Home Page > Uncategorized > Annual General Meeting – 8th June 2019

Notice of Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that the 5th Annual General Meeting of The Green Backyard will be held on Saturday 8th June at 2pm at The Green Backyard, Oundle Road, Peterborough, PE2 8AT.


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. A word from our Chair
  3. Officer Reports
  4. To receive the Board’s Report and Accounts for the period 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018
  5. To elect members of the Board
  6. Any Other Business

Explanatory notes on item 4 of the agenda

Download a copy of the report of the trustees and unaudited financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2018 here.

Explanatory notes on item 5 of the agenda

Standing for trustee election:


Trustee Nominee: Virginia V. Alfaro

Please tell us a bit about yourself:

I came from Spain straight to Peterborough nearly 4 years ago. I am an English (as additional language) teacher, and nowadays I am Head of the Languages Department at Queen Katharine Academy in Walton, and I teach Spanish.

I never had a garden, and I love nature. I came across The Green Backyard after my first year living here, to an international picnic on a beautiful day. I couldn’t believe that place existed just there!

I am an environmentalist, I love arts, nature, teaching and learning.

Please tell us why you would like to join our board of trustees:

I have been volunteering regularly on Saturdays for a while, and it has been my escape therapy for a stressful lifestyle. I have learnt so much.

From next September I will be working less hours and having a role with less responsibility. That means that I have more opportunities to get involved in other things.

I’m also really concerned about climate change and the big dangers that we are facing, and as an environmentalist, I feel the need to keep learning and sharing more sensible, sustainable and rewarding ways of living.

I’m not entirety sure of what being a trustee implies, but I would definitely like to stick closer to the GBY, and if I could put a bit of my extra time into bringing something good to this community and space that has given me so much, it would be very rewarding in many ways.

Please tell us why you think you are suited to being a trustee:

I am not sure I am, but I have enthusiasm, I love the GBY and I know the site and the people that site manages. I have also been involved in many events that have happened there over the years, so I have a vision of how it works (although limited to the participate / volunteer).

I tend to be quite proactive and I am creative and love discussion and development of ideas.

And despite not being certain if any of these skills are in any way useful for the role, I learn fast and I am keen to give this a try.

Please tell us about any experience you have that is relevant to the role of trustee:

I believe that the last two years as Middle leader at QKA have given me some experience of leadership, decision making and project management.

I have always worked in teams and have been heavily involved in shared decision making situations.

I have experience in research as well and data capturing and I specialised in that via my Master’s degree for Research for Education.

And If I look further back, I acted as a kind of “trustee” for the young action and volunteering group at the Red Cross in my city between the age of 15 and 17. I guess that is my most valuable experience.


Trustee Nominee: Louise Coles

Please tell us a bit about yourself: 

I came to teach in Peterborough 19 years ago on my return from Egypt, where I lived and taught for many years. I have a background in languages, having taken a degree in Arabic and Islamic studies. In Cairo I worked in worked in publishing before becoming a teacher of English and Arabic at the British Council and later head of French at an International School. I eventually settled in Peterborough and taught at The Peterborough School, where I was in charge of French, and latterly, Head of Sixth Form. In that work, my most enjoyable project was setting up the Sixth Form Volunteering Programme. I am a keen volunteer, having volunteered as secretary at West Town Community Centre and for local charities. Since taking early retirement from teaching, I have been volunteering as a Refugee Case Worker at the Red Cross and recently became city councillor for Fletton and Woodston Ward.

Please tell us why you would like to join our board of trustees:

As a councillor I stood on a platform where I committed to supporting community organisations, who bring a sense of pride of place in the community. The Green Backyard has shown the way for volunteers with passion and enthusiasm, for our environment and community to develop a truly sustainable project for our community in Peterborough. I known from my own experience in volunteering with Community First to green the urban space by planting up by planting up abandoned flowerbeds for the ‘Gladstone in Bloom’ project, the benefits that arise from local environmental activism.

Please tell us why you think you are suited to being a trustee:

My experiences of working with various charities with vulnerable people has shown the great rewards that gardening provides for the less fortunate and also community cohesion over shared interests in the fresh air. I also understand the strategic challenges that face community groups handling assets of community value and appreciate the need for supportive strategic oversight were future challenges to arise. Most importantly I recognise that my position as a councillor requires me to ensure that there is a balance between financial priority and benefit to the community. I believe that my skills in appropriate support and challenge will ensure The Green Backyard continues and flourishes in the future.

Please tell us about any experience you have that is relevant to the role of trustee:

  • Teaching and education
  • Organising large groups of students
  • Designing and instigating projects for groups of students
  • Planning and preparing school visits
  • Experience of DBS and Safeguarding
  • Understanding of working with vulnerable groups through charity work (Red Cross, RNIB, Sue Ryder)
  • Head of charity fundraising at Peterborough School
  • Founded a community choir – worked closely with Club ’73
  • Secretary of West Town Community Centre
  • Network through teaching to local schools
  • Set up and ran Sixth Form Volunteering Programme


Trustee Nominee: Katy Hawkins

Please tell us a bit about yourself:

  • I organise community events, walks, art projects.
  • Interested in community focused place making.
  • Background in visual arts and urban design
  • Interested in how green spaces are integrated into cities
  • Interested in noticing as a first step to more engagement with a place and ecosystem
  • Work for Peterborough Presents and on freelance basis.
  • Katyghawkins.com

Please tell us why you would like to join our board of trustees:

  • The Green Backyard is an important and special place in Peterborough, whose ethos I share.
  • I think I could offer something to the organisation and learn a lot from it from it.
  • I would like to link the site up with goings on and communities I interact with in my professional and personal life
  • I would like to learn more about permaculture, growing, and what being a trustee involves (and learning from the others)

Please tell us why you think you are suited to being a trustee:

  • I take decision making seriously!
  • Invested in the site
  • Have perspective as site manager, volunteer at shop, and from on-site events

Please tell us about any experience you have that is relevant to the role of trustee:

  • Experience in producing community greening projects
  • Being committee member of my former tenants and residents association in Peckham
  • Being involved in my local community and currently my local park – Central Park
  • Professional and academic background


Trustee Nominee: Heather Odling

Please tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a yoga loving, tree hugging accountant with interests in self sustainability, waste reduction and doing what I can to help the plight of the planet. I’ve lived in the Peterborough area for approx. 13 years, currently living in Crowland with my cat, where I’ve spent the last 9 years renovating my house and garden. I spent my early years on a farm in Lincolnshire before moving closer to the coast as a teenager so nature and the outdoors has always been part of my life!

Please tell us why you would like to join our board of trustees:

You’re in need of a treasurer and I’d like to learn more about not for profit organisations and how things work as at some point I’d like to move away from the corporate environments I’m currently in and do something more holistic / therapeutic based which would almost certainly include some form of not for profit / charitable element.

Please tell us why you think you are suited to being a trustee:

I’d like to support community minded projects that give a break from the commercialism of society.

Sometimes my work takes me away from the area and I don’t always have massive amounts of time to give but I’ll do my best.

Please tell us about any experience you have that is relevant to the role of trustee:

I’m a CIMA qualified accountant with 10 years post qualification experience.  I’ve worked in a number of different industries and have migrated towards roles involving IT, systems implementation and process improvement over the last six years which I find more rewarding and interesting than standard accounting jobs. I naturally analyse processes and like to find ways of simplifying and streamlining where possible to create efficiencies.


Trustee Nominee: Hannah Phillips

Please tell us a bit about yourself:

Green is my favourite colour!

I have always loved growing things and my parents were avid gardeners.  Since moving to the Peterborough area 9 years ago, my family and I have immersed ourselves in outdoor living which, for us, involves a lot of gardening, building things and spending time in nature.

I have spent time living in Hong Kong, Australia and London where I worked for over 10 years in the City.  My roles specialised in relationship and stakeholder management, business development and business strategy, primarily with financial institutions and investment companies.

We left London in 2010 to start family life in the countryside.  I have been at home with my children over the last few years, studying and undertaking various projects and have since undertaken a career change to become a garden designer.

I also love drawing, cooking, music, yoga and playing badminton.  I have an Economics and Agricultural Economics degree from Nottingham University, a CIPD Level 5 Certificate in Human Resource Management and am an art school drop out!

Please tell us why you would like to join our board of trustees:

  • I have become acutely aware over the last few years what access to green space can do for people, particularly those facing additional challenges in their everyday lives.  Being able to contribute to an organisation that provides such opportunities for enjoyment, learning and socialising to the wider community would mean a lot to me.
  • The people I have met through GBY over the last few months have made me want to become more involved with the work it does.
  • I believe I have some experience that is relevant and could be used to the benefit of the GBY.

Please tell us why you think you are suited to being a trustee:

  • As a parent I see first hand the benefits and importance of children having access to green spaces and opportunities to learn about nature.
  • I have a particular interest in therapeutic gardens and spaces and their wider benefits.
  • I am passionate about plants and growing things to eat, having grown a lot of our own food for the last 8 years.
  • Sustainability and self sufficiency are close to my heart – our garden combines wild and cultivated areas and I have recently become interested in permaculture and ways to integrate them further.
  • I am comfortable dealing with a wide range of people.  Historically the roles I have undertaken have involved dealing with a range of challenging individuals, acting with a high level of personal and professional integrity.

Please tell us about any experience you have that is relevant to the role of trustee:

  • I have stakeholder management experience within a professional context.
  • I have some management committee experience through our local pre school (Vice Chair 2013/14) and I am currently club secretary of Peterborough City Badminton Club (2017+).  Both are not-for-profit organisations.
  • I have been visiting GBY weekly since September 2018 through a volunteer role with Headway Cambs and have seen the positive impact GBY has on the people involved in the project and the local community.
  • Aside from consistently muddy fingernails, I have a RHS Level 2 certificate in general horticulture and I am currently studying for the RHS Level 3 certificate in Garden Design.