Meet the team


Our Board includes Co-op colleagues, elected Co-op National Council Members and externally-recruited charity sector experts.

Jamie Ward-Smith (Chair)
Jamie Ward-Smith

A social entrepreneur known for innovation in volunteerism and digital transformation, Jamie is a passionate advocate for how technology can enable community change. Jamie co-founded, the UK’s first digital volunteering service, which they ran for nine years. Jamie is currently CEO of Doit.Foundation, a digitally-powered grant maker that supports small and micro voluntary organisations, and is a Non-Executive Director of the Do It Life social tech enterprise. Previous roles include Assistant Director, Community Participation at the Home Office, and Marketing & Communications Director for online youth advice charity, The Mix. Jamie is also a Trustee of the mental health housing charity, London Cyrenians.





Sharon Jones (Vice Chair)
Sharon Jones

With more than 15 years’ experience in grant making, Sharon is a passionate advocate for investing in people’s potential to build strong, vibrant communities. As former Head of Funding at the National Lottery Community Fund, she developed innovative programmes and managed a network of local teams across England. She has actively worked with other funders to address societal issues such as complex safeguarding and youth unemployment. Sharon now runs her own company continuing to support the growth of social value organisations, with a particular focus on using sport for change, and is a Trustee of the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity.





Sheila Jane Malley
Sheila Jane Malley

Sheila Jane was Director of Grant Making and Policy for BBC Children in Need until 2016. She has served on Boards of numerous other funders and is currently a Trustee of the Association of Charitable Foundations and Rosa, the fund for women and girls. An advocate of community development approaches that bring people together to generate solutions to local needs, she has applied this perspective to her extensive grantmaking experience, both in Northern Ireland (where she lives) and across the UK.






Lois McClure
Lois McClure

Lois McClure’s career started when she did a Business Admin Apprenticeship at the Co-op in October 2012, following excellent GCSE and A Level results. She progressed quickly in her career and is now Assistant Partnerships Manager at the Co-op. Lois was previously Chair of the Co-op Young Members’ Board for four years, working with the Board and Executive to help Co-op become more appealing to younger members. She also sits on the National Members’ Council. Lois won National Intermediate Apprentice of the Year 2014 and she was Chair of the North West Young Apprentice Ambassador Network for two years.






Michael Fletcher


Michael is Co-op retail Chief Commercial Officer. He’s spent his entire career in food retail, including 22 years at Tesco where, among other roles, he worked as Commercial Director in Malaysia. Michael joined the Co-op in 2013 and his team has been responsible for creating a Food proposition that is compelling in range, value and quality while also ensuring it leads on ethical and sustainable sourcing in line with the Co-op’s vision. Michael is married and has three children. In addition to his role on our Board, Michael is a Governor of Co-op Bebbington High School, on the Wirral. He is particularly keen to raise awareness of the Foundation during his time as Trustee, helping the Co-op Group family do even more to tackle inequality.





Hope Levy-Shepherd


Hope is co-founder and director of the Black British City Group, a social enterprise connecting junior professionals in the UK with opportunities to volunteer and make a positive community impact in local charities, schools and small businesses.  

She is also a solicitor at Linklaters LLP, specialising in corporate mergers and acquisitions and has been recognised as a Yahoo EMPower Top 100 Future Leader in 2021. She was also a highly commended rising star in the 2019 UK Diversity Legal Awards. Hope brings with her a passion for Co-op Foundation’s vision of bringing people together and building strong communities. 










George Imafidon 

George Imafidon is the CEO of Motivez, supporting thousands of young people aged 14 – 25 to access jobs in STEM and become change-makers.  He is also a Performance Engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s racing team, and Board Member at The Hamilton Commission improving diversity in STEM and motorsport.

As a First Class engineering graduate from University College London (UCL), George is passionate about building products and programmes that improve lives and communities. Over the past five years, he has worked across engineering, technology, consulting, and finance with firms such as Google, Rolls-Royce, William Blair, and McKinsey & Company. As a diversity champion, George leads the #AB1Million campaign raising £1 million for the Amos Bursary to ensure talented men of African and Caribbean descent have the opportunity to excel in education and beyond.