On 17th April this year, we heard the sad news of Derek Day’s death from Covid 19 at Milton Keynes Hospital. LAMK benefited from Derek’s sage advice between 2009 and 2014: he was Trustee and Director from 2009 and Vice Chair from 2013 – 2014.
As LAMK’s Business Advisor, Derek’s experience and skills were much appreciated during those five years: he was the former Managing Director of a City of London international insurance broker for which he continued as Consultant for many years. He was also President of the Rotary Club of Bletchley and undertook much local voluntary work. The Living Archive Band was several times invited by Bletchley Rotary to perform shows, fund-raising both for the Club’s charities and for Living Archive.
This is Roger Kitchen’s appreciation of him, on behalf of all of us at LAMK who knew him: “A few years ago, Derek Day was part of a small team that saved Living Archive from closing.
The Living Archive had got into a parlous financial state thanks to the actions of a previous General Manager and Tim Hill, the then Chair, recruited two members of his Rotary Club, Ann Sidgwick and Derek himself, as well as two Advisors (Marion Hill and me) and our current General Manager Mel Jeavons – to form a Subcommittee to try and save the organisation.
When that Subcommittee was formed, we only had funds for the organisation to survive in its then state for three weeks. Initially meeting weekly, we managed to claw our way back, and central to that was Derek Day and his business-like approach. Whenever a proposal was put forward, Derek would ask, ‘How much is this going to contribute to our core costs?’ or ‘Can we really afford to do that?’ They were such important questions.
As a result, we all became a lot more money-savvy. We had to make painful redundancies, cut back on unnecessary costs, and gradually we climbed out of the abyss. Mel would produce financial statements for each of our meetings and the key figure was, if we don’t get a penny more, when will the money run out? Gradually that date got further into the distance.
Thanks to the approach that Derek instilled in us, in the midst of this terrible Coronavirus crisis, when so many voluntary organisations are threatened with extinction, our financial statement says that we have enough money to run until April next year. And for that we have Derek to thank.
What I really loved about Derek was that his business realism was tempered by a kind and caring attitude. He really cared about the fate of Living Archive and Tim persuaded him to become our Vice Chairman for a time. He will be sorely missed by everybody who knew him at Living Archive Milton Keynes – Board, Staff and Volunteers.
On their behalf, I extend to Derek’s family our deepest condolences at this very sad time.”