On Thursday 21 March, St Andrew’s welcomed over 100 guests to the Club for the annual President’s Reception. The evening marked the official handover of presidency from Lord Selborne to Lord Strathclyde. Lord Selborne returned to being Vice President, thus maintaining a continuity of marvellous involvement in St Andrew’s Club by the Selborne family, since the Club’s earliest beginnings.

The electric kit car designed, built and raced by Club members on display, thanks to a fantastic partnership with the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturing & Traders), saw the scene firmly set for an evening of St Andrew’s Club celebrations.

Highlights of the year were outlined by the Club Chairman, Elizabeth Cuffy, which included the award of the Silver Level London Youth Quality Mark and the achievement of Ski instructor qualifications for three of our members through our partnership with the charity Snow-Camp.

Noah, Club Member of the Year, told supporters of his Club memories and outlined what his important role as Club Member of the Year involved, including holding weekly surgeries on Thursdays to talk with other members and ensuring their feelings are heard and represented at management meetings. Noah also spoke of opportunities to come for Club members, including a residential trip in May for ten members who are on the Youth Development Programme. The team are going to Wales and will take part in physical challenges like pot-holing, which will help them all work as a team and learn more about how we react under pressure. As Noah said, “It’s called learning ‘resilience’ and that’s something I’ve already learnt loads of from my time at St Andrew’s”.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Lindsey Hall also commented on the importance of the existence of St Andrew’s in her speech, saying:

“St Andrew’s Club is such a triumph – and continues to live up to its long and proud reputation. Its purpose, support and distraction embodies all the good work needed to help the mental health and wellbeing of our local young people – my particular passion”.

In recognition of an outstanding presidency, Lord Selborne was presented with a personalised graffiti canvas, designed and created by Adrian, Deputy Club Manager of St Andrew’s. A second gift of a personalised graffiti canvas was also given to William Underhill, a long-term Club adviser who is retiring from legal firm Slaughter & May. William has given invaluable legal advice, generous financial support and dogged physical commitment by cycling from London to Paris in 2017 to raise funds for the Club. The Club is incredibly appreciative of all that both have done. The evening ended with the raffle prize winners revealed. The first prize was a pair of tickets to Chelsea Flower Show thanks to M&G Investments and the second prize a pair of tickets to the Curzon Cinema Victoria.

The reception was a huge success, with over £420 being raised from the raffle. These funds will truly make a difference to the young people who come to St Andrew’s every day. Thank you to everyone who joined the occasion, our Club members who did a wonderful job serving refreshments and to Louise Hawes, Club youth worker who made the delicious food.

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