Celebrating our Trustees & their stories

Published on: November 9, 2023

Today we are thanking our wonderful trustees who dedicate their valuable time to provide us with crucial support, knowledge and guidance. Our trustees have a strong passion and belief for SAVS and work tirelessly behind the scenes to steer all of the work that we do. The group are committed to seeing an empowered and thriving VCFSE sector in Southend and the strengthening of communities across the city.

For Trustees’ Week this year, our Trustees wanted to share their stories and explain what led them to become a Trustee and what they enjoy the most about being on our board.

Gabrielle Rydings – Chair of Trustees

I was looking to make a contribution to my local community and as Trustee was able to do so drawing on my core skills. There are many appealing aspects to the role and I have gained far more than I have given in terms of my own learning about my community.

The formal purpose of a Trustee is to oversee the strategic direction and effective running of the organisation and it is hard to overstate the importance of this role. Good governance allows those who provide the funds – individual and corporate donors as well as public bodies commissioning services – to have confidence that their money is spent wisely, and that the services provided are fit for purpose.

That’s the vital aspect to the role but to do this well, a Trustee needs to gain a practical insight into what the organisation does, and this is the fun bit! The more you get to know the organisation, its staff, volunteers and those it seeks to assist, the more effective you can be as a Trustee. And I have found the people involved to be awe-inspiring in their dedication to the cause, their sincerity and their determination to improve lives in our community. I am really pleased to be able to make whatever contribution I can to their endeavours.

Chris Debond – Trustee

Having worked in the charity and social care sector for nearly 25 years I can see and appreciate all of the great, and at times, unappreciated work that is done by these organisations.

Quite often there is never enough funding or resources to meet the ever-growing need and part of my way to try and help is to offer my skills and experience to a local organisation that provide such a wide range of support and opportunities to its local community such as SAVS. If I can help grow and develop organisations so that they can have the resources to meet even greater need then I will take great pride in being part of that team.

Janice Walker – Trustee

When I retired, I wanted to do something whereby I could still use my business experience and make a contribution to my community. I looked around and picked SAVS because they cover such a wide range of projects and help to combat a variety of issues faced by our residents. Even though I have been a trustee for quite a while, I stilI enjoy the involvement and commitment that you can have as a trustee and, as they say you are never to old to learn something new.

David Hurst – Trustee

I became a trustee because I wanted to make use of my business experience, knowledge and contacts to help others. The reward is the opportunity to guide an organisation to aspire to be the best in its field.

Adrian Buggle – Treasurer

I became a trustee at SAVS because I wanted to be involved in the charitable sector and do something that would benefit others as well as personally rewarding to me. I spent a large part of my professional career working for Southend Hospital and although this was in a Financial role, and therefore not ‘patient facing’, I still felt I was an important part of an organisation that was dedicated to helping the people of Southend. I have thoroughly enjoyed the small role that I have played as a trustee at SAVS and it has been a joy to witness the valuable range of services that it provides and the dedication and enthusiasm of the staff that I have come into contact with.

Paul Hill – Trustee

I spent a whole career in the Fire Service and decided I wanted to keep working, but would only do what I wanted and:
1, I would work in a field that supported vulnerable people and/or children in my community
2. I would not work for the public sector.

I started by helping a number of charities to merge, then worked for a foundation that offered grants to local charities. All those experiences persuaded me that the most vulnerable were children and adults with care and support needs who were subject to exploitation and abuse – naturally leading me towards my current Safeguarding Partnership (Childrens and Adults) Manager role. (failed on decision 2! – helping services including Police, Local Authority and Health work together – I couldn’t be more embedded in the public sector!)

Throughout my working life I have been privileged to work alongside the most amazing people in the charity and volunteer sector, and some 10 years ago decided the best way to help was use any talent I had to support their work. I’m not the best fundraiser or child worker, councillor or befriender but I can do strategy, planning, management, detail, policy, procedure, data security and governance – I believe a trustee is there to help create an environment where the best outcomes can be achieved by their (always) amazing volunteers and staff. I find it a privilege to work with people with drive and passion, in a flexible and innovative industry that works for our community.

My life is enriched by my experience as a trustee, a sense or worth, and belonging…. If you find the right charity that shares your passion it’s nothing like work, it’s more like family – why wouldn’t you help if someone needs it?

If you’re interested in becoming a Trustee, there are always some fantastic opportunities for you to support a charity. Click here to see the latest opportunities

Share this page with others

Community News

  • FREE ‘Lunch and Learn’ webinars by A Better Start Southend
  • Greater Essex Domestic Abuse Service Redesign
  • Successful March Events for St Vincent’s Centre, Southend
  • Community Dementia Support Services Online Survey

Community Information

  • Volunteer opportunities at the Cluny Square Community Cafe
  • Fifth Sense
  • Introducing the SSP Community Forum
  • The Change Hub – Service Overview

Join our Mailing List

Stay up to date with the latest News, Events, Jobs and Funding Opportunities in Southend.