Newham Town Hall hosts Ruby lunch for Community Renewal Programme

Around a hundred people turned out to celebrate the anniversary of the Newham Community Renewal Programme, a charity that has nurtured and protected the community for 40 years.

Around a hundred people turned out to celebrate the anniversary of the Newham Community Renewal Programme, a charity that has nurtured and protected the community for 40 years.

The Renewal Programme Ruby Anniversary lunch was held at Newham Town Hall. East Ham, and attended by specially invited guests, employees and people helped by the charity’s projects, which run homeless shelters, give food and clothing to needy families, run successful training programmes, manage a network of carers and support refugees and immigrants.

Director the Rev Ann Easter, from Forest Gate, said the mantra of the Programme remains the same: “‘Our mission is very much to stand alongside people who for various reasons are disadvantaged and to enable them to take their rightful place in society.”

Baroness Hayman, currently serving Lord Speaker of the House of Lords, attended the event and gave the keynote speech to commemorate the charity’s achievements, such as creating greater racial integration within the borough and combating the main forms of social deprivation.

Originally started by three Christian ministers to combat racial assaults on Asian people in the borough, the Programme now has five successful projects aimed at combating the major forms of social deprivation, a workforce of about 90 people (mostly Newham residents) and an annual turnover of more than �3 million.

Former director the Rev Paul Regan also attended the lunch and said: “It is a testment to an organisation that it can survive under a difficult climate. The Renewal Programme was instrumental in creating a greater social cohesion in the borough at a time of great social upheaval.”