Rebecca Kennelly MBE

Community Foundation announces Rebecca Kennelly MBE as new Chair of Trustees

Logo.HIWCFHampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF) is pleased to announce that Rebecca Kennelly MBE has been appointed as Chair of Trustees. HIWCF is a specialist grant-making charity, awarding funding to support local charitable, voluntary and community groups on behalf of a range of donors.


Rebecca has a wealth of experience in the voluntary and community sector. She is currently the Director of Volunteering at Royal Voluntary Service and has led the development and implementation of NHS Volunteer Responders, mobilising hundreds of thousands of volunteers across England to support the NHS and those vulnerable to Covid-19. In the Queen’s most recent birthday honours list, Rebecca has been awarded an MBE for services to the Covid-19 response.


Rebecca was previously Chief Executive at Basingstoke Voluntary Action, supporting local community and voluntary sector organisations and delivering services in the fields of homelessness, youth and young carers as well as chairing the Local Strategic Partnership in Basingstoke and Deane. Rebecca has spent her career striving to build strong and resilient communities and is committed to supporting and working with volunteers professionally and personally, holding many other voluntary and trustee roles outside of the Community Foundation.


Rebecca joined HIWCF as a Trustee in 2010 and has been successfully leading the Grants Committee for the last four years, working closely with Chief Executive Grant Cornwell.


Rebecca commented:

I am honoured to be taking on this role at such a crucial time and would like to thank former Chair Jonathan Cheshire for his tireless work on behalf of the charity. HIWCF is an exceptional organisation, which through its donors and many partners supports some of the most disadvantaged people and communities in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. We have a great team and an excellent vision, and I look forward to playing my part in the next chapter of our journey together.


Grant Cornwell MBE, HIWCF Chief Executive added:

Our Board of Trustees is vital to the ongoing success of the Community Foundation especially during these exceptional times, and I would like to thank Jonathan Cheshire for his amazing contribution over the past four years as Chair, we would not be where we are now without his leadership. I also feel proud and excited to welcome Rebecca as our new Chair as we move into the next exciting stage of our development and I look forward to working together to help support our local communities.


Mr Nigel Atkinson, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire and President HIWCF, said:

I am delighted Rebecca has kindly agreed to become chair of the HIWCF, having been a Trustee with us for the last 10 years. She takes over at a critical time as we move from the stabilisation to recovery phase of covid-19. The Foundation has supported an enormous number of people over the last few months and this is set to continue as more help is needed by those affected by the pandemic.


HIWCF focuses on the smaller and less well known community and voluntary groups working on the frontline in our communities who often only need a few hundred pounds to make a difference to local people’s lives.


During the coronavirus pandemic, HIWCF has raised over £2.4m to help support local communities affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

Photo: Rebecca Kennelly MBE

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