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Message from the Chairman Jim Yates

Written on 21 May 2019 Posted under: News


I am pleased and honoured and somewhat surprised, to be nominated as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. I am sure that David Lambert will be a difficult act to follow and the whole board thanks him for his contribution, dedication and guidance over the years.

It is a little more than two years since I got a call from my good friend and former Open University tutor, Eddie Hurst. He asked me if I would consider becoming a trustee of Being There – at the time, I didn’t even know what a Trustee was! His call however, was timely. I was in the process of running down my consultancy business with a view to retirement after a career in project management, management consultancy and management education. I was also thinking that I would find a suitable charity to volunteer for.

As I learned more about the role of the Trustee, I realised that my experience both as a director in and advisor to medium sized business would be very relevant. Charities need to operate in a cost effective and lean way, owner managed businesses are much the same with a constant need to do more with less. Hopefully, I will be able to bring relevant knowledge and experience to Being There to meet the challenges of the future.

The services offered by Being There also resonated with me in a very personal way. My late mother had been taken seriously ill a year or so before I got Eddie’s call. I was her only close relative but lived 150 miles away. Fortunately, being self-employed, I was able to schedule my work to take her to important appointments. She also had an extensive support network of neighbours, friends and fellow parishioners who rallied round to take her to appointments at different locations, sit with her and do some of her errands. Had she not had this support, I would have really struggled to be there for her.

As a result, I recognise the importance of the services Being There provides to those who are not fortunate enough to have this level of support. So, the call from Eddie was both timely and appropriate.

I look forward to working with my fellow trustees, management, staff and volunteers to provide these vital services in increasingly challenging times. I hope that I will be able to justify the confidence they have placed in me.

I would be delighted to hear from anyone who has any suggestions on how we can expand, develop and improve our services.