The Trustees of Fields in Trust are delighted to announce that Jo Barnett, the Executive Director of Virgin Money Giving, will take over as Chair of Trustees.

Jo developed, launched and lead Virgin Money Giving and has more than ten years’ experience in running the UK’s biggest not-for-profit fundraising platform. Jo also headed up Virgin Money’s sponsorship of the Virgin Money London Marathon. With a professional background in advertising and media, Jo has previously operated her own marketing consultancy.

Her extensive trustee board experience includes roles with Heads Together, an initiative of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry to tackle the stigma around mental health; the Business Emergency Response Group of the Prince’s Trust; the advisory board for mental health charity Mind, and as a judge for the Black British Business Awards.

As the charity sector shifts, Jo’s role at Virgin Money Giving and sector governance experience places her in a unique position to understand how changes in charitable giving are impacting on organisations.

Speaking of her new role Jo Barnett said:

“Parks and green spaces are vital to community health and wellbeing and form part of the solution to public health challenges, including inactivity, obesity, mental wellbeing and loneliness. My own experience and working with the London Marathon has reinforced to me the need to provide people with green space and room to exercise wherever we live. I am looking forward to building on the long history of Fields in Trust to ensure that future generations continue to enjoy green spaces for good.”

Jo Barnett will be taking over as Chair of Trustees from Tim Phillips CBE who is stepping down after six years as Chairman of Fields in Trust. During this time, he has led the organisation through a successful period of development, including the completion of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge and the Centenary Fields First World War commemorative programme in partnership with The Royal British Legion.

Tim oversaw the development and implementation of a new corporate strategy and brand review in 2018. During the period of his leadership Fields in Trust developed a programme with the London Marathon Charitable Trust – to protect 50 parks and green spaces across the UK – the first programme to distribute London Marathon funding outside the capital and across the UK.

Vice President of Fields in Trust Lord Howard of Rising, said:

“I convey my thanks to Tim Phillips for his stewardship and his many achievements during his term of office. I am delighted to welcome Jo Barnett to her role in this important charity and wish her well as she leads the charity into its centenary.”

Trustees of Fields in Trust confirmed that Jo Barnett would take over as Chair of the Trustee Board with immediate effect.