Congratulations to Sylvie OBE


sylvieThe publication late last night of the New Years Honours list contained the name of Sylvie Johnston who has been the CEO of a charity called Stonepillow for many years. I recall meeting her at a meeting about 10 years ago in Bognor Regis Town Hall and it is clear that she deserves this honour as does Stonepillow itself. When I first came across the organisation it was known as St Richards Christian Care Association or CCA and although the name has changed, the roots of the charity are still clearly identified on its website. The timing of the award is linked to the news that Sylvie is about to retire as CEO but there is also something very timely about a focus on this charity. As Andy Winter of BHT wrote a few days ago on his blog, it is easy for politicians and indeed all people to feel particularly sympathetic towards the needs of the homeless at Christmas. However Stonepillow which was founded in 1989 was no one night wonder and its hard work continues 365 days each and every year. They hold a sleep-out every Autumn at Chichester Cathedral which is a valuable way of raising awareness and funds for their charity. As their website explains it was formed following a sermon given by the Revd Hilary Parsons, a Catholic Priest who was devestated by the death of an ex-Graylingwell mental hospital patient in a public toilet in Chichester. The reaction amongst the congregation was very powerful. A meeting followed where 20 different churches were represented and CCA began. It is sometimes possible to imagine that homelessness is confined to urban locations such as Brighton and London. However the hard work of Stonepillow is as vital as any charity that exists here or in London. Thank goodness we have charities such as Stonepillow and BHT to support our communities and dedicated people such as Sylvie.

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About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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