We’re delighted that our recently retired chair, Jeff Hayes, has been awarded an OBE for service to charity and the voluntary sector on the King’s Birthday Honours list.
Jeff sat down with us before he left to share some of his personal reasons for getting involved in philanthropy. He spoke frankly about growing up in poverty, remembering how his mother once told him to hide behind the settee when the rent collector came to the door because they couldn’t pay. As an adult Jeff went on to find success in the city, but his early experiences stayed with him, and after retiring from a 40-year career, he joined the board at Trust for London.
Jeff’s thirteen years with us have seen Boris Johnson go from mayor of London to leader of the country, and four others move variously in and out of Downing Street. The world has seen more than a few events described as unprecedented, and Jeff led the board through the lockdowns of London during the Covid-19 pandemic, overseeing the response. Other highlights of his work with us have been his contribution to the London Living Wage campaign and Moving on Up programme, helping more young Black men in London find work.
Jeff has been a champion of our work and of the sector as a whole. When you speak to him about the last thirteen years, the consistent sentiment throughout is how rewarding he’s found the work and the admiration he has for those on the front line and at the grass roots.
I was honoured to be awarded an OBE in the King's Birthday Honours list for services to charity and the voluntary sector. It was not something that I had ever expected, and has only been made possible with the help and support of my family, and all of those amazing people at the charity organisations I have had the pleasure of working with. Just working within the charity and voluntary sector is highly rewarding, but this award has simply made any contributions I have made all worthwhile.
Jeff Hayes OBE