West Sussex Mind: Man who turned small Worthing charity into West Sussex mental health champion steps down as trustee

West Sussex Mind trustee Neville Pressley, the man who transformed the independent mental health charity in his time as chairman, has stepped down after more than 30 years’ service.

The 75-year-old retired chartered accountant turned a small Worthing-based charity into an organisation providing services to people across Worthing, Shoreham and Littlehampton in his 20 years as its chairman.

Since he stood down from that role in 2011 and joined the board of trustees, the charity has continued to grow and now also serves Steyning, Chanctonbury, Chichester, Bognor Regis and Midhurst.

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Neville stood down at the annual meeting, having served on the charity’s financial board for the past ten years.

Neville Pressley has stepped down as a trustee at West Sussex Mind after more than 30 years' service

He said: “West Sussex Mind has grown from an organisation with three staff to its current incarnation, which employs 118 people. I’m very proud to have played a major role in that.”

Neville, who lives in Shoreham, first became involved in the late 1980s when the NHS gave the former ambulance station in Durrington to Worthing Mind to set up a day centre for people with mental health issues.

At that time, there were just the three staff, delivering support and social activities, such as art and woodwork.

As chairman, Neville made the first successful Lottery bid in West Sussex for the purchase of The Hollies, in Little High Street, Worthing, in 1994 for use as a drop-in centre.

The charity has also benefited from Neville’s connections with other voluntary organisations where he served as trustee, including service users doing gardening for Worthing Homes and following bespoke courses at Northbrook College.

Bob Smytherman, a fellow West Sussex Mind trustee, said: “We would like to thank Neville Pressley for his outstanding contribution to West Sussex Mind over the years.

“We are particularly grateful for Neville’s years of service as chair and the excellent financial and strategic expertise he has brought to the organisation from his career background as a chartered accountant.”

When he stood down as chairman in 2011, Neville said his work with Worthing and Arun Mind had been the most rewarding of his career in the voluntary sector.

Neville retired as a partner of Spofforths at the end of 2007.