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Open Country’s first chair and long standing supporter Roy Bousfield retires

Roy Bousfield, who has played a key role in the journey of Harrogate charity Open Country, which enables people with disabilities to access the countryside, has retired from the charity.

Signing up as a volunteer when Open Country was launched in 1990, Mr Bousfield became the charity’s first chair and has since been an active supporter and mentor.

Dedicated to enriching the lives of the disabled, Open Country, headed by project officer David Shaftoe, has delivered wide-ranging countryside activities and training for over two decades. The charity provides fully accessible transport and teams of trained volunteers offer assistance as necessary.

Achieving a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2006 and recognised by the Duke of York’s Community initiative in 2008, Open Country needs to raise over £140,000 annually to continue to provide its services.

Nick Anderson, chairman of Open Country’s board of trustees, awarded Mr Bousfield the title of Honorary Life President – stressing the exceptional contribution he had made over the last 24 years.

Mr Anderson said: Roy has been instrumental in helping Open Country progress from strength to strength – taking on wide ranging and valued roles including volunteer, chair, benefactor and mentor. We thank him profusely for his tireless commitment and support and wish him a long and happy retirement.

Mr Bousfield said: Thank you to all the trustees and staff at Open Country for organising such a splendid get together to mark my retirement from the board and my elevation in status to Honourary Life President.

It was a very moving time for me to think back to 1990 when I started as a volunteer. I hope that the charity’s marvellous work will continue to bring a breath of fresh air to the lives of even more people with disabilities and that Open Country’s approach will be spread to new areas in the future.

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