Nominations for the new Board

The window for nominations for the Society’s Board has now closed and we are very pleased to let you know that we have 13 nominations, a strong mix of current committee members and potential new Board members.

The steering committee has carefully considered the best way forward with this exceptional field of candidates.

Having carefully considered all of the options, the current committee will be proposing to Members at the AGM that the Board size be increased to 13 this year.

Whilst the current committee is smaller, the committee believes there is a significant advantage to having a slightly larger Board in this coming year of transition, while there remains much to be done to develop and grow the business.  

In addition, our experience to date informs us that there are inevitably periods of the year where the group is depleted because of work and personal issues amongst members, and we believe having a slightly larger Board this year will mitigate this.

If Members approve, the size of the Board may be considered again at the next AGM.

As the new Board meets, a cycle will begin where each year a proportion of the Board either retires or stands for re-election, ensuring strong continuity for the Society and giving other Members an opportunity to serve if they wish.

The following draft resolution will be presented to you for a vote at the AGM:

“That the Board of Directors of the Society shall comprise 13 members, and that this may be reviewed at future general meetings.”

In the event that this draft resolution is adopted, there will be no need to hold an election.

Richard Bickle

I grew up in Cornwall where my family were hardware retailers for over 60 years. After my Dad died I supported my step mum to keep the business going for a few years providing holiday and sickness cover in the shop and doing everything from mopping the floor to dealing with suppliers and serving customers. This gave me a broad understanding of the practical challenges and opportunities of selling hardware, gardening, cookshop/kitchenware and home supplies.

I also have 30 years’ experience in the Co-operative movement, most recently as a Director and Vice President of Central England Co-op – a large retail society, as well as being a co-founder of Revolver Co-operative (a Fairtrade business), the Co-op Gardening Club, and as Secretary of the Co-operative Press, publishing Co-op News. Drawing on my understanding of both the hardware trade and co-operative governance, I have been proud to have been part of the York Supplies community buyout almost from the beginning. This has involved facilitating a community planning event, serving on the Steering Committee, contributing to the business plan and share offer document, volunteering on stalls and with other practical tasks, and attending a lot of meetings! I am now standing for election to the new Board and ask for your support in doing so.

Dominik Brotherton

Having served as a founding member of the “York Supplies Action Group” steering committee, and now as a Director of Communications in the newly founded co-operative, I would very much like to continue offering my skills and passion to this fantastic project!

Although my formal training is as a microbiologist, I’ve always been involved in community work in some shape our form. Bringing the York Supplies project to fruition has been a uniquely rewarding experience and I’ve certainly learnt a lot over the last 1 and a half years. Having seen the ins and outs of the process from the beginning, I think I’m well situated to carry on the work of the committee and I would like to think I can continue to learn and contribute in equal measure.

Jane Charlesworth

I do finance stuff for Birmingham Friends of the Earth as a big part of my job helping to run our community building in Digbeth, so I thought I would volunteer. I am a liveaboard boater and gardener and am therefore particularly fond of a good hardware shop, especially one that sells plants. I think it would be great to have someone from the boating community on the York Supplies Committee as we are a sometimes overlooked community who are also excellent customers of hardware shops, as we are constantly doing DIY!

Being involved in strategic decision making is a part of my work role and I have a long history of volunteering, including previously been the treasurer of a roller derby league. I’ve done everything from making soy milk at activist gatherings to coordinating a care and welfare team for a 1500 person festival. I am also active in the Cooperative movement. I work for a community benefit society (Birmingham Friends of the Earth) and was previously part of a worker co-op (the Warehouse Cafe), so I have experience both of working with board members as an employee of a co-op and managing a business as an employee-owner. In my previous career I was a research scientist, so summarising and presenting detail is something I am very good at and enjoy doing. In both my former and current work, I also have experience of organising and running events and working with contractors to handle repairs or services.

David Cragg

As a long-standing “fan” of York Supplies, I want it to succeed in its new incarnation. As such, I believe my skills and experience fully meet all the criteria set out in the Board specification.

As a CEO/Regional/National Director of major public agencies I have 20 years of experience in all aspects relevant to this role – goverance/fiduciary responsibility/performance/financial accountability etc Examples – WM Regional Director LSC – £750m revenue/capital budget; commissioning, procurement, contract management; strategic plan for further education and training – national/regional responsibility for European Structural Funds – creation, leadership and non-exec directorships of partnership organisations, inc charities (eg Birmingham Economic Development Partnership; World Skills UK) – all aspects of HR/employment law – eg reorganisation/ TUPE transfer of 3,000-strong national agency – event management – national events/conferences (eg World Skills International – London Excel Centre; international vocational education conference with OECD); arts marketing and promotion – innovation – creation of 4 Nations peer network of college leaders/senior govt officials – extensive network of links into local FE system, inc WM Combined Authority – in-depth knowledge of apprenticeship and public employment and skills programmes Awards – MBE, OBE, CBE; Fellow of City and Guilds; Hon Doctorate UCE (now Birmingham City University)

Danielle Joseph

I have been working as part of the York Supplies Community Coop Steering Group since March 2023. The lead up to the share offer saw many weekends on stalls talking to all potential future members and investors. I am so incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a collective in what has been a whirlwind 18 months. I am committed to continuing to work as part of York Supplies community society to ensure that not only is York Supplies coop an astounding success but that we remain on track with our objective to use York Supplies as a hub for community activities, ploughing back our time, energy and resources into the betterment of Kings Heath and surrounding areas.

My professional background is 12 years of operational and programme management at a senior level within the Health Sector. I have managed services with budgets of £40-60 million pounds and am currently running a number of major transformational clinical and logistics projects with million-pound budgets. I bring experience of working within a complex organisation, including the structure and governance of working on governmental Major Projects, managing staff, developing operational and HR policies and procedures and writing and evaluating investment cases. I look forward to continuing as part of the committee and considering how much we have already achieved am excited to see what we continue to do over the coming years.

Dr Georgina Key

I grew up in Kings Heath, and after working away for many years, in 2015 I moved back. A customer of York Supplies, I was delighted when the opportunity to invest in and keep it for the community came up. I’d like to be a director because it would give me the opportunity to be fully involved in Kings Heath and have a tangible, positive impact within the community. I’m interested in long-term sustainability and inclusion, whether environmentally, or within a community or business. I feel it’s more effective to support more people to take small steps towards sustainability, than to take a hard line approach and exclude them.

While I work for a big corporate (Severn Trent), I try to “walk the sustainability talk” – as Principal Catchment Scientist, protecting and improving the environment is the purpose of my job. I also shop locally, use and bank with sustainable businesses, grow as much of my food as I can, and during the pandemic delivered food for a local charity. I would love to bring this ethos into a director role. I currently manage partnerships with multiple stakeholders, including government, charities and farmers, giving me experience of working collaboratively at local and regional scales, and an ability to see things from different perspectives. All my roles so far have involved strategic planning, working with boards of influential stakeholders, and learning to balance sustainability aims with business needs and risks – skills I hope will be useful to the society!

Sush Kelly

I have been involved with the Steering Committee that has created the York Supplies Co-op providing design and development skills as well as social media and general communications support. I feel there is still work for me to do to ensure a great base for the shop business and future community work to build on.

James Langstaff

I am keen to support the continuing development of York Supplies. I have extensive experience as trustee and chair of charities (e.g. homelessness and community development) and as non-exec director and chair of social housing organisations. All of my working life involved community engagement of different kinds. I was a parliamentarian for 7 years.

Bernard McCarty

The previous directors did an amazing job transitioning York Supplies into community ownership, and I’m keen to build on that foundation. I’m focused on ensuring the shop remains a cherished resource for everyone. My goal is to support the Society’s objectives and plan for its long-term success through thoughtful planning and community involvement. I’m also eager to contribute new project ideas and initiatives to increase the number of people using York Supplies.

For example, by connecting with other similarly minded community organisations in South Birmingham, both physically and through the use of social media and a larger online presence. Having been part of the tech and engineering world for over three decades, I’d love to bring my experience to York Supplies Community Society Ltd. As a senior engineer and team leader, I’ve managed teams and developed innovative solutions, and I believe these skills could benefit the board. In my spare time, I’m an avid gardener with a plot at Moor Green. Helping out with requests from the Moor Green Allotments committee has been a rewarding experience. Whether it’s clearing old plots for new members or assisting at community events, I’ve come to truly value local initiatives and their impact on our community.

I believe my background in leading teams and handling complex projects will be useful in guiding the strategic direction of York Supplies. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with the board to sustain and develop the shop, ensuring it continues to thrive and serve our community effectively.

Philip ‘Oz’ Osman

From the outset I have been a member of the Steering Committee that has created the York Supplies Co-op, and has set up the share offer to raise the money to buy York Supplies and run it as a Community Co-op. As a local carpenter I have naturally become involved with building works needed on the York Supplies premises and am assisting our voluntary project manager with the planning involved.

I have contributed the business of the Co-op and been able to help deal with a range of issues through my knowledge of the local area and my involvement with other local organisations such as Kings Heath Business Improvement District (BID), Kings Heath Farmers Market and Kings Heath CIC. I was also involved in the recruiting of our 2 new managers Viv and Scott. I believe I have the skills, energy and willingness to continue to be a useful and active member of the York Supplies Co-op Board as we move into the next phase of running the shop, looking after the building and engaging with the local community.

Naomi Standen

In my professional life I helped to shape strategic directions, wrote successful grant applications, and delivered training. In and beyond my workplaces I have worked effectively in various groups, committees and organisations. Having chaired York Supplies Community Society through our government grant application, the Community Share Offer, and purchase, I now offer to contribute some continuity to the new Board as an ordinary committee member for a limited period.

I worked in my family’s shop as a child, then worked the York Supplies summer season for Jon in 2023, and am continuing with this for the Society. I relished the opportunity of being trained by Jon (and Stuart) to provide shop services such as sharpening and keycutting, and of learning how Jon ran the business. This enabled me to provide the committee with useful understandings of the shop from direct experience, and I would offer this to the new Board too. I am helping to oversee the building work currently being done at York Supplies, drawing upon my own house renovation experience, from my MSc course in Green Building, and from beginning a second career as an energy efficiency advisor. I would happily continue to contribute to these works.

If elected to the Board, I would work to ensure that the co-op continues to serve its customers, pay its bills, and employ all necessary staff. I would look to increase turnover and seek new income streams, so that it becomes possible to work on expanding customer and community services.

Adrian Wakelin

I have been volunteering for York Supplies since January in the capacity of Project Manager, overseeing the repair and refurbishment of the old stable block storage building. I would welcome the opportunity to continue this work and to offer even more to the society as a member of the board.

I retired about five years ago after a career starting with a technical apprenticeship in the automotive industry followed by some twenty years in the recruitment business, which included 15 years running my own company. After selling my business, I operated as a Freelance Management Consultant providing a range of operational, training, business development, marketing and fundraising services in the small business, charity and NHS mental health sectors. More recently, I have operated as a freelance Project Manager in building and restoration. I would represent the interests of the client by bringing together and managing a team of professionals, contractors and suppliers in order to complete projects from a few thousands of pounds up to the low hundreds of thousands.

My skills and experience include: project management; financial planning and control; commercial negotiations with key partners, customers, suppliers and professionals; sales, marketing and fundraising; recruitment and training; management of multi-disciplinary teams, both salaried and voluntary; event management, public speaking and presentations; PR, both press and broadcast. I have been interviewed on both radio and television and I know how to set-up and use a PA system.

Richard Yapp

I am the son of Harry Yapp, one of the founders of York Supplies. I worked in the business part time for many years and ran business with my father full time for 3 years until his sudden death. I am a retired Charted Financial Planner and currently a Director of the British Trial and Rally Drivers Association and also their book keeper.

I understand the business and the service the community would like. Ive spent many years in sales and service issues , I was an Existing Client Services Manager in Financial Services and also ran my own Limited Company. I also spent 5 yrs in the gas industry and was an Industrial Gas Engineer prior to joining the family business full time . I have qualifications in Mech Eng and Fuels along with Degree level qualification in Financial Services with Charted Insurance Institute. I am also a Parish Councillor.