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June - July 2007


Spotlight

Dedicated Supporter of Carers Movement: A fond Farewell to Baj Mathur Chairman of Hillingdon Carers after 12 years of Voluntary Service

Bernadette Ziuziakowska, Chief Executive of Hillingdon Carers writes that Baj and his wife Sharda cared for his elderly mother who suffered from Dementia and Parkinson diseases for some nine years until she died in 1999. It is during this time Baj came in contact with Hillingdon Carers, a local charity with a mission to support Carers. He joined this organisation and became its Chairman in 1996. Hillingdon Carers is affiliated to The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, one of the major national organisations, with 133 centres spread around the country. The Trust, apart from providing practical and strategic guidance to Carers organisations, gives them the voice in Parliament.

There were two paid staff when Baj joined Hillingdon Carers in 1996. Under his leadership Hillingdon Carers grew and diversified, so that it now has 14 paid staff and 13 projects. It provides a comprehensive service through which carers receive financial, emotional and practical support.

Baj Mathur was personally involved in initiating and establishing the Hillingdon Carers Information and Advice Centre at the charity’s premises in Uxbridge. At street level, this "shop" enables existing and potential users to have direct and immediate access to information and services. The Centre was officially opened by The Princess Royal in May 2006.

One of Baj’s priorities as Chair was to forge active links with other groups and organisations, so that through the exchange of ideas and information the service provided by Hillingdon Carers would become more effective and up to date. By representing the charity at local and national level he raised its profile and contributed to gaining recognition for the needs of Carers.


Mark Ziuziakowska, June Head – Trustee, Janet Baylis – Treasurer; standing Gerry Mahaffey of Help the Aged, Frances Wilcox – Trustee and Rekha Wadwani

As its Chair for the past 11 years, Baj developed the initial strategy for expansion and worked tirelessly to ensure that the service continued to respond to local needs. Unlike the fragmented service in some of the neighbouring boroughs, Hillingdon Carers provides an integrated, comprehensive and effective service to approximately 2700 carers. However, there are an estimated 26,000 carers in Hillingdon (one eighth of the population). It is a service through which both carers and cared for feel fully supported. Its extent and quality are the direct result of Baj’s dynamic, innovative, and committed leadership.


L to R: Shan Nicholas, Chief Executive The Princess Royal Trust for Carers; Councillor David Simmonds – Deputy Leader of Hillingdon Council; Councillor John Major a Carers Champion in Hillingdon

Professionally Baj is a Chartered Architect and Town Planner and worked with Harrow Council till he retired in 1993. He is still a member of the Executive Committee of Harrow Heritage Trust which is a local Amenity Society with the aim to preserve and enhance the natural and built environment.

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