Neville Pressley has stepped down as chairman of Worthing and Arun Mind after 20 years at the helm.
Charity director Elaine Sola said: “Neville has been great to work for – he is a real inspiration and a very nice man.
“He cares deeply about what we do and his drive has helped us expand our work so we can help more people.”
Neville, a chartered accountant who retired as a partner of Spofforths at the end of 2007, joined Worthing and Arun Mind in the 1990s when charity founder Eric Popplestone needed to recruit people with strong business backgrounds to develop the organisation.
Neville’s financial skills were important in helping create a strong financial base for the charity, and also in fund-raising.
He made the first successful Lottery Bid in West Sussex in 1994 for the purchase of The Hollies in Little High Street, which is used as a mental health resource centre.
East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton and Worthing mayor Ann Barlow thanked Neville for his contribution at Worthing and Arun Mind’s general meeting, held at the Ropetackle Centre, in Shoreham.
Neville volunteers and sits on the board of the Ropetackle Centre as financial director.
In his thank-you speech, Mr Loughton said: “Neville has always been very clear about what is important – helping people to have a decent place to live, good relationships, enough money to live on, satisfying work, and good physical health.”
Neville has held many other senior positions in the community, such as a governor at Northbrook College, a trustee and former chairman of Guildcare and chairman of Worthing Homes.
He is credited with using these positions effectively to help support and further the work at Worthing and Arun Mind.
Neville said his work with Worthing and Arun Mind had been the most rewarding of his career in the voluntary sector.
He said: “It was very rewarding to have helped the charity in the early days to ensure there would be first-class community services for people with mental health problems in Worthing, and then to help develop a wider range of services which the statutory authorities were willing to fund.
“I am proud we have an outstanding reputation both locally and nationally.”