It has been more than 3 years since the Trustees of the Friends of the Rose Bowl had to postpone the Annual Dinner and Auction due to the pandemic. This is our major fundraising opportunity. So it was with much anticipation that our long-standing donors, as well as new Canonbury neighbours and guests, gathered at Frederick’s restaurant in Angel on the 1st November. They were eager to learn more about the activities, counselling and care provided at the Rose Bowl Youth Centre and to show their appreciation through financial support.
There was a lively buzz in the room as guests mingled and reconnected with our local community. And there was hushed silence as Owayes Ayad shared his challenging experiences and eventual successes with guidance from the youth workers at the Rose Bowl, Clive Tachie and Dawn Jarrett.
Owayes explained that after his mother died and his relationship with his father broke down he found himself in supported accommodation at the age of sixteen. He visited the food bank at the Rose Bowl, where he met Clive and the team. They provided him with help on housing, job applications, benefits, college and even relationship advice. Throughout this time he received hugs and a shoulder to cry on from members of the Rose Bowl team.
I was lost, I didn’t have any parental support, no employment. I had to fight tooth and nail against social mobility barriers. It wasn’t a choice. It just happened. But what if the Rose Bowl wasn’t there? What if it was just empty land? What if I never went to the food bank? That was a choice. It’s all about choicesOwayes Ayad
Clive also addressed our guests with a heartfelt and rousing speech. He spoke of the importance of willingness – for young people, for people who work with them and for people who support them.
Irrespective of their willingness, we have to be willing to be there for them. We have to be willing to be forgiving, we have to be willing to always be there and we have to be willing to learn.Clive Tachie
Owayes was accompanied by his friend, and volunteers from the Rose Bowl. Maya Duplan, Rosie Kurnaz (Islington Young Mayor 2022) and Kieron Mugaju helped with the raffle. They too were shining examples of how attending activities at the Rose Bowl encourages the youth of Islington and teaches them valuable skills.
Guests dug deep to bid for auction items generously donated by neighbours and local businesses and pledged money to provide sports, music, cooking and counselling sessions at the Rose Bowl.
Many thanks to the staff at Frederick’s for the delicious meal and attentive service. We are also grateful to the auctioneer from Christie’s, Olivia Ghosh and Hodder Education for printing the auction catalogues.
Auction and raffle prizes were kindly donated by, among others; Almeida Theatre, BookBar, Canonbury Beauty, Charlie Allen, City Academy, Frederick’s, Ottolenghi, Plaquemine Lock, Ray Stitch, Vins and 69 Colebrooke Row.