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Interview with Yvonne Thomson, CEO & Founder UK Harvest

Interview with Yvonne Thomson, CEO & Founder UK Harvest

Jo Major Social Purpose - Impact Stories

Can you tell us about UK Harvest and the goals of the charity?
UK Harvest is a for impact, food rescue organisation, which collects good perishable food from retailers and restaurants then delivers it free of charge to charities who support vulnerable people. We also run education programmes, working in partnership with schools, colleges, universities and vulnerable people our charities to support combat food waste, protect the environment and encourage health and nutrition. We also have pop up restaurants using rescued food to feed vulnerable people.

What is your role in the charity?
I am fortunate enough to have founded the charity in the UK and am the CEO. This is a great role, I get to do lots of partnership working, strategic planning and fundraising. We are still a young charity, so I still get involved in the operations too which is great fun!

What does a typical day at UK Harvest look like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day. Most consist of meetings with potential partners, funders, donors, recipient organisations and working with our logistics and operations specialist Brogan and our incredible team of volunteers. It's fast paced and incredible fun.

How have Frazer Jones supported the charity over the last year & how has this support benefited the charity?
Frazer Jones have made so many things possible for us. They have provided us with office space so that we can hold our Board and strategy meetings and helped us find an HR Trustee and another HR volunteer through their Volunteer Network. This person is helping to support us with an internal role and will be supporting our pop ups and education programmes. Frazer Jones have also enabled us to gain the expertise of a wonderful facilitator who will work with our Trustee Board on their vision, mission and values and the future strategy for our organisation. The support of Frazer Jones has transformed our organisation and enabled the incredibly fast paced growth we have experienced.

By adding a HR professional to your board, how do you feel the charity governance will be enhanced?
As a newly established charity it is essential that we get everything right from the very start. Having our employment contracts up to date and having an employee handbook is invaluable. Our HR Trustee has already helped with our expenses policy, employment contracts and job descriptions. She has been incredibly supportive and really added value to our organisation.

What would enable the charity to do more?
Funding to allow us to expand our operations is essential. There is more demand from charities for rescued food that we can't logistically cope with. We want to roll out our education programmes with homeless people and young people. This will change the lives of the most vulnerable and help them make positive choices which will improve their quality of life. We are having another fundraising event next year, which will see CEO’s and their teams cooking with both celebrity chefs and celebrities. We always need more volunteers!

If you are interested in supporting UK Harvest, please connectwith Yvonne at yvonne.thomson@ukharvest.org.uk.