New co-chairs

Hackney CVS embarks on a new era of leadership

Welcoming co-chairs Jess Stockford and Katie Aston

As Charles Middleton closes his impactful nine-year tenure as chair of Hackney CVS, the community welcomes Jess Stockford and Katie Aston, bringing fresh perspectives and an amalgamation of experience to the co-chair roles. This transition not only marks a new chapter for Hackney CVS but also a commitment to upholding the ethos of empowering local communities to address inequalities and engender change.

Jess Stockford’s extensive background in governance, spanning 25 years in the for-purpose sector, equips her with the expertise needed to navigate the complexities of community development. Her history of successful board appointments with prestigious organisations attests to her capacity to foster collaboration and innovation in social welfare initiatives. Her roots in Hackney, her work with the tenants and residents association, and her advocacy for green spaces and cultural hubs, enrich her vision for a community-centric approach. About this new innovative approach, Jess said:

“Like other community organisations active in flattening structures of power and influence, Hackney CVS’ inclusive co-chair model shares the significant responsibility and tasks associated with chairing across two people, enabling a wider range of skills and experience to be present in the role and providing greater support for the governance of the charity.”

Katie Aston’s distinguished career in partnerships for Crime Reduction at the Home Office is a testament to her dedication to societal wellbeing, particularly in safeguarding vulnerable populations from serious violence and criminal exploitation. Her recognition with an OBE for her services to charity and the voluntary sector reflects her outstanding contribution and her commitment to driving effective safeguarding policies. Katie’s role as a trustee of notable charities and her advocacy for lymphoma patients further amplify her altruistic spirit and her resolve to incite systemic progress through strategic leadership. About joining the Board, Katie said:

I’m excited to be sharing the chairing role with Jess. We’re both looking forward to leading the board to ensure that the best support possible is available to the many charities and voluntary organisations who work so hard to make Hackney the thriving community that it is.”

Together, they herald a synergistic leadership poised to advance Hackney CVS’s strategic vision for a resourced and resilient voluntary community sector. Their joint expertise underscores Hackney CVS’s strategic priorities for 2023-2028:

  • Fostering a stronger voice within the community.
  • Bridging effective partnerships.
  • Nurturing a thriving voluntary and community sector.

Our transformative strategy, centred around three overarching goals, aims to amplify the sector’s influence in health and care systems, facilitate effective collaboration with system partners, and build resilience and sustainability within the sector. Cross-cutting themes such as being agile and responsive, anti-racist, and financially resilient permeate the strategy, setting out our commitment to equity, innovation, and environmental sustainability.

The partnership of Jess and Katie is a beacon of hope and transformation for City & Hackney, symbolising the collaborative spirit needed to confront the multifaceted challenges of today and pave the way for a fairer society. As Hackney CVS embarks on this new leadership trajectory, the community can anticipate a revitalised impetus toward inclusivity, systemic change, and the unwavering support of the sector that lies at the heart of societal evolution.

Read more about our board of trustees.