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Message from our CEO Shamiso Machaya

Please read the below make amends ad post to our media. As 2021 draws to a close, it seems fair to say that it has been another year like no other. COVID-19 offered further challenges that few of us saw coming. Right upfront, I would like to thank our Funders , Board of Trustees , Staff/ Volunteers for your support during 2021, which has helped us to continue with the provision of support to our beneficiaries despite the harsh environment. CREST team have valued all our network words of encouragement, compliments, and suggestions. Each and everyone's encouragement has meant so much to us during this year. We have done our best to continue to support individuals and families, albeit at a reduced level throughout each stage of lockdown. As individuals , we have all faced and overcome challenges this year. We have experienced loss and grief, hardship, loneliness, and frustration with reduced mechanisms for support from our family and friends. We have managed lockdown, homeschooling, masks, and sanitisers and have had vaccinations one after the other to preserve our lives and others around us. We have survived the disconnection from family and friends and of course, the COVID tests which are an unpleasant experience! As CEO interim of CREST , i will always remember the overwhelming resilience and adaptability of our beneficiaries, families and staff. Our communities have been fantastic this year, and the human spirit has been courageous, determined and strong. CREST Team, has remained committed during this challenging time, often going above and beyond what is expected of them. Several times this year, I have been humbled by staff commitment. Their willingness to work together to maintain high-quality support for participants during the lockdown, including creating new routines and tasks related to COVID, as well as working in PPE and maintaining a positive spirit. As an organisation, we have learned many lessons, reconnected with many communities, extended our level of support to uncomfortable territories and shown goodwill to fellow BME Communities and the wider Communities within our Borough. We increased our IT skills, learned to communicate with face masks, and importantly, learned to enjoy the simpler things of our lives. Thank you to all members of the CREST community for taking this journey with us in 2021. It has not been easy, but we have done it TOGETHER. Weather you celebrate Christmas or other cultural or religious events, I know we can all join together to celebrate what we have achieved within 2021 as individuals , communities , organisations and families. Here’s to a wonderful 2021!

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