Chair’s Blog – July 2023
Life is full of moments, some big, some small, which can take us on different paths.
I reported in my last blog in February that we were saying farewell to our former member of staff, Susanne Ollig and welcoming a new temporary replacement, Ruth Elora. Ruth has also now left us after serving us for four and a half months, but we are pleased to announce that Kimberley Ellis has now taken on the permanent Community Development Executive role.
Our thanks to Ruth for her hard work during that time and a big welcome to Kimberley from all of us at Wimblecomm! Kimberley has written a short blog introducing herself here. She looks forward to meeting everyone in the coming months and helping develop our services across Merton.
I also reported last time that sadly my wife Jil and I had separated. Jil has now moved to a new home in the Wimbledon Park ward where she is a councillor and I have returned to the Kings Road address, and we have plans at Wimblecomm to make more of the house in future. We will announce more in due course as appropriate.
The last fortnight has of course seen the usual increase of international attention to our little corner of South London because of the annual Wimbledon tennis tournament. I spent a couple of days this year accompanying visiting friends in the ‘Wimbledon Queue’ before enjoying some rain interrupted hours watching some fabulous tennis on the outside courts.
Sadly, Wimbledon was also the centre of attention following the distressing events at the Study Preparatory school a couple of weeks ago. As with any such tragic incidents, it is always best to leave the authorities to carry out their investigations.
The facts will emerge in due course but in the meantime, we echo the sentiments of others and offer our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies to the families, friends and staff from the school. In times such as this our community crosses social boundaries and we can only hope that something good can eventually come out of this profoundly sad experience.
Finally on a more encouraging note, we have been pleased to be involved in the Community Champions initiative commenced by the Council during the Covid lockdown and sustained since then by engagement with a variety of local organisations and volunteers.
The regular sessions since ‘normality’ has returned have focused on several varying health issues. We hope that the regular bulletins we have sent out have been reaching our members and their own wider communities. We are in discussion with the Community Engagement team at the Council and hope to introduce some new ideas on that in the months to come.
In the meantime, do continue to engage with us and, as ever, we would welcome the opportunity to talk with you and help tell your stories to make Merton a kinder, happier and more connected community.