After 16 years at the helm of St Martins, General Manager Derek Player has announced that he will retire at the end of the year.
St Martins started life as the night shelter over 40 years ago and has continuously adjusted to the changing and evermore complex needs of homeless people.
Derek has led the organisation in developing the range of services St Martins is now able to offer homeless people in Norwich. The highlights of his time in the post include the refurbishment of the charity’s care home, the refurbishment of a large sheltered scheme for older service users living independently, the opening of a training and education centre, and the extension of the homeless hostel Bishopbridge House to provide more beds for rough sleepers.
St Martins supports some of the most vulnerable people in our community. Many lives have been changed through the work that the charity does. St Martins believes that the solution for individual homeless people is much more than providing a roof over people’s heads.
Chair of trustees Colin Bland said, “On behalf of the Trustees, past and present, I would like to thank Derek for his dedication to the charity, which has meant that we are able to help so many vulnerable people. During Derek’s tenure as General Manager he has overseen a huge growth in St Martin’s work. He has been responsible for managing a staff team that goes above and beyond what can reasonably be expected of them. The standards that the charity has achieved is a true testament to Derek’s own work ethic.”
“Derek has contributed hugely to enhancing the reputation of St Martins. He will be missed by service users, staff, trustees and stakeholders.”
Derek Player said, “It’s been a real privilege to advise the Trustees about how best to spend St Martins’ limited charitable resources. I will carry two things with me into retirement. Firstly the immense job satisfaction we all gain at St Martins from observing people who are at rock bottom rise up and get their lives back on track through sheer persistence. Secondly, the enduring interest and support of all our many supporters throughout the county who, like St Martins, never give up on the quest to eradicate rough sleeping from our streets”.