The Founding Board
The Professional Support
Stockwood Community Benefit Society was formed to preserve and protect Rush Farm in perpetuity and to embed ethical management of capital in mainstream business. The organisation has an amazing opportunity to promote and explain a wide range of environmentally and socially sustainable methods and processes.
The organisation is a co-operative society, with members that have invested and so made a financial commitment to the objects of the Society. This method of ownership widens the community hugely from those working on the site to include all the members of the co-op too. Those joining the co-op, which can include the tenants, are all helping to further the objects and demonstrate that social enterprise can reach out into mainstream business, and that just by trading and paying rent, companies can be a positive force for good.
This is special form of co-op, specially designed as it focusses not only on generating profit, but also on delivering particular community benefits, thus the name “Stockwood Community Benefit Society”. The Society is democratically managed with Board members standing for election each year. To protect the founding purpose of the organisation there are two Custodian Trustees – external bodies that have the task of holding the Society to its founding objects. The Custodian Trustees have the right to appoint one director to the Board each.
The full Rules for the Society and other information can be found here: Invest
The Founding Board
Sebastian and Adrian from the Parsons family, Martin Large from the Biodynamic Land Trust, Simon Cutter an inventive organic farmer, Gaye Donaldson an entrepreneur and organic farmer, and Alison King an experienced charity administrator were recruited to form a Founding Board.
Name: Sebastian Parsons, CEO, Elysia
Résumé: CEO of Elysia, a profitable £5m turnover skincare and clothing retailer/wholesaler and ethical brand marketeer. Social entrepreneur and transformational capitalist. Sebastian has an instinct for business and a strong sense of purpose and meaning. He strives to make this accessible to all colleagues through fostering a spirit of “living business”. Active in the biodynamic organic movement and in a number of other charitable activities including the English Symphony Orchestra, Sebastian has an understanding of how our social, cultural and economic lives are inter-connected, and can be mutually supportive. See sebastianparsons.wordpress.com for more information.
Role: Elysia Commons Limited representative1 ensuring effective mutual and shareholder engagement. Financial lead on business performance
Name: Martin Large, Executive Director, Bio-dynamic Land Trust
Résumé: CEO of BDLT and expert in community land trusts. Facilitator, lecturer, consultant and publisher. Martin chaired the Community Land Trust National Demonstration Project 2007-9; is director of Ecodynamic CBS Ltd and Gen Community Ltd; director/publisher at Hawthorne Press Ltd since 1981; visiting lecturer in leadership at the University of Kent; chair of Stroud Common Wealth Ltd which enables co-ops, social enterprise and land trust development; author of Common Wealth (2010).
Role: Biodynamic Land Trust2 representative; responsible for lease of farmland, and social impact including community engagement / PR.
Name: Adrian Parsons
Résumé: Distinguished career in education; now, in partnership with Anne Parsons, biodynamic farmer; manager of business park for 6 years.
Role: Values leadership; site management; development of the properties including implementation of sustainable energy interventions.
Name: Simon Cutter
Résumé: Farmer and farming entrepreneur.
Role: Strategic commercial lead on future development of off-farm business.
Resonance Ltd is our corporate finance advisor and share offer administrator, and is a firm specialising in impact investing since 2002.
Here is their page about Stockwood CBS: www.resonance.ltd.uk/services/community-share-issues/stockwood/
Here is the letter confirming the original registration: SCBS 31920R Registration
Here are the official rules for the society: SCBS 31920R Rules