Judge Ray Singh CBE is stepping down after 9 years on the board of Trustees at NACCC. Ray has been an invaluable member of the Board, representing NACCC accredited centres within Wales, with the passion and a wealth of knowledge that is unquestionable – he will be greatly missed.
Ray told us what made him become a NACCC trustee and his belief in the importance of accredited child contact centres for children’s mental health and well-being.
“The last nine years or so representing the interests of the children’s contact centres of Wales has been an honour and privilege for me. I was particularly humbled by being elected not only by Welsh members but by the membership from across England and Northern Ireland in a fully democratic contest. NACCC has changed hugely, for the better, since I first became a Trustee. The creation of the Standards Committee led by Sir Mark Hedley has added credentials to NACCC’s accreditation status and recognition by the courts and other services for children.”
“Alas it soon became clear during my early legal career as a Family Law Barrister, that it was not always so for families undergoing separation or divorce. Children were enduring mental/emotional harm whilst their parents embarked on their bitter acrimonious separation/divorce. In order not to lose their bonding/relationship, contact centres provided them with a neutral meeting place. My belief in the importance of contact centres and their sustainability was further strengthened when as a Family Judge the majority of ‘child arrangement orders’ were depending on the existence and support of contact centres and their dedicated volunteers. At this point I personally got involved in the creation and setting up of various centres in the areas I worked in.”
“Upon my retirement from the judiciary, I led the setting up of Glamorgan House Family Development Centre (GHFDC) in Swansea. The need for more centres in Wales is paramount – many centres have closed, and others are downsizing through lack of or loss of Cafcass Cymru contracts. NACCC has a huge responsibility to support them and challenge the provision of contracts to sustain the vital services contact centres provide.”
“As I say farewell to colleagues old and new, I will urge the Trustees who do not have the first-hand experience of the workings of the centres to make time and spend a day or two seeing what these committed workers and their volunteers do to achieve the objectives of NACCC.”
“I would like to express my gratitude to Elizabeth Coe, past and present Chairs, Phil Coleman, Phil’s predecessor Louis, and all the dedicated workforce of NACCC for supporting and putting up with me all these years. I will miss you all dearly.” Ray Singh, CBE, LLD
Our Chairs past and present have shared their experience and gratitude to Ray for his service to NACCC and the wider cause:
Ray Singh joined the NACCC Board as the Trustee representing Wales in 2013. He brought with him a wealth of knowledge: about the political landscape in Cymru, family law, supported and supervised child contact centres and the network of Welsh centres – what an asset for the Board! As Chair of the Board from 2012 to 2019 I found that Ray was able to advise Trustees about matters directly affecting our members in Wales. He was able to assist me as Chair, the CEO and Service Development Manager to develop support and training for our Welsh members. The time has come for Ray to step down from his role on the board and I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank him for his long-term support to NACCC and wish him a long and happy retirement.Hazel Hedley (NACCC Chair, 2012 – 2019)
Lesley Jenkinson, (our current Chair) has worked alongside Ray since 2015 and told us
…since joining the Board as a new trustee [for the North] through to being appointed Chair I have valued Ray’s insightful comments and support for my role…
Ray was the first ethnic minority judge on the Welsh bench and began his career in 1969 as a Barrister at Law, progressing to Deputy District Judge in 1992 before becoming the Resident District Judge of the Merthyr Tydfil Law Courts in 1997. Ray has been a member of the Family Court Services Committee and a former Commissioner of the Commission for Racial Equality (1996 – 2002). In 2019 Ray was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Doctor of Law) by the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. We wish him all the best for the future.