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