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Trustees’ Week

Trustees' Week

To celebrate Trustees’ Week we’re taking a look at our own trustees and all the good work they do.

For those who might not know, trustees are an integral part of any charity, utilising their leadership and expertise to steer the direction the charity takes, working hard to ensure that every decision helps the organisation to achieve their goals. They draw no income as they give their time as volunteers, but take on the mantle of responsibility for the welfare of their chosen charity.

According to government research (Taken on Trust) published by Trustees Week back in 2017, over a million people are trustees in the United Kingdom. Currently the Uckfield Volunteer Centre has five; Our Chairman Paul Sparks, Treasurer John Carvey, Centre Manager Ann Montier, and Trustees  Jane Sambrook and Paul Meakin

Paul Sparks has been dedicated to helping the community for many years, previously a county councillor, he is currently a town and Wealden councillor for the East Ward. He is also the chairman of a dementia forum for Uckfield, Treasurer of Uckfield U3A, a Governor for Holy Cross Primary School, and a Trustee for Uckfield PHAB club who run activities for people with disabilities.

As Chairman of the Volunteer Centre, we couldn’t undertake half of what we do without his direction and assistance.

John Carvey used to work for Dawson Hart Solicitors in the financial department, now he’s retired he is heavily involved throughout the community, becoming President of the Uckfield Lions, he was the Mayor of Uckfield for three years, a former district and town councillor, he also became Chairman of the Uckfield Neighbourhood Planning Group in 2016.

John is tireless with his efforts to assist the various organisations and charities around Uckfield, assisting us as treasurer by applying his years of experience and expertise with figures.

Ann Montier has given eleven years of service to the centre, taking on the role of manager in 2013. Wherever she might be Ann is ever present in maintaining the running of the Volunteer Centre, often being the public face and interacting with the community. Ann’s leadership and skillset cannot be overstated, without her the Volunteer Centre would not be the success it is today.

 Jane Sambrook, a former childcare worker for thirty-six years, she became deputy manager in a secure unit before retiring in the summer of 2015, immediately offering her services to our group as a volunteer. Jane has since gone on to become a trustee, and having volunteered with her since I joined myself, I can say that she is one of the hardest working individuals I have witnessed. Jane embodies the warm welcome people hope for when coming through the door,and lending her knowledge and skills to helping direct our charity is only a boon.

Paul Meakin has recently been elected to join our Board.  A former Town Councillor, Paul shares the Trustees desire to see the Volunteer Centre grow, develop and serve our community. I am sure The Centre will benefit from Pauls vast experience and skills.

Trustees often go under the radar when acknowledging the good work that charities do. Whilst some volunteer too and others focus entirely on helping decide the direction a charity takes, without them charities would struggle immensely to continue operating, and that is certainly the case with our own.

Their efforts are often entirely behind the scenes; securing funding, balancing the budget, keeping the charity and their work relevant within the community, or making the sometimes tough decisions we rarely hear about.

My thanks to our own trustees.

If you would like to become a trustee, feel free to look at trustees’ week’s website (, and enquire at the charity of your choice. If you have knowledge and/or skills that you feel would be of benefit, they would almost certainly love to hear from you, it never hurts to ask! Charities are always looking for fresh help.

 Written by Neil Sonsthagen.