2018 Old Gregorian Medal Winner

President of St Gregory’s Society, Rupert Orchard (R74) presented Chris Dick (C53) with the Old Gregorian Medal at Prize Day on Saturday 26th May.  

Rupert spoke of Chris’ charity working saying “Chris became involved in many voluntary activities, first of all with Centrepoint, a charity for helping homeless young people. He then worked with Training for Life, a charity that helped disadvantaged young people back into full time education or employment.

This led to Chris becoming a Trustee of the Downside Fisher Youth Club in Bermondsey in 2001, and soon afterwards he took over as Chairman. The Club was thriving, but run-down and needed extensive investment to comply with regulations. Chris had the visionary thought of teaming up with Training for Life who needed daytime facilities for their work with the long-term unemployed, while the Youth Club operated in the evenings. He worked very patiently in the face of a lot of resistance to craft a deal where Training for Life had a 25 year lease in return for refurbishing the Club house at a cost of over £2 million.  

In 2012, Training for Life sadly had to be wound up but the Downside Fisher Youth Club benefitted from its demise, as the lease reverted to the Club which is now lucky to possess a very well-equipped and well-used building.

The Downside Fisher Youth Club was founded in 1908 and today works with over 400 deprived young people in Bermondsey, running sporting and artistic programmes designed to help them achieve their potential, including a thriving boxing club and outward bound programme. Over the years, the boxing club has produced three world champions.

Throughout his involvement in the Club, Chris was a moderniser – for example, one of the great changes he brought in was to admit girls as full members. However, he always did everything in a gentle and humble way, regularly turning up at the Club on his bike. He worked tirelessly to fundraise and introduce new ideas to the Club – and still does so, long after handing over the reins in 2011.

He is also very active as an Ambassador for the Catholic homeless charity, De Paul International, founded on the values of St Vincent de Paul.”

Congratulations Chris.  A very worthy winner!