Thank you to all Churches, Organisations, Schools and members of our community who donated to Forum’s 2016 Christmas Appeal. Yet again, we have been overwhelmed with your generosity.
The team here at Forum packed up over 280 bags containing Christmas gifts, toiletries and treats all donated by you, and distributed them out to young people living in Forum on the Wirral, Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East. The Christmas period can be a particularly lonely and isolated time for some of our residents, with many of them spending it alone. Christmas bags really do help make a huge difference and cheer our young people up at a time when they might be feeling particularly low.
We can’t thank the community enough for the generosity, kindness and support towards the work we do for young people.
Forum Housing Association is delighted to announce the appointment of new Chief Executive (CEO) Debbie Thompson. After serving the last six months as Forum’s Interim Chief Executive it was announced last week by Forum’s Chair Mrs Sue Elliott, Debbie has been confirmed as permanent CEO.
Passionate about people, Debbie has worked at Forum for over 25 years. She has served Forum most recently as the Director of Human Resources and Corporate Services and brings a wealth of experience in human resources, employment engagement, corporate services, leadership and housing management.
In the past six months Debbie has already restructured the Association and has created a new way of working for her employees, which is already reflecting positively on the service delivery available to young people.
Chair of Forum Housing Association Mrs Sue Elliott commented…
“We welcome our new Chief Executive Officer Debbie Thompson. Debbie brings with her a wealth of experience of Forum as an organisation, as well as her creativity and passion for meeting the needs of our precious young people. We look forward to working together to fulfil God’s vision and plan for an exciting future ahead.”
Here at Forum, the Board and Association Members, staff and young people are all excited about the news and we are looking forward to the new opportunities and for 2017.
The team here at Forum attended Homeless Awareness Day on Thursday 1st December outside ASDA Birkenhead. The event organised by Wirral Ways Recovery Outreach Worker Kirstie McHugh, was an opportunity for us to offer advice and guidance to the general public on what to do if they are approached or come across a vulnerable person on our streets. Some service providers included; Wirral Ways to Recovery, Salvation Army, Merseyside Police and Wirral Ark Project. Forum handed out wallet cards to members of the public during the day, which they could pass to a person in need or use to report a rough sleeper to someone who can help bring them in from the cold.
The event was a huge success and received positive feedback from the Birkenhead Community. Over the weekend Forum was inundated with calls from the general public concerned about rough sleepers in their area. If they are not aged 16-30 and we can’t provide accommodation or support, we connect them to other great services that we work alongside in Wirral and Cheshire.
Spot a rough sleeper? Call our 24 hour free phone number – 0800 234 6007
Well done to two of Forum Staff Members Chris and Laura O’Toole on succesfully completeing a 48 mile bike ride in just under 5.5 hours to raise awareness and funds for vulnerable young people living at Forum Housing Association.
Chris and Laura wanted to celebrate their first year of marriage by doing something different together, and so instead of going out for a romantic meal opted to take on their very own Mr & Mrs Bike Ride Challenge.
On Saturday 10th September Chris and Laura cycled between Wirral, Ellesmere Port and Chester stopping off at all Forum accommodation projects along the way.
“It’s our first year of marriage and we wanted to celebrate this special occasion by giving something back together as Mr & Mrs. This is not just a job for us, Forum and the work we do here is something we both truly feel passionate towards, helping someone in need when they are at the lowest point in their lives and have no one else to turn to.”
All money raised from the challenge will help to fund activities and initiatives to help young people accommodated with the Association, gain confidence and stability required to help them move their lives forward.
Young people and members of the Birkenhead community enjoyed an afternoon of activities and fun in the sun at Forum’s Market Wells Foyer on Saturday 6th August. The event, which was coordinated by staff and young people, provided a variety of summer activities to help keep families and children entertained during the summer holidays. This year’s event was hosted by Wirral Radio and included; children’s activities, face painting, bouncy castles, competitions and a pop up Charity Shop. Emma and the team from Cafe Neo (Wallasey) provided guests with lunch which included a BBQ for everybody to enjoy.
Market Wells Project Manager Amy commented,
“We really enjoyed putting on this annual event for our young people and members of the community; it provided our project and our young residents with a fantastic opportunity to give something back. We appreciate how tough the summer holidays can be for young people looking for something to occupy themselves, so every year this event is proving really popular with not only young people but with families and young children too.”
Thank you to all young people, staff and organisations who supported this year’s event, we can’t wait to do it again next year!
Forum’s Market Wells Foyer will host the Forum Foyer Fest for the 2nd year running on Saturday 6th August for young people and families in the local community.
The event, which is organised by young people and staff at the Market Wells Foyer, provides an action packed afternoon of fun for families and people struggling on a low budget this summer.
This year’s event, hosted by our friends at Wirral Radio, includes children’s activities, bouncy castle, face painting, BBQ, birds of prey, pop -up charity shop and much much more!
Everyone is welcome to join us!
The Association’s Annual General Meeting took place on Wednesday 11th May 2016 at the Life Church in Bebington. The event launched our new Annual Report ‘Partnership’.
This year’s guests included the Association’s Patron the Right Reverend Keith Sinclair Bishop of Birkenhead, Forum’s President Mrs Chris Allen BEM, Forum’s Board, Association Members, Stakeholders, young people and staff.
The theme ‘Partnership’ showcased our success and highlights from the previous year, and our work with young vulnerable people from the community. The event also provided us with the opportunity to thank our friends and partners for their encouragement and support during 2015.
The evening of events included business from Forum’s Chair Mrs Sue Elliott, a short film showcasing the Association’s year, and performances from two of our residents James Cullen and Lewis Chatten.
This year we were also joined by special guest speaker Katrina Ekwulugo. Katrina was a resident at Forum’s Beacon Project over 20 years ago and shared her inspirational story with guests of how she turned her life around for the better and is how she is now helping other young people do the same thing.
Winners of the Association’s annual Peter Keane Competition were also announced and presented by Forum’s President, Chris. Congratulations to our Ash Villas Project who took home this year’s trophy for the best up cycled project!
We would like to thank everyone who joined us at this year’s meeting. You can read our latest Annual Report by clicking
Rotary Club of Birkenhead came for a special visit to Forum Housing in April to honour the hard work of one of Forum’s young residents Rebecca. Over the New Year Rebecca was shortlisted from hundreds of applicants for the Rotary Citizenship Award for the impact and changes she has made in her local community. President of Rotary Hugh Lloyd and Rotary Members presented Rebecca with her certificate while special guests included President of Forum Chris Allen (BEM), and Chair of Forum’s Board, Sue Elliott, who honoured Rebecca’s determination and hard work.
During 2015 Rebecca took part in a project to help a local Church, developing a piece of wasteland into a beautiful community garden.
Rebecca commented “I was really passionate about the fact other people who might have experienced a difficult time would have a place to go if they ever felt low.”
Rebecca has faced huge challenges herself but is now moving forwards with her own life positively. She wanted to give something back to people who may be experiencing the difficulties she once had, a community garden seemed like the perfect idea that would benefit the old, vulnerable young, homeless, ethnic groups, members of the Church and the local community by providing them with a space to escape to if they ever felt low.
Congratulations Rebecca, and thank you to our friends at Rotary Birkenhead for taking the time to recognising Rebecca’s success.
Thank You to our friends at Clare Mount Specialist Sports College in Moreton. The students participated in a non uniform day and instead of donating money to wear their own clothes, the students donated Easter eggs which were then distributed out to young people and children living here at Forum Housing Association. Mrs Vickers and the students work hard throughout the year campaigning for Forum through their Christmas, Harvest and Easter appeals and we can’t thank them enough for all their hard work and support to us.
Thank you to Unilever Port Sunlight who donated toiletries to Forum in March. The team at Forum were able to make up 86 welcome packs for young people who arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. Here at Forum we see many unfortunate situations, when young people arrive they haven’t got the necessary items to help them to feel clean. Not only have the welcome packs provided a warm and positive welcome, they have also given young people a sense of pride again. Each pack contained shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, toothpaste and toothbrush. All of which have been gratefully received by our new residents.
Thank you Unilever, you really have made a huge difference.