Home Page > Events > Annual General Meeting – 21st January 2017

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the 3rd Annual General Meeting of The Green Backyard will be held on Saturday 21st January 2017 at 2pm in the Quaker Meeting House, 21 Thorpe Road, Peterborough, PE3 6AB.  If the weather is fine that day please join us from 1.30pm to visit the Quiet Garden before the AGM proper.


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. To receive the Board’s Report and Accounts for the period 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016.
  3. To elect members of the Board

Explanatory notes on item 3 of the agenda

Standing for trustee election:
Trustee Nominee: Sophie Antonelli
I was born and raised in Peterborough, I studied Geography at the University of Sussex and worked in education in Brighton before leaving my job in 2008 and moving back to Peterborough to co- found The Green Backyard.
I now work as an adviser for the South and East of England on the Growing Together project for the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens. Growing Together is a partnership programme funded by the National Lottery that supports community growing groups to become more financially sustainable. Our partners include Incredible Edible, the Plunkett Foundation, the Permaculture Association and Groundwork UK.
I live on a narrowboat just outside Peterborough and my hobbies are reading, cooking, running and yoga.
I have been involved in every single phase and iteration of The Green Backyard and am passionate about its future. I know many of the existing trustees very well and am looking forward to re-joining them to work together to create and preserve something truly remarkable for the city of Peterborough.
As an adviser with FCFCG I work with community growing groups up and down the UK, giving me a broad experience base in the management of organisations like the GBY. My work on the Growing Together project means that I regularly advise groups on a wide range of issues that affect financial sustainability such as trading legislation, governance and access to land, and I have access to a national pool of professional consultants who specialise in these issues.
I also have strong networks within the city of Peterborough following my 8+ years of voluntary work with the GBY and have a good reputation.
I regularly attend national conferences and events which are relevant to the GBY.
I consider myself to be an articulate person with a strong interest in cooperative working practices and decision making.
In addition to my years at the Green Backyard and work with FCFCG:

  • I’m a non-executive director at The Grange, Great Cressingham, a 10 acre permaculture smallholding that provides therapeutic residential experiences to survivors of torture, refugees and asylum seekers, and also sit on their fundraising committee
  • I completed my Permaculture Design Certificate in 2015
  • I completed my RHS Level 2 Diploma in Horticulture in 2014
  • I am currently working towards my Prince 2 qualification in Project Management
  • I have completed my Certificate in Interpersonal Skills
  • I am currently studying modules on Leadership and Management within voluntary organisations through the Open University
  • I founded the Peterborough in Transition community group in 2012
  • I am working on creating a UK wide partnership scheme called ‘Gardens of Sanctuary’, which will create training and resources to help community growing groups better welcome and work with refugees and asylum seekers within their communities.
  • I co-designed and built the gold-medal winning 2014 RHS Hampton Court Show garden ‘A Space to Connect and Grow’ with Jeni Cairns, which was inspired by the GBY.
  • In 2016 I designed the new WestRaven community garden in Peterborough

Trustee Nominee: Jay Gearing
I have lived in Peterborough all of my life, barring a few years travelling, and from an early age was involved within the music, political and arts scenes in the city in one way or another. Initially, I started out in local bands enjoying success across the country and Europe, eventually setting up a co-operatively run, not-for-profit record label. This lead to my introduction into the visual arts by producing logos and CD artwork for bands and labels across the country. Since that time I co- founded Paper Rhino in 2011, a creative workers co-op specialising in design, illustration, video, typography and animation.
I am a very proud father of a 2 year old.
I have been on the Board of Trustees since the get go, I was even on the interim board when there was only four of us. I joined the board not because I am not the most outdoorsy type but because I strongly believe in what the GBY is trying to achieve for Peterborough and the environment. The success of this project would be inspirational for the city and I would like to contribute as much as I can to that success. I joined because I wanted to save what I saw as vibrant cultural scene as well as a beautiful inspirational community garden. It is vital that this city has somewhere that is independent in its make up. There is a plethora of talent in this city, which is usually under-utilised and under-appreciated. I believe wholeheartedly in the aims of The GBY. I would love to remain part of team that realises the goals of The GBY and gives Peterborough and its citizens the opportunity it deserves.
As mentioned above I’ve been a trustee since the board was formed and was also a member of the interim board. I feel the amount of time served is a good indication of me knowing the long and tumultuous history of the The GBY. I’ve also been involved with the site before being a trustee and have helped volunteer through offering my design skills. Lastly, my connection with the many volunteers at The GBY has built my passion for the place. I genuinely want to help make the charity as successful as it can be whilst keeping hold of its roots as it develops.
Having started my own business in the city I have plenty of hands on experience with the trials and tribulations of starting and maintaining and organisation. I’ve also lived in the city all of my life and feel this puts me in a good position to know what the city needs.
I was on the interim board and the current board of trustees for The GBY since its inception.
Trustee Nominee: Rich Hill
My initial career on graduating with a BSc (Hons) European Business and Technology was in IT, and I spent seven years working for some of the largest insurance and retail corporations in the country as a programmer, business analyst, and IT project architect. As well as learning the technical skills associated with my job, this work linked into a wide range of business functions enabling me to gain insight into many organisational operations and practices from the shop floor to the boardroom. A particularly enjoyable period was several months posted in Prague where I was able to experience the culture of another country as I performed my job.
On deciding to move away from corporate IT in search of a better fit and happier existence I have tried various other jobs including three years working in sales for an academic publisher, a couple of seasons as part of the green-keeping staff on a golf course, and most recently my paid employment is in bar work and being a gardener.
Peterborough is my home town and I am passionate about helping to make it an ever better place to live.
I am the current chair of trustees for The Green Backyard.
Many months of days volunteering for The Green Backyard on the ground, and as part of the governance team, have led me to many new and rewarding experiences and given me clear sight of the good the charity does for the city and the job at hand to build on the strong foundations now in place. The current governance team has guided The Green Backyard from strength to strength and I would like to continue to offer the experience I have gained as part of the team creating a positive and secure future for the charity.
Chairing the board of trustees of The Green Backyard CIO from its creation in April 2014 has given me deep knowledge of the charity, and I have developed trusted relationships with the network of trustees, volunteers, and partner organisations that support our work. Alongside this I hold a strong understanding of the legal and ethical responsibility a trustee accepts, and a good understanding of the political, cultural and legal landscape in which a community garden exists. I believe my experience and input will be valuable to the team as we face some exciting challenges ahead and also provide a degree of continuity at an important time for The Green Backyard.
I have chaired The Green Backyard CIO board of trustees for over two and a half years, giving me deep insight into the workings of the charity. Alongside this I have volunteered on the ground regularly and, alongside my colleagues, helped to build the team we have in place today.
Trustee Nominee: Luke Payn
I am an artist living and working in Peterborough. I have worked in the education sector since 2003, delivering creative workshops as a Teaching Assistant and with youth groups. I have co-managed a live music venue and been a licensee. I have worked for 5 years in an infant school, co-ordinating its extra-curricular programme, initiating its outdoor education activities, liaising with parents and working directly in the classrooms. I co-ran an arts organisation for 4 years, delivering many successful arts projects, including Overground Arts at The Green Backyard.
I work regularly for Vivacity and Peterborough Presents delivering and supporting their arts programme.
I am currently studying for my MA in Photography (Fine Art) at Central Saint Martins. I am commuting to London to do this.
I have been a trustee since the inception of the charity in 2014. I would like to help steer the board and the community it works for towards a successful completion of a lease agreement with the city council.
I believe 100% in the aims and objectives of the charity and the work that is happening on the site, I am totally committed to seeing the successful foundation of a long term lease of the site at London Road.
I have been on the board since 2014 so I have an understanding of the structure and needs of the charity I have been on boards before in my capacity as Extended Services Co-ordinator at Dogsthorpe Infants, and writing reports to the board of governors.
Trustee Nominee: Hazel Perry
I am a radical historian who spends a lot of time researching local / social history and protest movements. This has changed from a hobby to a vocation since I became a PhD research student at De Montfort University (DMU), Leicester in 2016, studying Trade Unions and their relationships with community groups with the Business and Law faculty.
If I am not working on the above I like to be pottering around my garden, planting vegetables, watching the birds on the bird-feeds, the bees flying in and out bee boxes and collecting nectar from flowers, or the tadpoles in my pond transforming into frogs. I also enjoy locating bats with my bat detector. I like the occasional trip to the countryside for a walk but I am very much a city person – I like the combination of nature and the city.
When I am not studying, reading or pottering around in the garden, I have a flexible hours job with Vivacity where I am a Heritage Teacher. My role is to take primary age children around Flag Fen Archaeology Park and explain the different features to them, like a tour guide. The site is a fantastically rich in biodiversity and looks beautiful all through the year. I do not drive, so I cycle there which is great for keeping fit. I also work from time to time at Peterborough Museum.
I’m trying to teach myself to screen print and planning a trip to Serbia in the spring – I like to travel overseas as much as possible and involve the above interests in my trips. I live in Peterborough City Centre so can easily reach the GBY.
I have always been a keen supporter of the GBY but have never had the time to dedicate to becoming more involved until now, although I have visited for big events such as May Day. I have promoted the GBY through Social Media and to the Trade Union community. I understand the need for green spaces in cities and think the GBY offers a very important place, good for people’s physical and mental well-being, education and socially too.
In 2016 I was offered a scholarship at DMU, and was offered the Heritage Teacher role with Vivacity shortly after. So I left my 9 – 5 admin job (this has been my career since I left school) and decided to see where these new avenues would take me. Because of the flexibility of these roles I am able to dedicate time to more community activities, such as more involvement with the GBY.
There are lots of events that I could see the GBY used for and these would be good for fundraising and promoting the GBY as well as for community education. These are with regards to history, the arts, and community networking. I believe I could bring some fresh ideas and networks and really facilitate the growth of the GBY at an exciting time in the site’s history.