The chair of the board of governors at Waltham Forest College is to stand down after 18 years.

David Pendle was working as a national officer for the YMCA in Walthamstow in 1996 when a call went out for new governors at the Forest Road education centre.

As a man with a ‘passion’ for encouraging and developing young people in the borough, Mr Pendle stepped forward. Four years later he was voted by 15 other governors as chairman of the corporation.

Despite his retirement from work he stayed on with the college, giving them two years notice in 2012.

Now, Mr Pendle believes that he is leaving the college a better place.

“This really is a wonderful college, which takes a holistic approach to the development of its pupils. We want them to be not only good at what they do, but good people.

“The improvements that I have seen in achievements have been immense.

“Of course it has been hard at times and there are hard times to come with government cuts.

“Seventy percent of our funding comes from central government.”

Mr Pendle who will leave at the end of September plans to go home to Bath and work with the Christian Church.

“At my last graduation ceremony tonight I will tell students to make a difference in someone else’s life. It is important to make money to survive but more important to give something back. That is why I became a governor,” he added.

“Our job as governors is to look at the job we are doing and make sure that it is good for the students and the wider community.

“We look at finances and we receive reports. In my time as chair I have appointed two principles, both of whom have been fantastic.”

Anyone interested in becoming one of 16 governors at the college which currently has 8,000 full and part time pupils should contact the college.

The college is soon to open a £10m arts centre with central government funding.