New CEO Lucy Bearn walks on coals for FareShare South West

Join us in welcoming Lucy as our (new) CEO!

“I’d walk through fire for this charity.” It might not be something every CEO might be willing to put into practice, but at FareShare South West this week, we had two!

Next month we are saying farewell to one CEO and welcoming back a familiar face to lead us in our exciting next steps.

We’re sad to share that Gene Joyner is stepping down from his role as CEO, which he’s held since 2022. Stepping in to take the reins is Lucy Bearn, and she knows what to expect: she worked here as Interim CEO for six months and has been with the charity since 2018.

The pair marked the change together at a fundraising Firewalk at Bristol Cathedral on 27 February – a joint event with One25, a charity for women in street sex work . The outgoing and incoming CEOs both walked across the 660°C+ burning embers, to the delight of FareShare South West’s staff, volunteers and beneficiaries.

Gene came to FareShare South West with vital connections to the food industry, and Bristol’s communities. He spent 30 years at Bart Ingredients, working up from running the production line to owning the business, before four years with Better Food shops and cafes. He’s chaired the St Paul’s Carnival committee, and he’s been frank about his own experiences of food insecurity growing up in east Bristol. That expertise and personal commitment has been combined with warmth, kindness, and authenticity. We all wish him the very best in his next steps.

Gene’s commitment to FareShare South West has been inspiring!

Gene says: “I will now be taking some time out whilst focusing on my other role as trustee of two other charities, my ministry as a Lay Reader in the Anglican Church and maybe playing a bit more badminton. I believe in the fantastic work that FareShare South West does and in all its people. Especially I believe that it will go from strength to strength with a management team now under the excellent leadership of Lucy Bearn.”

Lucy says: “I joined FareShare South West back in 2018, working in our Little Ann Street warehouse as the fifth member of staff. Since then, I’ve taken on roles across Business Development, Food and Logistics, Director of Operations and as Interim CEO. Gene’s expertise and experience have been vital during a period of change and challenge, and I’m so grateful to have his support as we look to the future. What we do is unique and there are many exciting opportunities that we aren’t seizing yet.

The two CEOs will work together to manage the transition before Gene passes the flame to Lucy at the end of March.

Over 3 million tonnes of the food that goes to waste each year is still edible

That’s enough for seven billion meals

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