It was with huge sadness that we learnt of the untimely passing of our great friend and Chair of Trustees, Howard Hutchings.

Howard leaves behind a powerful legacy of how to live life simply, through love. His greatest love was for his family - his life-long soul mate and two beautiful daughters. Second only to this, Howard showed love through his work with homeless and vulnerable people; saying "apart from my family, it is the most important work that I am involved in".

Howard will be hugely missed by all members of the Ark community. His compassion for all people was shown through many years of serving those in need; from his time at the Good Shepherd in Wolverhampton, to his shifts at the Men’s Night Shelter in Castle Foregate, Shrewsbury. When he first applied to volunteer at the Ark he made a very brief statement regarding his Christian duty - Howard’s faith was not something for him to take personal pride in, or simply a badge to wear, rather a solid core of humility, that informed many of his actions.

This humility was never more present than when he was invited to become Chair of the Ark Trustees and his initial response was to look around for someone he considered ‘more qualified’. He accepted these roles as an honour, never as a right, though if any had a right, it was Howard, and we can think of no-one better qualified for this service.

Howard's motivation can be summed up in his own words; "Surely it is because of our sense of common humanity, that we reach out to the most disadvantaged in our communities". He was an immensely popular and valuable part of the Ark team, working tirelessly, offering 'tough love' and a commitment to provide a wonderful atmosphere of safety, support and compassion. 

For us, at The Ark, we will remember Howard for his huge love of all members of our society – no matter where they were from, what they had done or how they behaved. It was through his many acts of service and kindness to those in need, that Howard showed us all how to love and look after each other.