We are living through the beginning of an extinction event and need no less than the best of the best. Garrison Farm believes that veterans of the British Armed Forces are the right people to man the frontline in mankind's fight for survival against climate change, biodiversity collapse, peak oil and more. Their skill, motivation and determination are the greatest assets that the UK could deploy to face these challenges. Protesting will not overcome these challenges, but affirmative action and changing our way of life will.
We plan ecovillages supported by the sale of products and services produced sustainably at a commercial scale from our land. Ultimately we plan to use the sale of services and goods to become independent of grant funding and philanthropy to deliver our community work and support other charities/social enterprises.
Garrison Farm CIC is run by our Founders/Directors Chris Carrée and Ross Edwards, a mangement committee of 9 dedicated volunteers and a support team of over 40 people with a diverse set of skills and experience in charity, digital strategies, sustainable development and more.
In early October, we formed our management board and welcomed Adrian Matthews FRSA, Louise Court and Zoe Murphy to our ranks to help steer us through the troubled waters of 2020. Further committee members Carla Jefferies, Sarah Condon, Jon Barnes, and Jonah Jones joined in mid-October to assist our efforts in their various areas of specialism. This means we have four veterans, four civilians and one serving member of the armed forces working on our management team to guide our work. Our management team is already having a hugely positive effect in driving Garrison Farm forward.
Chris Carrée - Founder and Director
Chris (38 - civilian) has been researching the idea of a charity-focused ecovillage since 2009, but adapted the concept to support veterans in 2017 after seeing the hardship faced by one of his friends after leaving the armed forces, starting Garrison Farm CIC as a non-profit social enterprise when meeting co-founder Ross Edwards.
A former trade union representative in the UK Civil Service in HM Land Registry, Since 2014 Chris has been working at Virgin Atlantic as a Sales Executive, researching the project, potential partners and opportunities whenever time allows. Garrison Farm is Chris’s life legacy and way to give back to those who have sacrificed the most for their country.
Chris’ key skills are: Networking and team-building; Tenacity and dedication; Strategic long-term planning; Understanding and implementation of circular economy principles
Chris’ interests are: Music (playing guitar); Art (drawing and digital art); Gardening
Our ecovillages will offer subsidised housing opportunities and support services for veterans, and outreach work with the local community.
Our values and principles will replicate those of the UK Armed Forces. Our unity of effort will echo the shared sense of purpose and camaraderie familiar to those who have served.
The work that we are doing now is based around getting the business structures in place to support our proposals. Although Garrison Farm CIC is focused on supporting veterans, we recognise the benefit of a diverse community and plots will also be open (although not subsidised) for civilians.
Our priority on every project is making sure it delivers a tangible benefit for veterans and, wherever feasible, housing opportunities. We will be exploring a range of standard, rural and One Planet Development planning options. The precise format that these opportunities will take is yet to be determined and may need to flex to match local constraints. We will strongly advocate this type of development as necessary to address a range of pressing economic, social, and environmental issues.
Garrison Farm CIC are entirely volunteer-led, covering all costs of developing the project this far ourselves. We are hoping to employ a core team to manage the project, establish a remote multi-discipline support team of volunteers and collaborate with partner organisations to successfully deliver our vision.
Ross Edwards - Co-Founder & Director
Ross served 22 years in the Royal Logistics Corps. Introduced to Chris by mutual friend (and now Chairman of the Board) Jon Barnes in early 2020, Ross helped co-found Garrison Farm CIC.
A trained life-coach and businessman, Ross brings momentum and fierce passion to driving the project forward. With his long history of handling logisitics in challenging environments he is well placed to help organise the many strands of our ambitious project.
Ross also plays guitar and runs a publishing company called Pulpworm Ltd.
Jon Barnes - Chair of the Board.
Aged 61 he served in the miltiary for a total of 10 years, 2 in the Territorial Army and 8 as Aircrew on the Nimrod Maritime Patrol Aircraft in the Royal Air Force. Since then he had a career as an Air Traffic Control Officer, and a Senior ATCO and has been an Airport Manager at 2 Regional Airports. Now he works parttime for the Wales Air Ambulance helping to run their commercial heliport in Cardiff.
He has also served on the boards of a national charity. Hobbies include playing Bass guitar, walking his 2 dogs and spending as much time as possible with his wife Jan, a university lecturer and their son Stephen whos suffers with acute learning disabilties and uncontrolled Epilepsy.
Skills include Management, Problem Solving and Project Management
Adrian Matthews - Management Committee Member
ex-Royal Engineer Adrian (41) aka TAFF is a multidisciplinary engineering, sustainability and well-being consultant with 25-years knowledge, insight and expertise working with Government, Public Sector, Trading Bodies, Academia and Industry. In 2019 his contributions to society were recognised by being nominated as a Fellow for the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
Adrian works for Welsh engineering consultancy EFT Consult who lead the way in the built environment sector, with the development of a new code of practice for creating healthier buildings supported by Government, Public Sector, Trading Bodies and Industry.
Adrian’s bucket list for continuing to contribute towards society in a positive manner is aligned with Garrison Farms aims and objectives, it seems we’ve been living in parallel worlds in our dreams for leaving a legacy for current and future generations to benefit from and value as a culture.
Adrian's key skills are: Sustained Attention; Response Inhibition; Speed of Information Processing; Cognitive Flexibility and Control; Multiple Simultaneous Attention; Working Memory; Category Formation; Pattern Recognition; Idea Generation; Engineering Processes; Co-creating and delivering projects
Adrian’s Interests include spending meaningful time with his family, sports, exercising, food, music, entertainment, travel, culture, arts and life long learning.
Sarah Condon - Head of Marketing
Working in marketing for over 17 years, Sarah has successfully delivered strategic marketing strategies and activation plans, both at national and international levels. In her day role, Sarah is the Director of Marketing at a SaaS company based in London. She is responsible for the operation of the marketing department and oversees the strategy and implementation of all marketing activity.
Prior to joining, Sarah gained broad sector experience including standards, construction, beauty, retail and horticulture. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Zoe Murphy - Management Committee Member
Zoe is an experienced community development and engagement professional, an educator and a freelance creative artist and writer. Zoe has worked with a variety of government, third sector, private organisations and educational establishments such as the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Swansea University and her previous role as Community Engagement Officer for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David has meant she has worked with a diverse range of communities delivering educational sessions and arts projects. These groups have included university students, young people, refugees and asylum seekers, prisoners and ex-offenders, women’s groups, senior groups and has also taught in compulsory, further and higher education. She has delivered arts projects for the Taliesin, Arts Council of Wales and the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. She is a published author and poet and is currently a Residential Support Worker for looked after children alongside developing her freelance artistic career.