Edward Wood was a businessman, dedicated Fundraiser and a Trustee of Mirfield Community Trust, his influence touched the lives of many in Mirfield and beyond.
In 1995 the Mirfield campaigning committee received the keys to Knowle Junior and Infant school from Kirklees Metropolitan Council (KMC) and opened the Mirfield Community Centre (MCC). The Centre was still owned by the Council, but would be run by MCC. Ted joined MCC in 1998, and was therefore associated with the Centre for most of its life.
Ted brought with him his comprehensive toolbox and many skills. He joined the maintenance team and with other members was soon spending time at the Centre fixing repairing and decorating the building. In 2000 Ted put on his businessman hat and adopted the title of MCC treasurer, to the delight of the Management Committee. Ted went beyond his Treasury duties to managing the cash flow and advising the Management Committee as to when and where the money was required to be spent. It must also be mentioned that Ted’s wife Ritta, also played an important role. Although not a Committee Member, she was kind enough to offer her services to the Centre. While Ted managed the day to day finances of the Centre, Ritta managed the payroll and all the interactions with HMRC. Not a small task in its self. The Trust is extremely gratefully for all the work she did, whether behind the scenes or not.
It has been said that the Centre would not be where it is today without the foundations Ted and the other founding Committee Members built. The work Ted put in over the many years on the Management Committee, then as a trustee, and as MCT Chair, was instrumental in helping to lay the course of the development of the Centre.
Ted and the other founding Trustees organised many fundraising events at the Centre which over a period of time raised the money to finance: new windows; ramped access to the front of the building; facilities for people with disabilities in the Centre; baby changing bay; link corridor; and more recently, new central heating boiler and emergency lighting. When the Mirfield Community Trust was set up Ted became a trustee, and in 2017, the Chair of the Trust. He was in a perfect position to help and facilitate the transfer of the Centre from Kirklees Council to the Mirfield Community Trust on 4 April 2018. Without Ted it is unlikely that the asset transfer would have taken place.
When Ted became Chair of MCT, it could be said that he took over at a difficult time. He started the process of making the board meetings inclusive, welcoming and productive; he was at the forefront of the major decisions that effected the centre; he was a keen member of the interview panel for the cleaner and caretaker role. Over Ted’s time as Chair there were many changes to the Trustee Board, with new people joining and others retiring. Ted was always firm but kind. He was a patient teacher when it came to passing over his “Treasurer” duties to a new member, and over time those new members began to get to know Ted. He was always welcoming and friendly, not only to other Trustees, but also to their families. He always found something he had in common with people and would happily chat about shared interests or shared work.
What some of us didn’t know about Ted, was that throughout his time at the Community Centre Ted had been fighting a battle with cancer. This resulted in Ted’s retirement from the Trust. Understandably he found it hard to let go, but over time he came to understand that he had laid a strong foundation on which future Board members would be able to build upon. When Ted became housebound, Trustees, and previous Committee members enjoyed their time visiting Ted and Ritta in their home, and we know that those visits brightened Ted’s evenings.
Sadly Ted lost his battle with cancer and passed away early in 2020. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. We hope that all future Trustees will continue his legacy.