After nine years on our Board of Trustees, Keith Richards has chaired his final meeting.
Keith has seen the charity blossom and evolve during his time with the organisation.
Here we catch up with him and talk about his highs and lows being part of Shared Lives South West.
• What made you decide to join the board of trustees at SLSW all those years ago?
I took early retirement in 2010 at a time when my wife and I were taking on the responsibility of looking after three close relatives, all in their nineties. A voluntary role was something I wanted to consider and found out about SWAPS, as it was called then.I didn’t look any further. I was already on a quick learning curve re adult social care, and the ‘Shared Lives’ concept was simply inspirational.
• If you could sum up your time as a trustee, how would you summarise it?
It’s been occasionally challenging, but mostly fun and always rewarding.
• What would you say you are most proud of in your time as a trustee with SLSW?
I’m most proud of our ‘outstanding’ rating from the Care Quality Commission. It gives a great platform for future growth.
• What will you miss about the charity and the role?
I’ll miss all the amazing people that make our charity and the inspirational achievements of those that use our services.
• Now you’ll have a little more time on your hands, what will you fill your time with?
I will be volunteering. I recently joined the board of Westbank, a health and care charity based at Exminster. As to home life, Pauline and I have a 40th wedding anniversary coming up. We’re renting a Spanish villa and inviting family to come and enjoy the pool with us. Trouble is I can’t swim. Maybe time to learn?
• If someone is thinking about becoming a trustee with us what would you say to them?
In return for giving your time and your experience, you’ll be joining an amazing group of people.
• What do you think the future holds for SLSW?
It must be a coincidence that our future has never looked brighter, just as I’m leaving!
• At his last meeting with Shared Lives South West, Keith was presented with a world Atlas signed by all staff by our CEO Dominic Spayne.
We wish him all the very best for the future and we are grateful for the time he has dedicated to Shared Lives South West.