Happy New Year! Jan 2018 Blogpost by Michael Ryan, CEO What a great Christmas and New Year for our members, volunteers and staff! We celebrated in style with the Christmas Fayre on 9th December, the Christmas party on 19th December and the Christmas Day lunch on 25th December. Fifty-three people enjoyed lunch at St Luke's on Christmas Day itself, kindly served by 26 volunteers. Reggie, Jennifer and Fiker, members of staff at St Luke's, came in to the Centre on Christmas Day and, of course, Santa arrived with his little elves, and delivered gifts to everyone present. The gift-giving was made possible because of the tremendous response to our Christmas Giving campaign and the generosity of our corporate partners. Above: Christmas day at St Luke's. 2018 promises to be a great year for St Luke's, and we're all excited about even more opportunities for our members and all those who use the Centre. Our trustees met on 13th December and agreed our budget and funding for 2018, and we have a new strategy for the next three years which is going to offer great opportunities for development. I'm thrilled to say that we will be able to offer even more services and activities to local people, and our trustees also agreed an extra figure of almost £100,000 whereby we will be able to improve the building and make it an even better place for people. Watch this space! Above: Our Trustees meeting in December. Our many members and guests who have visited in the summer will be pleased to hear we will be installing air-conditioning in the Café and will also apply for planning permission to install air-conditioning in our kitchen and dining room. It can be very hot in there during the summer months, so air-conditioning will make it much more comfortable and pleasant. We are also going to engage more people from the different communities within the area in our various services and activities. We want as many people as possible to benefit from St Luke’s and we will engage a member of staff to go out to the various communities and talk to them about what they want to see happening at St Luke’s. We welcome feedback. We will also explain more clearly to local people what we are about. I joined Help on Your Doorstop on one of their days in the EC1 area in October and I was so surprised to speak to a number of our neighbours who didn’t realise what we do here at St Luke’s. One thought it was a school and another thought it was a polling booth (which we are, but not very often!). A third didn’t realise we offer art classes and work with people on trying to improve their mental health. We want to get our message out to as many people as possible and make sure that St Luke’s will involve them in our services. For now, I want to wish you all a very happy 2018. May it be a year of health, happiness and serenity for you and your families. We will continue to keep you updated on the developments at the Centre over the coming year, and look forward to seeing you soon.