In December the board of trustees and the executive team said farewell to Donna Werner as she retired from being a long standing Director of Bethphage.
Donna has been involved with Bethphage in the UK from the beginning as it was Donna’s travel to the UK as part of her masters degree in the early 1990s which led to our creation. Bethphage was an American support organisation for people with learning disabilities. Donna spent time contacting various local authorities and Shropshire was pleased to work with Bethphage and develop a relationship together. Since then Bethphage in America has merged with another organisation to become known as Mosaic and Bethphage UK has just become Bethphage, we share similar values and continue to work closely together.
Our relationship with Donna on the board has been vital. She brought a deep understanding of the lives of people with learning disabilities. Whatever part of the world you are working in, the issues are broadly similar and the way that we work with people has a very direct influence and effect on their lives and the positive outcomes they achieve. Donna’s involvement has inspired the way that we work with our staff and support them to learn how to support people effectively and treat people with dignity, respect and to value each person as an individual with their own unique personality, aspirations, dreams and goals. We are truly blessed to have had Donna as part of the board and a key influencer in Bethphage.
The board and executive team will miss Donna, who travelled from America to the UK four times a year to be present at our quarterly meetings, she always attended and despite the long journey always contributed to lively discussions about the organisation’s mission, vision, values and direction. She brought knowledge and experiences from the other side of the pond to Bethphage, helping us to learn from what was happening elsewhere.
In recognition of this wonderful lady’s influence, the Trustees are proud to name the first property we have bought “Werner Cottage”. We are also delighted to welcome Carol Mau as a Trustee and Director of Bethphage, continuing Donna’s legacy of support and encouragement from Mosaic.