Bob Sillett, from Billingshurst, was awarded an MBE earlier this week for his charity work. He has provided the following statement to the County Times. For a full report, see today’s (Thursday January 2) County Times.
I was appointed to the academic staff of Christ’s Hospital in September 1963. I was on the staff for 38 years and covered a whole range of roles within the school - rugby coach, cricket coach, science teacher, careers master, housemaster and finally deputy head.
It was in my capacity as a housemaster for 14 years I was made very aware of my responsibility of caring for the boys in my boarding house many of whom were from single parent backgrounds.
Caring for children in real need was very much the ethos of Christ’s Hospital in those days.
On my compulsory retirement in 2001, at the relatively young age of 61 I found adjustment to life outside the school difficult. A conscious decision was taken to become involved again in as many areas as possible.
Part time teaching, academic coaching, serving on many committees and being a trustee of many organisations.
The range was considerable from being a director and trustee of Downs Education International, the Benevolent Society of Blues, involvement in the church initially at Billingshurst and now at Wisborough Green and being a holding trustee at the remarkably efficient Dauxwood Pre-school in Billingshurst,
My involvement in raising money for Downs Education International has been a very rewarding experience and a lot of money has been raised.
My grandson Sammy was very fortunate in his early years to receive help and guidance from them when they were based in Portsmouth.
Much of the money has been raised by Masonic presentations in the UK and in many countries abroad.
Providing my health continues to cause no problems I shall continue with my involvement in all my areas of activity remembering those prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln: “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.”