The Town Clerk to be heard.
The Town Clerk advised that following the previous meeting of the Board, four Members of the Board had confirmed their willingness to serve on the Grants Committee, with the Chair of the Board also intending to attend meetings. The Town Clerk further advised that the Court of Common Council had approved the Board’s proposed protocol for co-option, also approving the Board’s recommendation to appoint Jannat Hossain and William Hoyle, formerly Co-opted Members of the City Bridge Trust Committee, to the Grants Committee to serve as co-opted members of the Committee until the next municipal year.
The Board was then asked to elect a Chair and Deputy Chair of the Grants Committee. Expressions of interest were sought in serving as Chair and Paul Martinelli, being the only Member indicating willingness to serve, was duly elected as Chair of the Grants Committee. Expressions of interest were then sought in serving as Deputy Chair of the Grants Committee, and Dhruv Patel, being the only Member indicating willingness to serve, was duly elected as Deputy Chair of the Grants Committee. The Chair then thanked and congratulated the newly-elected Chair and Deputy Chair.
RESOLVED – That the Bridge House Estates Board:
a) Appoint Alderman Alison Gowman, Paul Martinelli, Dhruv Patel and Judith Pleasance to the Grants Committee of the BHE Board; and
b) Appoint Paul Martinelli as Chair of the Grants Committee of the BHE Board, and Dhruv Patel as Deputy Chair of the Grants Committee of the BHE Board.
It was also,
RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Members of the Bridge House Estates Board express their sincere thanks and appreciation to:
for the manner in which he presided over the deliberations of the City Bridge Trust Committee for the last two years and the commitment he has demonstrated towards all aspects of the Trust’s work.
Under Dhruv’s stewardship, the City Bridge Trust Committee considered almost 500 Bridging Divides applications and awarded over £55m in funding, including a significant number of larger, longer grants. His imagination and enthusiasm as Chair, and his understanding and strategic oversight have driven the Trust with a clear and expansive focus, despite the unprecedented pressures and impact on the charitable sector of the last eighteen months.
Dhruv has been a strong ambassador for City Bridge Trust, devoting considerable time to visiting organisations and promoting the work of the Trust through the media, and has been incredibly supportive of the Trust’s officers. Dhruv has been an active champion for the development of the Committee’s equalities work, and he has ensured that so many organisations and communities across London have been supported by the Trust, during the most testing circumstances.
As Chair, he promoted a dynamic and collaborative approach that has helped to introduce new ideas and ways of working to City Bridge Trust, and to the wider charitable sector. This was never more significant than his leadership in establishing the London Community Response Fund, which brought more than sixty funders together to react to the emergency of COVID-19. During his tenure, the Fund worked at invaluable pace to distribute over 1650 grants, totalling more than £30m in funding, and later moving towards meeting the longer-term needs of the sector, by improving the sustainability of organisations in light of the very different operating context they will face. Despite other significant calls on his time, throughout the pandemic he has always been available to help the Trust in its work, both directly and through the London Community Response Fund.
Furthermore, Dhruv has been instrumental in the implementation and progress of the Bridging Divides strategy, culminating in an agreement to extend the strategy by a further five years. He also oversaw key strategic initiatives, such as a £400,000 grant to Centre for the Acceleration of Social Technology to support digital transformation across the charity sector in London, and £400,000 to Trust for London to tackle some of the root causes of poverty and disadvantage amongst Deaf & Disabled Londoners.
We warmly thank Dhruv for his leadership of the City Bridge Trust Committee and his committed contributions to the continuing success of the Trust and to Bridge House Estates, and hope that both City Bridge Trust and Bridge House Estates can continue to depend on his skills and experience.