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Sunday, 15 December 2019
THE Chiltern Centre in Henley has presented long service awards to a volunteer and a member of staff.
Finance director Ruth Luckett and paid fund-raiser Emma Lerche-Thomsen have worked with the charity, which supports disabled adults and their families, for 10 years.
They each received an engraved crystal vase at a special ceremony at the centre, off Greys Road, attended by chairman of trustees Paul Barrett, finance administrator Karen Holland and centre manager Gareth Groves.
Mrs Luckett, who is a volunteer, said: “I initially joined because it’s a very worthwhile institution. I suppose I enjoy feeling that I’m doing something better and worthwhile for the community. It’s good to have a purpose.
“I have some experience dealing with disabled family members as I have a niece with Down syndrome and friends with disabled children. I know how difficult it is for them to live a normal life.”
Mrs Thomsen, who organises fund-raising events, became involved with the centre because it supports a friend’s daughter.
She said: “She’s the same age as my daughter, coming up on 26 now, and I just felt I wanted to support this because it kept their family together and a lot of other families together. I joined the centre as its community fund-raiser and over the years I have done 50 events, including the Ice Ball in 2009 with Annie Abbey Quinn, and raised £200,000.
“I’m as proud now as I was on day one and it’s a pleasure being part of the team.”
She thanked Mr Barrett for his “unfailing support” and belied in her over the years.
Mr Barrett said both women had made “very sizeable contributions” to the charity.
He said: “Emma has been involved with us both as a community fund-raiser and more recently as a specialist counsellor and adviser to us with specific responsibility for our Friends initiative.
Ruth has been our finance director. I think Chancellor of the Exchequer is in her sights.
“She has helped the centre thrive through some very challenging times, particularly in 2010 when we nearly went out of business.
“Since then we have made significant progress in securing our financial viability because we have a capable team.
“Both of them have made a huge contribution to the management and trustee boards. They have gone far beyond the call of duty.”
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