Trevor’s Last Day at SSJ

Trevor’s Leaving Do

On Friday, 17th May, SSJ’s Chief Executive, Trevor Pickup retired after 31 years of service to the charity and community.

We celebrated Trevor’s achievements at his retirement party, where we enjoyed a delightful evening reminiscing on the incredible journey SSJ has taken through Trevor’s leadership, as well as the legacy he will leave behind.

We heard speeches from Paddy Hillary (Chair of the Board of Trustees), Andrew Kent (former-patron and Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire), Tony Keall (Operations Director) and Trevor himself.

In Tony’s speech he mentioned the distinctive way Trevor has led us all in his own relaxed way:

“The day SSJ broke into Portsmouth for our first housing project, we went down to meet the staff at the projects. There weren’t enough chairs to go round, everyone started looking a bit awkward. Trevor sat on the floor and encouraged everyone else to take the chairs. The new staff couldn’t believe it and were clearly appreciative. It was also probably telling that the rest of the staff from the head office thought nothing of it, it was just Trevor’s way.”

And Andrew gave thanks to Trevor for moulding SSJ into the incredible charity it is:

“A large part of why SSJ is what it is today is down to Trevor’s stewardship, I’m sure that we will miss him and wish him a great deal of good fortune in whatever he is going to do, apparently going to do some gardening… Just a huge vote of thanks from the community.”

Thank you to Southampton Football Club for hosting us and providing a delicious buffet and wonderful bar service.

We all wish Trevor the best of luck, especially with his allotment. He will be very much missed. 

Goodbye from Trev

After 31 years, the time has come for me to say goodbye, as I leave SSJ and retire, my last day shall be 17th May.   It has been a great privilege to lead this organisation over the years and I leave with many happy memories.

I have kept the advert from 1992 to which I applied.  It says that the Society has a hostel and 8 move on houses with a total of 64 residents and 28 staff (see below).  Obviously, we have grown hugely since then as we have tried to respond to the needs in our communities, with SSJ now employing about 400 staff and collecting rent from over 500 people, as well as supporting many people in accommodation managed by others or through substance misuse, criminal justice or other outreach or floating support services.

It has been a great 31 years and I leave with a wide range of happy and tragic memories, including Patsy, in the photo.   Obviously, the organisation has grown over the years and I apologise to the Board for not really giving SSJ a period of consolidation it was looking for, as suggested in the advert below.  I have really enjoyed the opportunity to innovate, diversify and develop new services and activities and there have been a huge number of opportunities for that.

I have always wanted to avoid leaving SSJ during a period of crisis, and I am pleased to be leaving at a time when the finances are fairly stable, SMT are well established, our reputation is good and there are grounds for optimism for the future.

However, my successor will have a huge number of challenges, dealing with new legislative and regulatory requirements, a new political agenda and the constant need to develop and improve our infrastructure and services.  I don’t expect to be changing my phone number and SMT are free to give me a call if there is a document they can’t find etc.   I have every confidence they will do fine without me.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me cards and to those who came to my leaving do, last week.  I really appreciate your kind thoughts.

Once I retire, I hope to spend more time on the allotment, to have a few holidays

And help with my grandson, who is 8 days old today.

Tania, the new Chief Exec will be starting on 24th June and in the meantime Andy Powell will be the acting Chief Exec.

I wish you all the best