Before becoming qualified as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor, Jonathan gained an initial qualification in Agriculture, graduating from Seale-Hayne Agricultural College in Devon and working on the land in England, France, New Zealand, and the United States. In the 1980s he moved to Northern California, and started working in the media firstly as a photojournalist and later as a filmmaker, presenter and producer. It was Jonathan’s dual love of people’s life stories and the obstacles and challenges people faced when confronted by change that led him to become a founding director of stories4change in 2007 and then subsequently to broaden his career to become a therapeutic counsellor. Today he combines the different areas of his counselling work with filmmaking, documentary and environmental work. He also currently serves as a volunteer director of the New Forest Transition Group and the New Forest Festival (Arts, Culture & Ecology).
Cathy Cook (Chair)
Cathy is a chartered engineer, graduating in chemical engineering from Imperial College, London. As well as installing renewables (solar pv and a battery) at her home in Lyndhurst, Cathy’s long-held ambition has been to initiate a local community power generation scheme and WSSC is a very satisfying fulfilment of that dream. She is also the Coordinator for the Schools Energy Project which works with schools and communities in the New Forest, Southampton, Eastleigh, Test Valley, south Wiltshire and east Dorset, to promote energy saving.
Rob has an engineering degree and worked as an engineer and business manager for suppliers to the water industry, before leaving to start his own engineering consultancy business. For the last eighteen years he has run a company providing websites for small businesses. As a regional chair for the Federation of Small Businesses, Rob is an active lobbyist on the role of small businesses as a vital part of the local economy. As well as his role in West Solent Solar Cooperative, Rob has also represented business, sustainability and the local economy on several consultative panels for local government. He became involved in West Solent Solar Cooperative in the planning and funding stage and has been actively involved in subsequent decisions relating to site operation and corporate structure.
Roger studied Electrical Engineering at Bristol University and worked as a geophysical engineer in the Middle East and the North Sea in oil exploration. After 5 years he decided on a change in career and did an MSc in electronics at Southampton before moving to Germany where he worked as a software engineer. He was greatly influenced by the then new German approach to the environment and on returning to the UK in the 90’s he was able to provide local groups with up to the minute information from Germany about waste management for the waste consultation that was going on. A strong believer in environmental education he was one of the founding directors of the Southampton Environment Centre (now tEC) and has helped Cathy Cook guiding school children and other visitors to the solar farm.
Six years ago he qualified as an MCS installer which he did for 3 years. He now works part time for a local solar company and as a software engineer. He has a passion for environmental technology and has worked in air quality, organic food retailing and recycled paper marketing.
John trained as an electrical engineer at Loughborough University and then with Yorkshire Electricity PLC.
After a year in Brisbane, Australia working with a business energy management consultancy, he returned to Loughborough University to study a Masters Degree in Renewable Energy Systems at CREST (CREST | Loughborough University (lboro.ac.uk). As part of his course, he carried out a research project on wind farm electrical systems for East Midlands Generation.
After completing his course, the opportunity arose, through Skillshare Africa, to take up a post as Renewable Energy Officer with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy in Swaziland (Eswatini). John worked with his Swazi colleagues on solar for rural schools and clinics, fuel efficient wood stoves and on the development of a rural electrification strategy with Swaziland Electricity Board.
After almost 3 years in Eswatini, John came back to the UK. In 2007, John joined Energy4All with the desire to commit to the community energy sector. He became Development Director in 2008.
With Energy4All he has supported the development of onshore wind and ground-mount and multi-roof solar projects. As well as Four Winds, he is on the board of 5 community energy co-operatives.
Outside of the community energy sector, John is a Trustee of Wiltshire Young Musicians and was a Trustee and remains a member of Bath Co-operative Alliance.
Keen to build on his interest in renewable energy, Jeremy completed an MSc at the Centre for Alternative Technology and subsequently worked at the Energy Saving Trust and Thameswey Energy before joining a start-up domestic solar PV company in 2011, where he worked as a Solar Consultant and Operations Manager.Jeremy joined Lightsource, one of Europe’s largest solar companies, in 2014 and designs and delivers systems to support development and operation of large scale solar plants.
Jessie has lived and worked in the New Forest for nearly 20 years and was on the NPA’s Sustainable Development Fund Panel for a number of years, involved in the restoration and development of the walled garden project at Priestlands School. In recent years, she has been working in a general management role at the Jeremy Rogers boat yard (our family business). They worked closely with the Green Blue (the RYA’s environmental initiative) during their early years, helping to promote greener practices in the boating sector. Jessie grew up on a farm and still has a share in a small family farming business so is familiar and comfortable with working in rural settings and issues like subsidies, as well as through her day-to-day work, managing projects, contractors and workforce.
Originally from Reading, Barry completed his BSc in Physical Sciences at UCL, and then obtained an MSc in Environmental Technology, specialising in Energy Policy, at Imperial College. He first invested in an Energy4All wind farm in 2006, while completing his Postgraduate Certificate of Education, before embarking on his career as a science teacher.
Barry moved to the New Forest area in 2010. After more than a decade as a science teacher, he took a break from life at the whiteboard to research Energy Storage and its Applications at Southampton University, obtaining a further MSc.
He returned to teaching just before the Covid pandemic and he is now Head of Physics at a local school. Barry is also a committee member of the Verwood Solar Farm Fund, which issues grants to benefit its local community.