The Barley Mow traditional English pub, in London’s Horseferry Road, was the venue for a get‑together of European supporters of SAYes on Saturday 4 June 2016. Our hosts were
Michelle Potter, Executive Director and co‑founder of SAYes, accompanied by Andrew Dellis, Operations Director of SAYes and the UK Board’s Chair Marit Mohn and her husband Robert Westlake. Marit and Robert are long‑standing donors to SAYes, and its biggest donors.
Supporters who shared their Saturday afternoon were:
- Celly Brohee
- Kirsty Herrington
- Cathy O’Donnell
- Sabine Schmidt
- Lou Selby
- Catherine Verney
- Lena Whitaker
- Keith Shone
Michelle and Andrew were in England for meetings with current and prospective donors, and other supporters of SAYes. Despite a hectic schedule they spent well over two hours with us listening to our questions. Questions on such diverse topics as fundraising and fetal alcohol syndrome.
Michelle explained the progress that SAYes has made in the past year or so and provided copies of the 2015 Annual Report. Michelle described the great difficulty, verging on intransigence, of local government organisations in South Africa to consider supporting SAYes and its well‑established and proven success in youth mentoring. On a much more positive and exciting note, Michelle announced that a new SAYes website was almost ready for release.
Andrew fielded questions about the nature of the difficulties faced by marginalised young people in South Africa. His research on transition‑age‑youth enabled him to provide detailed responses to our questions. Hearing of the different, often distressing, backgrounds of young people spending their early years in children’s homes, was a stark reminder of the overwhelming need for the youth mentoring that the SAYes programme Transition to Independent Living (TIL) is providing. Its success is evident from the 2015 TIL Programme’s outcomes.
On behalf of Michelle, Marit and Andrew, I wish to thank supporters for coming out on a grey and cool Saturday in London, for their active and critical participation in yesterday’s meeting and not least their continuing generous support of SAYes. Special thanks to Celly for travelling from Belgium and Sabine from Germany.