Home-Start Arun, Worthing and Adur pays tribute to late chairman, a 'powerful and positive force'

Home-Start Arun, Worthing and Adur has announced with sadness the death of trustee and former chairman Pete Crowe.

Pete Crowe had been a trustee of the family support charity for nearly a decade
Pete Crowe had been a trustee of the family support charity for nearly a decade

An Arundel resident, Pete had been a trustee of the family support charity for nearly a decade.

He joined the board in 2011 with a keen desire to make lives better for families with young children.

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Under his leadership, the charity’s turnover doubled in five years and, more importantly, it extended its services and the number of families it supported to an all time high in 2019/20 of 222 families and 450 children.

Bridget Richardson, chief executive, said: "Pete has been such a powerful and positive force for Home-Start. Always accessible to staff and trustees, he has been an incredible support for many years.

"He always made volunteers feel valued, welcomed and supported, as he knew their worth to the scheme. We will miss him very much.

"I personally have worked with Pete for almost nine years and his presence will be noticeably missed daily.”

Pete was a vocal ambassador for Home-Start services across Arun, Worthing and Adur, contributing to partnership meetings about improving services and supporting parents in their times of challenge.

He listened intently to the parents about their individual family experiences and brought their stories to the board meetings.

Vince Mewett, current chairman, said: "Pete was a hard act to follow when I took the position in the summer of 2020. His guidance of the charity has made a significant difference to hundreds of families lives locally.

"I was supported into my role by Pete and his skills from a career in business came across to enable the charity to be a well-run and caring organisation for staff, volunteers and our supported families. We will miss him but he has left an incredible legacy to be proud of.”

The board said Pete led with enthusiasm, regularly presented volunteers with their certificates as they completed their in-house training, was at the front of events for fundraising and talked to many about the work of the charity.

He was keen for the charity to present a positive view of parents doing their best for their children, while struggling with challenges, often beyond their control.

Pete saw the charity through some significant fundraising events, including Abseil down the Bake House Tower at Arundel Castle, dragon boat racing, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars vintage evening, Arundel Castle fashion show, fire walks and many local events - particular favourite being the Christmas fair at Felpham Village Hall.

Pete also oversaw the continued support from major funders, including National Lottery Community Fund, BBC Children in Need, the Henry Smith Foundation and The Roddick Foundation, transforming the sustainability of the charity.

His funeral will take place on Monday, March 8, and donations via Reynolds Funeral Directors will be used to support Home-Start’s continuing work with local children.