Dear Friend of LYP,

Normally at this time of year we would be gathering together for the annual Christmas drinks and having the opportunity to share with you some of the year’s highlights. Due to current circumstances this is not possible but we could not let the opportunity pass by without thanking you for your support.

LYPs youth work was really put to the test during 2020 with ever changing and growing need. Along with new unfolding guidelines, this created a difficult environment for us. However, adaptability has always been something we have prided ourselves on and I am so grateful to say the team did not stop finding ways to meet the local needs of our young people. We did not imagine that by the end of 2020 we would have delivered 2,400 food parcels to isolated families, but with the help of Mid-Surrey Community Fridge we were able to. We were also able to continue our counselling and emotional well-being work (albeit mostly online) providing 485 sessions without missing a single week of provision. And despite our social enterprise and youth cafes looking different, we were able to open our doors at different points throughout the year.

In the Summer we welcomed Laura Dicken to the team as our new AllSaints Coffee Shop Manager. She has been amazing in the hardest of times for our small local business. AllSaints currently employs five young people and as we know too well, this age range are the hardest hit for unemployment due to the pandemic, once again showing us the value that AllSaints brings locally. Thank you to all who regularly visit AllSaints; buying a coffee or lunch is a really easy way to protect jobs and support young people.

This year continues to remind us that community always prevails. It takes so many people to allow us to respond in the flexible way that we have, so whether you are a coffee shop regular, a supporter, a donor, a trustee or one of the team, thank you for being a part of LYP in 2020.

We imagine next year will be hard, small charities are particularly under strain with extra demand and less resource but it will be easier together, this year has shown that. Please do consider how you can be a part of next year’s journey.

Thank you as always. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Jude Crome

CEO, Leatherhead Youth Project