• Team

    IFAN is seeking core funding and is currently run by volunteers and trustees.

    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 working across the UK and the list was first published in The Guardian in May 2017. By now Sabine coordinates the day-today running of IFAN and is responsible for the network's research and campaign work as well as the StoryBank project. She represents IFAN within the End Hunger UK coalition campaigning for household food insecurity measurement and on social security issues. During 2017 she was the producer of Food Bank As It Is - a play depicting the reality of food banks. Sabine was a television news and investigative journalist for many years and has worked with IFAN since February 2017.

    Steph Ellis-Beecham

    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's main work is as the manager of The Welcome Network 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.

    Dave Beck

    Formerly a volunteer at his local independent food bank in Bangor North Wales, Dave helps specifically with IFAN's work in Wales. Dave is a PhD Researcher working at Bangor University with a special focus on the socio-political growth of food poverty and the development of the food banking landscape in Wales. Researching the food landscape of Wales for the last ten years, Dave also holds a BA in Human Geography, with a special focus on local food culture of North Wales, and a MA in Social Research and Social Policy. Combining both of these academic approaches, Dave aims to provide a voice for the independent sector of food banks as well other food aid providers through his work with IFAN. Dave also sits on the steering group for the North Wales Food Poverty Alliance supported by Food Power.

    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 (Trustee)

    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 (Trustee)

    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 (Trustee)

    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.

    IFAN Alumni

    Seb Mayfield (Co-founder of IFAN)

    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. He is a Clore Social Fellow, founder and Chair of the Winchester Food Partnership, network & projects coordinator at Good Food Oxford and coordinator for the Lambeth Food Partnership.

    Ren Piercy (Former Volunteer)

    Ren is in to all things food and has a particular interest in sustainable food systems and trying to find ways to improve access and knowledge for all. Ren volunteered with IFAN from November 2017 to July 2018, 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.

    Sharon Ball (Former Volunteer)

    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 worked as a volunteer for IFAN in the Spring of 2018 on research mapping established and emerging regional food aid networks and alliances.

    Siobhán O'Connor (Former Volunteer)

    Siobhán became aware of the growing issues of food poverty in the UK through her undergraduate dissertation research exploring stigma and food banks. This was part of her BA Geography degree at University of Southampton (2015-18). Discussions with a variety of stakeholders on how best to help reduce food poverty broadened her understanding and encouraged her to investigate further. Siobhán helped IFAN with research into emerging regional food aid networks in the summer of 2018.

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