An update from Eddie!

Hi all,

Thank you

Thanks to Natalie, who manages our marketing, social media, website, info@ email etc. as this blog she will put up, offers a great opportunity to wish Silverfitters a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2023.

I know some of you are organising local celebrations – and although it’s not possible to organise a winter get-together for all our members, we will arrange this in the summer.

So, most importantly, my thanks to all our staff – Clare (COO), Pete (Ops Manager), Bradley (fundraising and data analysis), Dana (data collection and accounts,) Sofia (fundraising) Laura (membership) and a big welcome to Jennifer Wong who will be helping Clare in Kingston and Richmond. Mega thanks too to our six volunteer Trustees (Paul Perry (Chair) Catkin Shelley (treasurer), Brett Berger, Terence McGregor, and Gavin Simpson for all their hard work. Sadly Marjorie Barnes, our long-standing Trustee and Nordic walker who has raised so much funding for Silverfit, has just resigned – a very special thanks to her.

Sessions – new and old
It has been a challenging but successful year, as we continued to build up again, post Covid, and opened new venues in Kingston, Camden, Decathlon and Croydon. We are aiming to start new venues if and when we are awarded the funding we have applied for– Kingsmeadow (home of Chelsea Ladies FC and the David Weir Archer Centre) the Olympic Park and Aquacentre, Drapers Hall in Elephant and Castle and Teddington Leisure Centre.

So, with thanks to all our Instructors, Nordic Walk Leaders, and Silverfit Ambassador’s, attendance at sessions is steadily building up and we are gathering the vital anonymised statistics from our Health Questionnaires (PARQs) and hope to be getting surveys out to you all in the beginning of January.

Merger with Age UK Camden
The new Camden centre at Talacre is linked to our merger as a Subsidiary charity with AgeUK Camden. Many of you will know Silverfit has been seeking a subsidiary charity status for several years and it finally happened on 26.10.22, when merger documents were signed. We will retain our own Board of Trustees and remain a separate entity and a separate charity and continue to employ our own staff and hold and monitor grants in our own bank account. But we will have the benefits of their financial management, governance, HR etc. By being a subsidiary of Age UK Camden, many risks that smaller charities like Silverfit face are mitigated by being part of a larger group e.g. they will have expertise guidance regarding GDPR, Safeguarding, HR, and Finance policies.

Launch Event this Friday 1pm
We are celebrating our merger with Age UK Camden by having a small daytime launch event this Friday in Camden. If you would like to attend please RSVP to [email protected]. Find out our future plans and how this collaboration will be a great opportunity for Silverfit and our members.

  • 1pm at Talacre Community Sports Centre in Kentish Town, NW5 3LN, walking football plus indoor demo
  • Followed by 2pm at MAP Studio Café 4 mins walk, NW5 3DU, for speeches and refreshments

Attendance fees and membership
Many of you have asked about attendance fees and annual membership. It feels a long way from the days when our Silverfit Ambassadors managed the cash payment every week and gave out sequentially numbered membership cards by venue. In some venues where we have funding linked to specific venues, we have been able to offer free attendance.  Pete is working hard at the moment on annual membership system. He has also been taking the sum up machines to venues and we need to develop that system. I can see too from Just Giving that many of you have donated generously. We also get Gift Aid from donations to Just giving so here is the link!

Bradley, Sofia and I have worked hard in recent months on bidding for Grants with some success, although we are awaiting outcome from at least 8 funders! Fingers are so tightly crossed! We have continued to work in partnership with GLL/Better as we look to use more of their centres, like Vauxhall and Teddington, and maybe the Aqua centre in the Olympic Park

Looking to the future
As we look towards the future, Silverfit aims to continue to work on our goal of supporting as many members as possible in healthier, happier ageing, expanding this work and continuing to reach more individuals to welcome into our ever-growing family.

So, as a final 2022 note, I wish you all the best over the holiday period and a Happy New Year to all.

Look forward to seeing you in 2022, Covid -safe, risk aware, of course.

Natalie Rickman

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