A trustee who has been with a Southampton wellbeing and health charity for 20 years and has been its longest-running chair is passing on the baton to the next generation.
Les Judd has vowed to continue as a trustee at SCiA but has taken a step back from his chairmanship after eight years in the role.
Dan Freshwater, CEO at SCiA explained:
“We are indebted to Les for his long service and commitment to our charity and are delighted that he’ll be continuing as a trustee with us for the foreseeable future. It’s very unusual for someone to be a trustee for so many years and to have held the post of chair for so long too. It shows great dedication and enthusiasm for our organisation and our work here in Southampton and Hampshire at a grassroots level in the neediest neighbourhoods and communities. He is our longest serving trustee and chair so far.
“Les has been with our organisation for two-thirds of its existence having joined when it was known as SCA Community Care Services and then SCA Support Services. He now hands over the reins to Edward Hickman who is our new chair. Edward has been a trustee with us for around eight years and has a lot of experience and knowledge. We’re very much looking forward to his chairmanship and are very pleased that we’ll still have Les’ expertise on the board too.
“Our trustees are accountable for everything we do and take on a great deal of responsibility, legally, for the organisation in an unpaid capacity. Without them, we would not be able to function and support those in our community who vitally need our help.”
Prior to retiring, Les was a manager in the NHS in the area for 38 years and was involved with community care, service planning and commissioning. When the charity was set up, he was aware of the original founder and team and was asked by them to become involved.
“It’s a very rewarding role, especially as I know the sector well from my time at work and can contribute a lot from my experiences and have expertise with regards managing teams. It’s a volunteer role with no payment. It can be challenging and rewarding in equal measure. It’s very important to have a balanced set of trustees on a board with a range of diversity and experience, as the more expertise available the better.
“I enjoy supporting the staff at SCiA, as they all go that extra mile to enhance the lives of those they care for. I am delighted that Edward has taken over my role as the new chair, as it’s important now in the charity’s development for new blood to come in. There are several longstanding board members like Edward and I who are able to share their experience and knowledge of SCiA. We also have some new trustees who joined us last year. Together those of us who have been around for more than seven or eight years can share our knowledge of the charity with those who have recently joined. It’s also great to have new people with different skill sets and perspectives on the board too. Many of the new trustees still have active careers, so it’s really good to have their input, as they have everyday experience of the working world including the latest technology and law.
“As chairman, your input, time-wise, can vary and I always found it beneficial to be as flexible as possible in order to give the management team, as much support as possible. They do an incredible job and often work long hours, so I ensured I was available whenever they needed to contact me for support and as a sounding board. Even though I am no longer chair of the trustees, I will continue to be there for the management team whenever they need me.”
In his spare time, Les likes being with his two grandchildren and gardening on his allotment and in his large garden where he particularly enjoys growing runner beans in the summer months.
“Being outdoors and gardening is proven to be good for wellbeing and both physical and mental health, and this became more apparent during the pandemic. SCiA’s services cover these areas through its sister charity Options Wellbeing Trust, so I am well aware of the current demands for assistance in this area and the waiting list the NHS has. Anxiety has become a major issue. Care recruitment is also an area that we are focusing on and we want to expand our care team to support even more people in the community.
“Working in care is a highly-skilled job that requires ongoing support, resources, and development so that customers have continuity of care. It’s an essential role that improves someone’s life every day and the training and support carers receive with SCiA is second to none. Care in the community is also much more cost-effective than being looked after in a care home and better for the people we support, as they are happier and do well at home.”
SCiA is a group of not-for-profit social enterprises that reinvest any profit back into services to ensure continued support for the communities they are involved with.
For further details, please visit: www.sciagroup.co.uk.