MINUTES April 29th 2021
CREst & ONE NORBITON’S 2020/21 Joint ZOOM AGMs
Held on Thursday April 29th 2021 AT 5.00pm
Present: Jill, Mike, Geraldine, etc.
1. There were no Apologies
2. Minutes were read for from the 21st of February 2019/20 meeting
3. No Matters arising:
4. Joint Chairman’s Review was delivered by Jill and Mike. See Appendix 1
5. Annual accounts for both organisations were presented by Geraldine Burgess See See separate financial reports.
6 Elections for officers. All existing CREst and One Norbiton officers agreed to stand again and were elected unopposed.
7 Date and time of next meeting was not set.
CREst & One Norbiton Joint AGM 2020/21 Combined Chairs’ report
Ms Jill Preston & Dr Mike D’Souza
This year of pandemic has been extraordinary for everyone. Because of lockdown One Norbiton has been unable to do much and has focussed on supporting Jill and CREst to provide food and help to those in Norbiton who were in most need. Therefore we are presenting this joint report on the past years activities.
One Norbiton’s contract to care for the Community Halls ended on 1st January 2021 and although the Council had agreed to continue funding us at 20k p.a. during our final year of 2020, to our dismay, they unaccountably retracted this promise. However, because of the pandemic all hiring of the Halls stopped and with that a substantial amount of our workload. Piper Hall has since become exclusively used by CREst’s Tuesday Group. Additionally, on Saturdays CREst and One Norbiton run a branch of the Food Bank.
Surprisingly, in response to an application by One Norbiton for a COVID central government small business grant, we were given, on the 5th of May 2020, the sum of £10k. This completely matched the loss we had suffered due the Council’s retraction. As you can see One Norbiton’s finances are now almost as healthy as when we first started.
With great bravery and efficiency, throughout 2020 and 2021 Jill has run the Tuesday Group that provides hot meals every week for Norbiton’s needy and Homeless. This Team includes Gez Burgess, Trudy Barker, Ed Naylor, Dave Ryder Mills, Jonathan Seyghal, Magalie Berger, Suzanne Buckingham, Alison Fure , Less formally:- Allie, Anna, Michael, Helen, Despo, Kay, Joy, Iain, Andy, Harry, Rhiannon, Iwren, Cameron, Nigel, Kerri, Amanda, Josie, Carol , Sally, Monique. Lara, Phillipa, Jo
We are also very lucky to have had the continued support from:
* City Harvest *Sainsbury’s Sury Basin *Save the World *The Dons
In addition to several local resident groups
This voluntary service and is now in its fourth year of operation and to date over 3000 meals have been served to over 670 different visitors (89 of whom were children). In addition, the group, despite the risks presented by the pandemic, have gone out delivering Food Bank parcels and vouchers and clothing and occasional bedding to those in need. They have set up Covid safe environment and a Test and trace centre where isolated people can meet. CREst has been helped by a £4k food grant from the Lottery administered by KVA and their Food Group sharing surpluses.
And CREst has continued to collaborate with other agencies such as the local Churchs who are doing similar work. Sadly, newcomers are still arriving nearly every week. Talking to people in the long queues they say this is the only hot meals they get in the week. Helping this group of Norbitonians remains one of our joint priorities. Regrettably we expect to be doing this for some time and only hope we can continue to get sufficient resources both human and financial to do this for as long as it is needed.
The whole concept and organisation of the Tuesday Group has, as most of you know, been down to Jill. It is no surprise that she and CREst have been awarded the Mayors Covid Award. However, recently one of her volunteers Jonathan Sehgal has died tragically at the age 41. We are also awarding both Jonathan and the Sunflower Roads Residents Association which his sister Suzanne helps to run. One Norbiton commendation certificates for 2020/21.
In addition to all the above activities, One Norbiton and CREst have continued to work when possible with CRERA to represent the interests of the CRE residents during the Regeneration of the Estate. The Residents Steering Group has now been replaced with a new Community Board. This consists of our three Local Councillors, the Three Chairs and three newly appointed volunteers from the Estate. This has been been achieved with Zoom meetings that are on-going. As the only elected but non-political individuals we intend to ensure that the interests of residents are properly addressed as the Regeneration program progresses.
We remain concerned about such issues as
- Will the amount of new green space provided match what we already have in Madingley Green and elsewhere?
- Will the size and facilities of the new Community Halls match Piper?
- Will there be interim accommodation for existing local groups particularly the Tuesday Group?
- How will our existing community integrate with newcomers buying flats in the rebuild?
Regeneration of CRE has and will continue to dominate our thoughts. It should be a real
opportunity to increase Community spirit on the Estate and we can now see a future more in line with what our Localism Pilot was set up to explore. However, this may be a good moment to set up a sub- committee to examine the benefits of more closely integrating One Norbiton with CREst in future. We were both set up with funding from central government and have now survived independently for two and one decades respectively. CREst has the advantage of being a Registered. Charity while One Norbiton has the use of the auditable bank account of a Limited Company. We both share the common purpose of promoting local community and our, now respectable, reserves are set aside for this project. We have always intended to promote gatherings, such as post code parties to welcome and integrate new residents after regeneration while prioritising the assistance of those in most need in Norbiton.
Before I finish, I must mention that although we have had our occasional differences, we have also had a lot of support from RBK’s staff and from our three excellent Ward Councillors. If we can work out how to produce stable and collaborative partnerships between volunteers and statutory groups, such as our own, then Society at large could benefit a great deal.
We must close by thanking our directors and all our members for the support they have given us throughout this challenging year. On a personal note, Mike must mention that he has now spent the better part of a decade being your Chair and he will eighty before the next AGM and hence will be reducing his workload. However, health permitting, he will be happy to continue to support his colleagues in any way he can, to further the cause of Community building in Norbiton.