Community First East Hampshire merged with Havant Council of Community Service in 2012. In 2015 the combined group merged with Winchester Area Community Action to create Communities First Wessex, trading as Community First.
Our small but experienced board of directors decide our strategic direction. Our strategy is implemented by the Chief Executive and the Senior Management team.
Community First’s registered office address is: 3000a Parkway, Whiteley Hampshire Parkway, Whiteley, Fareham, Hampshire, PO15 7FX
Community First is registered with the Charity Commission number 1147527. It is a Limited Company by guarantee number 08071971.
Bev Jones - Chair
Beverley Morgan Jones has been a resident of East Hampshire (Alton) for the last 36 years.
Lived and worked in Hampshire since leaving college in Winchester. Trained as a teacher and taught in several schools in the county. Became a full-time youth and community worker and was the county officer for a large voluntary youth organisation covering Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Developed and managed the first community school in the county. Eventually moved into the world of adult learning and training.
Retired early as a vice principal of a large further and higher education college in north Hampshire and then helped develop the adult and training services of Hampshire County Council over a nine-year period.
Because of my background I have a good understanding and knowledge of the voluntary community sector and its interface with various statutory organisations in Hampshire.
Until recently I was a board member of an international adult and community learning organisation, chairman of the North Hampshire bench of magistrates and the Prince’s Trust in Hampshire.
I became associated with Community First East Hampshire some 6 years ago and took a lead role in merging the organisations that work with Havant and Winchester to form Communities First Wessex (trading as Community First).
Now fully retired I spend my time on travelling and the further development and growth of Communities First Wessex. I hold a Master’s Degree in Business and Administration.
Trevor Lewis - Vice Chair
Trevor has a BA in Economics and History.
His career has involved developing and implementing large-scale IT systems solutions across a wide range of industries. Company director for thirty years, including roles as MD, CEO and Chair.
His wide range of experience and skills include General Management, Change Management, Sales and Marketing, Tendering for Contracts, Product and Service Development, Finance, HR, Consultancy, Project Management, Mergers and Acquisitions. He has worked in the voluntary sector for seven years, including being Chair of a CVS, Winchester Area Community Action, now part of Community First. He is used to working at senior level with local authorities.
Trevor's other interests include being Vice-Chair of Home-Start Winchester and District. He enjoys hill walking, theatre, literature, art, watching rugby and cricket.
He says: "I believe that with austerity budgets and funding cuts to many services, charities, local authorities and individuals must join together to mobilise resources to mitigate the impact of these cuts on those in most need in our society. I am very pleased to be a part of Community First which, as the CVS for around 40% of Hampshire, is locally at the forefront of this activity."
John is an experienced non-executive chairman, director and board advisor, with a focus on strategy, performance, effectiveness, governance, and Merger Acquisition integration.
Previously a senior executive and consultant with major global businesses in the pharmaceutical, health services, technology, software, security, media and consumer product sectors. His current business interests include workplace wellbeing, international culture & diversity, learning and a telemedicine partnership providing innovative health solutions in a wide range of applications and settings.
He was a Trustee and Chair with Hart Voluntary Action for 10 years and Chair of the Well Being Centre in Frimley. Additionally John served as a stakeholder Governor at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Denis Gibson BA, MIPD
After a brief spell as a teacher, Denis joined the NHS as a graduate management trainee, working initially in Birmingham and training at Manchester Business School. His early NHS career was spent in the West Midlands where he developed an interest in human resources management.
He was appointed HR Director at Board-level in three different hospital and community organisations in Devon and Hampshire during the 1980s and 1990s. His last hospital role was at Southampton University Hospitals Trust as its HR Director between 1992 and 2001.
During the last 6 years of his NHS career Denis was Workforce Director for the NHS in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight accountable for the strategic planning of the healthcare workforce (30,000 people) and he had responsibility for education budgets of more than £100M.
He left the NHS in 2007 to set up Gibson HR Consulting Ltd. He works as an independent consultant and interim manager with NHS employers across the south of England.
His experience includes senior management at Board level in NHS employing authorities and specialist management in human resources, education and training.
Denis' other interests include travel and music. He sings with the Winchester Community Choir that raises money for Hampshire charities and is learning classical guitar again after a long break…
Steve Irving, B.Sc., M.Sc., PhD.
1977-1985: bench scientist in USA and UK industry.
1985-1992: Biology Manager Welcome Environmental Health
1992-2000: Directeur de Recherche /Insect Control Development Manager, DuPont France
2000-2002: Biology Manager, DuPont USA
2002-2015: Divisional Director, Cefas, Weymouth, UK.
His experience includes the following: people management, business development, Health and Safety, Science, organisational management and strategy.
Steve's other interests involve being a Fundraiser for Fareham and Gosport Multiple Sclerosis branch and Governor, Chair of Pay Committee, at Crofton School.
William served in the Army (Colonel Rtd) and was The Queen’s Messenger for 6 years. He has extensive experience of the public sector and local government serving as the Chief Administration Officer for the City of Portsmouth (PCC) for 10 years.
He also served as a Non Executive Director of Hampshire and Portsmouth Health Authority for 7 years whilst with PCC and is associated with and actively supports a number of armed forces charities including the Royal British Legion and currently works with the Soldiers Sailors and Air Force Association (SSAFA).
A Hampshire man of many generations whose main interests are people and sport; having played both Rugby and hockey for the County, Army and the West Indies whilst serving there.
Margaret Woodhead BA Hons, DMS
Margaret's career has involved Arts organisation management, general, financial and strategic planning, fundraising and consultancy.
Her other interests include Healthwatch and Winchester Rotary.