News: The Friends celebrate another successful year!

Around 40 Friends gathered at the Connection on 29 June for Friends Day – a chance to review the past year, and look forward to the year to come, and also to meet other Friends, both old and new. Why not join us in 2020?

At the AGM, we heard from our Treasurer, Chris Riley, that the Friends had made donations during 2018/19 totalling £284,000 to the Connection, over £7,000 more than in 2017/18, and a great result.

Our Chair, Charles Woodd, particularly acknowledged the vital role volunteers play in the Friends’ activities, whether in creative ways of fundraising locally, serving on the Committee, or stuffing the regular mailings. This last group received special mention through presentation of the Guy Mason Award for 2019. A full account of the year’s activities is in the Annual Review 2018/19, but any Friends who would like to receive the minutes of the AGM should contact the Friends’ office.

One-to-one advice on employment matters

The Friends who gathered at the Connection on 29 June for Friends Day heard a fascinating account of how important employment is as a key to independence for many of the Connection’s clients. Cordelia Wise and Marina D’Arco from the Enterprise and Employment Team set out the many ways in which they offer help, help which enabled 106 people to obtain a total of 150 jobs in 2018/19. From work clothing to use of mobile phones, from work references to help with bank accounts, from onsite job centre advice to training in IT skills, the list goes on. One of the most practical ways of helping is the provision of travel fares – to interviews, to work placements, to training opportunities and medical appointments, and this is where this year’s Let’s Go! Appeal from the Friends has been so valuable. The final total donated by Friends and supporters is over £22,000, a fantastic result!