Bernard, 78 from Kent has just retired as Treasurer for Cruse’s service in Greenwich. He recently won the Management Volunteer award at our special 60th anniversary conference for his dedication and contribution to the service.
Bernard says: “A good friend and neighbour lost her husband at a very early age and she received much support and comfort from the bereavement volunteers at Greenwich Cruse to the extent that she became a volunteer and part of the management committee. Sometime later I was asked by my friend if I would consider replacing the current Treasurer of Greenwich Cruse who wished to retire, and I did so in 2005.
“Since then I have had the opportunity of helping a caring dedicated group of people providing help to those who struggle to endure the pain of bereavement. From the efforts of a dedicated and caring manager, to a constant and committed management committee and to many, many sympathetic bereavement supporters, Cruse Greenwich has grown in substance, ability and capacity. We have added child and young people support, prison visits and walks to the opportunities available to clients.
“My business background has enabled me to, over time, assist the manager and management committee to create systems to record, handle and control the information generated by the ever-increasing volumes of client work and, of course, to satisfy the regulatory recording imposed by an ever-changing society. As with many other charities we face the inevitable challenge of funding. We have been very fortunate to have had the support of a frequently changing health service and have also benefited from significant fundraising by our volunteer fundraisers and supporters. However, it remains a continuing challenge.
“There are many reasons that prompt individuals to consider contributing by voluntary work and I would like to address those who may feel that they do not have the ability or capacity for “front line bereavement support” work. There is much to do before, during and after a client receives help from Cruse, and a few hours assisting those who run or manage what is now a substantial organisation (whether at branch, area, or national level) can provide much value to other members of the team.”
Read more 60 Voices, here.