We hosted our 97th Annual General Meeting (AGM) last Wednesday on YouTube (starts at 10.23 minutes). We wanted to protect our most vulnerable members from Covid. It was such a shame not to be able to see everyone in person, but what with the circumstances as they are, we felt it was better to be as safe as possible. We hoped that we still were able to showcase what we’ve been up to over the last year and difference we’ve made to many thousands of local people.
Watch the AGM on YouTube
If you’d like to watch the meeting again then you can do here on KLS’ YouTube channel (you’ll need to fast forward to the start at 10.23 minutes)
What follows is the speech that Aaron, our CEO, gave at the meeting. We hope to see you at our next AGM on 5th October 2022 (pencil it into your diary now).
Aaron, our Director’s speech given at our 97th AGM
“Good evening everyone.
Ben, our Chair of Trustees, reminded us at the beginning of the pandemic to never waste a good crisis. And we certainly haven’t.
We’re always trying to make the most of things at Katherine Low, seeking out the opportunities to make life better with local people here in Battersea.
The last 18 months have truly been a game changer. A period of phenomenal upheaval, worry and loss; alongside transformation, generosity and kindness.
You will read in our glossy Annual Review (downloadable from our website or pick up a copy when you’re next in our centre) of the many ways in which my fantastic team of staff, volunteers and supporters have more than risen to the occasion and supported thousands of local people and community organisations. Not just to get through the crisis, but do so with dignity, respect and hope. I cannot thank you all enough. Please will you give my team a big clap at home and a pat on the back when you next see them. Thank you.
Let me give you an example of one gentleman we supported:
Let’s call him David. He lives on his own, like more than 50% of our elders do. He’s in poor health, with a failing memory and had to shield at home, which has meant he’s physically declined over the year, as have so many of our elders. His support volunteer, was his lifeline, picking up shopping, prescriptions, and some art materials as David found his love of painting again. But most importantly it was those regular telephone calls and doorstep visits, checking in and catching up and sharing the load; providing the support he needed to get through the crisis.
Our members are always talking to us, giving us constant feedback, letting us know what they want, what they like and what they don’t. This intensified over the pandemic as we continued to work even more closely to provide the support they needed. As you know, we transformed our community services to creatively support people over the phone, online, through the post and on the doorstep. Our services will continue to evolve as we work out the best ways of blending online and in-person support.
Now it became obvious, pretty early on, that we could only get through the crisis, if we worked together in partnership with others in the community. A big thank you to all our partners for stepping up and supporting Battersea with us.
Like, Battersea Coronavirus Angels – the brainchild of Simon our trustee and Vicar at St Mary’s. 450 local volunteers supported more than 700 local people.
OR the Wandsworth Digital partnership of more than 70 organisations providing more than 6,000 laptops, data and IT skills training
OR the many Covid Food Groups that sprung up feeding and supporting tens of thousands of local residents
OR Lavender Hill Clothing company donating more than 20,000 face masks
OR the Battersea Alliance, in partnership with the Big Local SW11 and Winstanley Joint Venture, distributing £100,000 to community groups to support local residents through the pandemic.
and the list of partnerships and amazing work in Battersea goes on… read more in our Annual Review.
Our plans for the year ahead focus on reconnecting with our members and supporting their recovery from the effects of the pandemic. Everyone has told us they need a period of recovery, healing and commemoration for those we’ve lost. As well as celebration and the joy of being back together again.
And together we can. Your continued support through what is another tough year and getting worse by the moment, would be very much appreciated; what with the end of furlough, cuts to Universal Credit today, rising fuel and food costs, and tax increases on the horizon. We need your help.
You could do this by:
I want to finish by saying a very big thank you, to each and every one, of you who makes Katherine Low fantastic. Long may this continue.