On Thursday 12 March, St Andrew’s held its annual President’s Reception. Despite the growing coronavirus worries, 50 guests turned up for what was a wonderful, final ‘hurrah!’ before all the closures began in earnest.

Of course, we all observed strict ‘social distancing’ guidelines, leaving our Club President, Lord Strathclyde to observe that;

“Watching you all nudging elbows and touching toes and sort of bowing slightly and waving - it has given me a great deal of pleasure.”

The speeches from Lord Strathclyde and our guest, the Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Ruth Bush, were praised for their warmth and humour. Certainly, Lord Strathclyde’s comment that “Those who visit St Andrew's Club have an overriding impression of what a wonderful and happy place it is. The atmosphere is of can do, of helping each other,” rang true that night.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster highlighted the importance of St Andrew’s Club to the Westminster community:

“There is knife crime, there is gang crime, there is gun crime. All of those things are deeply, deeply troubling and disturbing, and a place like [St Andrew’s Club] makes it possible to draw people away, who are at risk of being drawn in.”

For more information on how St Andrew’s Club helps tackle the rise of youth violence, please click HERE.

Our fundraising team created an array of exhibition boards to highlight the Club’s valuable work and activities, detailing our amazing Youth Development Team programme, the life skills we impart, the challenges facing young people in Westminster and how we help tackle them and much more.

The overriding message was how our youth workers consistently go #AboveandBeyond in supporting our members, their families and the local community.

“People don’t always have opportunity. They don’t always know there are opportunities for them. They don’t always have ambition. They don’t always know what to do with and how to focus the ambition they do have. A place like [St Andrew’s Club] makes realising all of that possible.”

Lord Mayor of Westminster, Cllr Ruth Bush

With thanks to all our guests who came to support us and celebrate St Andrew’s Club, creating the wonderful atmosphere.

Great thanks also to Burberry, Berry Bros and Elizabeth Hitchcock for their generous, very luxurious raffle prizes.

Senior Youth Worker & Football Coach, Edson, entertains at the raffle!

Our wonderful youth workers did a fantastic job, hosting, managing bar and raffle, serving food and generally looking after all our guests – Thank you Tom, Edson, Amine and Will!

How are we operating during lockdown?

Despite closures, we are continuing to provide a service to our young members, working with our members, youth workers and other organisations to create an exciting ‘virtual’ programme. Our first virtual challenge has already been issued and online cookery sessions planned, as well as physical activity packs created and personally distributed to families in need by our amazing Youth Club Manager, Sarah.

We are also a Youth Hub and are helping to guide the families most in need to places they can seek additional help.

How to support our members and their families through social isolation?

If you enjoyed reading this news story and would like to make a donation in support of St Andrew's Club, particularly through this difficult time of social isolation when our community needs us more than ever, please click HERE or contact kimberley@standrewsclub.com for more information and options.