Change of guard at local charity

Leah Norman and Maureen Daley of Homecall
Leah Norman and Maureen Daley of Homecall

Bexhill charity Homecall is losing popular scheme manager Maureen Daley who is about to retire.

She has led the charity for the blind and partially-sighted for five years and is now handing over to Leah Norman.

“I am really going to miss the clients and volunteers the most, because they are such special people.”

Maureen Daley

Maureen told the Observer: “It was a tough decision. I still feel very torn, but I would like to spend more time with my family. However I am very sad - I am leaving my lovely clients and volunteers, whom I have been seeing with Homecall on a daily basis, and I am going to miss it all very much.

“I am really going to miss the clients and volunteers the most, because they are such special people.”

Maureen will not be leaving entirely because she intends to help on the fundraising side of the charity’s work such as the annual open garden event this summer.

Maureen saw her job at Homecall as a type of matchmaking - finding the right volunteer to help out with the right client, whether on a practical level such as reading out the post or going shopping, or simply providing friendship.

Homecall currently has approximately 60 clients with a wide range of needs - some need help with paying bills and administration because they cannot see to read, while others want someone to go for walks or clothes shopping with. Volunteers can contribute in a wide range of ways - whatever feels right for them.

“Homecall is a little charity which makes a big difference.” Maureen said. “Not all our volunteers do practical work, it can be about relieving isolation and loneliness too, just having a cup of tea and a chat. It really does help.”

Leah commented: “Maureen has given me a fantastic handover, she has shown me everything I need to know to be scheme manager. I feel honoured to be given the opportunity to work for Homecall. I have worked for charities for years, it has always been more than a job, and I feel this job will be exactly the same. I am really looking forward to every minute.”

Homecall was established 30 years ago so this is a special anniversary year - clients, volunteers and supporters will be gathering at the home of founder Amanda Hamblin for a celebration. Among them will be president Jenny Private who ran the charity for many years as coordinator in Bexhill and led it through difficult years when it seemed Homecall might not survive. Jenny was awarded the British Empire Medal for her work in 2012.