BSTLC was launched because, quite simply, we live in challenging times and the directors believe that businesses of all sizes have a huge role to play in making our communities stronger and more resilient. BSTLC CIC was registered as a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee on 8th March 2018, although projects were operational in a different guise before then. If you look at BSTLC’s constitution, it confirms that under UK law we operate as a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. This is a phrase the directors all dislike as all organisations, including charities, need to make a profit/surplus otherwise they would cease to exist! But nonetheless, our commitment is on making a difference not on making a profit and none of the directors take a salary. There are 3 directors, all with professional business backgrounds. We understand what it’s like to run a business!

Jill Poet, CEO

Jill is the founder and driving force of BSTLC. Her professional background is as a management accountant. Apart from an initial couple of years in the city, she has always worked for smaller, local SMEs and has always adopted a very hands-on approach. Her specialities were solicitors accounts and she also worked for several years in the leisure industry where, she says, she was just as happy pulling a pint as finalising the year end accounts. Jill is also the Chairman and MD of the Organisation for Responsible Businesses, a national membership organisation for businesses that want to demonstrate they are operating ethically and responsibly. She has lived in Southend since 1972 and launched BSTLC in Southend because she is passionate about making a difference in the borough.

Kirsten Woodgate, Director

Kirsten worked at Lloyds Bank for over 20 years with various roles including Commercial Relationship Manager and Business Development Manager. Her commercial banking experience provides insight in to how SMEs in many different sectors operate and the challenges they face. Kirsten has worked with Jill since 2015 and is equally passionate about creating a positive change in society. Her primary role within BSTLC is managing the social media platforms, as well as more general support. Kirsten is also the proprietor of KLW Business Evolution, a consultancy offering expert advice in business development and social media.

Mike Wilson, Director

As well as being business partners, Mike and Jill are also husband and wife.

A Southend boy born and bred, he is passionate about supporting his local community.

Mike’s professional background was as an electro-mechanical designer, mostly working with larger companies on a contract basis, but also operating his own business for several years.

When he changed career to become a self-taught graphic designer, he produced several magazines and websites. He is particularly proud of Healthy Life – Mind, Body and Soul, an A4 free issue, 52-page glossy magazine which was the forerunner to the Healthy Life Essex website.

Mike offers across the board strategic support.

Mike is a long-standing Freemason, an organisation that raises funds for charitable purposes and is second only to the National Lottery in terms of how much it raises.

Head Office

84 Wimborne Road SS2 4JR

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01702 468387