• Team

    IFAN is run by a team of dedicated volunteers and trustees. See below for more information.

    Volunteers

    Steph Ellis-Beacham

    Steph first became aware of the issues of food insecurity in the UK when she worked at Oxfam GB, managing a project that involved partners such as the Trussell Trust and FareShare. While at Oxfam Steph was involved in supporting Seb to develop IFAN and soon after began volunteering for our organisation. Steph is The Welcome Network Manager overseeing the creation and delivery of ‘Meeting Places’ across Cheshire West and Chester. This involves working with The West Cheshire Foodbank and West Cheshire Citizens Advice to ensure that food and advice are widely and easily accessible locally.

    Sabine Goodwin

    As a food bank volunteer, Sabine became aware of the scarcity of information about food banks working outside of the Trussell Trust network. She approached IFAN with a plan to create a database of independent food banks across the UK and the list was first published in The Guardian in May 2017. Sabine is responsible for IFAN's research and campaign work. During 2017 she was the producer of Food Bank As It Is - a play depicting the reality of food banks. Sabine worked for many years as a television news and investigative journalist and has volunteered with IFAN since February 2017.

    Sharon Ball

    Sharon has a background in public sector project management and completed an MA in Global Development Futures at QMUL (2016-17). Sharon’s dissertation research, a qualitative study exploring the surplus food redistribution process, led her to engage with wider debates regarding food poverty in the UK. Research interests include the wider food aid landscape beyond food banks, public, private and third sector responses to food insecurity, the affective environment these responses provide for people using services, and the strategies people use to navigate food insecurity. Sharon joined IFAN as a volunteer in 2018 and is currently undertaking research mapping established and emerging regional food aid networks and alliances by UK counties.

    Ren Piercey

    Ren is in to all things food and has particular interest in sustainable food systems and trying to find ways to improve access and knowledge for all. Ren has volunteered at IFAN since November 2017, helping out with events, membership and research, alongside studying for a Master’s in Nutrition for Global Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Ren is a keen Yogi, teaching yoga in her spare time.

    Seb Mayfield

    Seb has been involved in the food movement for over a decade, setting up and running various community food enterprises as well as working at Sustain for over 5 years. Following a Winston Churchill Fellowship to Canada in 2015 Seb wrote a report entitled 'Involving Charitable Food Providers in Advocacy Efforts' and spent a year scoping a new network, eventually working with others to launch IFAN in 2016. Seb helps out at IFAN with communications and admin, is a Clore Social Fellow, founder and Chair of the Winchester Food Partnership and Network & Projects Coordinator at Good Food Oxford.

    Trustees

    Jon May (Chair of Trustees)

    Jon is a Professor of Geography at Queen Mary University of London. Building on long term interests in the changing nature of the welfare state, and the nature and role of voluntary welfare provision, he has been researching food insecurity and the UK’s emergency food sector since 2014. Jon helped establish the Emergency Food Network in 2015, and worked with Seb, Steph and others to help set up IFAN (incorporating the EFN) in 2016. Beyond IFAN, Jon is also a Trustee of Bow Food Bank (an independent food bank in East London), and volunteers with the Purple People Kitchen Food Bank in Brighton.

    Robin Burgess

    After training as a social worker and working in welfare rights advice, housing and learning difficulties, Robin focused on addictions, running a large regional charity for 9 years. He then led national government policy on drugs in communities for five years, before heading up the national commissioning and policy charity on problem gambling. After a spell as a local addiction commissioner, and then nearly 8 years in national NHS work, improving quality and data, Robin decided that the scale of local poverty and deprivation demanded effective local action. He returned to direct service delivery, in his smallest charity to date, tackling poverty and homelessness and making a very real, practical difference to people on the ground.

    Kayleigh Garthwaite

    Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite is a Birmingham Fellow in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham, UK. Kayleigh explores issues of poverty, stigma and welfare reform through qualitative and ethnographic research. She is author of Hunger Pains: life inside foodbank Britain (Policy Press, 2016) and co-author of Poverty and insecurity: Life in 'low-pay, no-pay' Britain (Policy Press, 2012), winners of the Peter Townsend Prize 2017 and 2013 respectively. She can be followed on Twitter @KA_Garthwaite

    Maddy Power

    Maddy is a Research Fellow at the University of York, researching the lived experience of food insecurity among ethnic minority groups and the influence of religion on food charity in the UK today. Before working at York, she was a senior researcher at The Equality Trust, a charity working to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing economic inequality, a campaigner at 38 Degrees and a researcher at the Resolution Foundation. Maddy is also the coordinator of the York Food Poverty Alliance, funded by Food Power.

    Chris Sunderland (Treasurer)

    Chris has been scientist, vicar, storyteller and one of the founding directors of the Bristol Pound, a local currency project that has attracted widespread attention. He is currently developing a new food initiative, called Real Economy, designed to get fresh food to people in the toughest circumstances and inspired by Community Food Centre work in Canada. Chris is convinced that we are living through an age of deep change, when all of our cultural systems, including our politics, our economics and our religious institutions, are being challenged and something new is emerging. Rebuilding of communities and reconnection with the earth are vital signs of this new path.

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