Diana Pearman steps down as Chair of CAG
18 February 2021
Diana held her final AGM and cheque presentation as the Chair of the Charity Action Group at Phyllis Court Club
After a successful eight years, Diana Pearman stepped down as Chair of the group on Friday 12th February 2021. Her work has been extremely worthwhile, providing as it has such large donations to charities in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Many families and children have benefited from the generosity of Members of Phyllis Court who have, over the past eight years, raised and donated over £270,000.
Commenting on her time, Diana Pearman said: “It has been both a privilege and an enjoyable experience acting as Chair of the Charity Action Group. The intention has always been to provide for entertaining activities for Members and guests whilst raising money for the Club’s chosen charities. The Charity Action Group was set up some 20 years ago and the group were delegated the task of selecting local charities to receive fundraising support from the Club each year. Since that time they have demonstrated the benevolent and caring face of Phyllis Court Club and I feel proud and very humbled to have been part of that enterprise. I must also express my most sincere thanks to my team, their energy and commitment have been an inspiration.”
Diana has been passionate about helping others for many years. She was previously Deputy Head at a girl’s school in Northampton before she and her husband moved south to Sonning Common and within no time at all she became a strong part of the community by joining a campaign to save the local library. Diana comments ‘my life had been very fortunate but due to the demands of work I had not been involved in local activities until moving to Sonning Common when I began to look for ways in which I could contribute to the lively village community. Our neighbour persuaded us to join Phyllis Court Club and due to feeling it was time to ‘pay back’ our good fortune, I volunteered immediately to join the Charity Action Group and very quickly became the Chairwoman.” During this time Diana also took on the role as editor of the village magazine; this was a temporary role which she is still enjoying nine years later. The magazine was used as the vehicle for fundraising for 90 treat boxes the community gave out at Christmas to the elderly, lonely and deprived families in the village and also for a lockdown calendar which raised £1,800 for local charities.
During the first lockdown Diana helped to make scrubs for those in need in the Riverside Pavilion and she has recently been home-schooling her two grandchildren. Her work continues as she is a major part of the Neighbourhood Planning Team (NDP) who are about to start the groundworks for a very exciting project, developing a field for sport and recreation which will benefit the community.
Over the past eight years many charities have benefitted from Diana’s work with the Charity Action Group including the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, Riding for the Disabled, Thames Hospice and most recently The Chiltern Centre and Helen and Douglas House. With the help of the money raised each year, these charities can continue to provide essential support to those in need.
The group’s main method of fundraising is through events, usually held at the Club. Past events have ranged from an interview with Mary Berry, shopping extravaganza’s and pop-up sales, fashion shows from John Lewis, Murder Mysteries, music evenings and the ever-popular Burns Night and annual Christmas Fair. Events such as these, and the Champagne raffle and silent auction at the Henley Royal Regatta celebrations at Phyllis Court are always popular attractions which are enjoyed by many Members and guests.
Commenting on the occasion, Stan Ainsley, Club Chairman said “Myself and Council would like to thank the Charity Action Group Committee for their continued support, effort, creativity and passion over the past years. This is demonstrated by the significant amount of money raised in 2020. Even with the many challenges the pandemic has thrown our way over the last year, the team worked within the restrictions and organised some great virtual activities! My special thanks go to Diana whose leadership of the group over eight years has meant they raised a huge amount of money for local charities – her work is greatly appreciated by Phyllis Court Club. Thank you Diana.”
When asked about her plans for fundraising in the future, Diana said: “I do not have any specific fundraising in mind at the moment, but I know that should the opportunity arise, I am likely to be volunteering again soon. I am driven by knowing that I live in a very privileged area and am motivated to help those less fortunate people than ourselves.”
The Charity Action Group’s work will continue throughout 2021 with a new Chairperson and Committee to manage the group.