Mandy Cooper to be new Woodbrooke CEO

13 December 2023

Woodbrooke Trustees are pleased to announce the appointment of Mandy Cooper as Woodbrooke’s new permanent CEO to take the charity into 2024 and beyond. Mandy will take over from Woodbrooke’s Director Sandra Berry and Interim Co-CEO Martin Ford.

Mandy brings a rich leadership experience, joining from Bayberry Ltd where she was Chief Executive Officer.  Mandy has a background in communications and organisational psychology and she has served as a treasurer and commercial director, giving her the perfect mix of skills to take Woodbrooke into a new era. Mandy is a trained psychologist with a strong interest in philosophy and ethics; she holds qualifications from Birkbeck, Harvard, Arden, Wolverhampton, and Derby universities. Mandy brings her passion for learning and grounding in faith communities to the new CEO role.

“My admiration for the progressive and pioneering nature of the Quaker community grew from my first encounter at Friends House in London ten years ago. Later, In 2019, I highlighted Quaker compassion in my contribution to the Parliamentary review, and our paths have continued to converge in shared values, justice, theology and philosophy. Woodbrooke’s continuing potential is extraordinary. As the opportunities of the information age converge with the newly emerging immersive age, we see a vision for Woodbrooke to pioneer in this space; to engender accessibility, envision possibilities and be of benefit to all. I am inspired by the opportunity to work with such an outstanding group of people that form Woodbrooke’s trustees and team; to continue to serve, resource and engage the Quaker community – and others – in this new and exciting era of possibility.”  – Mandy Cooper

Mandy’s appointment marks a change in leadership at Woodbrooke with Director Sandra Berry stepping back after 13 years in post. Trustees would like to thank Sandra for her service to Woodbrooke through the many challenges and changes of the last 13 years. Sandra laid the foundations for Woodbrooke to thrive into the coming decade. She will hand over to Mandy in January 2024, and leave Woodbrooke early in the New Year.

Trustees would also like to thank Martin Ford who was interim co-CEO for the past year with responsibility for the Learning & Research side of the charity, while Sandra concluded the handover of The Woodbrooke Centre to the Bournville Village Trust. Martin retired in November 2023; he helped reshape the organisation ahead of the appointment of a permanent CEO.

We are thankful for the support of the Quaker community, particularly over the last few years, and look forward to Friends getting to know Mandy and continuing to engage with Woodbrooke’s broad range of learning, worship and research opportunities.

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Mandy Cooper to be new Woodbrooke CEO Woodbrooke Quaker learning and research
Mandy Cooper

Further information:

  • Statement on the Future of Woodbrooke 28 February 2023:
  • Woodbrooke is an international Quaker learning and research organisation based in Britain, that provides opportunities for learning, connection and worship which are rooted in the Quaker tradition and open to all.
    • Woodbrooke offers opportunities for learning through its online programme, residential and day events, Woodbrooke Where You Are workshops for Quaker communities and the Working with Meetings.
    • Woodbrooke provides formal opportunity for study and research through the Centre for Research in Quaker Studies.
    • Woodbrooke is a LGBT+ affirming organization, a living wage employer and committed to working towards being an anti-racist organization.
  • The Woodbrooke Centre, Selly Oak Birmingham, is now under the care of Bournville Village Trust (BVT), another Cadbury charity. This was in accordance with Woodbrooke’s founding document to transfer stewardship of the site to BVT should the learning charity no longer be able to run it as a Quaker ‘college’. Information about BVT may be found here:

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