Stephen Cripps

A Big Thank you from the New Blendworth Centre

Our chosen charity for 2015 was the New Blendworth Centre in Horndean. Over the course of the year we raised the sum of £7706.10 on their behalf and have now received a thank you letter and card thanking us for our efforts.

The New Blendworth Centre is a day provision for post 19 year old people with varying degrees of learning difficulties. The Centre offers its Service Users a work orientated placement in a semi-sheltered environment situated in the village of Horndean Hampshire. The centre aims to develop and support individual goals, encourage friendships, raise self-esteem and promote confidence and independence.

Banker Steve unveiled as new chairman of Portsmouth Property Association

Steve Cripps has been unveiled as this year’s chairman of the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA) – the first banker to hold the role in its near 100-year history.

The 58-year-old is a very experienced SME (small and medium enterprises) Relationship Manager for the NatWest in Fareham and takes over the association’s reins from Danny Smith of independent financial advisers ADN
Financial Solutions
in Southsea.

He follows other well-known industry professionals in the role of chairman in the PPA’s 95-year history.

Steve, who is single with an aspiring musician son aged 24, is Fareham born and bred and has worked for Nat West for more than 40 years.

The newly-appointed chairman is keen to drive the Association forward as its centenary year approaches.

He said: “As we move towards our centenary year in 2020 my aim is to ensure the PPA continues to grow – from the present number of 145 members.

“I am acutely aware of the prestige and responsibility this role entails and I am determined that the highest level of integrity is maintained.”

Steve is keen to promote the ethos of the Association which brings together local estate agents, letting agents, property valuers, solicitors and bankers into one recognised professional body.

“As the property market continues to flourish the PPA can play an invaluable role because it brings together so many industry professionals under one roof.

“Our ongoing aim is to assist clients, both personal and commercial, in all aspects of their journey into property ownership and to make this as smooth as possible.

Portsmouth and the surrounding post code area continues to flourish and, with the upcoming America’s Cup yacht races, this can only be tremendous news for this great city.”

“The recent changes in stamp duty have helped reflate the market and it remains buoyant. I am optimistic about the future, but we must continue to do everything we can to keep it that way.”

The PPA has raised upwards of £75,000 for local charities over the years.

Steve’s nominated charity for this year is the New Blendworth Centre, a day centre for young adults with learning disabilities based in Horndean.

“They do so much good for young people in our community that I decided they deserved to benefit from my year in office.

“I have known this centre for eight years and their work with young adults goes largely unrewarded so to be able to give something back to them is very satisfying.”

“Our NatWest management team even spent a day there last year doing some painting and gardening. We had a whale of a time and were really welcomed.

“I was also looking for a charity just slightly ‘off the island’ to show that the association does have a wide reach,” he added.

Steve Cripps : PPA
Branches in: Fareham
Members: Ian Tudor, Mike Townsend, Steve Cripps

Howzat for a prestigious charity dinner

A Hampshire centre for people with learning difficulties is set to benefit by thousands of pounds from the Annual Charity Dinner being held by the Portsmouth Property Association (PPA).

Former England cricketer and in-demand after dinner speaker Geoff Miller will be the star turn at the PPA’s prestigious black tie event at the Trafalgar Ballroom in the Royal Maritime Club, Portsmouth, on Friday. (Feb 26)

Around 235 members and guests are expected at the venue – the former Royal Navy Sailors Association Club in Queen Street – to boost funds for the New Blendworth Centre in Horndean through a grand auction and raffle.

The PPA has raised more than £75,000 for charity over the last 10 years.

The event, sponsored by Portsmouth legal firm Verisona Law and the Portsmouth News, will be attended by the city’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Jonas. The PPA will make a £250 donation to his charity fund.

Also backing the event are Chandler Hawkins, NatWest, Clive Emson Auctioneers, Biscoes and Nesbits.

PPA chairman Steve Cripps, who is set to stay at the helm of the organisation for a second year, nominated the New Blendworth Centre as the chosen charity for his year-long tenure.

Fareham born and bred Steve, SME Relationship Manager at the town’s NatWest Bank and the first high street banker to chair the PPA in its near 100-year history, said: “The centre has created an environment for adults with learning disabilities by providing work placements in a horticultural environment.

“I have known them for nine years and I know much of their sterling work goes unrewarded so I felt they deserved to benefit from my year in office and it is satisfying to watch them grow.”

Steve added: “We have all gone through some very challenging times in recent years there now seems to be an air of confidence around us all.

Citing examples such as the success of the Americas Cup last year, development of the base for new aircraft carriers and the Northern Quarter project being back on the agenda, he said: “An economic upturn is certainly here. The future seems buoyant for our area, but we must remember we all have a part to play in the regeneration of the city.

Guest speaker Geoff Miller OBE played 34 test matches and 25 one day internationals for England before becoming National Selector for the England team in 2008.

The Chesterfield born off spin bowler and lower middle order batsman made his debut in 1973 and captained Derbyshire before moving to Essex, scoring an impressive 14,000 runs and taking more than 1,000 first class wickets..

He took 60 Test Match wickets and hit 1,200 runs, failing agonisingly close to a century with two knocks of 98. His tenure as England selector saw an incredible run of three successive Ashes victories

Respected raconteur, the knowledgeable and self-deprecating Geoff is also said by cricket pundit Simon Hughes to be the ‘last man to field at slip with a whoopee cushion up his jumper’.

The auction will be carried out by keen PPA supporter Clive Emson, of Clive Emson Auctioneers, who will be travelling from his home in Kent to bring the gavel down on a series of exciting lots, including signed 1968 Manchester United v Benfica European Cup Final memorabilia, signed and framed 1980 West Ham Utd FA Cup Final memorabilia, a motor racing experience and a pamper day.

An original match-day programme and rosette from the 1966 World Cup Final went for £600 at last year’s event, featuring hilarious tales from the green baize by former snooker world champion Dennis Taylor.

That night raised more than £8,000 for Ickle Pickles, the charity that helps fund specialised equipment, such as incubators and ventilators, for premature babies in intensive care neonatal units.

The charity was the choice of 2014/15 PPA chairman Danny Smith, founder of Southsea-based ADN Financial Solutions.

Event organiser Rob Marchant, local auctioneer for Clive Emson and a former PPA chairman, said: “We had a fantastic evening last year and I am hoping for more of the same as generous PPA members and guests dip into their pockets for our deserving charity.”

PPA now has a record 150 members, including estate, lettings and property management agents, commercial property agents, chartered surveyors, developers, accountants, solicitors and bankers.

The organisation was established in 1920, when King George V reigned, Lloyd George was Prime Minister and the body of The Unknown Warrior from the First World War arrived from France for symbolic burial in Westminster Abbey.

PPA : Howzat for a prestigious charity dinner : Portsmouth Property Association