Paul steps down from char­ity role

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

AWEST Lan­cashire man has re­tired from Barnardo’s af­ter spend­ing 26 years with the chil­dren’s char­ity.

Paul Wil­cox, 60, who lives in Bick­er­staffe with his wife Ar­lene, hopes to con­tinue pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple in the area by de­vel­op­ing a cy­cle char­ity scheme that will of­fer ap­pren­tice­ships by recycling bikes and giv­ing them to peo­ple in Africa.

Paul started his ca­reer as a res­i­den­tial so­cial worker in Pre­ston at the age of 18, be­fore mov­ing to Leeds, where he went on to work with vul­ner­a­ble fam­i­lies.

He then man­aged a youth jus­tice team in Lon­don for sev­eral years, be­fore see­ing an ad­vert for Barnardo’s to work with vul­ner­a­ble chil­dren in Liver­pool.

Af­ter mak­ing the move back up north to work with Barnardo’s, Paul has never looked back, and moved up through the char­ity to be­come a chil­dren’s ser­vices man­ager, work­ing in var­i­ous ser­vices to sup­port chil­dren from of­fend­ing be­hav­iour and work­ing with fam­ily sup­port.

Paul spent the last 16 years of his ca­reer at Barnardo’s as an as­sis­tant direc­tor, re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the char­ity’s chil­dren’s ser­vices in Lan­cashire, which in­clude sev­eral sup­ported ac­com­mo­da­tion projects for young peo­ple at risk of home­less­ness in Pre­ston and More­cambe, sup­port ser­vices for young car­ers, pro­vid­ing short breaks for chil­dren with ad­di­tional needs/dis­abil­i­ties and par­tic­i­pa­tion work to give a voice to young peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and those who are in care.

Dur­ing his time at Barnardo’s, in ad­di­tion to man­ag­ing ser­vices sup­port­ing chil­dren and fam­i­lies, Paul has been in­volved with nu­mer­ous high pro­file fundrais­ing ini­tia­tives.

As a keen cy­clist, Paul took part in a 362-mile spon­sored bike ride from An­gle­sey to Lon­don over five days in 2016 and has pre­vi­ously cy­cled from Lands End to John O’Groats.

To cel­e­brate the char­ity’s 150th an­niver­sary, Paul set up an ini­tia­tive along­side Cot­ton Court busi­ness cen­tre in Pre­ston, in which more than 350 pledges were made by lo­cal busi­nesses, of­fer­ing their time, skills or pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties within their work for young peo­ple sup­ported by Barnardo’s across Lan­cashire.

Most re­cently, Paul was in­volved in a joint ini­tia­tive this sum­mer with Barnardo’s re­tail stores which saw more than £57,000 fundraised by the char­ity’s stores in only four weeks, all of which will go di­rectly to sup­port­ing Barnardo’s chil­dren’s ser­vices in Lan­cashire and sur­round­ing re­gions.

Paul said: “I came into the pro­fes­sion to try to make a dif­fer­ence in chil­dren’s lives, and see­ing young peo­ple re­alise their dreams, have a brighter fu­ture and suc­ceed in some way has given me such a huge sense of do­ing some­thing pos­i­tive.

“I will truly miss work­ing at Barnardo’s as there are some great peo­ple do­ing great work be­hind the scenes.

“I have also had the priv­i­lege of work­ing with lots of amaz­ing or­gan­i­sa­tions over the years, in­clud­ing UCLAN and Cot­ton Court, who are big sup­port­ers of Barnardo’s and will­ing to go to great lengths to aid the char­ity in its work.

“How­ever, I am also look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to travel and see more of the world with my won­der­ful wife, Ar­lene, and to my new project de­vel­op­ing a char­ity scheme to pro­vide ap­pren­tice­ships for young peo­ple in part­ner­ship with the Velo Café in Cros­ton.”

In his re­tire­ment, Paul also plans to carry on work­ing as a direc­tor for Bick­er­staffe Lodge, a not for profit nurs­ery, go rid­ing with his lo­cal cy­cle club, Mid­dle­ton Cy­cle Club, and most im­por­tantly wants to spend more time with his wife and their daugh­ter, Abigail.

Paul also plans to com­mit to do­ing three things a week to fo­cus on his health and well­be­ing, fam­ily and friends, and self-im­prove­ment, in­clud­ing try­ing things he has never done be­fore, such as learn­ing to bake, ball­room danc­ing and learn­ing to play ta­ble ten­nis.

Paul will be greatly missed by all staff and young peo­ple that have worked with him at Barnardo’s and he is wished ev­ery hap­pi­ness in his re­tire­ment.

Paul Wil­cox has re­tired af­ter 26 years with Barnardo’s. In­set, Paul on a cy­cling fundraiser in Ma­jorca

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