New driving force in South East England as NSA bids fond farewells to a familiar face

15th March 2019

A familiar face of the National Sheep Association (NSA), Bob Blanden, has been recognised for several decades of service to the organisation and the wider sheep industry as he steps down from his role as NSA South East Region Manager.

Before taking on the role of administrator for the region, Bob first became involved with NSA at a regional committee level in the mid 1980s and served as Regional Chairman a decade later. Other roles with the association have included sitting on the NSA English Committee and the Finance & General Purposes Committee, plus representing NSA on the Sheep Veterinary Society committee. His commitment to the industry has also seen him involved in many industry meetings since his first involvement, including many on work around controlling sheep scab. Bob’s work with NSA was completed alongside his work as a sheep and fencing contractor, based from his home at Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Bob says: “I have always seen my work with NSA as a way of putting something back into the industry I am passionate about. My various voluntary roles resulted in my working for NSA from 2006 on membership recruitment and later as NSA South East Region Manager, a position which I have greatly enjoyed and am proud of, especially the organisation of NSA South Sheep several times during my role.”

In recognition of Bob’s time with NSA he was recently presented with gifts as well as many words of thanks at the Annual Regional Members Meeting (ARMM) in February. Bob continues: I was very humbled and moved at the ARMM. I was not naïve enough to not expect some mention but the presents that have been gifted are truly amazing and I thank all of those kind enough to think of me.”

NSA South East Region Chairman Nigel Durnford comments: “Very few people working in the sheep industry in South East England (and indeed, much further afield) can have failed to come across Bob Blanden, and I’m sure they would all join me in thanking him for his dedication to the sheep sector. We wish him a very happy retirement from his formal work with NSA but rest assured, I don’t think this is the last we have seen of him!”

Bob continues as a NSA South East Region committee member and will represent South East England on the NSA English Committee and all of England on the NSA Finance & General Purposes Committee. He has passed his administrative role into the very capable hands of Sarah Blake as the new NSA South East Region Secretary.

Sarah works as farm administrator at Plumpton College, East Sussex, and also supports her husband with a sheep farming business at their home at West Sussex. All at NSA welcome Sarah into her new role and look forward to working with her.