St Hilda's East News 2023
Dear Guild Members,
Happy New Year! The end of the old year and the start of the new have brought changes, opportunities and celebrations at St Hilda’s East.
We are very grateful to the team from Cheltenham who worked so hard to collect and wrap Christmas gifts, and ensure they were delivered in time for the party, despite the train strikes! Due to the industrial action the party had to be scaled back from the original plan, but a good time was had by all who were able to get there. We are fortunate to have a great partnership with the iconic Tea Building in Shoreditch who hosted us, and it was a joy to see a broad cross section of our beneficiaries young and old celebrating the season.
We were finally able to draw the long-awaited 130th Anniversary Raffle at the Christmas event, and all the lucky winners have been informed. Fourteen out of the twenty-nine winners are current or former College staff, and we hope they will be delighted with their prizes which are being delivered to College.
At the end of last year, our Director Matthew Band left St Hilda’s East to relocate to York to support his parents. Matthew had joined us at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 when the country was going into lockdown, and inherited some challenging issues. The trustees have been very appreciative of his efforts to bring the charity’s finances into a healthier position, and of his work on administrative structure, organizational design, governance and marketing strategy. Please join me in wishing Matt all the very best as he starts his new chapter in York. Recruitment for a new Director is under way and we hope to have identified a replacement by the end of this month.
The new year has started with an exciting development in the form of a Community Café operating in our Club Row building. We are delighted to partner with the Oitij-Jo Collective, a ground-breaking social enterprise run by British Bangladeshi women, to offer homemade, healthy, authentic and affordable Bangla home-style recipes to visitors to St Hilda’s East. If you are in the area Tuesday-Thursday do drop in and try some – it’s delicious!
Without a Director in place the next few weeks will undoubtedly be challenging, but since stepping into the role of Interim Chair in December, I have been encouraged and supported not only by the passion and commitment of our board of trustees, but also by the strength and dedication of our team of staff and volunteers. Their work with those in need in the community of Tower Hamlets is truly inspirational and it is a privilege to work alongside them as we face the challenges of a new year.
With kind regards,