News and Updates
Christmas Day 2016 - Fetcham Village Hall

Another great day at Fetcham Village Hall welcoming in homeless, socially isolated and vulnerable people who may otherwise be on their own for Christmas.  Thank you to all those who volunteered, donated items, time and skills to make it a great day.  
September 2016 Update

A lot has been happening at The Meeting Room over the past 12 months.  We have gone from operating two days a week in Epsom & Ewell to operating five days a week covering Mole Valley as well.   

Here is a summary of the activities for May and June  2016: 

Total number of visits to a drop in session, May 2016        427 

Total number of visits to a drop in session, June  2016      359 

Summary of Assistance Given to Clients over these two months : 
 
Food Vouchers Issued             12

​Client taken to appointments    15

Assistance given to Homeless    16

Assistance given with form filling     25

Referred for furniture assistance   3

Advise re benefits      3

Assistance with Job application    7

Support to volunteer            30 

Setting up appointments     13

Hospital visits      7

Counselling provided         21



LIVING WITH BAD CHOICES 

Have you ever made a poor decision in your life?  Hopefully, if you have there are people in your life who love you enough to get you back on your feet.  But what if you don't have those people around?  One bad decision leads to another and then, possibly, meltdown. 

One of our clients shared with me what it's like living with the poor choices that have led to him living each day in a nightmare.  He told me how he goes to bed each night hoping that the nightmare will end and he won't wake up.  But the next day arrives and he's back in the horror of his daily life.  He has in the past turned to many things to try and numb the pain and this leads to further regret and torment.   

The Meeting Room try not to judge people for their bad choices but come alongside them to try and build them back up.  

Jo Sherring, Trustee 
Counselling 

Since early in 2016 we have been supported on a Wednesday by trained counsellor Gillian Nichols. Gill attends for two hours a week to talk to clients who need extra support.  This can be a short chat around a particular issue or ongoing support for those who are going through a particularly rough patch. 

Gill has been able to support clients with addiction problems, those suffering severe mental health issues and a few who have suffered loss and bereavement.   Gill is a great support to the other volunteers at The Meeting Room, giving advise on how best to work with clients.  We are hoping to get funding to expand the Counselling services we offer clients as this is an area of great need.    



February 2016  :  Thank you to Abee Hamead of the Welcome Stores In Ashtead,
a franchise of The Southern Co-Operative


Another great start to the year for The Meeting Room with a donation of £1,000 from Abee Hamead of the Welcome Store in Ashtead.   Abee feels very strongly about supporting vulnerable people in our local community and was pleased to connect with a charity working with needs in and around the Ashtead area.   The picture here shows Abee handing over a cheque to Graham Peddie MBE.     The Meeting Room were also delighted to receive their charity registration at this time.  
January 2016 :    Thank You Mole Valley
Round Table 
 
During December you may have seen members of the Mole Valley Round Table riding around on a Santa Sleigh for their Christmas Collection.  The Meeting Room were delighted to be selected as one of the local charities supported from this collection.  Pictured below is Rob Giles handing over a cheque for £2,080.  With the Toyota donation this means our rent is covered until the middle of April.   Such a great way to start 2016 and many, many thanks to everyone from Mole Valley Round Table.   
 
January 2016 :    Thank You Toyota 
 
Thank you Toyota Fund for a Better Future for their support of The Meeting Room.  
 
Their wonderful donation will go towards our weekly rent costs. 
December 2015 :   Dorking & Leatherhead Advertiser Article, 31st December 
 
 
YOU WON'T BE LONELY AT CHRISTMAS WITH ALL OF US
 
Volunteers lay on a lunch for isolated in Fetcham Village Hall 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Homeless or isolated people, who would otherwise have spent Christmas alone sat down with volunteers for a special celebration at Fetcham Village Hall. 
 
Graham Peddie, founder of the currently closed Leatherhead drop-in centre Pitstop and new charity The Meeting Room, has been organising the festive event for more than a decade.
 
About 100 people attended on December 25 and enjoyed 12 turkeys and a hot of entertainment from volunteers who spent their Christmas Day chatting and eating with anyone who wanted to join the party. 
 
Volunteer Jo Sherring said: "The invitation goes out to anyone in the local area who is facing Christmas alone, all are welcome to join us. 
 
Many of those who come along are known to Graham through the regular drop-in centers run by his charity The Meeting Room in Epsom, Ewell and Leatherhead.  This is a real community event and is supported by so many individuals, organisations and companies in the local area. 
 
"Ladies from the Trefoil Guild make up Christmas gift boxes to give out on the day and we also get gifts from some of the local schools.   The turkeys are sponsored by one of our kind donors and cooked in advance, the cooking arrangements being made by Leatherhead Rotary Club. 
 
"The volunteers make the day so special by giving up their time, skills and energy on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Christmas Eve is a mad flurry of setting up tables, laying out presents and furious vegetable peeling. 
 
"I really believe that the volunteers get as much from the day as the clients who attend.  All who attend get at least one present to take away with them but more importantly they are not celebrating Christmas Day on their own. 
 
"All of this is down to the huge heart of one very special man, Graham Peddie who would not want to spend his Christmas Day in any other way.  This is really what Christmas is all about and we're already looking forward to Christmas 2016". 
 
A team of volunteers worked hard in the kitchen all day while others served teas and coffees and greeted guests.  
 
This year the Chera family celebrated their tenth year of spending Christmas Day volunteering.   Fellow volunteer Jason Brett said "Had such a great time.  I was amazed by all the wonderful volunteers.  Met some lovely people.  I can look back at what was a fantastic experience"
 
The Meeting Room is now operating two days at week from the Mary Frances Trust in The Crescent, Leatherhead, open on Mondays and Thursdays from 11am to 2pm.  Anyone is welcome to attend.   For information on volunteering go to www.themeetingroom.biz.