Well it is that time of year again and I am writing this whilst recovering from the Sutton CVS Christmas jollies yesterday – an afternoon of fun, laughter and good food!
However, for me, this time of year brings into stark focus the fact that not all families and community members will experience fun, laughter and good food over the holiday period. For some it is a time to be with family, to relax and to re-energise but for others it is a time of great stress due to poverty, domestic abuse, homelessness, illness, etc.
I am proud to lead an organisation where the Board and Staff have made a commitment, through its strategic plan, to do what it can to challenge inequalities in Sutton. Our work this year has enabled us to action that commitment in the following ways: we have supported The Fairness Commission, which recognises that for some children and young people in Sutton they may not be getting all they need to enable them to grow and achieve to the best of their abilities; we are a key member of the Domestic Violence Transformation Board, looking at the experiences of families affected by domestic abuse and developing new approaches to reduce the incidences and impact of domestic abuse on families; we have worked with voluntary and community sector friends to set up a community development pilot so that we can share learning about how to build on the assets of community members; we have supported the Sutton BME Forum and worked with others to develop a Race Equality Scorecard for Sutton; and we have supported Sutton Giving which is raising money for projects supporting young people.
On a personal note, I will cherish what I have this Christmas, including my first Christmas as a grandparent, and I will take the time to re-energise so that in 2018 I can continue to lead Sutton CVS and to work with our voluntary and community sector colleagues, public sector partners and the private sector in challenging those issues that impact on the life chances of community members living in Sutton.
I look forward to working with you in 2018
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