Teamwork a Highlight for Nomad at their AGM

Nomad held their AGM over Zoom on Monday this week.  Chair of Trustees, Jeremy Bray opened the meeting by saying, “The main purpose of the AGM was to celebrate who Nomad is and what has been happening in the last year.” As an introduction, attendees were shown a brief video tour of d:two (the home of Nomad), but which is also a Family Centre, open from 9.30 – 11.30 six days per week, and also offers a well-stocked café, playgroups and a soft play area.

As a brief overview, Jeremy first explained that the team is coming back to full capacity and there have been staff changes in the last year, but they have had a successful year and there have been 4,000 individual interventions and so they have been a vital support in the community.

Following this, Peter Lloyd, a Trustee with responsibility for the finances took the lead and went through the year’s financial statement. Firstly, he said that the income has been lower this year, however, during the first Covid year the community was extremely generous, and the second year was calmer, therefore this year was much closer to previous years. Peter emphasised that charitable donations and grants are still “the backbone” of the income and Nomad always needs continued support. The figures for this year are as follows: £184,669 income and £184,198 of expenditure (most notably they purchased a new van and once again have five paid staff members), therefore that gives a surplus of £471, a slim margin. Peter also explained that their reserves are almost unchanged at £148,377. Peter predicts that, with the current cost of living crisis, the need for the foodbank will increase (and already is), and they expect the “help fund” to increase as well as youth activities. Two years of Covid has significantly increased pupil anxieties and Nomad is experiencing more demand in schools.

Tim Prior, the Team Manager, then provided an insight into a typical day for staff at Nomad, saying there really isn’t one. Tim’s passion for Nomad was immediate and he said that a typical day can be full of “tears and laughter” but that “teamwork is a constant theme,” describing his team as “creative, caring, resourceful and kind.” Finally, he said the “team have rallied together, and they are committed to helping young people and families.”

Tim then introduced each member of his team and gave them an opportunity to speak. Angela Face, described her work supporting a local family with myriad struggles. Sarah Lane, responsible for fundraising and administration, detailed her work with the Ukrainians coming to live here; providing laptops, helping with various applications, and food supplies. Jaco Bruwer, is responsible for the foodbank and provided an update on how the cost-of-living crisis has impacted the foodbank. He said from April 2021 until March 2022 Nomad provided 673 food parcels and delivered 1447 bags. They helped 980 adults, 589 children and 7 homeless. This is up 40% on both a weekly and monthly basis from the previous year, with the exception of the Covid year. In addition, Harvest Festival provided 114 bags to families and individuals, and he also wanted to mention Cook in Henley who donate meals every Friday for Nomad to hand out, describing it as a “help and a blessing,” and saying they have offered to do a full Christmas meal during the festive period. Finally, Debbie Bromley, who joined in March, and was described by Tim as a “fantastic addition” listed some of the things she has helped with including, taking a nervous parent to the dentist (on her first day!), life skills groups in schools, tree planting in Freeman’s Meadow, Harvest Festival assemblies in schools, after school programmes, and mentoring thirty students in Langtree and Gillotts schools. She said of her role that it’s about “creating places of belonging and connection.”

As the meeting, drew near to a close, there was a video from Gillotts’ Assistant Headteacher, thanking Nomad for their “invaluable support”, continuing by saying, “we are blessed to have the team in the local community” and that Gillotts is the “envy of other schools.”

Finally, after thanking Jaco for editing all the videos, Tim introduced one final video showing the highlights of the past year. These included, white water rafting at Lee Valley Water Park, paintballing, a trip to Boscombe Beach, a summer skate tour, Go Ape, paddleboarding at The Eyot Centre and a Devon residential.

Chris Ward, part of the advisory board, and responsible for raising funds, then took over to share plans for future fundraising. Firstly, he talked about the success of a recent fundraising dinner at The Relais where they set a £10,000 target but actually raised £16,750. Next year they are planning another fundraising dinner in November (with details to be released in summer), a Nomad Regatta which will be set up at d:two and a Nomad walk which was postponed from this summer due to the extreme heat and will now take place in September 2023.

To conclude, Jeremy thanked all the “supporters, sponsors, trustees and the advisory board,” as well as emphasising how it is “great to be part of a bigger team in the community.” He also extended a special thanks to Mark Sayers, a long-term trustee, who set up Nomad but is now taking a little break. As a final word Jeremy said it is “exciting to see the local community rise up in support.”