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Alford House

Life is as busy as ever at Alford House. A highlight was an exhibition of the artwork that Alford House members had done with the staff from the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Entitled, ‘Kennington Kids: Raw Urban’,the display was held at the Greater London Assembly, City Hall, and was opened by Tessa Jowell, MP, on 13th January. This display of paintings and photographs served as a fund raiser for Dulwich Picture Gallery as an example of the work that they do in the community.

There have been two recent residential weekends: with a total of 14 members taking part in sports and outdoor activities. The Members Fund is thriving and has also recruited two new members and made a contribution of £600 towards the redecoration of the Lower Hall. The Youth Achievements Awards scheme is also proving extremely popular at Alford House, with 18 young people currently undertaking the various levels from Bronze to Platinum. In addition, 3 members have completed their Youth Challenge Awards and there are 12 Youth Achievement Awards waiting to be presented with 8 more due for moderation.

Figures presented in February 2009 indicated that attendance was up overall for the first 9 months of 2008/2009 as against the same period last year, (3520 attendances as against 2812). Although this is encouraging news it has to be seen against the continuing background of gang-related violence in Lambeth and London generally which could well affect attendance at the club later on into 2009.

The Alford House Estates & Redevelopment Sub-Committee has continued to meet and it is likely that we will have to extend our planning permission, as the original consent was only valid for 3 years. In the light of the current financial circumstances we may now have to carry out the work in a planned series of elements and the first of these would be the new roofs. In addition, a bid has been submitted to the National Lottery Young Peoples’ Fund to build a fitness suite..

I would like to thank, as ever, the Club Manager, Tim Saunders, Senior Youth Worker, Jo Dempster and all their staff for their continuing efforts and the Alford House Governors, Mill Hill School and the Old Millhillians Club for their support.

Andrew Welch (75-80)

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