Permaculture Association give thanks to Sandy James

Sandy JamesSandy James was the last chair (and secretary) of the board until last year and the youngest trustee so far being in his twenties. We would like to say a massive Thank you to him for all the dedication, organisation and the calm leadership he brought to the role. From Jo (current secretary) and all his old board.

In his words Sandy shares his journey on the Board of Trustees:

“I started attending meetings in July 2013, I first spoke to Steph (previous chair to Sandy) about it at the convergence in the Epping forest and was on the board by the time of IPC London. I think I was lucky to catch the tail end of a stable period for the board, with Steph as chair and Phillip as treasurer really holding things together.

As is natural we then went through some really big changes.

As well as a few people having to step down we moved from quarterly face to face meetings, including some lovely venues like Cindy Stott's school in South London, to having monthly online calls with two face to face meetings and a meet up around the AGM. That change was led by James Taylor in his time as chair, and I supported it as secretary and vice-chair. We also went through a period of having fewer trustees and less energy than we would have liked, and that particularly affected our gender and other representation. Recruiting a fantastic group of female trustees was I think my proudest moment on the board, and I was really happy to see us form a comfortable core group who worked very well together.

It's not the first time I've experienced a slightly sudden realisation that it was time to move on. I think in this case the drivers of wanting a new project, mostly retrofitting a 1930s end terrace, and of feeling really confident in the board without me, reached the tipping point where I decided it was time to leave feeling confident that others could pick up the reigns.

I'm excited to see what that new energy with a bigger board and all those skills and experience will allow the association to do in the next few years.

I have been able to put the skills I learned on the board to very good use since, managing collaborative organisers and helping others to shift to online practice in the year when everyone was forced to catch up with this obvious development.

I have many fond memories of time spent at board meetings and will enjoy catching up with the good friends I made there as we move towards a new normal."