On September the 28th we held our Annual General Meeting for the year. We invited over one hundred people from the local community including our members, staff and local dignitaries such as the Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire Guy Disney MBE, Alex Chalk MP and Dame Janet Trotter DBE CVO.
We gathered to review the good work we have done over the year and to talk about our future plans and the state of the organisation. After our trustee, Fran Tolond led the room in our introductory prayer our health and well-being manager Rob Charsley introduced the first set of our guest musicians Out of the Ashes A sophisticated Christian music band with Jazz, R&B and Gospel roots.
Next was our chairman Mike Horne who spoke of our work combatting homelessness and took us through the business of the night.
The Annual General Meeting got into full swing with Dave Kinghorn our Head of Operations guiding the room through our achievements in tackling local homelessness this year.
After another brief toe-tapping interlude from Out of the Ashes, Sarah Avery from Family Space gave the audience an insight into the charity which has recently come under the umbrella of YMCA Cheltenham, this included a fantastic video presentation of the excellent work they do in the community with families and children.
Our first guest speaker was Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk who reminded us that the path to improvement in the lives of individuals is not a linear progression, but often involves ups and downs as in a game of snakes and ladders, he finished his speech with a recital of the parliamentarian prayer.
“Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to our King and his government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed.
Rob Charsley and Joel Layton (Sports Centre Manager) delivered excellent speeches about their great work this year in moving the sports centre forward.
The penultimate speaker was our CEO Joseph Main who in an impassioned presentation outlined our future plans vis-a-vis the Pathway Home, and the challenges involved, such as housing affordability, and repeat homelessness which affects 75% of those who have been homeless and our destination with regards to those who will benefit from the Pathway Home.
Dame Janet Trotter DBE CVO gave the final speech of the evening and led the room in a minute’s silence in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who was a patron of YMCA England and Wales
Fran Tolond stepped up again and led our closing prayer and we finished the evening with some more music from Out of the Ashes whilst people mingled and chatted with each other and with our staff at the stands at the back of the room.
If you would like to read and/or download our Annual Review for this year, please follow this link.