The charity Norwood has achieved remarkable things in its 222-year history, with many landmarks along the way – from its foundations as the Jews’ Hospital in Mile End, to securing Royal patronage, to its position today as the UK’s largest, Jewish children’s, family and learning disability charity.
And now another landmark looms on the horizon, as
YN – the charity’s lay network for young leaders and future fundraisers and volunteers – enters its 25th year.
Founded by Norwood’s Chair of Trustees David Ereira, and originally known as ‘Young Norwood’, the YN network was a pioneering project back in 1993, when Jewish charities were struggling to engage with younger members of the community.
Fast forward to 2017, and YN is one of the largest young professional lay networks in the British Jewish community, with nearly 3,000 active participants, something David is rightly proud of; “YN is as current today as it was back in the nineties, if not more so – with members and committees raising incredible funds, but, more importantly, showing what can be achieved if young lay talent is given a platform to shine’.
The idea behind YN is to mentor and develop young lay leaders – those aged 21- 35 – in all aspects of communal and charitable work;
organising and promoting fundraising events, leveraging their networks, volunteering, and raising awareness of the charity and its aims.
Key to this is the recognition that those involved in YN are young professionals with burgeoning careers in high profile sectors, and an ever-increasing social network – so YN offers a programme of high profile social and business events, which also give the opportunity to support Norwood’s vital work. This includes the industry-recognised YN Property Awards Dinner, and YN Business, Finance, and Entrepreneurs.
These events are vital when it comes to raising funds for Norwood’s essential services, with the YN Property Awards Dinner alone raising over £170,000 this year, and YN overall contributing more than £500,000 each and every year.
And it’s YN members themselves who help to organise these events.
In fact, there’s a YN representative on every committee within Norwood, and a member on Norwood’s Board of Trustees.
Ultimately, the aim of YN is to train the community’s young lay leaders to enable them to carry on Norwood’s 222-year history for the next generation – something Sarah Arwas, YN Chair, truly believes in: “YN represents the future of the charity, and we want to continue to grow our platform and welcome future leaders to get involved as much as they can.
Whether by joining a committee, attending events, getting involved in a Challenge, or volunteering – whatever your skills or interests, Norwood will offer something that you will enjoy doing, while at the same time, will support their incredible work in the community”.
As it enters its 25th year, the future looks bright for YN, with new committees being formed and thousands more young people being engaged via new events, new volunteering opportunities, and new routes to patronage – a testament to a new generation who clearly believe in charity and giving back to the community.