In our 2019 newsletter, we announced ‘VWA 2.0’ (Vrienden van Wester-Amstel 2.0) and began our transition towards a post-Groengebied Amstelland era. Our primary focus shifts from ‘indoors to outdoors’ and we’ve already taken important steps in this direction.
The first step involved a change of guard. The old board with chairman Robert Reiners Folmers, secretary Henk Blok, and treasurer Henny Van Oorschot stepped down. They left the VWA in tip-top shape for the new board, consisting of Søren Ludvig Movig, Joost Terbrack and Els Hulsing. We’re grateful that Henk Blok continues to keep the administration of our friends up to date.
The VWA had an agreement with Groengebied Amstelland that covered the public and volunteer activities organized by the VWA. This agreement has been replaced by an almost identical agreement with the J.Ph.J.F. Lissone Foundation (the owners of W.A.).
The articles within the VWA’s articles of association have been modernized and now explicitly state that the VWA will promote garden culture at Wester-Amstel and the public’s access to the park and gardens as well. The full objectives of VWA are:
- Promoting voluntary work for the benefit of Wester-Amstel. Organizing sociocultural and educational activities, concerts, excursions, exhibitions, open days, lectures, courses, and the like;
- Acquiring funds and making funds available for the benefit of Wester-Amstel;
- Promoting garden culture in the historic park and gardens of Wester-Amstel by facilitating public access, and carrying out small-scale maintenance and developments by volunteers;
- To carry out activities that the board has deemed useful or which may be conducive thereto.
The new board is also working hard on three priorities for 2020:
#1: Provide our volunteers with safe and pleasant working conditions.- Their needs range from providing them with fresh tea and coffee, shelter for rougher weather conditions, good equipment, and safety practices that are in line with Dutch regulations. And of course, there are also many ‘soft’ conditions to fulfill to keep our volunteer community flourishing!
#2: Provide welcoming and safe access to the public. Our new tenant opens and closes the gates on office days. During the weekend and on public holidays, this is up to our volunteers, or more specifically our ‘gatekeepers' (about whom you can read elsewhere in this newsletter).
#3: You, our friends. Maintaining and strengthening our relationship with you is essential to Wester-Amstel and therefore our foundation. Not only do you provide much-needed income with your donations, but your friendship shows the importance of keeping Wester-Amstel open to us, to the citizens of Amstelland, Amsterdam and far beyond.
In addition to these priorities, we have set ourselves the task of working on a long-term plan, strengthening our board and organization, and updating our (digital) communications towards the wider public. We can always use more help. This is particularly true for communications and supporting our organization ‘behind the scenes’.