Mary began as a trustee for Growing Well and moved into the position of CEO in October 2018. She leads on the strategic and operational running of the charity. Mary’s background is in rural and food development. In 2018 she won a Churchill Fellowship to study international best practice in therapeutic farming.
Commercial Growing Manager
Paul joined us in 2020 in a new role to maximise sustainable income from our organic growing enterprise. Paul is from New Orleans and has worked and studied in the US, Canada and China. He has a Masters in sustainable agriculture and was previously Head Grower for a local two Michelin-starred restaurant.
Field Manager (Mental Health)
James is co-founder of Growing Well and has been here since its beginnings in 2004. A skilled, organic horticulturalist who set up the six-acre Low Sizergh site we work on today, James works directly with our volunteers on the field, supporting their mental health recovery through horticultural activity.
Hazel heads up the training department at Growing Well and brings a wealth of horticultural and teaching and learning experience to our accredited City & Guilds courses. She works directly with our volunteers and members of the wider community to support them in achieving horticultural qualifications.
Having joined Growing Well as a core volunteer, Sarah was later recruited to lead and develop our new catering function. She supports volunteers to work in our purpose-built kitchen and create meals for everyone on site, and products for sale. Sarah has a military background and significant management experience.
Simon has worked at Growing Well for almost five years, having previously worked as a Grower for a local two Michelin-starred restaurant. He began his work here on a commercial salad project and his role has developed into a wider commercial growing one. He also runs the volunteer field activity one day per week.
Sarah supports Hazel in the planning, delivery and assessment of our horticultural training at Growing Well. As well as being a tutor, Sarah is a qualified Occupational Therapist and brings a solid understanding of the benefits of occupationally focused recovery.
Sharon manages all of the office requirements of the charity and also acts as Secretary to the Board of Trustees. Sharon is one of the first faces people will see at Growing Well and she supports volunteers throughout their journey here, on a practical and administrative level.
Fiona came to Growing Well as a core volunteer and later took on the role of fundraising for the charity, applying her previous grants and trusts fundraising management experience to the writing of compelling funding bids and donor stewardship work. Fiona’s role now extends to all aspects of fundraising
Richard leads on fundraising, communications and development. Before joining the Growing Well team in 2019, Richard was a journalist in Cumbria for 30 years, and Editor and Publishing Director of a portfolio of award-winning magazines and events, with a strong focus on food and drink.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Dr Marion Cheesbrough
Chair of Trustees
Marion began as a non-core volunteer at Growing Well and joined the Board of Trustees in 2018, becoming Chair in 2019. She still takes a very “hands on” role at Growing Well, working closely with staff and volunteers on site. Marion is a medical doctor with training in psychiatry, having worked in the US and Malawi before becoming a consultant and clinical and governance lead for mental health at Alder Hey hospital, Liverpool.
Sam has been a trustee at Growing Well for 5 years and was previously Chair of the organisation. She is the Global General Manager for an award-winning international training organisation that specialises in leadership development, employee engagement and team building. and team building.
Trustee and vice-chair
Simon joined the board of trustees in 2018 and became Vice Chair in 2019. He has a wealth of food industry experience, including time as Business Development Manager for a national organic veg box scheme and retail management. He is a trained chef and now has his own catering business. He is a trained chef and now has his own catering business. He is a trained chef and now has his own catering business.
Claire came to Growing Well as a core volunteer after a period of mental ill health. She joined the board wishing to give back to the charity that helped her to recover. Claire uses 35 years of skill and experience as a teacher (and headteacher) to support training and governance work at Growing Well.
Fiona is Growing Well’s longest-serving board member and has been a trustee for almost 7 years. She is a qualified management accountant and supports Growing Well as Treasurer, also acting voluntarily as Finance Officer for the organisation. She was previously the Head of Finance and Business planning for a medical supplies manufacturing business. She was previously the Head of Finance and Business planning f
Rachel has been a trustee at Growing Well for 5 years. Her background is in marketing and her passion and skill for building brands, creating a vision and engaging stakeholders supports the development work of our organisation. and engaging stakeholders supports the development work of our organisation.