Current Trustees at Assist

Sue Gamble (Chair)

Chris Cordingly (vice Chair)

Sang Bradby

Alan Hewitt

Tracey Hughes

Matthew Langley

Linda Cullum

Katherine Genders

Paul Rao

Between them, the Trustees at Assist bring a wide range of skills and experience to the roles they undertake. At monthly meetings and via a number of sub-committees (such as finance, HR, risk and safeguarding) they keep a clear overview of all functions and operations at Assist, making sure that the finances, aims and objectives of the Trust are maintained satisfactorily at all times. With backgrounds in social care, health, education, business, property and finance, the Trustees are able to provide essential support to the management team at the Trust, while taking a more direct role in all strategy and planning discussions.

 

Message from the Trustees – November 2017

The members at Assist continue to achieve beyond all expectations and the board of Trustees at Assist are determined to ensure the Trust can continue providing the support and opportunities individuals need to progress even further.

It can be a challenging job to sustain the running of a busy and complex organisation like Assist in consistently effective and innovative ways, especially when funds are squeezed at every level. However, the board is happy to report that the quality of all facilities and resources continues to rise at Assist, thanks largely to the positive and committed group of staff playing their parts at all levels and to the continued support and generosity of our many friends, partners and funders.

As the board of Trustees, our job is to help ensure that everything keeps running smoothly at Assist, that funds are spent wisely, that all risks to the charity are mitigated against and that the charity continues to work to it’s mission of supporting individuals with learning disabilities to become more independent in their lives. We also endeavour to support the whole team at Assist and the managers in particular, as they run day to day operations and plan carefully for the future – listening carefully to the thoughts, wishes and aspirations of the members attending.

Here are the details of some of the promises kept over the past year, as well as some of the plans being put in place for the future success of all the members attending Assist:

Fundraising Success and Promises Kept

Funds were raised to enable mains electricity to be connected to the Heath Gardens site this year, after many years of making do with the on site generator and various cumbersome arrangements for the kitchen operations in particular. The significant amount secured from a variety of Trusts and Foundations – a hugely impressive £51,000+ – will also allow for a complete refurbishment of the kitchen, with fully accessible facilities installed once improvements are completed.

Fundraising has also been continuing on all fronts this year and we are again enormously grateful to the many individuals, grant making Trusts and Foundations that have supported the enhanced services we are now able to provide to the members.

The outcomes detailed on this website are testament to the extremely successful employment and travel training schemes that have been developed due to the support received under the Independent Living scheme. At the same time, opportunities for the members to develop vital work skills have been greatly improved by the continued success of the Norman Centre cafe – a project again supported by many of our generous friends around the county and beyond.

Future Plans

As well as continuing to develop and improve all the facilities and services available at Assist in ways described above, Assist is planning to answer the growing needs and ambitions of the members in the following ways:

– By providing more housing opportunities to all members attending, focusing on those in urgent and pressing need first. If fundraising on this front is successful, it is hoped that a new Housing Officer can be recruited in order to have someone on board who can concentrate solely on this complex area of work.

– By again asking our many backers to fund more employment and travel training support, in order to help the growing number of members who are keen to progress in these areas.

– By improving and developing all existing facilities and resources at Assist, in order to provide high quality support for all members attending, at all levels of their development.

– By continuing positive discussions with managers and representatives at Norfolk County Council, to help them use the positive, innovative and affordable model of work at Assist as a benchmark to help improve services for all adults with learning disabilities in the region. These conversations also aim to secure the future of the Trust by helping Social Service departments recognise the value of the services available at Assist, encouraging greater investment into schemes that genuinely encourage independence and prevent greater future need in the individuals attending.

 

While times are certainly challenging for all providers in the care and support arena at the moment (at least at the time of writing) the board of Trustees at Assist remains convinced that the charity can continue supporting it’s members successfully long into the future. As long as the Trust remains as efficient and as effective as it has been to date, the innovative, affordable and extremely successful model of work being employed will ensure it’s popularity amongst those who may wish to attend, as well as amongst those who decide how public funds should be spent.