Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Henley Rotary Club

ANGELA HEALEY, chief executive of Henley YMCA, spoke at the club’s lunch meeting at

ANGELA HEALEY, chief executive of Henley YMCA, spoke at the club’s lunch meeting at the Red Lion Hotel last week.

Travelling to work from West Oxfordshire each day, she has been with the organisation for eight years and started as housing manager.

She explained that the main work of the YMCA now was to house 31 young people, aged from 16 to 25 and with local connections, in the 21 studios and 10 one-bedroom flats.

The land is owned by the local branch but the lease is in the name of YMCA England, which is discontinuing housing and selling the property.

Although the units could still be used for social housing, the local organisation would have no control over to whom they were let and this was the reason that Henley YMCA decided to buy the lease from the national body at a cost of £566,500.

The board of trustees launched an appeal last year and, with prospective loans and grants as well as a considerable amount raised, Mrs Healey suggested that the target was almost two-thirds achieved.

She said they had until March 2017 to buy the lease on the property, which has 64 years to run.

Mrs Healey, who has previously worked with addicts and people with mental health problems, described some inspiring stories about some of the residents they had been able to not only to house but assist with education support and other community activities.

She was thanked for her talk by John Luker, who commented that the club was always pleased to learn about genuinely local charities.

President John Grout paid tribute to those responsible for staging the charity gala performance, formerly known as the Midnight Matinée, at Christ Church the previous Friday, especially honorary Rotarian Ken Fitt (see above right).

The total raised, including sponsorship and donations, is expected to be in the region of £3,000.

Rotarians also assisted with the Sue Ryder fireworks display when Robin Sherry and colleagues manned the mulled wine stall, raising about £500 towards the event’s total proceeds of £14,000.

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