Harrogate Homeless Project (HHP) has bid a fond farewell to its Chairman of seven years, Brian Turner and welcomed former local councillor and Honorary Alderman Geoff Webber as its new head. Brian has moved to be closer to his family and so had to relinquish the role.
Geoff Webber was unanimously elected Chair by the Management Board of the HHP earlier this week.
Geoff has a long history of public service in Harrogate having been a district councillor for the Duchy ward from 1992 to 2002 and then for the Saltergate ward from 2002 to 2011. He was Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate in 2006. He was also a County Councillor for 12 years.
Having held a large number of voluntary roles in Harrogate, Geoff is well-known in the community and gets hands-on volunteering weekly at Springboard – HHP’s daily lunch drop-in centre. Prior to coming to Harrogate, he had a career in the Royal Air Force with service worldwide.
Commenting following his appointment, Geoff said:
Harrogate Homeless Project do an outstanding job providing shelter for the homeless. But the reason I volunteer with them is because they do much, much more. They help people get back on their feet, into a permanent home and into a job.
The admiration I have for the volunteers and staff never diminishes. They focus on giving people a hand-up rather than a hand-out. It is a charity that breaks the cycle of homelessness and dependency and helps people with often terrible problems and chaotic lives resolve those issues and move on in their lives.
That is why I am so proud to be the new Chairman.
The Homeless Project is currently short of toiletries and is running an appeal for donations of soap, shower gel and toilet rolls. Donations can be dropped off at the Project’s hostel at 7 Bower Street.