It is with great sadness and heart-felt gratitude that the HOMELINK team bids farewell to the incredible Sir Peter Field, our Patron for the past 13 years, who has stepped down to retire after a lifetime of inspirational community service specially recognised and honoured this year by the Queen.
Brighton-born Sir Peter has been a representative of the Queen in Sussex since 2008 in his position as Lord-Lieutenant. Prior to this he was Vice Lord-Lieutenant for eight years and this year received the special knighthood—‘Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order’ (KCVO)—bestowed upon him as a personal gift from the Queen in recognition of his exceptional service to the crown and the county of Sussex. He has also just been awarded the freedom of both the city of Brighton & Hove and of Newhaven.
Alongside Sir Peter’s career as a chartered surveyor and Magistrate, he has worked tirelessly to help and support the homeless. He was closely involved with introducing the Foyer Federation charity to the UK which secures positive outcomes for young people who cannot live at home. He has also worked with many Sussex housing associations and has been the patron or president of around 40 local charities and organisations including HOMELINK.
Sir Peter has been a patron of HOMELINK throughout his time as Lord-Lieutenant, and during this period has been of invaluable support to our work. He has been spoken at many of our Annual Meetings and regularly attended our events with his wife, Lady Margaret, making a point of encouraging HOMELINK supporters by offering a few well-chosen words and sharing recollections from his wide experience of homelessness issues.
Sir Peter said:
“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to be associated with HOMELINK as your patron for the last thirteen years as I consider the work you do to be an essential piece of the jigsaw that aims to eradicate homelessness. By providing deposits and rent in advance, and caring for those about to become homeless, or indeed for those who are homeless is the most compassionate thing one can do to help. HOMELINK provides this care with wonderfully committed staff, trustees and volunteers and I have always been so impressed by that commitment.
“Although I now retire as Lord-Lieutenant and step down as your patron I want to thank you for what you do and assure you I will stay in touch closely following the work that you do, and I will continue to help where I can. Margaret joins me in thanking you for the kindness shown to us and in wishing you God speed for the future.”
Sir Peter’s last appearance to support HOMELINK’s work was at our 20th Anniversary Concert at Glyndebourne which celebrated the creative talents of our community and the impact of HOMELINK’s service helping the homeless into homes. The concert was a wonderful success raising £40,000 and a happy recent memory we are pleased to have shared with Sir Peter, particularly in light of the spring that followed when we entered a global pandemic.
HOMELINK’s Chair, Joan Wignall, shared the following about Sir Peter’s departure:
“Sir Peter Field was a wonderful supporter of HOMELINK. He has a great understanding of the possible causes of homelessness and valued and appreciated HOMELINK’s mission to prevent it. We will greatly miss his presence.
“On behalf of the whole team at HOMELINK, we wish Sir Peter every best wishes for his retirement and new move and we hope very much to be able to keep in touch”.