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Camborne volunteer Mike Hichens sacked over "offensive" behaviour

By West Briton  |  Posted: February 07, 2013

By Katri Iivonen-Gray, West Briton

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A VOLUNTEER who embarrassed a charity he has helped for more than 20 years has been sacked.

Driver Mike Hichens, 54, has been providing transport for some of the most vulnerable people in the county.

But he received a letter from Cornwall Community Volunteer Services (CCVS) following its AGM last week saying he was no longer considered as a volunteer driver with its transport service.

This was because the trustees deemed his behaviour at the meeting as "offensive and unacceptable".

Mr Hichens, of North Roskear Road, Camborne, quizzed the organisation - which is about to make 20 employees redundant and close four of its five services to cut costs – over its finances and recent decision making at the meeting on January 28.

"I was sacked because I asked a few questions that should have been asked and they did not like it," Mr Hichens said.

At the meeting, which the West Briton attended, staff and volunteers were invited to ask questions by the board of trustees.

Mr Hichens asked if it was true that the charity had "£900,000 in the kitty" and at the end of the meeting told the trustees they had "bu**ered it up".

"I spoke out for everybody and probably embarrassed them," he added.

"I am just so upset because I feel sorry for those people who rely on me. I drive visually impaired people to their clubs and children to Bishop's Forum in Penryn to do different activities.

"I just want to help people and meet new people, it gives me something worthwhile of doing and a reason to get up every day."

CCVS said Mr Hichens has been a valued volunteer who has driven thousands of miles each year.

Chief executive Kim Gregory said: "However, while we value our volunteers we also have a responsibility to protect our staff and Mike's behaviour at, and immediately after the AGM towards staff members and witnessed by directors in attendance was deemed offensive and therefore unacceptable and directors felt they were left with little choice but to remove the volunteering opportunity from Mike, particularly as there have been previous complaints regarding Mike's behaviour.

"It appears that this is not the first time that Mike has had volunteering opportunities removed by voluntary organisations because of his behaviour, however this information was only revealed to CCVS very recently and has not influenced the directors' decision."

Mr Hichens said he has never worked for any other voluntary organisation.

He added: "People have always been grateful for everything that I have done, I belive they are just making excuses to cover their tracks because I opened a can of worms."

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