Accolades poured in to Debbie Thompson, CEO in the hours and days following the Association’s 2018 Annual General Meeting, ‘Building Futures… Building Lives’.
Attendees were generous in their praise of another inspiring and thought provoking event held at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead, and ably hosted by the Association’s Patron the Right Reverend Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead. Organisers were pleased to be joined by over 100 supporters including the Mayor and Mayoress of Wirral, Councillors, Commissioners, Stakeholders, Association Members, staff and residents.
Debbie’s welcome included special recognition and thanks to Harvey, an extraordinary 5 year old, and the Association’s youngest supporter. Harvey is currently undertaking a sponsored 100 mile cycling challenge to raise funds and awareness for those facing homelessness.
The Association’s Chair conducted the business meeting, and launched the Annual Report which she encouraged attendees to access on the website.
We were delighted to welcome Catherine Holmes, Homes England, our key note speaker for the evening. Mrs Holmes gave an informative presentation on Homes England’s five year strategy and opportunities for partnership working.
At Forum we know the importance of building people, through encouragement and support, recognition of their value, and celebration of their talents and skills. This is true for those individuals we work with, and also within our staff team. One longstanding staff member shared a personal journey she’d faced during the last year and spoke movingly of the support she’d received from her ‘Forum family’.
Greg, Macauley and Tamar, all residents and each a talented musician and soloist performed numbers by Bob Dylan, Adele, Elton John, James, and even an original piece during the evening. Charlotte, a resident and poet, shared an original composition, and found she was asked for copies at the end of the evening.
Every speaker and performer won warm applause from the appreciative audience.
Two former residents spoke movingly about the challenging circumstances that brought them to Forum, the impact their time with the Association had on their lives, what came next, right through to where they are now. The audience responded to the speakers open and honest accounts of their turbulent but amazing journeys with a spontaneous, lengthy standing ovation.
The evening concluded with prizes awarded following the Frank Houston Challenge, this year a Staff v Resident’s Rounders Competition, and the Peter Keane Competition, this year a photography competition on the theme ‘Building futures… building lives.