We are delighted to welcome Christopher Elliott as the new Chair of Trustees for Welcare. After 6 weeks in his new position, we asked Chris (pictured above with Welcare supporter Bobby Johnson unveiling a plaque marking a recent legacy donation) about his first impressions, and hopes for the future of Welcare.
What did you know about Welcare before you became a trustee?
Before I became a Trustee I was aware of Welcare, particularly in East Surrey since my church, St John’s Redhill, has supported the work of the Centre which has frequently been the beneficiary of our Harvest Festival Gifts. Many years ago, my mother was a member of the Inner Wheel – an organisation which knitted clothes for the babies of unmarried mothers who were supported by Welcare. Having been a trustee of Southwark Diocese I was aware that Welcare is very much a part of the Diocese. Bringing these together it is a great privilege for me now to be Chair of Trustees.
What has surprised/impressed you most about the work of Welcare with children and parents?
Since joining the board in February I have visited the Centres in Redhill and Lambeth, attended a church service organised by our supporters in Bromley and have been to the new office in Community House Bromley. I have been so impressed by the passion of everyone I have met so far in their work for Welcare. Having said earlier that I have always been aware of the charity I have been surprised by the breadth of courses that we run and the extent of the support given to children and families with a wide range of issues needing our care.
What do you hope for Welcare in the next five years?
In Welcare I see an organisation that is well managed with a truly dedicated staff. I would like to see us having a more comfortable financial base with an income that can be used to build up and extend the range of facilities we can provide. There is a clear need in our communities for everything that we offer now and more besides and my hope for the future is that we can continue to draw on our Christian heritage and deliver the high level and wide range of services that we do.
You can read more about Chris’ appointment in a recent feature on Welcare in The Bridge (article can be found on the back page).