Henley Educational Trust (HET) today announced the retirement of Chairman Colin Homent and Finance Trustee Bill Parrish together with the retirement of Clerk to the Trustees, Claire Brown. Active trustee Amanda Heath will be stepping into Colin’s shoes as Chairman and new trustee Sue Bishop will take on Bill’s finance role with immediate effect. Debbie Wermann also joins as a Trustee and Catherine Gosby has been appointed as Clerk to the Trustees.
Speaking on behalf of the HET Trustees, Amanda Heath said, “I am extremely proud to be following in the footsteps of Colin Homent. Colin has been an inspiration during my time as a HET trustee, leading us with Bill Parrish at his side as they worked tirelessly to manage the Trust and consolidate its financial position. Together they have ensured that future generations of Henley’s young people will benefit from educational opportunities both in and out of school and made sure that all have access to an enriching and broad education, irrespective of financial means.”
Ex-Henley Policeman, Colin Homent, joined HET nearly 20 years ago and became Chairman of Trustees in 2005. Colin has been instrumental in raising the profile of the Trust, in promoting it and in making sure that young people of Henley, Bix and Rotherfield Greys and Remenham benefit from the application of the Trust’s funds.
Bill Parrish, joined the Trust in 2006, taking on the responsibility for the management of the Trust’s finances. Under Bill’s stewardship, Trust funds have been managed to maximise grant giving whilst preserving the value of the Trust’s capital. In 2019/2020, the Trust awarded grants totalling £130,740, the highest distribution ever. Bill is a familiar figure in Henley having worked previously as FD of W.H. Brakspear & Sons Limited and taking on voluntary roles notably as Treasurer of the Christ Church Centre, managing the Centre’s redevelopment and as Treasurer of Henley’s Citizens Advice Bureau.
As he handed over the reins, Colin said, “I have thoroughly enjoyed my 20 years with the Henley Educational Trust and am confident that the ongoing team of Trustees will continue to strengthen the Trust to support generations to come. HET was originally set up in 1604 by Lady Perriam. Over four hundred years on, I am sure she would have been pleased with the work Bill and I have contributed to her legacy.”
Bill Parrish confirmed those sentiments, “Working with Colin and the many trustees over my time with the Trust has been rewarding and interesting. It is wonderful to see the pleasure and support we have been able to give our youngsters through our donations.”
Both Colin and Bill will be missed by fellow Trustees but they leave HET in the strongest position it has ever been for the new Trustee body to take forward and to be able to cope with the particular challenges 2020 is throwing up.
The Trust provide grants in three specific ways:
- through individual grants to pupils in need for a variety of educational purposes including musical tuition, school uniform, school trips and sporting activities.
- Via grants direct to state schools in the Henley area and to the Henley College to help support the education of their pupils eg grants to renew reading books or to provide laptops to aid both in-school and virtual learning.
- Via grants to clubs and groups working with young people from Henley and to the Henley Partnership of Schools to enable cross school initiatives such as providing access to vital counselling services.
For more information about how to apply for a grant, find out who is eligible and to see a snapshot of the great work of Henley Educational Trust please visit us at www.henleyeducationaltrust.com.