When I was first approached to become involved with Step Forward the initial appeal was that this seemed like a very worthwhile project and was based in my neck of the woods. I believe that if you are a socially concerned person then the welfare of local children and young people is the responsibility of everyone not just if you are the parent. Becoming the Patron has given me the opportunity to get involved in a hands-on organisation and lend my support in anyway I can.
When I first visited Step Forward I was utterly impressed with the commitment and passion of those involved. The building itself is very clean and attractive and very personally decorated to appeal to young people and adults alike. It is a friendly and attractive place that works directly with people and is not over-run with bureaucracy.
I believe that supporting Step Forward should appeal to other local people or businesses. Bethnal Green is the real heart of the East End and everyone knows that you can buy anything on the Bethnal Green Road but Step Forward is the only place that's giving things away.
It is important that all young people have a door to knock on where they know that they can get help and support. This is a place that offers that and there are no hidden agendas other then the agenda to help young people take a step forward.
Step Forward is clearly an organisation that provides an essential service to young people and that benefits the local community as a whole.
It is absolutely essential that Step Forward continues to thrive and that its long-term stability is ensured. The idea that in the future something as necessary and vibrant as Step Forward could be threatened through a lack of funding, is alarming.
The time and energy of the people working at Step Forward should be better spent concentrating on expanding the excellent and vital support that they provide. What I would like to see in the future is a Step Forward in every high street or borough so that all young people wherever they live can benefit from the services on offer. I know that this is a vision that I share with the Director and Management Committee.
With enough support we can perhaps begin to make that dream a reality.