Yesterday afternoon HASL celebrated our third birthday with a birthday lunch club at Pembroke house in Walworth with about 50 of our members, supporters and friends. It was a really lovely afternoon and the high attendance and general loveliness of the afternoon hopefully captures our organising of the last three years and how much we have grown and developed as a group. The birthday lunch club also captured what these lunch clubs are all about and the various important roles they play –
A really warm, friendly, supportive atmosphere to chat and hang out, sometimes talking about housing, and other issues, but sometimes forgetting these as well
Linking up people with other groups we organise with that can provide support, for example, introducing someone who does not have English as a first language to English for Action, introducing people to Anti-Raids Network and Sisters Uncut.
Collectivising child care with some children’s activities, alongside children playing together, and hanging out with adults too. As one parent noted, ‘If you leave them [your children] for a little bit, you find someone else is looking after them!’
A chance to celebrate our recent wins. One of our members had moved into her new council home the day before and was really delighted. Throughout the afternoon people also commented on how HASL has helped them ‘it is so hard to find someone who helps with these problems, thank you for the help’, ‘the support from the group really means a lot to me’ and lots of similar sentiments.
Making sure we have good quality food! We try to make sure that we collect really fancy, luxury food donations, cos we all deserve quality food. We also try to make sure that we have plenty of food so people can take some home with them too. Our solidarity-donations network of supportive, local shops is slowly growing which is really exciting. Lots of people commented on how delicious the food was.
Action planning together on our cases. We were able to do some action planning and provide support with Sisters Uncut on an urgent case.
Collective organising! A number of people helped to organise the lunch club, and on the day so many people took on roles and contributed in lots of different ways to make sure that it ran really well.
Thanks to all our members, friends and supporters who came to the lunch club and helped out and who have been involved over the last three years! It was so nice to see how big and awesome we have got! Here’s to more housing action, solidarity and support!
See you at the next action, meeting, lunch club or other events!