New Year Message from Chairman Brian Staley.
We are still in the first official year of the Gurkha Peace Foundation. As a result of prudent and patient finance building we have been able to spend almost £10,000 this year alone! I was very proud to officially open our new drop in centre in Folkestone early this year and delighted to welcome over a hundred friends and supporters.
Amongst our distinguished guests were Peter Carroll and his wife Lynne together with Jenny Hollingsby the portfolio holder for community development on the Shepway Council, County councillor George Koowaree and councillors and trustees Charlotte page McCaul and Pat Todd.
Gopal Giri, trustee and founding chairman or the Folkestone Community Association presided on the night and welcomed all the speakers especially the present chairman of the Folkestone Community Association, Dipak Kumar Kucha, who raised £149 for our cause by doing a sponsored swim on Boxing Day. Positive speeches were made from our guests and I thanked everyone who had made this all possible. This included the ladies who prepare our meals and the daughters and sons of Gurkhas who delight us with their dancing and singing.
We have an excellent team of trustees and volunteers who work their socks off throughout the year and we welcome new friends particularly from Folkestone. Peter Carroll, Bhim, Gopal and Prem have worked for almost a decade supporting the Gurkha Justice Campaign and the Gurkha Peace Foundation. Our ever expanding data base of supporters, generously donating through standing orders, are the bedrock of our support and 2014 will be an exciting and full year of activity and continued campaigning for our veterans and the children of the Gurkhas.
Four trustees, Bhim, Charlotte, Prem and myself together with several colleagues are about to fly to Nepal and visit several projects that we may be able to support in the future. We will make a full report when we return. Then we must all try to get fit for our thirteen mile Gurkha walk in June!
For all our growing number of friends and supporters may I wish you all a happy and healthy new year?