Bromley Churches Housing Action (BCHA) - Annual General Meeting
This took place on 27th June and we welcome Julia Poulter as newly elected Chair of BCHA. After 10 years, Rev. Duncan Aitkins resigned as Chair and we wish to thank him for all his hard work and commitment on behalf of LATCH Project BCHA, particularly since his connection to Bromley Churches’ Housing Actions spans over 20 years. We would also like to thank all the trustees who have stood down, for their support over the last year. Julia is joined by a host of other new and returning trustees which the LATCH team looks forward to working with to ensure the project moves from strength to strength in the coming year.
In the last year, our outreach and work to raise new awareness of the project has impacted homelessness in the borough of Bromley and surrounding areas, substantially. The number of its Clients getting housed has increased 10-fold which is facilitated by the recruitment of the same number in Hosts not only in Bromley but also in the neighbouring boroughs of Lewisham and Croydon and this work will continue unabated. The value in forming working partnerships with local groups and organisations along with other third sector agencies is fundamental in enabling the community to respond to the plight of young and old people experiencing homelessness, who often have no real sense of belonging due to the prolonged and numbing uncertainty of their situation.
We take this opportunity to thank everyone for engaging with us. Particularly, we are indebted to every individual, organisation, trust & foundation who has supported us and continues to do so through the generosity of interest and concern, charitable donations and volunteer work.
Lolly Bell (Project Manager)
First Hosts' Social - Cheese & Wine
The start of something beautiful ♥. All our Hosts come on board, eager to do what they can to make a difference in the lives of the hidden homeless. Often they have been "toying" with the very serious idea of opening their home up to a complete stranger, for week and months...even years! Today, we are proud to say that we have 21 Hosts without whom it would be impossible for us to do what we claim to do. LATCH aims to help the single hidden homeless aged 18 and over because we recognise that the risk of becoming homeless doesn't just apply to 18-25s - it never has. And our lovely Hosts help us do just that by offering up a spare room in their home. Here's just a handful of the very kind and hugely appreciated people who attended our First Hosts' Social - a chance to meet one another, exchange stories and find support within their experience of working with homelessness.
"It's been lovely getting to know other Hosts. We've shared and made new friends so I hope we can do it again, soon. This is a great initiative, thank you LATCH" - Liz, Host of 21 years
22 amazing LATCH supporters came out on Wednesday night to beat the Beast of the East....
...and to sample the delicious 4-course eat-all-you-can Chinese New Year meal at The Peking Diner in Burnt Ash Lane. The evening was a great success and raised £594 in the process. Thank you Rita for the warm hospitality, fab service & food. The raffle was generously sponsored by friends and local businesses including Stella & Dot, Boots of Bromley, Waitrose of Burnt Ash Lane, Sainsbury's Bromley and the Peking Diner!
LATCH Chair Duncan Aitkins & Mayor Kathy Bance
Thanks to all our speakers including Patrick Mulrenan, Senior Lecturer from London Met Uni and the team from Bromley NHS CCG, Daniel and Juliana who are transforming the way we look and handle mental health in the borough.
We are so proud of all our clients and hosts, alike, who contributed so openly to give us an insight into the emotional and psychological impact of being homeless and how this compares to present day, following the intervention and help of organisations such as LATCH and Bromley Homeless Shelter.
Special thanks to Tamasha Restaurant of Widmore Road for sponsoring us with the most delicious curry and samosas which were a most welcome addition to the evening for our guests, including Mayor Kathy Bance, who we will look forward to inviting back as Councillor for future lively discussions and debate!
LATCH CALENDAR 2018
28th Feb - Fundraiser: Chinese New Year Meal
£20.00/head 4-Course Meal & CNY Raffle
Venue: Peking Diner, 71 Burnt Ash Lane / Time: 7pm onwards - Please RSVP asap
28th Mar - First Hosts' Social - Cheese & Wine
Venue: Shortlands Room, Bromley URC / Time: 6.30pm onwards
27th June - LATCH (BCHA) AGM
26th Aug - Fundraiser: Annual Tamasha Curry Lunch
£20.00 - Eat all you can buffet with live entertainment and Raffle sponsored by local businesses.
Venue: Tamasha Restaurant, Widmore Rd, Bromley
Time: 12.30pm onwards
17th October - LATCH Seminar 002
Hidden Homelessness - Factors contributing to Homelessness Amongst Women
The next in our series of information evenings to raise awareness of the needs of the hidden homeless and how we can best support them as a community.
Saturday 24th November - Fundraiser: MUSIC, LIGHTS, ACTION! in aid of LATCH
Watch this space as we work with a number of local theatre and performing arts groups to create an evening of musical and theatrical entertainment. Tickets are £15 and includes light refreshments provided by Tamasha & Peking Diner.
Venue & Time: to be confirmed
20th Dec – Christmas Carols at Bromley South
Do you hum or sing!? Choirs of supportive voices needed.
Venue: Bromley South Station / Time: 5.30pm onwards
16th January - LATCH Seminar 003
Hidden Homelessness - factors
The last of this year's information evenings to raise awareness of the needs of the hidden homeless and how we can best support them as a community.
Venue: The Chapel, Bromley URC / Time: 7-9pm
Tamasha Curry Lunch
We are always excited about the Annual Curry Lunch at Tamasha Restaurant and this year was no exception. We welcomed a warm turnout of friends and supporters who so kindly participate in this delicious annual event in support of the LATCH Project!
Once again, the Eat-All-You-Can buffet gathering served as a perfect opportunity to get to know one another as supporters, concerned for the Homeless. The food was delicious whilst the ever attentive warmth of Tamasha's staff was a credit to Owner Mr Tarat who continues to support LATCH so generously. Tamasha accepts only half of the £20 ticket price for the meal and the other half is a direct donation to LATCH by all those who attend.
After the meal, we said a fond farewell to LATCH team member Alexandra Coeln who has always worked with such grace and cheer. Alex moves on to pastures new in fashion PR and Marketing. With that, the LATCH Summer Raffle kicked off with an assortment of prizes donated by our supporters and local businesses. Again, we thank all those who attended for making it such a memorable occasion and for their kindness in spirit and in giving of their time for the Homeless.
Save the date! LATCH Ladies Night is returning on Wednesday 8th November at the lovely Friends Of Mine in Beckenham.
We are now seeking sponsors and volunteers to get involved in one our biggest fundraisers of the year. If you have a beauty-, fashion- or gifts-related business, please get in touch to find out more about booking a table to sell your products and/or service on the night, or making a donation for the Ladies Night Raffle to be drawn on the night.
Find out more about booking fees and donations by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
On the 7th of December we will be having our annual Christmas Carols at the URC. The service will be led by LATCH Chair Rev. Duncan Aitkins with participation in festive music and song from some, but hopefully all of our guests.
The service will be followed by festive drinks and nibbles including some mulled wine and mince pies to kick off the festive season cheer!
Christmas Movie Screening
Homeless Sunday - January 2018
We look forward to a collaboration with many of the Bromley parishes on a project of participation, themed on Homeless Sunday, to raise much needed support and awareness for UK's ever growing number of homeless people, on one dedicated day in January 2018. Updates soon. Learn more here:
Quiz Night at St Joseph's Church Hall 2016 was a great success and we raised over £500.
Lots of fun was had by all the teams, solving riddles and retrieving those facts from the back of our memories. A great raffle too, with thanks to many local businesses who so generously donated prizes.