Message from the Director

December 2020

Dear Members and Friends of the Hellenic Centre,

I have been proud of the community spirit that sustains the Hellenic Centre since I first became its full time director in 1997. I could never then have imagined the challenge that 2020 would have brought us, but at the same time could not be prouder of your support.

I am personally so grateful for everything you have done to keep all our spirits up, including the number of messages asking about the welfare of the staff; the ongoing desire to know when you will be able to visit the Centre again; your support for our virtual events programme and the academics and musicians who have enriched it ; and the number of individual donations.

The doors of the Centre may be closed to events, but we have not stopped working for the Centre’s present and future. All the Staff have had to adapt to working in the office or at home, with lots of administration, maintenance and planning of virtual and live events. We have not stopped!

This is a hugely difficult time for everyone, with many of you being away from your home and families and my thoughts are with you all.

As my own family know, I am an optimistic person at heart and believe that 2021 brings us better news, and that we will be welcoming you again at the Hellenic Centre soon.

Christmas and the New Year remain a special time. My warm wishes to you and  to your families.

Agatha Kalisperas
Director of the Hellenic Centre

October 2020

Dear Members and Friends

Hope you are all well and safe.

I just wanted to send a quick follow up to my email last month.

On Sunday, we had our first on-line concert of this term, recorded in the Friends Room of our building. We were delighted that over 150 people watched a special afternoon of Greek music and I am personally touched by your support to the musicians and to the Centre.

Right now, your support is vital if we are to navigate the next few months. Whilst the Trustees and the Staff are doing their best to keep the Centre alive with cultural events such as the one above, and with corporate events which government regulations permit, this is not in and of itself sustainable.

As such, donate generously and know that you are helping the community at a critical time. Please donate here.

With many thanks and warm regards


Agatha Kalisperas

September 2020

Dear Members and Friends of the Hellenic Centre

I hope that you and your families are all well and healthy.

It is six months now since the Centre had to close during these unprecedented times. I contacted you in April with the forward-looking hope that at this time you would be receiving our Diary of Events with the list of our autumn events. Unfortunately, this is not the case this year: the nature of the Centre means that an effective reopening of live events remains dependent on directions from the UK government.

In the meantime, we remain present through our Website, Facebook and other Social Media. I am pleased that many of you are following us there, as these will remain important channels for communication even after the Centre reopens. If there is one thing that this period has reinforced, it is the importance of technology in addition to the irreplaceable nature of social interaction, and I encourage our members who are less familiar with technology to take the opportunity to interact with us there.

We have a programme of virtual events for this autumn. Many are already on our website but soon there will be more, amongst them lectures from academics, presentations on Greek language, literature, health, archaeology, philosophy, concerts and exhibitions.

The Centre is an independent charity. Contrary to what many people believe we have no major funding from governments or institutions. Historically we have relied primarily on our corporate venue hire in order to fund a rich and diverse cultural programme. The Centre is presently suffering financially and our income has dropped by more than 90% this year. It is therefore urgent and important that you can support us at this difficult time. We are thankful for the continued financial support from those of you who have been able to help and we hope that many more of you will consider doing so in the future.

The Trustees of the Hellenic Community Trust are doing their best to support both the staff and the building so that we are ready to resume our activities as soon as this is allowed.

We have been welcoming you to our events for 25 years and we are confident that we will overcome this terrible situation and that the Centre will once again be full of events and people.

Please stay connected with us, enjoy our virtual events and we look forward to the time when we will welcome you to our building again.

Warm regards

Agatha Kalisperas
Director of the Hellenic Centre

April 2020

Dear Members and Friends

I hope you and your families and friends are all healthy and well.

For many of us Easter is one of the most important days of the calendar with all of the traditions it brings together. This Easter – the Western Easter this Sunday 12th April and the Orthodox Easter next Sunday 19th April – will be different of course, and our thoughts are with all of those who are away from family during these challenging times.

All our events from the middle of March until the end of May have been cancelled and the building is empty but we are going to reschedule the events at a later stage. When this time comes, we are looking forward to bringing the Hellenic Centre back to its vibrant old self and renew the foundations on which the Hellenic Centre was built.

And as many of you know, the Hellenic Centre celebrated its 25th Anniversary last year. A commemorative book was printed in January which we started posting but unfortunately due to the virus situation we have not managed to post it to all our Members. Until we are able to do so, you can all see an electronic version of our work over the 25 years on this link here.

We thank you very much for your continued support, for renewing your membership and for your donations and look forward to welcoming you at the Centre.

With my best wishes

Agatha Kalisperas
Director of the Hellenic Centre

Donate

Your donations are pivotal to the continuation of our cultural events programme, with over 60 cultural events per year, your support is valuable.

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Virtual Events

Explore our library of virtual events – listen to a range of lectures and short stories, watch a performance, or revisit a previous exhibition.

Virtual Events

Celebrating 25 Years

Last year we celebrated our 25th Anniversary, and published this commemorative book to mark the occasion.

Download the 25th Anniversary PDF