The award-winning TV and film-maker Ken Loach delivered this year’s Longford Lecture at Church House, Westminster, on Thursday 29th November.
A capacity audience filled the Assembly Hall to hear the BAFTA-award winner talk about his lifelong concern about the plight of young homeless people, how too often they end up in contact with the criminal justice system and in prison. His lecture marked the 50th anniversary of the founding, by Lord Longford, of New Horizon, London’s first drop-in centre for homeless youngsters, which continues to operate today.
Organised by The Longford Trust, the annual event aims to tackle questions of social and penal reform on the national stage and was once again chaired by renowned broadcaster Jon Snow. Each year the event attracts a number of high profile speakers and Church House Westminster has played venue host since its inception in 2002.
First class catering was provided during the evening by The Clink Charity, who aim to reduce reoffending rates of ex-offenders by training prisoners and placing graduates into employment in the hospitality industry. Prisoners helped to prepare canapes and wine under the supervision of the Westminster venue’s in-house caterers Ampersand.
“We have enjoyed a long and very happy partnership with Church House Westminster,” says Peter Stanford, director of the Longford Trust. “In particular the excellent team there make everything so easy for us in staging our annual event. Their attention to detail is extraordinary and no request is ever too much. And the venue is unique, a perfect setting for a lecture that we want to make a contribution to the national debate”.
Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Westminster, comments: “We are delighted that The Longford Trust remain one of our longest standing clients and yet again chose to hold their annual event with us for the 15th time. The lecture recognises qualities of humanity, courage, persistence and originality and we are proud to host such a motivational evening”.
Church House Westminster is one of London’s most versatile event venues. The AIM Gold accredited venue offers 19 flexible event spaces, which accommodate between 2 and 664 guests, and hosts a wide variety of events including meetings, conferences, awards ceremonies, gala dinners and receptions. For more information call 020 7390 1590 or visit www.churchhouseconf.co.uk.