Over seventy people came together on Zoom to take part in Health for All’s AGM on Friday (25 June 2021) celebrating the Middleton-based charity’s thirtieth year.
Representatives from thirty two member groups joined Baroness Judith Blake and Hilary Benn MP, local councillors, funders and Health for All trustees and staff to hear how the charity had adapted its services during the Covid-19 pandemic. Member groups included those supporting families, disabled people, tenants, dads, isolated Chinese, Hindu and Sikh elders, Bangladeshi community, kinship carers, women and men, care leavers, local history, walking, healthy activity, choirs.
Chair of Trustees, Dr Raj Menon, highlighted the continuing needs faced by the local people Health for All helps, the poverty, rising unemployment, deprivation. Dr Raj spoke passionately about ‘Levelling Up’ and the need to address the deep inequalities in our local communities, urging those with power to do more. Drawing on his own experience as a GP in Hunslet, he said:
“When I have to refer my patients to food banks because they cannot feed their children, or signpost them to the Salvation Army for Christmas Dinner or ask HFA to bring them food parcels, that’s not Levelling Up.”
Chief Executive Pat McGeever presented the charity’s Annual Review in the form of a short film giving a whistlestop tour of other new projects providing access to Food Pantries and IT in HFA local centres and hubs, supporting Chinese, Bangladeshi, eastern European young people towards employment, connecting and supporting care experienced young people, providing food parcels for families with young children and BME elders, contract tracing, redressing Health Inequalities by supporting families with life enhancing and work opportunities.
Pat announced the charity’s successful retention of Leeds Breastfeeding Peer Support service, a partnership with Womens Health Matters. Other business included presentation and adoption of the charity’s accounts, appointment of auditor and election of eleven trustees bringing rich, diverse experience and skills to the charity’s governance.
Dr Raj thanked staff, volunteers, partners, including special thanks to the charity’s funders for recognising and supporting this crucial work. Finally a new, colourful, accessible HFA website was launched, available to view at www.healthforall.org.uk