Trust stalwart bows out

A WOMAN who has dedicated six years to helping disadvantaged people in the community has stepped down from her position as director of Stevenage Community Trust. Pat Henry, 60, retired last month because she wants to have more leisure time for herself a

A WOMAN who has dedicated six years to helping disadvantaged people in the community has stepped down from her position as director of Stevenage Community Trust.

Pat Henry, 60, retired last month because she wants to have more 'leisure time' for herself and with her family and friends.

Mrs Henry joined the Trust after working at GlaxoSmithKline in Stevenage for 14 years, dealing with community grants.

She said: "I had a lot of connections with people in the local community and I did a lot of fundraising for the Trust while I was there."


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During her time as director of the Trust Mrs Henry gave out grants worth over £300,000 and raised the profile of the organisation.

She said: "My biggest achievements have been making the Trust more approachable to people who need the service and offering a speedy assistance to people in need.

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"The things people don't see are the nice letters we get back from those we have helped which shows that a little can make a big difference.

"I will miss the contact with all the people I have met over the years but I intend to keep in touch with all the friends I have made."

Quiz nights, wine tasting evenings and car boot sales are among some of the events the Trust has organised in the past. But Mrs Henry's last event was the Trust's annual celebrity lunch held at the Novotel in Stevenage in December. It saw former West Ham and Tottenham footballer and 1966 World Cup winner Martin Peters as the guest speaker and 226 guests from local businesses, charities and voluntary groups raised a total of £5,514.

At the event she was presented with a silver bracelet and travel vouchers by one of the trustees, Councillor Reg Smith and a bouquet of flowers by the mayoress, Dilys Clark.

Frank Warburton, Pat Henry's successor, said: "Pat Henry is going to be a hard act to follow and has left me with a successful and vibrant organisation so I'm very excited to be taking up the challenge."

In the past Mr Warburton, 56, of Tewin, has worked in the voluntary sector for regional and national charities such as Nacro and DrugScope. But more recently he has been evaluating a high profile drugs grant programme for the Irish government.

He said: "I felt it was time that I got my feet back on the ground and I decided that I wanted to work with local people and make a real practical difference.

"I have two main aims for the Trust in the future: 1) To make sure we generate income for local donators and businesses and my challenge is to exceed the income generation the Trust has managed in previous years and 2) to make sure the grants are meeting the needs of community groups and that those with the greatest needs are given appropriate help.

"I'm looking forward to working with a whole range of people in Stevenage so Stevenage - look out!"

Mrs Henry added: "I wish Frank all the best and hope people will continue to support the Trust."

* Stevenage Community Trust, which was formed in 1990 from an idea by the then mayor of Stevenage, Hilda Lawrence, is based on a concept of Community Foundation schemes that have been running for almost 50 years in the United States of America. The Trust has given out over £520,000 in grants since it started.

For more information about the Trust visit www.stevenagecommunitytrust.org

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