Farewell and thank you to John and Helen

On Friday 5th October, our chair, John Adams welcomed staff and trustees to our Annual General Meeting for the last time at our offices in Devizes.  After four years of exemplary voluntary service with the foundation, John has decided to step down.  John has completed his three-year term as chair, having stepped in following the tragic death of our previous chair, John Woodget.

John’s outgoing speech was, as we expected, hugely motivational.  He talked with great insight and passion about how the foundation can and should respond to social deprivation - how we will respond to issues such as disadvantage and poverty, multi-layered, complex issues that require us to question everything that we do to ensure that we help to deliver the social change needed in Wiltshire and Swindon.  John talked of the great privilege and pleasure of being our chairman.  For the staff team and the trustees, the feeling was very much a mutual one.

 William Wyldbore-Smith, deputy chair, and Rosemary Macdonald, chief executive, expressed their thanks to John on behalf of the trustees and the staff team for his diligent leadership, sound advice and genuine interest in the work of the foundation and the impact this work delivers across Wiltshire and Swindon. 

We also said farewell and gave our thanks to Helen Birchenough who has been an inspirational member of our board for the last six years.  During her time as a trustee, Helen chaired the Salisbury panel, bringing volunteers together in a supportive and cohesive way.  Our One Degree More programme benefited from Helen’s leadership as she guided the independent and voluntary panel of decision makers to award university bursaries for young people in Wiltshire and Swindon.   The board and staff team jointly congratulated Helen on her new appointment as South West Area Chair of Arts Council England. 

Recruitment for a new chair of trustees is now underway.  In the interim period, William Wyldbore-Smith will lead the board in his position as vice-chair.