We Are FoodPioneers!

We believe everyone can be a FoodPioneer and play a part in making Worthing town a vibrant, exciting, diverse and supportive place to live and visit.

Our aim is to support vulnerable groups living in food poverty. Many of our projects focus on strengthening ecological systems through green space expansion, increasing our pollinator footprint and conservation of our ocean to strengthen biodiversity. All of this has a positive impact on our food chain and builds a stronger natural environment for future generations.

We’re incredibly grateful to work with our brilliant team of volunteers, businesses and delivery partners. Without you, none of this would be possible. We have up-to-date DBS checks, food safety certificates and a wide range of combined skill and experience across an extensive range of sectors and industries.

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Debs Butler | The Boss Lady

Debs is a humanist and loves weaving people together for a common purpose. She brings extensive experience in relationship management, developing partnerships and loves kick-starting new projects for the greater good. A fully trained beekeeper and experienced sailor, Debs brings passion and skill as she continually drives forward a variety of community projects across our three pillars Pollinator expansion, Sea health and Food Poverty.

Amy Thorley | The Coordinator

Amy is a natural communicator with experience in the corporate, public and charity sector. She brings project management, volunteer coordination and event organisation skills to the team. All successfully demonstrated on our latest Batch project, managing mass cook ups for the community in our communal kitchen. A food lover, happiest when sharing food with friends, Amy also loves nature, walking, sea swimming and spending precious time with her family.

Lou Coles

Louise Coles | The Strategist

New Director. New to Worthing. New to bees, seas, trees. Not new to leading and managing organisations, strategy, development, funding and good old project management especially in the arts, and young artists’ sector. Lou is passionate about enabling younger generations to have a voice in the local community and world at large. Fanatical about collaboration and team work to ‘make things happen’.

Jules Engelsman | Food Operating Officer 

Jules brings a dollop of showbiz and catering know-how to the FoodPioneers. In a past life, he founded Bagelman in Brighton, and is more recently famed for healthy treats brand Joyfuel. He relishes challenges, projects, spinning plates and inventing stuff. No surprise then, he successfully coordinated Batch this year – recycling 1 tonne of ‘waste’ food into 1,000 hot cooked meals for vulnerable groups in our community.

Fran Southgate | Environmental Alchemist

Fran is passionate about the planet and our relationship with nature. If you want wilding and ecological networks then she’s your lass. Fran believes in individual and community empowerment through connection with the land. She adores ‘all things food’ and has been known to bring the FoodPioneers together for campfire sleep-outs in bivvy bags. Her nettle soup is a real treat. Honest….

Celine Shabbas Murphy | The Storyteller

Celine joined our crew early this year to evaluate our brand, evolve and refine our messaging and communicate our story to the world at large. Celine brings a wealth of commercial board level experience to ensure our community keeps thriving. She feels passionately about the natural world, ocean conservation and working together to ensure our planet prospers for future generations.

edward kilroy

Edward David Kilroy | Thee Food Pioneer

Ed loves being nestled between the sea and the downs and finds it both therapeutic and bountiful when it comes to food, foraged or otherwise. He has worked in hospitality his whole life. It runs in the family. Ed believes food brings communities together and headed up our recent OnePot project – delivering over 300 slow cookers and meal packs to create healthy meals for those living in food poverty.

Stacey Manser-Knight | The Seaweedmeister

Our resident phycologist. An artist, maker, chef, alchemist and activist. Stacey brings a wealth of ideas and commercial nous to the table. She is passionate about education and connection through food and foraging – coordinating wild food adventures at the beach and gathering groups around a fire. Stacey loves nothing better than being creative, mooching about on the seashore and foraging the countryside.

susanne barthelmes

Susanne Barthelmes | Head of Microscaries

Susanne loves nature, food, cooking and supporting people to be the best they can be. After decades in Arts Management, she is now a counsellor by day and a FoodPioneer by night. As wife to one of the founding directors, she knows the organisation inside out. What she brings to the team is her nerdy passion for systems, small-print, finance, and spreadsheets.

Meet our growing team of FoodPioneers