The Burnt Chef Project Appoints Non-exec Board to Further Drive Progress in Tackling Mental Health Issues in the Worldwide Hospitality Industry

With the mission to proactively protect the mental health of those working in the hospitality sector, The Burnt Chef Project has announced the appointment of a new board of non-executive Directors and Social Impact Manager to further support the global expansion of the organisation.

Welcoming five new board members to the team, Cara Houchen, Geoff Macdonald, Simon Clifford, Sabira Kanji, and Andy Lennox, The Burnt Chef Project is going from strength to strength. Bringing a wealth of experience, the new members will bring additional strategic thinking to further support CEO, Kris Hall, and the growing business. Helping to raise the profile of the invaluable work the not-for-profit social enterprise is doing, the group of non-executive directors each brings a unique skill set.

Geoff Macdonald is a global advocate, campaigner, and consultant in addressing the stigma of mental ill-health in the workplace. Previously the Global Vice-President of HR, Talent, Marketing and Communications, at Unilever, Geoff’s experience goes hand in hand with the work The Burnt Chef Project is doing to address the stigma linked to mental health issues within workplaces today.

Sabira Kanji MBA FCMA comes with over twenty years of experience in leading financial strategies and facilitating ambitious growth plans, particularly for companies in the not-for-profit sector as Financial Director for Social Enterprise UK.

Hailing from a journalistic background both Simon Clifford and Cara Houchen join the board. Simon worked as a local, regional, and national journalist and editor, in newspapers and then BBC radio and TV. He covered major national and international news events and then moved into a new role as Head of Communications with a local authority, before becoming Deputy CEO.

Cara Houchen is well respected in the industry as a strong female leader as the Editor of The Staff Canteen for the past nine years, running regular panel discussions and recording and producing the popular podcast, Grilled.

Finally, Andy Lennox hopes to further the work in creating sustainable focussed strategies for hospitality businesses.
Commenting on what he hopes to bring to the team, Andy Lennox said:
“I passionately believe that our industry is a fantastic place to work in. However, we still have a long way to go in various areas in terms of growing up to become a well-regulated sector. Mental health and fair work practices are fundamental to this, and I believe The Burnt Chef Project is well placed to be that voice for the sector’s mental wellbeing in terms of practices and work/life balance. As a non-exec to The Burnt Chef Project, I feel I can help shape a sustainable policy for the industry’s workforce”.

In addition to new board appointments, Andrew MacDonald joins the organisation as Social Impact Manager.

After 25 years in commercial sales and marketing roles in the FMCG sector, Andrew has spent the last seven years in the hospitality industry. His most recent role was with Harri, a hospitality focussed workforce operating system. With a sense of enthusiasm and a rounded experience, Andrew will join forces with Kris to encourage businesses to take advantage of the training, supportive structures and partnership opportunities available through The Burnt Chef Project, offering much-needed support to their staff.

On his appointment, Andrew MacDonald commented:
“I’m so delighted and excited to be joining Kris and The Burnt Chef Project team to aid the continued scaling of the project and to ultimately help even more people in hospitality who may be at risk of experiencing poor mental health.”

The Burnt Chef Project is proud to share the news regarding the significant expansion of the team and is excited to further grow the reach of work undertaken globally.

For more information on The Burnt Chef Project, please visit