Our Trustees

Meet Cambridge City Foodbank's Board of Trustees

Stephen Thornton – Chair of the Board of Trustees

Stephen became Chair of the Board of Trustees for Cambridge City Foodbank in September 2020, having been a member of the board for the previous 12 months.

Stephen has a degree in Politics and Modern History from Manchester University. Upon graduating, he joined the NHS National Graduate Management Training Scheme and has since spent most of his career in the NHS as a general manager, culminating in a role as CEO of Cambridge and Huntingdon Health Authority in the 1990s. Stephen was subsequently CEO of the NHS Confederation, the trade body for NHS organisations, and then of The Health Foundation, a charitable foundation that supports people and organisations with ideas about how to improve the quality of patient care.

Following his retirement from full-time work, Stephen has held a number of non-executive director positions including at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. He is presently Executive Chair of the Multi-operator Self Exclusion Scheme for Betting Shops and a non-executive director of the Bar Standards Board. He is a member and elder of Downing Place United Reformed Church and a volunteer generalist adviser for Cambridge District Citizens Advice.

Stephen is married to Lorraine. They have two grown up children and three young grandchildren. He enjoys classical music and gardening.

Martin Evans

Martin joined Cambridge City Foodbank’s Board of Trustees in February 2020, having previously been involved with the Foodbank in 2015.

Martin began his career as a teacher of Religious Education and Games in an inner-city boys’ comprehensive school in Ancoats, Manchester. He later became Assistant Director, then Director, of TACADE (Teachers Advisory Council for Alcohol and Drug Education) where he co-wrote ‘Free To Choose’, a drug education curriculum pack; the Alcohol Education Syllabus and ‘Working with Groups’, a training pack and video about leading adult groups.

Martin had two spells in the NHS in Cambridge, first as District Health Promotion Manager, then later as General Manager of Community Health Services and Director of Public Affairs. In the early 1990s he was General Manager of Greenbelt Festivals. For the final 15 years of his career he ran the training consultancy ‘Threesquare Consulting Ltd’. He was part of the team that implemented Modern Hearing Aid Services, Newborn Hearing Services and NHS Standards in Audiology, and he wrote another book, ‘Leading Groups, a Practical Guide’.

Martin retired in 2013 and since then has chaired several charitable initiatives including the Street Child Cricket World Cup; It Takes A City Homelessness project, Cambridge; the Signal Box Community Centre and St Paul’s Parochial Church Council (PCC).

Martin has been married to Julia for 48 years. They have two children, Matt 46, and Jenny 43.

Martin spends several hours most days drawing.

Jo Preston

Jo Preston joined the Board of Trustees in February 2020.

In addition to being a Trustee, Jo is also a Cambridge City Foodbank volunteer. She has a degree in Psychology and is an ACAS-qualified Internal Workplace Mediator. She retired in 2019 after 17 years in Personnel Management at King’s College, Cambridge and is able to advise on HR matters, ensuring compliance with employment legislation. Jo is currently Chair of The Family Mediation Trust, a charity covering the East of England which is dedicated to limiting the pain and cost of divorce, separation and family disputes. Jo was born in Edinburgh, educated in Cambridge and spent a large part of her adult life moving around the country before settling back in Cambridge in 1994 with her husband, Mark; together they enjoy travelling to unusual destinations whenever possible.

Peter Sarkies

Peter joined the Board of Trustees in February 2021.

Peter grew up in a small village near St. Ives and did most of his scientific training in Cambridge, where he studied for a PhD at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, and carried out postdoctoral research as a fellow at Gonville and Caius college. Peter moved to Imperial College London in 2014 to start his own research group and he is currently a Research Scientist at the University, investigating the connections between epigenetic gene regulation, which controls how genes are used in different cells, and evolution.

Peter moved back to Cambridge in 2020 when his wife started a new job at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He is a member of Downing Place United Reform Church, Cambridge and takes a keen interest in making Christianity relevant in a secular age, and the connections between religion and science. In his spare time, Peter enjoys long distance running and music.

Stuart Johnson

Stuart became a Cambridge City Foodbank Trustee in 2014.

Stuart is a monitoring and evaluation specialist with over 15 years’ professional experience in the For Profit and Not for Profit sectors. His work has focused on the fields of primary and secondary education, early childhood development, young women’s empowerment, learning and skills, and regional and local development.

Stuart joined Cambridge Education, part of Mott MacDonald, in January 2020 as the organisational lead on monitoring, evaluation and learning for the portfolio of international education projects. Stuart is currently the Evaluation and Learning Lead for the Girls’ Education Challenge, the UK’s flagship girls’ education programme in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Between 2011 and 2019, Stuart was responsible for the monitoring, evaluation and research strategy for international NGO Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED), prior to which Stuart worked for economic and social development consultancy SQW. Stuart holds a PhD in Geography from the University of London.

Stuart is a member of the C3 Church, one of the founding churches of the Cambridge City Foodbank. He currently lives in Histon with his wife and two school-aged children.

Richard Johnson

Richard joined the Board in February 2021. Richard studied at the University of Reading, after which he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Richard has spent the majority of his career working in the private sector, most recently for 12 years as the Finance Director for an agrichemical/crop protection business.

Richard has previously served on the Boards of both The Bridge Church, St Ives and KingsGate Community Church. He was also one of the founding trustees of the St. Neots Foodbank in the early 2010s. Along with his wife, Becky, Richard has been a member at KingsGate in Cambridge since 2014, where they both play an active part in the mission of the church. Part of that mission is to serve and support others who have practical needs which led him to first becoming involved with the Foodbank.

Richard has lived in Cambourne for 18 years, is married to Becky and has two grown up daughters, one living at home and the other in Birmingham. Away from work, church and the Foodbank, his interests lie in sports, mostly spectating, and he is an especially keen follower of cricket and football.

Deborah Hargreaves

Deborah joined Cambridge City Foodbank as a Trustee in February 2021.

Deborah has been a family lawyer for 25 years and has much experience and knowledge of the challenges experienced by individuals and families in crisis, enabling her to provide clear sighted and compassionate governance and guidance to support the effective working of Cambridge City Foodbank.

Deborah currently lives in Cambridge with her husband, David, and their four children. Although originally from a Methodist background in Belfast, Cambridge has been her home for almost 30 years and St Barnabas church has provided a spiritual home for over 20 years. Deborah is passionate about family, friends, food and lately, as a result of having four children who all play, football.

Susan O’Brien

Susan became a member of the Board in February 2020, having volunteered for Cambridge City Foodbank since 2010. She was responsible for the volunteer team for many years before taking the position as a Trustee.

Susan’s working life was in higher education as a Lecturer in History for many years and then as a Senior University Manager. She moved to Cambridge with her family over thirty years ago to work at Anglia Ruskin University where she was Head of History and Dean of Humanities, Arts and Education.  In the 1990s Susan was appointed to university management posts in Liverpool and Stafford, where she was Deputy Vice Chancellor of Staffordshire University, before returning full-time to Cambridge as Principal of the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, a self-funding educational enterprise.

Susan is married to Peter and they have a grown-up family. They are part of the St Laurence’s Catholic church community. She continues to be active in history research.


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