Council chair chooses Minstead Trust as charity of the year

Vice-chairman Councillor David Hawkins (left) and Councillor Neville Penman (right)

This article was originally published on the New Forest District Council website.

14 July 2023

Councillor Neville Penman has chosen his two charities of the year after being appointed Chairman of New Forest District Council for the year 2023/24.

Councillor Penman has chosen Minstead Trust and Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity as the two charities that he will support during his year in office.

Minstead Trust supports more than 300 people with learning disabilities to develop their potential and enjoy fulfilling lives of their own choosing.

The Trust also runs six social businesses, including Furzey Gardens in Minstead and Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton, to help people to develop their employment skills.

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports families caring for seriously ill children, providing emotional and practical support to families. This support includes sitting with a seriously ill child in hospital, driving families to appointments, organising activities for siblings and providing bereavement support.

Cllr Penman said: “I am very much looking forward to representing the district at civic and community events over the coming year, alongside supporting and promoting these two fantastic charities, who do such valuable work for those in our communities.”

Cllr Penman represents our Totton North Ward and has been a member of New Forest District Council since 2011.

Adam Dodd, CEO of Minstead Trust, said: “Having Councillor Penman’s support is a really fundamental part of our aim to raise awareness of the positive roles and contributions that people with learning disabilities can make in their local communities, if given the right support. What better way of doing that then through the Chairman of New Forest District Council. We are looking forward to working with Councillor Penman to find the best opportunities of putting people with learning disabilities at the forefront of this special year.”

Oonagh Goodman, Director of Fundraising and Marketing at Rainbow Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Councillor Penman for choosing to support Rainbow Trust and can’t wait to hear more about the fundraising plans for New Forest District Council over the next twelve months. When a child has a serious illness, family life is turned upside down and time becomes more precious than ever.

“It’s brilliant when the communities that we serve support us to raise funds and awareness so that we can continue to help families caring for a child who has been diagnosed with a life threatening or terminal illness.”

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