Another amazing year seeing young lives changed and our congratulations to the unsung heroes who have chosen to serve a group in our society, with very little voice. My first and most pleasant task is to say thank you! You may thinkthis only applies to our paid staff and trustees but I can assure you, as we are entering our twentieth year of service, it is also for the direct support of hundreds of individuals in this area.
We are still here because you have a passion to see improved outcomes for young people in our locality. We so appreciate those volunteers who regularly help in our frontline sessions or work behind the scenes in DIY, finance or cleaning. Some of you are ambassadors, speaking to neighbours, work friends, telling them amazing stories of the courage of young people who face impossible situations and perhaps raising some much appreciated funding at the same time, thank you!
This year we signed a long lease with Alton Town Council to work alongside them to provide a similar youth provision to Petersfield in the premises in Vicarage Hill, Alton. The Alton community has been responding generously and the building has been completely stripped out to modernise it and make it fit for purpose. If you are from the Alton area please volunteer and get involved because this is your project for your young people. Lisa Hillman has worked resolutely to make this youth centre available for young people.
In Petersfield I can now report that we are the owners of 20 Dragon Street. Words cannot express our gratitude to two trust funds who have provided a high proportion of the initial purchase price, leaving us to raise money for essential roof repairs and small alterations to the downstairs. We should very much appreciate your support and generosity in this matter. My particular thanks for the professional services of our architect Henry Edberg, structural engineer David Hall and developer and visionary Steve Elder. Also our lead trustee Richard Emmens and right hand man Ted Dowdeswell.
Even as I write this I am aware that, in the closing moments of the year of which I am reporting, there has been a lockdown. I just want to reassure you that our work with young people has continued through this period and the team have worked creatively to engage and support young people as they navigate these unusual times.
A huge thank you goes to our Board of Trustees; Anne Deakin leading on finance, Stephen Field leading on policies and communications, Clare Pilkington on policies and employment, Ted Dowdeswell who tirelessly keeps us in order with minutes and agendas and Richard Emmens, who has many hats, but leads on the building developments in both Petersfield and Alton.
Lastly Caroline Aeschliman, our Operations Manager, who not only works for the King's Arms, but lives it with such passion that everyone around cannot but admire and be drawn in as well! Thank you Caroline you are a true leader and our words of appreciation are not enough.
Chair of Trustees