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  • Writer's pictureNick Hawker

Message from the Chairman

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

It’s rare (if ever before) that I’m able to talk about supporter engagement in such terms, but I was absolutely delighted with the response from our members in respect of the Clifford Hill Training Ground development, and the choice of selecting next years home shirt design.

It demonstrates both Trust and the club’s commitment to involving members in the big decisions. They don’t come along too often but when they do it’s important that they are handled correctly, and I must compliment everybody involved in both events.

When I last wrote an update, we had just held our AGM and I’m delighted to congratulate and welcome Pete Ferlie, Nick Edwards, Julen Beer and Elaine Davis to the Trust Board. I should also send my commiserations to Jon Beer, Alistair Yates, Matt Phillips, and Mick Sinclair.

I would like to make special mention of Jon who had served as a Trustee the past three years. I don’t believe that Jon had missed a single meeting during his tenure, he entertained our Directors for the Day at home games and was a frequent Trust representative in AWAY board rooms. I’m certain that the Trust Board would want me to wish Jon well as he starts his university life in Manchester!

We also said goodbye to Yasmin Western and Peter Holding, both of whom chose not to re-stand as Trustees. Like Jon, Yasmin is working hard at university and Pete Holding, one of our longest serving Trustees, has chosen to retire from the role. Both have contributed significantly to the cause and again, the Trust Board, I’m certain, will want to wish them the very best, and to thank them for their efforts.

Following the recent Radio 5 Live ‘Read Aloud’ coverage (v Forest Green Rovers), I’m delighted to have been contacted by the charity Read Easy, who operate in Exeter and elsewhere. Almost 10% of adults lack the reading skills they need to play a full part in their community. Improving and developing reading competence brings profound change and lives can be transformed.

Read Easy UK has been going just over 10 years and in Exeter the charity has been running for just over 4 years. It offers adults who want to improve their reading the chance to do that in a simple and straightforward way. Coach and reader work together, 1 to 1, and, using an excellent adult-focused course created originally by the Shannon Trust, they meet twice a week, in person and online.

Everyone involved with the charity is a volunteer and all coaching is completely free. Most Exeter Read Easy volunteers are Coaches, but the charity also needs a strong Management Team to provide the support, networking, and fundraising which are essential. Currently we are particularly looking for volunteers to our Management Team, but we are also expanding our work with HM Prison Exeter and are looking to recruit Coaches who would be interested in working with ex-offenders. Training, guidance, and specialist support are provided; commitment and an enthusiasm for reading are essential, the absence of formal teaching skills and qualifications is not a problem.

You can get further details from 07942367367 or

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