parkrun announces appointment of seven new trustees to Board

By Kirsty, Head of Communications
— Monday 9 January 2023

Following an extensive recruitment process over the last several months, parkrun is today announcing the appointment of seven new trustees to strengthen the leadership provided by the Board, as well as improve diversity and provide expertise and guidance for the delivery of an ambitious five year strategy, due for release in February 2023.

An external recruitment company managed the process and a total of 145 applications were received. Existing Trustees shortlisted 15 outstanding candidates, with a three-person selection panel, consisting of Gavin Megaw (Chair), Christine Gibbons (Trustee) and Helen Dickens (Head of People & Culture) interviewing shortlisted candidates and unanimously approving the selection of seven new trustees based on the specific needs of the charity going forward.

The new trustees will join current Global Board members, Christine Gibbons, Gavin Megaw and Jeremy Townsend. Six of the seven will become Board members in January 2023, with one other joining in March 2023.

The charity sought a range of diverse and experienced individuals to bring the right amount of challenge, lived experience, alternative perspective, and professional experience across a range of disciplines.

Chair of Trustees Gavin Megaw said

“I am delighted that such a wide group of talented people volunteered their services to help parkrun. Every one of our shortlisted 15 could have become a Trustee. We were focused on acquiring the skills we need to help the charity to become world class in terms of our operations and make more of an impact within communities across the world.

“I’m proud that we have selected Trustees from a range of backgrounds and skill sets, and, importantly, who are proven leaders with differing views of how the world works. This will ensure we challenge our thinking and assumptions, so we can deliver more for those who need it most in these challenging times.”

parkrun Global CEO Russ Jefferys said:

“We have been working through a huge programme of change over the past 12 months, as we seek to invest in the organisation and strengthen our governance and leadership, to ensure we are meeting and exceeding our responsibilities as a global health and wellbeing charity.

“A big part of this work has been the recruitment of new trustees, and it has been incredibly humbling to see the calibre and passion of the individuals applying to join us. I’m looking forward to welcoming them all to the team and working with them on this next exciting chapter for parkrun.”

The new Trustees are:

Sonya Byers

Long-standing parkrun volunteer Ambassador with a passion for delivering equity, diversity, inclusion and social impact. Sonya is Chief Executive of the non-profit Women in Transport with a mission to support and advocate for women working in transport. Joins the Board in January 2023.

Nat Poulter 

Joint CEO of Jungle Creations, a media, marketing and commerce business that has appeared on the Financial Times list of Europe’s fastest growing companies. Nat is a digital community expert with a demonstrable track record of creating content and channels to reach diverse and hard to reach audiences and has introduced world class diversity, equity and inclusion practices in his agency. Joins the Board in January 2023.

Sarah Powell 

Chief Executive of British Gymnastics. Sarah joined British Gymnastics in late 2021 to lead a major remodelling of its safeguarding, operations, culture and future strategy. She was previously CEO of Sport Wales and a former international sportswoman. Joins the Board in January 2023.

Professor Sir Jonathan Stafford Nguyen-Van-Tam

Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England. He is presently Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham. Sir Jonathan is highly influential across public health and will help the organisation think through its public health positioning with a focus on delivering greater impact within communities across the world. Joins the Board in March 2023.

David Dinsmore

Chief Operating Officer of News UK, responsible for developing new digital revenue streams across the organisation while maximising the legacy print operations. He helped to lead the organisation through a significant period of turbulence and reform its governance structure. Prior to his current role, David was Editor of The Sun newspaper. Joins the Board in January 2023.

Gordon Seabright 

Previously CEO of the Eden Project, Gordon has worked at a senior level for a host of charitable organisations. He now leads Creative Land Trust, a charity established by the Mayor of London, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Arts Council England to solve the problem of the loss of artists and creatives from London. He is a trustee at Five Talents, a charity that delivers financial inclusion for women in East Africa. Joins the Board in January 2023.

John Vickers

Chartered Accountant and currently Director of Finance and Corporate Services at St. Christopher’s Hospice, the largest hospice in the UK, with an  annual income of £30m. John has extensive experience of working in charity finance; prior to St Christopher’s Hospice he was Director of Finance and Corporate Services at the Design Council. Joins the Board in January 2023.


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