Ottery Help Scheme bids farewell to chief officer Helen

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 March 2018

Helen Harms, chief officer for Ottery Help Scheme, with Paul Ritchie and David Roberts from Ottery League of Friends. The league of friends have supported the help scheme with its project to bring mental health services to Ottery.

Helen Harms, chief officer for Ottery Help Scheme, with Paul Ritchie and David Roberts from Ottery League of Friends. The league of friends have supported the help scheme with its project to bring mental health services to Ottery.

Archant

A woman who has acted as the 'driving force' behind some of Ottery Help Scheme's biggest projects has bid farewell after three years.

Helen Harms, chief officer, has been instrumental in setting up the Men’s Shed and the charity’s home service, a chargeable provision that offers more support to the community for a small fee.

She was also actively involved in securing support and funding from local organisations, including the League of Friends, to bring mental health support to young people in the town.

The initiative is due to begin in May and will be made up of weekly sessions for young people who have not been diagnosed or face a wait to see clinical specialists.

Helen, who joined the charity in 2015, said: “It [the mental health service] is really exciting to be apart of, it has been really fantastic to be able to provide such an important service in Ottery. It is heart warming to work with people who have a genuine commitment to provide these services to the community.”

Helen is leaving the charity to take a short break with her family and possibly look to pursue her love of writing.

She said: “I have hugely enjoyed my time with the Help Scheme over the past three years and would like to say a massive thank you to the trustees, volunteers and staff, all of whom put their heart and soul into providing community services which are relied upon by so many people living in Ottery and its surrounding areas. I wish the help scheme every success for the future and appeal to the local community to actively support this valuable charity as it continues to develop.”

Keith Porlock, chairman of the charity thanked Helen for her enthusiasm and skills and welcomed her replacement Emily Lezzeri.

Mr Porlock added: “On behalf of our clients, volunteers, staff and trustees, I thank Helen sincerely and wish her the best of luck for the future. We have every confidence, with the skills and experience Emily brings, the help scheme will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Emily added: “The help scheme delivers a vital range of services within the local area and I have been very impressed with its level of support from the dynamic team of staff, volunteers and trustees. There is a great sense of community here and I am looking forward to working at the heart of it.”

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