Newsletter November 2020 from the Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust – HLMT Online Shop Open, Liberian developments, New Trustees, generous friends of HLMT, successful online Music Festival

Dear friends and supporters

Covid-19 has impacted on everyone and everything this year including our Trust. Nonetheless the work of HLMT has continued to develop well, and since our last newsletter at the end of May, quite a bit has happened. Starting with the most recent development, hot off the press!

HLMT Online Shop

A chance to do Christmas and gift shopping online! Since our usual outlet of a HLMT merchandise stall at a variety of events isn’t currently possible, we decided to set up an online retail presence. Nick Loewenstein’s partner, Angel, and Stella Nickolay have worked very hard in the past few weeks, and we now have a shop open on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/HLMTMerchandise?ele=shop_open  Please go to the site and have a browse, where you will find not just Christmas cards but a variety of other lovely items with a Liberian flavour, many of them hand-made by a team of wonderful volunteers from Liberian lapa fabric.

In Liberia…

In mid-2020 we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Esther Bacon School of Nursing and Midwifery (EBS) in Zorzor, Liberia. This will involve the HLMT paying the college fees and essential study costs of two midwifery trainees in the coming academic year, being involved in their recruitment and receiving regular feedback from the EBS on student progress.

Earlier in 2020, Liberia entered Covid lockdown, and the EBS was only able to open its doors in mid-October. EBS will now interview its new midwifery students in mid-December, assisted by Abdul Bah, who will represent HMLT at the interviews. The first two HLMT-sponsored midwifery students should begin their 3-year degree course in January 2021.

Two New HLMT Trustees

Your trustees have continued to work hard, and we have held two further meetings on Zoom, in early July and late September, with the next meeting scheduled for January 2021. We decided to further strengthen the group by appointing two Trustees to the vacant places. We’re delighted to announce that Aïcha Daffé and Charmaine Daley agreed to be Trustees, and they attended their first meeting in September. Find out all about them on our site, at https://hlmt.org.uk/?page_id=334

Phil O’Keefe

Phil and his wife, Di Jelley, knew Helen for all of her life and have been generous supporters of the Trust from the start. Very sadly, following an illness, Phil died in September. Di and their four children asked their friends to donate to the HLMT in memory of Phil. As a result of their and their friends’ generosity, we have received just over £5,000 in donations, which is wonderful. You may want to read obituaries of Phil at  https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/oct/18/phil-okeefe-obituary and https://www.ucu-unn.org.uk/news/270-obituary

Fifty/Fifty Folk Festival Saturday 13thJune 2020

You may remember that this live online music festival took place in June. You may have even been there! Thanks mainly to the efforts of HLMT Trustee Roger Williams, six great sets of artists on the folk & festival circuit played for six hours. The event was attended by several hundred people, and £2,200 was raised, split 50/50 between the musicians performing and the Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust. There’s a report at https://hlmt.org.uk/?p=786  And if you go to the festival site, https://www.facebook.com/groups/303279940667750/?epa=SEARCH_BOX and scroll down, you can still view most of the performances.

And finally

This newsletter is currently emailed to over 300 HLMT supporters. We intend to send out future newsletters and other information from the HLMT site via Mailchimp. For you to receive these, we need you to give your permission for HLMT to hold your contact details securely. And we require your agreement in writing in order to satisfy data protection requirements. Many of you have already responded to our previous requests.

If you haven’t emailed your permission yet, please email us back now, saying, “I agree to the HLMT holding my contact details securely.”

Just to let you know that we have amended our privacy policy, so that we will now not contact you every three years to ask for permission to retain your personal details – you can simply let us know at any time if you wish to be taken off our mailing list and have your details deleted.

If you have any queries or comments about this newsletter, the HLMT website or anything else to do with the Trust, please get in touch.

Keep safe and we’ll keep you in touch with developments over the next while.

With best wishes

HLMT trustees

The Fifty Fifty Folk Festival Saturday 13th June 3.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m.

This brilliant virtual festival, with SIX great artists on the folk & festival circuit ,was organised by Roger Williams, with help and inputs from Stella Nickolay, Carol McCormick and Pete Loewenstein, all HLMT trustees.

The event was viewed by several hundred people, and £2,200 was raised, split 50/50 between the musicians performing and the Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust

HLMT would like to thank Roger for his creation and work, and all the musicians who performed – Kirsty Merryn, Pete Morton, Katy and Mike from Truckstop Honeymoon, Louise Jordan, Greg Russell and Dave and Kip from Winter Wilson (in the order they performed.)

HLMT Annual General Meeting, 22nd April 2020

The trustees of the Helen Loewenstein Memorial Trust met on 22nd April 2020 via Zoom software, to scrutinise, discuss and agree the annual report and accounts for the period February 2019 to 31st March 2020.

The HLMT Annual Meeting 2020, using Zoom

Thanks were given to so many magnificent HLMT supporters and to trustees for a sound first year and for all the work put in including running stalls and events, card making, banner making, organising and supporting music evenings, gaining sponsorship, drafting and reviewing policies and procedures, grant applications, liaison with Liberia, finance and investment strategy, accounts, and fundraising. The meeting concluded that the trustees and key supporters have been a good team, supported by sound leadership.

Saturday 14th March, 12 to 6 p.m. Rough Trade African Market

A brilliant African Market despite the impact of Coronavirus, thanks to the enterprise of Aisha, Saz and the SHEAfriq collective. The HLMT sold £177.50 worth of products, so over £150 towards midwifery-training funds. Thank you to Pippa for arranging the HLMT stall. In order of appearance (!) many thanks to Roger, Stella, Pete, Chris, Suzanna, Ros, Jayney, Denise and Julian for staffing the HLMT stall over a long, enjoyable day.

Sunday, 8th March 2020 IWD Nottingham Secular Society meeting

HLMT had a stall, and Carol and Stella spoke about the Helen and the Trust’s work at the excellent International Women’s Day gathering organised by Nottingham Secular Society. The other inspirational speakers were London-based human rights lawyer Ana González, Megan Manson, National Secular Society campaigns officer, Yasmin Rehman, Chief Executive Officer at Juno Women’s Aid and Lillian Greenwood, Nottingham South M.P. And the HLMT raised £175 towards midwifery training at the meeting.

Musical Fundraiser for the HLMT Saturday 7th March 2020

A wonderful night of entertainment! Brilliant singing from Rosa’s Lovely Daughters and Angela Warren accompanied by Paul Quinn; and powerful poems, readings and presentations from Angie Mindel, Carol McCormick and Stella Nickolay. A sell-out audience rocked to the Midwives’ Song and to “Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves” at the end of a brilliant evening on the eve of International Women’s Day. And HLMT had a stall staffed by Celia, Carol and Stella. Result of the evening – a magnificent £1500 raised for HLMT – which will fund a grant to a trainee midwife for two years! Fantastic! Thank you Rosa’s Lovely Daughters xx

Cycle Stall Saturday March 7th 2020

HLMT trustee Nick and HLMT supporter Mossop spent a day at a vegan market at Sneinton Market selling and repairing cycles. They donated the £50 profit made during the day to HLMT funds. This will pay for accommodation for a trainee midwife for a semester

Past Events – 2019

Broxtowe Christmas Lights switch ons November 2019

Stalls at two events organised by HLMT Trustee, Celia. She raised £187.

One Off Art Sale stall November 2019

Organised by HLMT Trustee, Stella, and staffed by HLMT Trustees Carol, Celia, Pippa, Nick and Roger with supporters Angel and Leonie. It raised £175.

“Music for Liberian Midwives” October 2019

Organised by Julie, a friend of Helen’s family, and Roger, a HLMT Trustee, etc. It raised £1200 .

Helen Janiszewski Robin Hood Half Marathon September 2019

Helen, who was Helen Loewenstein’s mentor and midwife colleague, trained for and completed her first-ever half-marathon specifically to raise funds for the Trust. She raised £900.

Green Festival Stall September 2019

Staffed by three HLMT trustees, Carol, Celia and Pippa. It raised £370.

Celia Knight – Suffolk Coastal walk June 2019

Celia, a HLMT trustee and life-long friend of Helen’s, completed this tough 90-mile walk in atrocious gales and thunderous rains in June. She raised £1500.

“Madwives” planned walk

A group of Helen’s midwife colleagues organised a trip to Malaga in Spain to walk El Caminito del Rey – known in the past as the “world’s most dangerous walkway”. To their huge disappointment, when they arrived on the day, very high winds forced the closure of the Caminito. They are determined to return next year to complete the walk. They raised £3000.

Stall at Celebration of Helen’s Life February 2019

Staffed by two HLMT trustees, Celia and Stella. It raised £270.