17 October 2023
It is with terrible sadness we share the news that Susie Gurney has sadly passed away. Susie was a valued member of The Fifth Trust and without her our charity would not be in existence.
Susie’s mother, Jenny, had a vision for Susie to be able to have a home for life, in an environment where she could shine, build friendships living with others, be independent, contribute to society and live within a family supported environment. Thus, Family Investment Homes were born, the origins of The Fifth Trust.
The day service was set up soon after to provide educational, vocational and recreational activities for the residents and people with a learning disability living in the local community. The first day centre was built in the grounds of the first home to be acquired, Greenbanks in Barham, and opened in 1991. Five years later second centre was opened at the Elham Valley Vineyard on the other side of the village. Across the two sites we now offer 20+ different activities and cater for students aged 16-70+ from across east Kent who live with their families, in residential homes, and in supported living.
Care & operations manager Mike Theoff said: “Susie never was shy to express her feelings and was determined to do the things she enjoyed; her life was well lived.
“Susie you will be missed but forever remembered and although it’s a sad time, we have some great memories we will treasure. We can shed a tear that you have gone but smile that you lived. How lucky we were to have known you.”