Here at Sydenham Garden we know that it’s a real privilege to welcome people. Our wonderful staff and volunteers are doing this many times every day – being able to offer an acknowledgement of someone’s unique identity because of the strength of the community life we have built here. It’s probably the most important thing we do.
For me it was an easy privilege to welcome Tom here in 2013 and it has been an ongoing privilege to work alongside him until this summer. I witnessed early on his deep appreciation of what the charity had been trying to do since its beginnings and then saw not only how he made this understanding his own but how he went on to develop and deepen what we do in a way which would have been difficult to imagine in those early days.
And I guess that’s the thing that I – (and I hope all of us) are most grateful to Tom for – keeping us focussed on those whom we try to serve. Challenging as it must have been at times to do this, Tom was constantly there to encourage us to give of our best and by doing so to bring out the best in others. This kind of commitment is costly and we are deeply grateful that Tom was so present for all our staff, volunteers and co-workers over the last 6 years.
We wish Tom, Jo, Sally Jane and Thomas a wonderfully happy future in Northumberland.
Dr Jim Sikorski, Honorary President