On Thursday 15th July we commemorated the retirement of two esteemed colleagues. David Robinson has been a volunteer for our organisation since 1985 when his employer, a local well-established accountancy firm, seconded a full-time staff member over to our newly established organisation. David felt motivated to get involved and give support and guidance to individuals as they set up their own enterprise. Over the years David has been Chairman, Treasurer and even acting CEO through the years.
David’s contribution to our organisation has taken Start Up Croydon from a small peppercorn rent organisation to an established charity that owns and runs its own business hub. This building named after our founder Bernard Weatherill Snr generates income that drives our incubator programme thus impacting local people with information and breeding confidence for local people to start their own ventures.
Anna Burke has been a facilitator on our training programmes for the past 4 years at the forefront of our impact and has many personal relationships with our clients. It is now time for Anna to hang up her reigns and enjoy other aspects of life.
We wanted to send them off in style and celebrate both Anna and David’s achievements but as we had to follow the ever-changing government guidelines, we decided to hold our gathering with fewer people at the local bandstand, and what a lovely occasion it was.
The Mayor of Croydon, Cllr Sherwan Chowdhury was in attendance, who presented David with a certificate of appreciation from the Mayor’s office in appreciation of his dedicated and distinguished leadership and notable personal inspiration to Start Up Croydon and its beneficiaries.
He also presented our lifelong president Geoffrey Dove and recently retired Bernard Weatherill with citations – this was greatly received and much appreciated as we later found out that Bernard had actually passed away while the ceremony was taking place. Bernard’s family were greatly touched by the poignancy of this occasion.
In addition, we took the chance to celebrate three cohorts of our incubator programme who had all missed out on graduation celebrations due to the pandemic and restrictions. As we could only invite limited numbers, we could not celebrate with all participants. However, the winners and runners up from all three cohorts were able to join us and all received certificates to acknowledge their fantastic achievements from our chairman Fintan O’Toole.
We celebrated in style using the beautiful bandstand as our backdrop and the weather even stayed dry for us.
We are forever grateful to our founders, volunteers, staff and participants as we maintain our training programmes and continue to impact more people.
If you are interested in joining our community to learn, volunteer or donate please get in touch.
Or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about our future strategy and how to donate.
Party-in-the-Park moments captured by YJB Photography: www.yjbphotography.co.uk
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