People ConneX launches 2021 Summer Festival

06 July 2021

Our People ConneX team enjoyed a successful launch to their annual Summer Festival.

Keeping to government guidelines, around 35 people gathered together at St Paul’s Church in Ruislip, Hillingdon for a presentation and a light lunch.

The attendees included local congregation members, and Community ConneX volunteers and staff. The group welcomed the Mayor of Hillingdon Cllr Roy Chamdal and his wife the Mayoress Reeta Chamdal to the event as guests of honour.

The mayor made a speech to the group about the renewed importance of community and neighbours during the pandemic.

After the event, the mayor said:

“Attending the event this morning has really raised my awareness about the great work the People ConneX programme does supporting the whole community and the pleasure that it gives people was so evident here. The turnout was fantastic too.”

Following the mayor’s speech, a group of staff and volunteers took turns sharing their stories with the group about what the People ConneX programme does and how joining it has impacted their lives.

Our Fundraising Assistant James Keeler told guests about how the programme continued to support people by adapting activities to meet guidelines, including introducing new support offers with phone-in, online and outdoor options such as picnics and healthy walks.

Our People ConneX Manager Jeremy Child introduced the Summer Festival and the new partnership with the church.

Jeremy said:

“I would like to pledge my sincere thanks to the Parish Vicar Father Michael for his ambition plans for St Pauls and other Churches in the Ruislip/Ickenham Area to work with People Connex in the months ahead, for the Mayor of Hillingdon Roy for his passionate Speech and last but not least our volunteer Jill Camprubi also from St Paul`s for setting today up and providing a delicious lunch assisted by Gillian Pearse.”

Our volunteer John Pearse also shared his story with attendees, explaining how People ConneX has helped him overcome social isolation and broadened his horizons. He explained that as a People ConneX volunteer, he now helps distribute food to homeless people, supports event organisation and meets “wonderful people” including councillors and MPs.

Long-term volunteer and staff member David Stephens spoke about his work with local businesses and churches as part of the programme’s fundraising and engagement efforts.

Another newer volunteer, Julia Mead told the group about how she has supported events by preparing and serving food, tea, and coffee and led activities such as puppet shows and quizzes. She also mentioned that the programme’s healthy walks have been a big part of her efforts to keep fit and healthy during the pandemic.

Jill Camprubi talked about how she first met the Community ConneX team at St Paul’s Church years before. She also said that since then she has regularly volunteered with us, entertaining guests with the violin at our events both in person and online.

Janine Anderson who has been supporting us since her retirement spoke about the important administrative and organisational work that ensures our programmes can go ahead. She also told the group about the presentations she gives at our People ConneX History Club sessions and how she has been teaching groups about the Romans, Saxons, and Vikings so far.

At the end of the event, the Priest at St Paul’s Church Father Michael, spoke about how the pandemic has highlighted the importance of community and how engaging with Community ConneX is an exciting new start for the church.

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