Jo deeply believes in the power of community to transform our society for the better. This belief led her to found the group behind North Devon Cohousing Community in August 2016. Jo is Chairperson of the Board of Directors, her academic and professional background being in Arts/Charity Management, Leisure and Fundraising. Jo’s main skills are in project management, team building and bringing ideas to reality; her previous roles include General Manager for OYAP Trust and Community Projects Manager at Wycombe Swan. Jo holds, amongst other qualifications, an MA in Arts Policy & Management from Birkbeck University. She devotes her time to parenting Jack (3), as well as keeping the North Devon Cohousing Community project plans on course.
John’s experience in health, fitness, working with people and the land will be invaluable to the success of our project. A self-employed LTA Tennis Coach of 16 years, John has significant experience of setting up, maintaining and caring for a client base, having re-established his thriving business from scratch when moving to North Devon in 2010. He holds a Level 4 Senior Performance Coach qualification in addition to several others in relation to health & fitness, diet and nutrition.
John’s other useful skills come from many years in a land-based background including land maintenance, hard and soft garden landscaping and horticulture. He has been involved with many fantastic projects, including some for national award-winning Charles Hogarth Landscapes. He will use this practical knowledge to serve the community, for example John is refreshing his knowledge of his RHS Level 2 in Horticulture, to grow many varieties of fruit and vegetables. He will also be the go-to man for fencing, gates, building garden structures. John is passionate about the environment and is working with the sub-group of Directors looking at renewable energy systems and ecological and sustainable practices for our project. He is also looking forward to attending a course on bee-keeping soon, with a view to establishing some hives on the land.
Children are at the centre of Jenny’s life, as they will be at the centre of the community.
Before having children, Jenny gained A grades at A Level and worked as a photographic developer for Jessops.
Jenny is now a full-time mother and home educator of three children (Henry: 6, Daisy: 4, Robin: 2). She is necessarily proficient in multitasking, time management, time management, planning, budgeting and conflict management. These skills will be useful in the setting up and running of a community. The responsibility of home educating has meant Jenny learns new skills as required by the children. She implements a carefully planned curriculum of Steiner-Waldorf based education for her two school-age children, whilst trying to stop the toddler derailing the plans, and clearing up the mess when he does.
Shaun has worked in retail head office roles for more than ten years, holding posts at Boots, Thorntons and Royal Voluntary Service. His particular area of expertise is retail space planning (of which Shaun is currently head of function at Royal Voluntary Service), which requires him to optimise the return on investment in current, potential and refitted store space. Shaun currently jointly controls an annual refit budget of £1.2m.
Through this professional career, Shaun has developed a very high level of IT systems proficiency, including advanced spreadsheets, database management and professional document production, in addition to more general skills in trading, stakeholder management, presentation, business finance and reporting.
Aside from his retail career, Shaun is a semi professional musician, working as a freelance organist and conductor.
Annee has a varied employment history and skill set all of which provide a rich tapestry to her helping to found and be a director of North Devon Cohousing Community. She has in her time been a paediatric nurse, qualified as an early years teacher, lectured in Sociology and Social Policy, researched in the field of the Sociology of Childhood, and for 12 years until 2008 she was employed as Head of Education in two hospices, Dorothy House Hospice and North Devon Hospice Barnstaple, the latter of which she was a member of the senior management team. She also, for several years, served as a Director on the Board of Management of two arts companies, The Barbican Theatre in Plymouth and Wolf and Water Arts North Devon.
In recent years she has been self employed working as a Shamanic healer, a Health Creation mentor, an educator in palliative care, a death midwife and a funeral celebrant. Annee therefore has range of expertise and skills and developed these through working full time and being a single parent of her son Dom. She has organisational and management skills, an ability to see and explore the big picture whilst being able to focus on the minutiae as well as extensive communication, group work and facilitative skills. She cares passionately about the future, politically, socially, spiritually and sustainably and is very excited to be able to play her part in the birth of such an innovative project.