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Meet the Presenters pitching at TFN St Albans

Our launch event in St Albans is only a few weeks away! We spoke to TFN member, Richard, who is organising the event, a couple of months ago, and today we’re speaking to the 4 people who will be bravely pitching for support on the evening.

The four projects selected to pitch have been announced as the OLLIE Foundation, Mind in Mid Herts, Sustainable St Albans and the Young People’s Puppet Theatre. We spoke to them all to find out some more about the presenters and their projects.

Catherine Ross is a steering group member of Transition St Albans and chairs the volunteer working-group behind their biggest project, Sustainable St Albans Week.  She is passionate about trying to engage people in making the district more environmentally sustainable, and has helped over 150 households cut their carbon footprint with the Transition Streets project. Catherine said, "The TFN event is such a great opportunity for Transition St Albans. It is a chance to tell people about our work, and to raise precious funds. As a tiny community group with no secure funding, we stretch our resources very thinly and hit above our weight.  Extra funding will allow us to reach far more people and engage them in making changes. With £3,000 we can run a whole annual programme of events, run our Food Waste Challenge, and relaunch and grow under our new name Sustainable St Albans."

Stuart Falconer, Chairman of the OLLIE Foundation, whose work focuses on reducing suicide among young people, said: “Our mission is to save lives.  Being given the opportunity to raise money at this event is a privilege and I’m grateful for the opportunity to raise awareness of our charity and outline our objectives. While the subject matter is a difficult and distressing one, it is one nonetheless that cannot be ignored. I’m hopeful that people will support our charity and what better way to promote it by attending the inaugural TFN event in St Albans on 2nd September.”

Sharn Tomlinson, Chief Executive of Mind in Mid Herts said that her aim is “to ensure that everyone feels that Mind is a place for them.  My back ground is as a family therapist; this incorporates looking at what a family or any networks of people create together and how to build successful and satisfying relationships.” Of our event on the 2nd September, Sharn said “I am very excited about the opportunity to talk to an audience of people interested in the work we do in St Albans.  This is a wonderful chance to raise awareness of the need for people to take care of their mental wellbeing in the same way that they take care of their physical health.”

"I am delighted to have the opportunity to present to TFN the case for funding The Young People’s Puppet Theatre", said Jeremy Duschenes, Executive Director. "We run year-long projects in Year 6, the final year of primary schools, projects which teach children a wide variety of technical skills but more importantly boost their confidence and ability to work together. We work primarily in schools with a significant proportion of under-privileged children for whom English is a second language, and many of whom struggle academically."

"I have been involved in projects of this nature on an ad hoc basis since the late 1960’s but three years ago I decided to set up the YPPT in order to bring the benefits of these projects to a greater number of students. Our projects set very high expectations of the children in terms of skills to be acquired, behavior and collaboration, and because it all happens in a fun non-academic environment, the acquisition of those skills and the confidence and teamwork that develop are simply by-products of the students enjoying themselves. In the process they hugely exceed their own expectations and the skills they pick up then help them in the transition into secondary school. The payback for us is manifest in the exceptional testimonials we routinely get from students, teachers and parents alike."

If you'd like to join us in St Albans for the launch on 2nd September, there are still some tickets left - book here!


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