MEET THE COMMITTEE

Pride at NEXT is a collaboration of individuals from the LGBTQ+ community and their allies across all divisions of the Company.

These are passionate and supportive individuals who have given up their time to support this employee led community, you can read a bit about each of them below.

Andrew Jurd

Head of Retail HR

My professional life started with Next in 1991 when I started as a Sales Consultant at the Brent Cross store in London, I spent the next 8 years working my way up to Store Manager of Harrow. After a brief break from the company I returned in 2003 to pursue a career in HR. I worked my way up to HR Manager for the London Region in 2012 a role which I have enjoyed ever since.

I have been together with my partner Ian for 15 years. We got married in 2014 following the legislation of gay marriage in England & Wales passed by the UK Parliament in July 2013, which came into force on 13 March 2014. We have made our home in Bedford and are lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing family and friends. 

I am very excited to be the first Chair of Pride at Next. I hope the employee led community will be an important voice and support for the LGBT+ community within the business.

Darren Hopkins

HR Business Partner I Head Office

I joined Next back in 2002 as a Sales Consultant on the Men’s department at the Trafford Centre (104) store in Manchester. I worked my way up to Senior Sales whilst studying, before progressing to my first Store Manager position in 2007. I have had 8 Stores between then and now, keeping me busy.

My home has been Manchester City Centre for the last 7 years, facilitating a busy social agenda! I have a strong network of family and friends close by. Perhaps one day suburbia will call…

Rena Armstrong

Graphic Designer 

I started my career Next in October 2018 where I work as a Graphic Designer. Loving the role! Since starting at Next I have adopted the role as designer for the Pride at NEXT team, creating graphics for pop up and festival events and much much more at Head Office. 

My hometown is Newcastle but after leaving there for University in 2012 I have worked my way down the country, living in Leeds and now finally settling in Leicester. 

Me and my partner Tessa have been together for 4 years and have just bought our first home. You will find us here doing DIY most evenings!

Charlie Driver

Internal Communications & Events Specialist

I started my role in September 2023, quickly joining the Pride at NEXT Committee. In my role as part of the Employer Brand Team; I work closely with the Together at NEXT network groups and support on in-person events.

Before joining NEXT I was working in Marketing and also creating and leading Pride groups at previous roles. In my spare time I travel as much as annual leave allows and have spent time living and working in both Australia and United States. 


Andrew Chamberlain-Smith

Store Manager

I started work at next back in 2004, at the York Coney street store, which is where I met my now husband Tom. Since then I have worked various roles in a number of different stores throughout North Yorkshire, even opening the first Home Standalone on the area 10 years ago. I returned back to York when the York Vangarde retail park opened in 2014. 

Tom and I have been together for 17 years and got married in 2019. We live in York with our 2 cats, Dexter and Deb. We enjoy many things, such as, going to the cinema, meals out and catching up with our chosen family. For me relaxing by a pool in a sunny climate is the best.

Jamie Statham

Store Manager 

I started with Next in 2007 in the July end of season sale as a Sales Consultant at Chelmsford Chelmer Village Retail Park (802), where I was there for 4 years going from part time to full time. I then spent the next 5 years working in many different stores to then becoming a Store Manager of Bishop Stortford (839) in 2016 where I was there for a year before moving onto launching a successful new store Loughton (683) I have now been appointed store manager of Southend (081) which I’m very excited to get to know a new team and a new area.

I have been with my partner Reece for the 10 years. We got married in May 2014 where we had a lovely outdoor wedding at three rivers golf and country club, where we shared our special day with loving family and friends. We have recently moved into a new home on Canvey Island Essex with our 3 dogs and 2 cats and we are very much already settled in.

Sarah Bow

Team Manager | Stadium Way

I joined Next back in 2018 as a Team Manager at the Stadium Complex and that's where I've remained ever since.

I love my role at Next and the different characters I get to meet and interact with each and every day. I'm proud to be a representative and a voice on the Pride at Next Committee for warehousing and distribution and can only hope I make a positive change.

When I'm not at work you'll probably find me at a gig or a festival, or somewhere away with friends.

Sarah Stone

Learning and Development Lead I Retail 

I have worked for Next PLC for 25 years; with 15 years of L&D experience and 10 years working in store and as a Store Manager. Committed and conscientious throughout this time, my passion has always been people: the people I work with and the people I meet on a daily basis. Over the years I have built great relationships with many people and I have come to understand the importance of working in a diverse and inclusive culture for myself and others. 

My wife, Jen, and I have been together since 2005 and we became Civil Partners in 2009 in a beautifully romantic Christmas, candle-lit ceremony, surrounded by our incredibly supportive and loving family and friends. We’ll be celebrating our tenth anniversary in New York. I love having the freedom to be who I am, and I want to be part of the movement to make that the case for everybody at Next and beyond.

Jazz Conley

International Department Manager | Enderby

I joined Next back in 2019 after 6 years running my own business in the USA. I started my career in the CCAIT department and loved my role as a Team Manager. I spent 2.5 years with CCAIT before becoming a Department Manager within International. I absolutely love my job and genuinely look forward to coming in each day!

I grew up in Leicester and although I've lived and worked all over the globe it's always felt like home. I still love to travel but my roots are now firmly planted here!

My partner Yvonne and I have been together for 4 years and live in Croft, Leicester with our dog and cat. When I'm not at work I like to keep busy; from DIY projects to working on my Capri (the second love of my life) - it's a running joke that I just can't sit down!


Harri Parpagga

Warehouse Operative | Stadium Way Doncaster

My name is Harri and I use they/them pronouns. I’ve been working for Next as a warehouse operative in Stadium Way for a few months.

As a queer, non-binary person of colour I’m excited to join this fantastic committee and help make Next an even more inclusive and diverse place to work!