At the end of 2017 Fred Weller stepped down as a Trustee at Worthing Community Chest. He had been a huge part of the charity for over five years. Here is his final blog for the charity.
‘Some ten years ago I joined the committee of my Organ Club. Soon I had ‘volunteered’ to find some additional funding source because, having moved location and effectively started again from scratch, we were in serious financial difficulty. In fact, we were not sure if we could continue. By good fortune I found out about Worthing Community Chest. For the first time in my life I applied for a grant. Jenni Pilgram, who was then the charity’s sole executive, was a tremendous help in getting my application ready for the Appraisal Panel. I’m sure it was down to her help that it was successful. The grant enabled the club to continue to function and it has now grown from strength to strength, one of the best of its kind in the south east (yes, I’m biased!).
I then joined the Appraisal Panel for a few years where I met with representatives from a host of different clubs, groups, small not-for-profit organisations and charities operating with the Borough of Worthing. Committed, dedicated, the words do them scant justice. At the many meetings I attended I became increasingly aware of the extraordinary variety of volunteer groups and small charities that worked with and supported individuals and communities. It is difficult to imagine life in Worthing without that incredible army of people who give so much, knowing only that what they do does make a difference.
In recent years I have left the Appraisal Panel to join the Board of Trustees which oversees the work of the charity. In that time significant change has occurred, including the appointment of Catherine as Charity Coordinator and Inga as Grants Administrator. Some Trustees have left and new ones appointed. The Board has implemented major changes to its rules of governance, clearly set out its strategy and vision, updated the grants criteria and other measures that have kept the charity pertinent and relevant to the needs of today and into the future. In doing so its has relied heavily on the expertise and commitment of Catherine, the Charity Coordinator. In this, my farewell blog I want to recognise the work done by Catherine and Inga during my time as a Trustee and also to pay tribute to my fellow Trustees who take seriously their responsibility to the charity and the many hundreds of clubs and organisations who look to Worthing Community Chest for help. Finally, I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the volunteers in whatever capacity whom I have met during my time at Worthing Community Chest. I cannot imagine life in Worthing without your dedication and hard work. You are the bedrock of community life in the Borough and deserve recognition far beyond what comes your way. In standing down as a trustee of Worthing Community Chest I am confident that the charity is in safe hands and that with goodwill it will continue to grow and remain recognised as the foremost grant giving charity in the Borough of Worthing’