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Wakefield Civic Society

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The Gissing Trust Needs Your Help!

Posted on 12 January 2016 by Kevin Trickett

The Gissing Centre

The Gissing Trust needs your help! Can you bring new skills and experience to the Trust’s committee or help in other ways by volunteering a few hours each year?

Back in 1978, Wakefield Civic Society and Wakefield Historical Society, with the help of others, set up The Gissing Trust, which became a registered charity in 1979. The aim was to acquire and preserve the boyhood home in Thompson’s Yard of George Gissing (1857-1903), the Wakefield-born Victorian novelist.

The Gissing Centre was opened in Thompson’s Yard, off Westgate, in 1990 and displays memorabilia, books and an exhibition about the author and his life. The centre is run by the trustees of the Trust and volunteer stewards and opens to the public, principally on Saturday afternoons during the summer months but also by arrangement at other times.

The Trust is now looking for new Trustees (committee members), including a new Hon. Secretary/Treasurer, and volunteer stewards who will help to take the Trust forward and to run the Gissing Centre. 

The duties are not onerous!

  1. As a committee member (trustee), you would need to attend two meetings each year, held in March and November. These meetings usually last for about one hour and are held during the day at the Gissing Centre. It is hoped that committee members will occasionally act as stewards at the Gissing Centre during opening hours.
  2. Stewards at the Gissing Centre offer their services to cover opening hours between 2 and 4 pm on Saturday afternoons from May to September. Stewards need not be committee members.
  3. The roles of the Hon. Secretary and Treasurer are fairly straight forward. The Secretary is required to attend committee meetings and take the minutes which then have to be typed up and sent to committee members. These duties take no more than about eight hours per year. The Treasurer’s duties are to draw up the annual accounts and usually to write just one cheque per year (for the insurance). The accounts are very simple and take just minutes to do as there is very little financial activity to record. The Hon. Secretary/Treasurer would also help as a steward for the opening of the Gissing Centre but the total time requirement will rarely exceed 20 hours per year.

Does this interest you? Can you help? Would you like to find out more?

If so, you can contact the current Acting Hon. Secretary/Treasurer, Anthony Petyt, via email at anthony.petyt@btinternet.com. Or you can attend the next committee meeting of the Trust which will be held at the Gissing Centre on Wednesday, 2nd March at 10.30 am. Please get in touch with Anthony to let him know that you would like to attend.

The Trust would welcome expressions of interest from people with modern IT skills such as website management and social media but these skills are not essential to be either a committee member or steward.

You can find out more about George Gissing and the Gissing Centre here.

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