Changes to Board as Jake Humphrey becomes Chairperson | Norwich City Community Sports Foundation
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Story added: 8th December 2021

Paul Knowles steps down from role as Chair to become Trustee, while Mick Dennis retires from his position

TV Presenter and Foundation Trustee Jake Humphrey has become the Norwich City Community Sports Foundation’s Chairperson, filling the shoes of outgoing Chair Paul Knowles, while Trustee Mick Dennis has retired from his position on the board.

In addition to Mr Humphrey’s appointment, Genie Barham will become vice-chair, having been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2018.

During Paul and Mick’s time in post, the Foundation has taken huge strategic strides forward, most notably with the completion of The Nest, our Community Hub in Horsford.

The second phase of The Nest’s development was fully opened in 2021, providing a venue for several of the Foundation’s programmes, local and visiting football teams and groups, and many other members of the community.

The Foundation itself has also grown during this period and currently employs over 80 full time staff across a huge range of projects in the local community.

Ian Thornton, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, thanked Paul for his contribution in the role of chair over the last decade:

“Paul’s connection with the Foundation goes back to when one of his children, William, attended one of our after-school clubs.

“William was a fantastic character and loved his football, but he sadly passed away at a young age.

“The Foundation become close with Paul and his family, and we asked him to help us lead the Foundation to achieve our biggest strategic vision ever – The Nest.

“We are both confident that William would have loved and benefitted from The Nest.

“Under Paul’s stewardship, we have been able to achieve great things – The Nest, our Run Norwich event and much more – and we would like to thank him for his trust, belief and guidance during a period of enormous change and progress.

“As chair, together with the trustees, he has challenged us all to ensure the Foundation makes a meaningful impact on as many local lives as possible and, without doubt, he has helped us.”

“Although he is stepping down as Chairperson, we are delighted that he will continue to sit on our board as a trustee.”

The IT Suite at The Nest was dedicated to William’s memory at a plaque unveiling ceremony last Saturday.

Paul Knowles said: “It has been a great privilege to serve as the Foundation Chairperson. The charity is close to my heart and helping to shape the charity and formulate its strategic growth has been hugely rewarding.

He continued: “So many people benefit from the Foundation’s work in our community and special thanks for that go to the club and my co-trustees for their hard work. I extend my very best wishes to Jake as the new chair.”

Incoming chair Jake Humphrey, who has been a Trustee of the Foundation since 2012, thanked Paul:

“We have been very fortunate to have the expertise of Paul as our Chairperson, and under his guidance the Foundation has achieved remarkable things, especially The Nest.

“It’s an honour to be stepping up as Chairperson for a charity that means so much to me personally and to the people of Norfolk.

“The culture of continued growth and improvement that exists at the Foundation is something that resonates deeply with me, and it is why I agreed to take on the role of Chairperson.

“My job is to support that creativity and passion as we find new and innovative ways to drive inclusion, boost mental health and wellbeing, and raise the aspirations of people in our community.”

Following his final board meeting, Mick was presented with a signed Norwich City shirt at The Nest.

Ian Thornton thanked Mick for the expertise he had provided to the Foundation:

“Mick’s passion for Norwich City Football Club is rivalled only by his passion for helping to create opportunities for people in our community.

“He has helped us enormously with his knowledge of the major facility funding landscape, as well as raising the profile of our work with the Norwich City fanbase and on a national level.

“We wish him a very happy second retirement.”

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