22 October 2012

Ham Amenities Group AGM 2012

The Ham Amenities Group (HAG) is one of the local community organisation that I am pleased to belong to. Their regular newsletters are very informative about local matters and while I not get to any of their other events (not yet anyway) I do attend their Annual General Meetings when I can.

This year's AGM followed the usual format with a round-up of the previous year followed by a guest speaker. There were some elections along the way but they went past quickly in a chorus of "aye"s.

Round-up of the year

Strong opposition from the meeting to the proposed MUGA (Multi_use Games Area) that I supported. This is a missed opportunity that has probably been lost forever. HAD did support the 25m pool in Grey Court. Some inconsistency there.

Membership about the same at 215 members. Dead people leaving.

Latchmere House. Councils cannot afford so will go private and that means housing.
Main building likely to be lost. Is Latchmere Lodge a worrying precedent?

Garden day next Friday.Jubilee Tree Planting 11:30 Ham Common near Pond on Saturday

Looking for people under 80 to join the Committee. I might just do this, because I am not on enough committees already. Next AGM Monday 21 October 2013 (in calendar already).

Guest speaker

The speaker was from SPEAR - homeless charity. SPEAR stood for Single Person Emergency Accommodation in Richmond but this is no longer true.

Richmond is a rich part of a rich country but we have people sleeping rough. Average life expectancy of homeless man is 47, same as DRC. Rough sleeping rose steeply in London last year, including more women. Waiting list for SPEAR hostel is 6 to 10 months.

Homelessness is often caused by family breakdown, unemployment, debt, all often related. There are 70,000 children in temporary accommodation on Christmas Day last year.

SPEAR are funded by LBRUT but funding cost 11% this year.Penny Wade House is the hostel, sleeps 14. This is not emergency housing, this is their home.Waiting list growing as hard to move people on, they need to be ready and have somewhere to go.

They support people for two years after leaving as this is when most become homeless again. The main focus is skills development, helping people to survive on their own. Life skills and formal skills.

Afterwards

I hung around for the wine, nibbles and chat. Somehow during that I offered to help with their website on the grounds that I do the same for three other organisations.

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