisations in need! I can honestly say its has been real privilege to be a part of the FareShare team. Unfortunately, the principle that good food should not be wasted, but diverted to those in need, is more relevant today than it has ever been.
Id like to express my thanks to all Trustees, staff and volunteers for the huge impact they have had on the East Midlands region during the last decade, and I am confident they will keep up the good work for many years to come.
During Mr. Willetts tenure. FareShare East Midlands has grown significantly. Today, it provides more than one million nutritious meals every year to people living in the region and has several hundred Member organisations relying on its weekly supplies of surplus food. In addition, the charity has relocated to a purpose-built, modern warehouse in Narborough (Leicester), where it houses large quantities of fresh produce.
John is our founding father, someone who has made an enormous contribution to the FareShare story, said Simone Connolly, Project Manager of FareShare East Midlands. He leaves us with our heartfelt thanks, after overseeing an incredible period in our short history. And we hope he enjoys his retirement. Ten years ago, food poverty was not on the mainstream radar. Yet today, its concept is widely understood as millions of UK families struggle to put food on the table.
Thankfully, John had the vision and wisdom a decade ago to understand what was happening in our society. As a result, he was a real driving force. And that passion and commitment has really helped to put us on the map in Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire.
Mr. Wilson who joined the FareShare East Midlands Board of Trustees in November 2017 takes over the reins on 1 January 2018, and he is relishing the challenge. He said: I am so fortunate to take over from someone like John, who has set a great example as Chair.
Under his stewardship, FareShare East Midlands has become the pre-eminent organisation of its kind in the region. So, in that sense, he will be a very hard act to follow. Going forward, we will continue to face challenges as more and more people find themselves in difficulty and greater numbers of community organisations struggle to cope with the demands placed on their services. Our role is also likely to evolve in the months and years ahead. And that is an exciting and sobering prospect. Meanwhile, Carri Swann has also joined the charitys Board of Trustees. Ms. Swann, a qualified lawyer, is a Board Member of the Nottingham Community Housing Association.
She works for the St Anns Advice Centre, which is located in one of the most deprived parts of the East Midlands. Carri brings a wealth of experience that will be invaluable to an organisation like ours, added Mr. Wilson. We are lucky to have been able to secure someone of her calibre.