The­fu­ture’syours: Nor­wood­bringsin younggen­er­a­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BYBARRYTOBERMAN

IN A pi­o­neer­ing ven­ture, Nor­wood is look­ing to a younger gen­er­a­tion to help shape its fu­ture.

Plans for the Young Nor­wood Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee were out­lined to 40 peo­ple aged from early 20s to mid 30s at an in­vi­ta­tion-only, cen­tral-london re­cep­tion at­tended by the char­ity’s pro­fes­sional and lay lead­er­ship.

Half the par­tic­i­pants had no prior Nor­wood in­volve­ment but had been rec­om­mended for their lead­er­ship po­ten­tial or pro­fes­sional ex­per­tise.

The hope is that two dozen will come on board, play­ing an in­te­gral role in a two-year strate­gic re­view of Nor­wood ser­vices and go­ing on to form the next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers for Nor­wood and the wider Jewish com­mu­nity.

In­dica­tive of Nor­wood’s com­mit­ment to youth, the re­view is be­ing chaired by its youngest trustee, El­liott Gold­stein, who is in his early 30s.

The for­mer Lim­mud chair gave a pre­sen­ta­tion at the launch event and said the idea had been “in­cred­i­bly well re­ceived.

“There are many young fundrais­ing groups but it is very rare that a communal or­gan­i­sa­tion in­volves them in lead­er­ship and shap­ing pol­icy. We felt that some of the younger tal­ents were not be­ing utilised.

“We were very spe­cific about who we wanted in the re­view process — man­age­ment con­sul­tants and ex­perts in public health and com­mu­ni­ca­tions.”

Prop­erty spe­cial­ists were also among the group as the is­sue is a pri­or­ity con­cern. Speak­ing af­ter the meet­ing, chief ex­ec­u­tive Elaine Kerr ex­plained that “Nor­wood owns a lot of prop­er­ties, some new, some frankly not fit for pur­pose.” She promised the young com­mit­tee “com­plete trans­parency. We’ll open the books to them and dis­cuss spend­ing, staffing and what we need fa­cil­i­ties for. The younger gen­er­a­tion thinks in a very dif­fer­ent way and we wanted a fresh pair of eyes. We had to en­gage them as their gen­er­a­tion will in­herit the de­ci­sions we take.”

Among the par­tic­i­pants was prop­erty man­ager Ti­mothy Lo­vat, who trav­elled from Glas­gow. He was “very en­cour­aged that there are young peo­ple who want to give some­thing back as our par­ents did”.

His view was that ma­jor char­i­ties would need to as­sume greater re­spon­si­bil­ity for wel­fare in de­clin­ing re­gional com­mu­ni­ties over the next 30 years. “Nor­wood is go­ing to have to stretch it­self to look af­ter the whole of Bri­tain — not just Bar­net and Radlett but Ed­in­burgh and Glas­gow,” he ar­gued.

Han­nah Goldie, 24, was among those new to Nor­wood at the meet­ing. Ms Goldie — who works at the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion and is on the Adam Sci­ence lead­er­ship pro­gramme for young pro­fes­sion­als — found the con­cept “re­ally ex­cit­ing and quite ground­break­ing.

“I wanted to get in­volved in a chil­dren and fam­i­lies char­ity but I don’t want to be a fundraiser.”

Nor­wood’s promised open­ness was “cru­cial. If you don’t know ev­ery­thing about an or­gan­i­sa­tion, you are bas­ing de­ci­sions on as­sump­tions,” said Ms Goldie.

Mr Gold­stein re­ported that even those fa­mil­iar with the char­ity had not ap­pre­ci­ated the scope of its ac­tiv­i­ties. “Nor­wood runs 120 ser­vices and three in 100 com­mu­nity mem­bers use them in some way — and that de­mand is in­creas­ing. We have fi­nite re­sources and need to work out how best to use them.”

Ms Kerr added that the chal­lenges Nor­wood faced in­clude the fu­ture di­rec­tion of Ravenswood, its Berk­shire res­i­den­tial vil­lage for the learn­ing dis­abled, find­ing a site in Bore­ham­wood for its fourth fam­ily cen­tre and deal­ing with cuts in statu­tory fund­ing.

On the fi­nan­cial front, there had been “good dis­cus­sions” with Jewish Care on col­lec­tive economies. “We have just put in a joint bid for carer sup­port.”

Nor­wood users, par­ents, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and donors are also in­volved in the re­view process.

Ser­vices ser­vice users staff vol­un­teers hours of vol­un­tary work an­nu­ally is the av­er­age age of a Nor­wood vol­un­teer

Han­nah Goldie is among an at­ten­tive au­di­ence at the launch event

Award-win­ning pup­peteers Blind Sum­mit made the JCC for London’s Other Seder suit­ably dif­fer­ent. Their per­for­mance at Jack­sons Lane Theatre, High­gate, fea­tured the Moses pup­pet from their show, The Ta­ble

PHOTO: NIGEL BEW­LEY

Ti­mothy Lo­vat takes a stand

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