Community group can move forward after recruiting secretaryBy Jennie Slevin
February 12, 2013
A lifeline for community group workers has been saved after its chairman announced he would not be standing down.
Bracknell Forest Federation of Community Groups, known as The Fed, helps link community groups, supports volunteers and liaises with councils, the NHS and the emergency services.
Chairman Ed Glasson had planned to stand down from his demanding role at the group’s annual meeting on Wednesday, January 23 as he was struggling to juggle his workload.
He said: “I was doing the chairman’s work and the secretary’s work and couldn’t cope.
“Over the past few years I’ve been more than happy to combine the two jobs but I just haven’t got the time now. We needed someone to help out.”
Following an appeal, which appeared on getbracknell.co.uk, a new secretary stepped forward days before the meeting.
Volunteer Elizabeth Govier, from Binfield, answered Ed’s calls for help.
She has lived in Bracknell Forest for two years but has many years’ experience of relevant professional and voluntary work in Essex including a spell as a councillor, which should help her in her new role.
Ed said: “It’s going to be a huge help. I was never going to leave The Fed completely, even if I was unable to act as chairman I always would have been a part of it.”
The 69-year-old, from Binfield, was one of the group’s founders in 2002, allowing volunteers from community groups to share advice and information.
Ed said: “When we started we had 44 people and 14 groups.
“Now we support more than 200 people working within 60 groups.
“We’ve grown quite a lot and dealt with all sorts of issues.”
He added: “Working for a community group is a lot of pressure.
“People will wake up in the middle of the night panicking about how they’re going to pay the bills at the community centre and I think it just helps to have someone nearby to talk to and who understands the problems.”
He added: “The problems we would have if there was no chairman or secretary would mean there would be no one to organise meetings and then we couldn’t help anyone.
“We knew that if nobody came forward to help then we would only go one way and that’s towards the exit.
“It would have meant dissolving The Fed so we always stayed hopeful and thankfully we don’t have to face any of those problems.”
More volunteers are needed to come forward and help the registered charity. Contact Chris Cowap of Bracknell Forest Voluntary Action on (01344) 304 404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.