“It is always our aspiration to do more”, was the summary from Board Chair Helen Forsyth, addressing Trustees, Staff, Volunteers and Members of the Public at our Annual General Meeting held on 20th September 2022.

The meeting was exquisitely catered by our Outside Catering Kitchen team, with desserts provided by our Jawhara Women’s social enterprise collective that were simply sublime. Craig and Amy, from our Space kitchen, talked about their work and how food has helped them on their journey through life.

Honey laced cakes topped with cherries and flaked almonds

As well as the food there was serious business to attend to. Our annual accounts were approved and are being lodged with Companies House and OSCR.

Several of our trustees stood down and many more were reelected to the board to continue their work with the charity.

Helen Forsyth said:
“We have some retirements from people who have steered the charity through some tough times. The construction of the new Broomhouse Hub, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic, meant that some stayed on longer than anticipated. But, such is their dedication that they wanted to ensure a lasting legacy for the people of South West Edinburgh, and we thank them all for their service.

“We are busy building a new board which is even more diverse and inclusive than ever. We will be working hard to develop a new five-year plan, and I am immensely proud that half of our board of trustees lives within three miles of The Broomhouse Hub. We are directed and motivated by the local community, and our aspiration is always to do more.”

A key retirement was Tom Watson, who had served on the board for 17 years. A qualified Accountant, Tom presented the audited accounts to the attendees for the last time and was praised for his clear and concise explanation of financial business and technical terminology.

Paying tribute, Helen Forsyth commented:

“Tom has been an unswerving constant for such a long time. His skill and dedication have kept us on track through many major challenges, and he was one of the key protagonists who helped create this fantastic building. So, Tom, enjoy your retirement; it is richly deserved!”

During the evening, Tom, a keen sailor, was presented with a compass, a bottle of his favourite tipple and a box of cheese scones, having not attended a board meeting without one in 17 years!

Tom Watson and CEO Neil Hay with Tom's box of Cheese Scones

Tom Watson receives his retirement gift from CEO Neil Hay

Attendees, both in person and via our Facebook Page, also heard from Chief Executive Neil Hay. He outlined the commitment to a new community consultation project to make sure that Space works in the best interests of local residents and can address their needs and concerns in the short, medium and long term.

We will announce news of the community consultation shortly.

Previously, our different services produced videos or presentations about their work. You can read the full account of the impact of our work in our 2022 Impact Report, which is available as a PDF download here.

The first video of the evening was from The Beacon Club and Space Age Connections. It introduced some Beacon Club’ gang members’ and showcased our Space Age Connections team’s amazing work. You can find out more about their work and how to volunteer here.

A second video included two interviews with people who have benefited from our Learning and Wellbeing Service. Zoe took part in our Pick and Mix employability training and now travels the UK helping people realise their dreams of being driven around in supercars! One of the perks of her job is getting to go in the cars whenever she likes. Pick and Mix helped boost Zoe’s confidence, and a new intake of trainees will start soon.

Wissam is a member of our BAME Women’s Group. Since joining, she has found her calling in helping other women to broaden their horizons and do something for themselves. Thanks to support from Space, Wissam is now enrolled at college and studying to develop community support.

Hear both their stories below:

Andrew Ainsworth presented on behalf of Vintage Vibes and told a heartfelt case study around Jerry, one of their many VIPs around Edinburgh and his befriender, Erin.

Largely housebound, Jerry can no longer get out and enjoy his many activities, including rollerblading(!), but shares his passion for technology and photography with Erin. The pair has worked hard to digitise Jerry’s collection of images, and he has even been learning new digital skills to enhance and preserve his photos. Vintage Vibes offers befriending to isolated older people across the city, with Andrew summing up the team’s challenge for 2022/23 as simply to “be the difference.”

Vintage Vibes members dressed up in glasses, hats, wigs and feather boas

Vintage Vibes proving good company never gets old

Our final video of the evening was from our Youth and Families Team, who have had a fantastic year getting back to residential trips and activities for young carers, young adult carers, literacy with Bookbug, mental health and overall wellbeing through various other projects too. It has been one of the most significant areas of demand post lockdown, and our Friday Night Youth Club has grown to over 60 members.