Words of thanks from Mission Director, Major Kathy Versfeld
Back in September 2019, when Strawberry Field welcomed its first visitors through the doors of our new centre, we were delighted to declare: ‘our gates are open for good!’ As we did so, we committed to provide 362 days a year a place of inspiration and refuge to all visitors: the fans coming from far and wide in search of John Lennon; the locals finding a place to stop and recharge their batteries over fabulous food and quiet moments in the garden; the volunteers working with us to transform the lives of our Steps to Work trainees, their families and the many other visitors who come to us in search of solace and peace.
None of us could have imagined the year that lay ahead. Together with the rest of the world, we plumbed the depths of despair and uncertainty during a lockdown which kept our visitor centre closed for 123 days. Behind the scenes, however, we kept working, serving the vulnerable in our local community with food parcels, the offer of prayer and a listening ear, as well as supporting our Steps to Work trainees through a daily, online ‘Steps from Home’ programme.
Now, as we try to plot a safe path through this awful pandemic, we are determined to move forward with a renewed commitment to work for the greater good. Now, more than ever, young people with barriers to employment need our support. Now, more than ever, our visitors need a place to stop and reflect and be inspired to dream of better days to come.
Here at Strawberry Field as we count our blessings, I want you to know that we include you. Thank you for your interest and ongoing support. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Know that your financial support in this way will transform a life, will bring a spark of light in an otherwise dark outlook. Thank you in anticipation of that. My hope is that you too will be transformed, your life enriched, as you partner with us!
Yours, in deep gratitude