With Christmas and the end of the year approaching, it’s a good opportunity to reflect.
It’s been a special year for us as we turned 25 and held several events to mark this amazing achievement. My personal favourite was the Friends and Family Day. It was so lovely to meet to get together in this way with staff, their families and friends and enjoy a few hours in the sunshine. This will become an annual event as it was so popular. It was interesting to note that a social function without alcohol felt like a more inclusive event for everyone and was very well attended.
We were also able to hold our first Board away-day, where the team had the opportunity to focus solely on reviewing our strategic documents, and making sure AMAT is moving forward in a resilient fashion and developing our service every step of the way. We really have come such a long way. Again, this is something we will be doing annually going forward.
I know I’ve said it before, but by far my highlight of this year has been the lift installation at 411 The Hive. It’s already having a significant impact on access to the space for the community and our staff. Thank you to the Edward Gostling Foundation and Kent Community Foundation for supporting us to make this difference to our community.
Outside of the usual pressures of Christmas for us all, is the increased concern that the cost-of-living crisis is causing. It’s likely that AMAT, like all charities, will see an increase in the need for our service. By 2024, a further 66,000 people could become homeless with most of these people sofa surfing, an estimated 8,000 rough sleeping and 9,000 forced into unsuitable temporary accommodation (Crisis, 2022). At AMAT we’re preparing ourselves for this and everyone can play their part by highlighting the importance of maintaining essential services for the homeless community.
Providing homes is an important part of what AMAT does, but equally our focus on supporting people to re-build their lives is critical to preventing future homelessness. Strengthening confidence and self-esteem is a vital component of that and one of the ways we do this is through encouraging Residents to join AMAT’s choir “Alive and Singing”.
We are raising funds to keep our choir going as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge which runs between Midday 29th November until midday 6th December 2022. This great campaign doubles all donations we receive so please support us if you can, even a small donation will have a big impact – just click on this link and bring some Christmas joy to our Residents!
I will sign off now, I wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a Happy, Healthy 2023