Described as always having ‘a kind word for anybody’, ‘ensuring our home is as safe as possible’ and a constant around Cherry Trees – a man who gave us over 20 years volunteering, it’s impossible to realise that we won’t be seeing John Evans here anymore.

At the end of March John passed away after a period of illness that took a more severe and shorter turn. Many of us have been remembering all that he did for our charity and when sharing these memories, the person we all recall stood high in all of our regards - meticulous, trustworthy and thorough.

Here, each and every Wednesday, John has been part of Cherry Trees since 2004, as a professional from the insurance industry, he took on an area few would be willing to either lead on or invest so much time and attention to. A steady hand at the tiller guiding all matters related to Health and Safety, legislation, drawing up numerous risk assessments and draft policies, it has been John who has knowledgeably guided our Trustees and Health and Safety Committee. In an industry working with vulnerable young people and rapidly changing modern legislative requirements, it is only right to acknowledge John’s trusted work keeping us up to date with any health and safety changes ensuring we were compliant gave all of us peace of mind.

However he was not confined only to the trip-lines and fine print of health and safety, volunteering in so many other areas. Each and every year without fail he would organise the Christmas carols service for our children in the village church, and again it was John who was there at the fore of organising our very first Happy Circus event. The photos from the day showing the temporary transformation of our children into face painted tigers and butterflies capturing a happy (and very rainy) day. The photos from the day are fondly looked upon with John in the middle of the group, happily waving amongst all the children, staff and their families – a lovely presence amongst us all.

John, seen here (centre) proudly wearing his Cherry Trees T-shirt at Happy Circus 2017. 

Two years ago John was awarded the ‘Outstanding Volunteer’ award, due to the time he gave to us all, his dedication and very easy manner to work with. Adrian Thompson Honorary Treasurer Cherry Trees has paid tribute; "John Evans was an ever present personality at Cherry Trees. He was very popular with the staff and a familiar face in the house.  He was always ready to listen and offer friendly advice. He will be much missed by all who worked with him at Cherry Trees".

With a summer of fundraising events, auctions and raffles inked up and poised to go on our annual calendar, it will be our first year without John, a presence and friendship we will miss greatly, but forever a happy part of many of our memories and times past spent at Cherry Trees.

For those that would like to be there for a final farewell, John’s funeral service will be Wednesday 10th April, 14:30, East Clandon Church, a welcoming reception at the Queens Head to follow. The burial will be private.

 

John Evans

September 7th 1933 – March 22nd 2019