Birthday Party

party bunting

We had a wonderful time marking our 30th birthday earlier this month with a huge party at Askew Road Methodist Church, just around the corner from our Central Office.

This was a great opportunity to gather everyone together to celebrate 30 years of changing people’s lives, and to let all of our service users and staff see the new Yarrow logo and website. Naturally we decorated the room with as many orange balloons as we could fit in – and plenty of bunting too!

The party was co-hosted by The Gate musician, Ricardo, and our CEO, John Crawford, who did a fantastic job keeping everything on track. Live music was provided throughout the afternoon by musicians from The Gate. Their band, fronted by Darren, got the party started with the Happy Birthday song, Stevie Wonder style, and everyone joined in.

The Gate band sing "Happy Birthday" to Yarrow
The Gate band sing “Happy Birthday” to Yarrow

We ate a wonderful lunch, thanks to our talented team from Kensington and Chelsea, and dessert was not one but two beautiful cakes.

Two beautiful birthday cakes side by side on the table
Two beautiful birthday cakes

They definitely tasted as good as they looked and sadly there was none left to take home at the end!

The biggest birthday card ever took pride of place just beside the stage, and everyone was invited to write a message or draw a picture to add to the card. The photo on the card shows talented The Gate musician Jason playing his trombone:

Jason and John Crawford stand beside our giant birthday card
Jason and John Crawford with our giant birthday card

The card has now taken pride of place in the reception area of our central office.

While the party was in full swing downstairs, we also had a quiet room upstairs. Helena and Marie from Opening Doors offered hand and foot massages and there was an area to relax on bean bags and take a moment away from the crowds.

During the afternoon were joined by Hammersmith and Fulham Councillor Ben Coleman, who made an engaging speech, and Shadow Minister for Disability, Marsha De Cordova MP, who did a wonderful job of presenting our awards. The awards reflected the huge range of skills and talent at Yarrow, and the dedication and hard work put in by so many people. Congratulations to all who received awards, they were well deserved.

Marsha De Cordova MP presents our awards ceremony
Marsha De Cordova MP presents our awards ceremony

Andy Slaughter MP was also kind enough to join us to say a few words, before Yarrow’s own Diana, Sonia and Joan told everyone about the history of Yarrow. It was a chance to think about how much life has changed for people with learning disabilities over the last 30 years and take pride in the role Yarrow has played in supporting people to live their own lives.

We finished the party off with a disco, which was great fun.

An enormous THANK YOU to everyone that helped to organise the party. Managers and staff from across Yarrow worked hard together to make sure the day was a great success. Big thanks also to the band from The Gate, who entertained us throughout the day, including improvising a song around the noise of a faulty alarm at one point!

Most importantly though, thank you to everyone that came along: service users, friends of Yarrow and staff past and present. It was wonderful to see so many people there.

Happy Birthday Yarrow, may there be many more!

If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of Yarrow, click on this link: Yarrow: celebrating 30 years of changing lives

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