Trust rings in changes at their AGM

Will Carter plays Amazing Grace as a tribute to David Gray.

The Westlake United Church Trust (WUCT) bade farewell to both of their Davids at their annual general meeting on Monday August 1.

Chairman of the board of trustees, David Gray, and general manager David Barnes retired in July and August respectively.

Mr Barnes said: “The new GM is Richard Saner. I will continue to serve on the board as a trustee. I have been a trustee for two years.”

Harold Stemmet, another trustee, would take over the chairmanship, Mr Barnes said.

“The changes have been planned for some time now and form part of WUCT’s succession strategy going forward. It’s a very exciting time for the trust,” he said.

In his chairperson’s report Mr Gray thanked Mr Barnes for his management.

“Managing an operation with a staff of 60 is no mean feat, and we must thank the board of trustees for strategically guiding us through 2015.

“At the same time, we want to thank Dave Barnes and his management team who have the day-to-day operations on track.

“Dave has been a pillar of strength at WUCT over the years, and we will certainly miss him. Thank you Dave for all the time and energy you have put into the work here in Westlake.”

This year, the trust also said goodbye to Susan Eleanor Lawrence who had been part of Emmanuel Educare Preschool since it’s inception (“Eleanor says goodbye to Emmanuel Educare,” Bulletin, April 21). Ms Lawrence retired in January after 15 years of service.

According to the annual report, among the trust’s highlights for the year was a visit by international students.

“We were fortunate to have a team of MBA students from Henley Business School (London, UK) come to WUCT and use us as part of an NPO study, wherein they examined our reputation and responsibilities, as experienced by internal and external stakeholders. The report they submitted to us has provided invaluable recommendations, and suggested strategies for the way forward,” said the report.

Management committee members Anthea Thebus and Di Forrester described what had been done in the community advice office and children’s programmes in the annual report.

Ms Thebus wrote that the community was helped daily with getting grants and filling out job registration forms as well as services such as typing, photocopying and faxes.

“We contacted the relevant authorities for queries involving wheelie bins, blocked drains, water and electricity problems,” she said.

Ms Forrester described how 49 orphans and vulnerable children had taken part in the annual summer camp at the Rotary Campsite in Glencairn, in January.

“One of the children commented that the best thing about the camp was that she had her own bed to sleep in,” she wrote.

Of the lifeskills and support groups, Ms Forrester said: “We continue to run our support group for 10 children focussing on grief and loss.”

Once the children complete the grief counselling programme they become part of a life skills group, Ms Forrester said.

“By the end of the year, there were over 50 children attending all the groups,” she said.

For more information or to support the trust, call 021 702 1697.