It is with a great deal of sadness that we announce the death of our trustee, colleague, and friend Chris Wait, who has passed away after a long illness.

Chris had been a trustee of Build on Belief from the very beginning, helping us with the work of registering the charity and incorporating it as a private limited company, and then taking up the mantel of company secretary, which he performed diligently until his death.

Chris had been a friend of ours from the years long before Build on Belief, since he engaged in the service user movement of the early 2000’s, where he met Tim Sampey and Annette Dale-Perera among others. From the very beginning, we viewed the world through that same lens.

Chris was passionate about service user involvement and peer-led services and was a firm supporter of our unique brand of interactive mutual aid. Not only did he function as a trustee for a decade, but for many years volunteered in our Ealing weekend service, where he ran a music workshop. He was a perfect fit for us, understanding instinctively not only what we were trying to do, but why. There is at least one member of staff who owes, in part, their employment with Build on Belief to Chris’s gentle encouragement and mentorship.

Chris acted as an advocate for service users for many years, not only with Build on Belief, but also with CNWL NHS Addictions, and Change, Grow, Live. A gentle and polite man, he also possessed an endearing stubbornness when it came to representing and supporting the needs of others and was never afraid to speak ‘truth to power’ if the circumstances required him to do so.

He was one of the vanishingly rare breed of individuals who believed in supporting their local community and causes close to his heart, and was ever willing to devote his time, expertise, and energy to making the world a better place wherever he felt he could make a difference. A quiet retirement was not for him.

Chris was a longstanding member of the Labour Party, an enthusiastic gardener, and a fan of Brentford football club. We were enriched by his presence, will be diminished by his loss, and will miss him greatly.

Tim Sampey 

CEO Build on Belief