Meet the team

Trustees

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. He co-founded Do-it.org, the UK’s first digital volunteering service, which he ran for nine years. He 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.

 

 

 

 


Andy Phelps (Treasurer)
Andy Phelps

Andy is the Foundation’s Treasurer, bringing a strong commercial background as well as his previous experience as Non-Executive Director of a trade association, to lead the Board in providing effective oversight on financial matters. He joined the Co-op in 2015 and is currently Director of Supplier Engagement, as well as the commercial Programme Director for Retail Business Transformation, one of the biggest transformation projects of its type across Europe. He previously worked at Sainsbury’s for 12 years, where his various roles included sourcing cause-related marketing products for a major charity partnership.

 

 

 

 


Saleem Chowdhery
Saleem Chowdhery

Saleem is the Co-op’s Director of Group Internal Audit. Throughout his career he has supported Boards and senior executives to deliver through periods of significant business transformation, as a trusted, objective advisor offering insightful solutions. He has worked in audit, risk and finance roles at firms including Morrison’s, BAA, Sears Group and KPMG. He also advises a local faith-based community project. He has a particular interest in developing opportunities for Co-op colleague volunteers to enhance the Foundation’s impact in communities.

 

 

 

 


Dan Crowe
Dan Crowe

Dan is a professional actor and a lifelong co-operator, with a background in policy, research, communications and project management. He is an elected member of the Co-op’s National Members’ Council, representing the London region, as well as serving as Vice-President for co-operative performance, democratic processes and member voice. He is a champion of innovative and accessible education and training that promotes the co-operative difference, and support for local co-operative, self-help and mutual aid initiatives in the communities where the Co-op trades.

 

 

 

 


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.

 

 

 

 


Sarah Woodcock
Sarah Woodcock

Sarah is the Founder and CEO of The Kids Network, a grassroots charity building mentoring connections between children and young professionals in London. She has significant experience in the strategy and delivery of a number of programmes at national level. Prior to founding The Kids Network, Sarah developed capacity building projects for UK Youth and Save the Children on topics such as employability, social action, digital, literacy and safeguarding. She has been a mentor for the past four years and describes it as the ‘best use of her time’.