Hubbub is delighted to announce the appointment of two new trustees to our Board of Directors with the recruitment of Anna Turrell, Head of Environment at Tesco and Sheetal Shinh, who is Director of International Corporates at Barclays. They have joined at a unique time, when the role of the Board has grown increasingly important in helping Hubbub navigate the impact of Covid-19.

We hope that sharing our internal ways of working, as well as Hubbub’s campaign learnings and insight, is valuable for other businesses. Here are five ways that we have significantly changed working with our Board through the pandemic.

1. The arrival of Zoom

Shifting Board meetings online has had an immediate impact. Shorter, more regular meetings have enabled the Board to provide guidance throughout a period of rapid change. In the long-term, we believe that virtual meetings will help to build diversity by reducing obstacles, such as added travel and time, for Board members to participate.

2. Rapid insight

As soon as Covid-19 struck, we questioned how Hubbub could best remain relevant during a pandemic. The Board contains representatives from leading insight agencies such as Britain Thinks and Headland Consultancy, and their contacts and experience were extremely valuable, resulting in Hubbub developing a ‘Greenprint’ for a Better Britain. Their insights also highlighted the need for new campaigns on food waste such as the ‘No Time for Waste Challenge’ we ran with Tesco, and on the need to address the increasing issue of digital isolation, which we have done through Community Calling in partnership with O2.

3. Critical Friends

Working remotely means we've had fewer of the informal, internal conversations that traditionally helped challenge our thinking and steer campaigns. These conversations are vital to maintain direction, enthusiasm and creativity. Individual trustees have stepped in to help fill this void by acting as informal sounding boards and critical friends. They are providing a fresh perspective on our upcoming campaigns promoting cycling, local food hubs and sustainable periods, and tackling fast fashion.

4. Increased visibility

The shift to virtual meetings has made it easier for trustees to represent Hubbub at events and workshops. Being able to access the skills and expertise of the Board more regularly has helped enrich conversations and enabled Hubbub to offer partner organisations broader perspectives based on a wide range of experience.

5. Supporting employee wellbeing

Remote working has been challenging for some employees and having the perspective of Board members, working in a range of different sectors, has helped Hubbub provide support during this difficult period. This has led to weekly wellbeing activities such as on-line yoga and HIIT classes, an internal mental health support group, as well as more direct personal support when required.

What will stick?

Navigating Covid-19 has been immensely challenging, placing unexpected pressures on the leadership team. In these circumstances, the importance of having an experienced, supportive and engaged Board has been invaluable. Looking forward, there are many things that we will seek to retain once restrictions are lifted. Virtual Board meetings will certainly continue, with a small number of in-person meetings to boost relationships and address more strategic issues.

We will continue to use the expertise of Board members to act as critical friends for specific projects. This helps trustees better understand the workings of the charity and has also been a fantastic learning opportunity for employees at all levels. We are also hopeful that trustees will be able to represent Hubbub at future virtual events so that others can gain from their knowledge and experience.

It is against this backdrop that we are so pleased to welcome Anna and Sheetal to the Board. Full details of the Hubbub Board members can be found here.