Sarah Robson’s house in a leafy north London street was yesterday’s venue for a gathering of current and past committee members of the charity’s North London Friends. Sarah, the chair of our North London Friends committee, was keen to mark both the charity’s 40th anniversary and the committee’s significant contribution to its work over those four decades.
The charity was conceived in Hampstead Garden Suburb by Pat and Joan Laurance and their first fundraising efforts had depended on the work of local friends and neighbours. After the charity grew to become a national organisation supporting families throughout the UK, the Friends committee carried on raising money locally from street fairs and local raffles.
Yesterday saw Joan Laurance, now 94, as guest of honour at the small celebration. She was presented with a small keepsake – a collection of ‘40 “thank yous” for 40 years’ by Alison Rice chair of trustees. Alison Rice was accompanied by Lady Mary Mumford, our Life President, and by staff from our Gainsford Street office who had helped Sarah organise the event..
Reminiscences and recollections were shared over tea and cakes, even old super 8 footage of 1970’s street fairs was shown.
In its first twelve months the charity supported a dozen local north London families to get a short break and this year, forty years later, that number had grown to almost 4,000 families from across the UK.
Isn’t it remarkable what can grow from the actions of a small number of committed people?
Short video from the event –