The two last cheques from the Suzanne Green Charitable Trust as the charity wound up this week have been made payable to the Age UK Horsham District branch.
At the branch’s annual review on Wednesday night representatives from both charities spoke passionately of their links with each other working to better the lives of elderly people in the Horsham district.
Chief executive officer of Age UK Horsham district Janice Leeming outlined the challenges facing the charity in the coming years and Vivien Lyth announced her retirement as chairman, although she will stay on the board of trustees.
But both were surprised and overjoyed when chairman of the Suzanne Green Charitable Trust Peter Lusher and founding trustee David Briffett presented them with the final two cheques from the trust totalling £103,650.
The Trust was founded by seven directors of the West Sussex County Times when its owner Suzanne Green died in 1989.
Since then there have been large donations to Age UK, regular support of running day centres in Horsham and Steyning and, perhaps the trust’s biggest achievement, the setting-up of the Suzanne Green Day Centre at Challen Court in Hamilton Road, Horsham.
However this year the trustees decided that it would be unsustainable to continue with the trust’s existing capital. Mr Lusher was pleased to hand over a cheque for £100,000 to Age UK to be spent specifically on continuing the work at the Suzanne Green Day Centre and helping the elderly and frail people of the Horsham district.
Mr Briffett, who was editor of the County Times when he became the trust’s first secretary, then presented a second cheque for the remaining bank balance of £3,650.
He said: “I am confident that Mrs Green, who I knew very well, would be thrilled to know how much has been spent on the Horsham community and how her money has been put to very good use.”
Mrs Lyth said: “Without the support of the Suzanne Green Charitable Trust Age Concern, now Age UK, would not have been able to deliver services to those very, very deserving and needy people in the district who need care, have needed care and will continue to need care.
“With this momentous donation we feel sure we will be able to honour the name of Suzanne Green for many years to come. There is an awful lot of work to do as money alone does not buy peace of mind or self esteem. Thank you very much to the board and indeed the staff.”
Suzanne Green’s family were the owners of the West Sussex County Times for nearly a century and she was the third in a trio of women who ran the paper between 1884 and 1987. In her will in 1989 she left instructions for a large sum of money to be set aside for a trust to be formed to benefit Horsham district’s elderly people. So the Suzanne Green Charitable Trust was founded by seven directors of the paper.