A former retailer who retired early to channel his energy into supporting causes close to his heart has become a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to the community as the only islander to be recognised in The Queen’s New Year Honours List this year.
Jim Hopley stepped down as CEO of the Channel Islands’ Co-operative Society in 2011 and has since chaired a variety of bodies in Jersey, most noticeably Jersey Cheshire Home, Genuine Jersey and Jersey National Park.
The 73-year-old has been a long-standing champion of disability, environmental and food provenance issues.
Pictured: Jim Hopley MBE.
Before then, however, he had been an honorary officer and roads’ inspector for St. Peter.
One of his first post-retirement roles was to become chair of Jersey Cheshire Home, an organisation close to his heart as it had supported his late first wife.
“They were there when I needed them the most,” he said.
He was also chair of the Voluntary Community Partnership, born out of the Care Inquiry and set up by
Although its funding eventually dried up, it did result in the creation of the Disability Partnership, which was also chaired by Mr Hopley. It was designed as an arena of interested parties formed to prepare the way for a formal Disability Strategy.
Through research, island-wide engagement and a coordinated effort by a hardworking team, a strategy was devised, approved by the Assembly, given funding, and is currently being implemented.
“That has been a great success and I was privileged to work closely with a wonderful bunch of people,” said Mr Hopley.
In the health sphere, Mr Hopley is also Vice-Chairman of Shopmobility.
Through his leadership of the Co-op, Mr Hopley took a strong interest in local produce, in particular the Genuine Jersey organisation.
In retirement, he was asked if he would become its Chairman, a position he has held for the last decade. He also leads the associated Farm Jersey body and Jersey Product Promotions Limited, which markets the Island’s main export crops, particularly the Jersey Royal.
Mr Hopley has also had a long association with the Jersey Chamber of Commerce. He has sat on its main committee for 20 years and is currently Chair of its environment sub-committee.
That interest in the environment evolved into Mr Hopley taking a leading role, along with Mike Stentiford, in the creation of Jersey National Park, which was prompted by the ‘Line in the Sand’ protest, involving more than 7,000 islanders, in 2009, and established by the current 2011 Island Plan.
The National Park now has a centre and a part-time officer. It is currently devising a new governance structure and is set to expand by 30% if the draft Bridging Island Plan is approved.
Pictured: Mr Hopley took a leading role, along with Mike Stentiford, in the creation of Jersey National Park.
Another related role is Mr Hopley’s chairmanship of the Energy Forum, which brings energy suppliers together and has had an important input into the Carbon Neutral Strategy and Roadmap, currently out for consultation before politicians are asked to back it.
Finally, Mr Hopley is Chairman of the Community Action Group, which links the police with many communities in Jersey, including different faiths and ethnicities. The police provide the secretariat, but they are but one voice among many.
The group played a significant role at the beginning of the pandemic to provide support to more vulnerable members of the island community.
Born in Cornwall and brought up in Plymouth, Mr Hopley began his career with the Co-op in the UK but transferred over to the Channel Islands’ society in 1979.
He is married to the “hugely supportive” Rachelle and is stepfather to Robert (24) and William (19). Mr Hopley has a daughter, Emma, from his first marriage, and a granddaughter Phoebe (17).
Mr Hopley’s many committee meetings are rarely scheduled for a Saturday afternoon, as he is a committed supporter of the Jersey Reds and can been seen cheering on the players at most home games.
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