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Dorset Community Foundation appoints chair-elect as quartet of trustees join board

FORMER charity chief executive and businessman Tom Flood is the chair-elect of Dorset Community Foundation.

Tom, who took over at the helm of The Conservation Volunteers during a 26-year career there, became involved with the community foundation when he set up a fund supporting young people in memory of his late partner Paul Cornes.

He will take over the role from Jeremy Mills in December and is one of four new trustees to join the community foundation since the end of last year.

Dorset Community Foundation director Grant Robson said:

“I’d like to thank Jeremy Mills for all of the support and encouragement he has given over the past few years. His contribution has been enormous.”

The chairman-elect said:

“I am enormously proud and honoured to be asked to be the chair-elect because my personal interest means I would like this organisation to be a real shining light of Dorset. With the new trustees coming in, we have a great opportunity, with the calibre and the background of these people, to do that.”

Mr Flood, who also had a sales career with 3M, moved to Dorset in 2012 with his partner, who was a passionate advocate for young peoples’ education. Mr Cornes was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2017 and died last year.

He said:

“Paul always told me to aim high and go for it. He’s the reason I’m involved, and he’s the reason I will approach this with total passion and professionalism because I couldn’t possibly let him down.”

Former chief fire officer Terry Standing will become the community foundation’s new vice-chair after joining at the end of last year.

The passionate sailer will combine the new role with his ‘day job’ of skippering the 72ft former BT Global Challenge yachts for The Tall Ships Youth Trust. 

Mr Standing, who spent 31 years in the fire and rescue service, ending his career as Gloucestershire’s Chief Fire Officer,  only took up sailing 12 years ago but is now a qualified yacht master.

He said:

“I’m quite late to sailing, but generally, when I get involved with something, I like to do it well. 

“I am at sea ten or 11 months of the year, but I manage to fit work for Dorset Community Foundation into that as well because I want to make a difference.”

While in Gloucestershire, he became involved with the community foundation there, eventually being appointed vice-chair, so he knows all about their qualities.

He said:

“We are that golden thread that links wealthy people in the county with those who are disadvantaged through a range of charities and individuals, so I do see it as the number one place for supporting communities.”

New trustee Deb Appleby also knows all about the value of community foundations after being chief executive of Quartet, the community foundation for South Gloucestershire, Bristol and Bath and North Somerset.

She also has a background in local authorities after a spell at Dorset Council and was also involved at Surrey Community Foundation and a large national charity funder.

Last year, she left her last role but responded to a plea for voluntary assessors for Dorset Coronavirus Community Fund grants last March.

She said:

“I believe in community foundations because they have a unique ability to match funders who have a care for their local community with people who are rolling their sleeves up and doing something about it.”

When Louise Coulton and her husband Rob bought a holiday flat in Southbourne six years ago as a respite from life in London, she had no idea it would lead to becoming a trustee in her adopted county.

She said:

“We started coming down on a Saturday and going back on a Sunday. Then it was coming down on Friday, and then it was going back on Monday, we gradually spent more and more time here. Three years ago, we sold our house in London and made a permanent move here.”

After a 25-year career in financial services, 14 in compliance, starting with the Financial Services Regulator, she said she can use her experience to aid the community foundation.

She said:

“I want to do something where I am giving something back where I can actually use the skills I have developed to really help people’s lives and help improve the community.”

Mr Robson said of the new additions to the board:

“It’s a very challenging time for the voluntary sector, but it is also exciting for us to bring all of this experience and knowledge on board. The responsibility we have to communities in Dorset is greater than ever, but having such energy and expertise behind us will be an enormous asset.” 

Find out more about the work of Dorset Community Foundation by visiting: dorsetcommunityfoundation.org.

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