The 2015 Annual General Meeting of The Bosco Society was held on Friday the 17th of July in the Futures Suite at Bosco House. Over 30 people attended, including: staff and residents, committee members and representatives from other organisations.
The Chairman, Alan Matthews, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and introducing Danny and ‘Recovery Inc.’ from Bosco’s music project, who played two songs to rapturous applause.
Bosco House manager, Sheila Howard, gave her report on the last twelve months and highlighted the changes that had taken place. Most importantly, she noted, was the change in funding from Sefton Council.
Sheila said, “As part of a consortium that includes three other housing providers (Venus, Excel and New Start) we were successful in securing funding for the next five years.” This includes doubling capacity by taking over the young persons’ hostel, The Sead Project, and running a sit-up service for rough sleepers at both locations.
Most poignantly, two residents told their stories and highlighted how grateful they were for Bosco’s support. They both noted how things had changed for the better since Bosco had taken over the Sead project; it had only been a few weeks, but everyone could see things changing and there was a lot of optimism for the future.
The real work starts now
Alan Matthews presented the Trustee’s Report by recalling how he had first visited Bosco House 30 years ago, in 1985, to interview residents as part of an ethnographic study of heroin use. He noted how the House had been transformed under the stewardship of the manager, Sheila Howard. He also described how, as part of the consortium, Bosco had won a 5-year contract to provide supported housing from Sefton Council.
Whilst this was to be welcomed, he cautioned that the real work was about to begin and, under future austerity measures, the job was going to get a lot more difficult. He thanked all the staff and volunteers for their efforts and hard work that makes Bosco such an amazing place.