New Chair at Two Ridings as predecessor stands down after five years

Trustees at Two Ridings Community Foundation

A shared commitment to supporting communities at this critical time

‘Working with such a committed and talented team to support the people and communities in North and East Yorkshire’ is the aspect outgoing Chair, James Naylor, has most enjoyed about his five-year tenure as Chair on the Two Ridings Board.

He left last week, with a quiet drink with fellow trustees and staff after his last board meeting at Scampston Hall; a lovely location on a super sunny evening.

James talked of his time as High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire when he first came across Community Foundations and on ‘retiring’ to North Yorkshire his birth county, being told in no uncertain terms by his wife Pippa to ‘find something to do’!

He feels hugely privileged and proud to be associated with Two Ridings and has loved seeing the organisation go from strength to strength, particularly how they stepped up during the pandemic.

“The people and the ethos of the place makes it very special. Staff and trustees believe passionately that Two Ridings has a special mission to support our community. Under the inspired leadership of Jan Garrill, I watched in awe as more and more money was raised and re-purposed in the pandemic to support those charities and groups most struggling, who of course in turn support the people most in need.”

He talked about Richard, his successor being an able communicator and hugely regarded and respected across the region and beyond.

He stressed how important community foundations are because most charitable giving goes to national or international charities, but community foundations are uniquely placed to bring money in regionally to benefit local causes and local people.

What will he take away with him? His parting words were how hugely grateful he was to the staff at Two Ridings and how he had never worked with such a harmonious team.

He will be missed.

The future is bright but challenging

Richard Frith who takes over as Chair is excited to move the Foundation forward.

A former Bishop of Hull, Richard knows the region, its people and the issues they face first hand and has a compassionate and yet practical sense of what we need to do.

Richard is keen to look at both the immediate and longer-term challenges North and East Yorkshire are facing. The cost of living crisis being the most pertinent, but also the inequality in the region, the crisis our children and young people are facing around their mental wellbeing, and climate change.

He plans to build on the relationships we already have in place and thinking hard about how our assets – our people, our partnerships and our funds – can affect positive social change fairly across the region.

It is not an easy role to do but with a strong board and staff team working alongside him, Richard is ready for the challenge.

“I am thrilled to have become chair of Two Ridings. I greatly appreciate the generosity of the donors, the skilful hard work of the staff and the commitment of the trustees. I eagerly look forward to playing my part in encouraging Two Ridings to continue to make a positive difference to many people in North and East Yorkshire at a very challenging time.”

James Naylor collage of Chair of Trustees leaving