By Anita Graafland

“How about we just have it coincide with our weekly Newsletter Team meeting?” We were talking about the coffee morning to meet and talk to our members, exchange ideas and let off steam. “If no-one shows, we could use the time to brainstorm ideas for the next issue.” Secretly, of course, we were hoping that lots of you would show up, tell us you’d read our first newsletter, had been really looking forward to finally share these ideas that had been bubbling over but felt an AGM wasn’t the appropriate venue for. For a minute I was worried: would the 100 people maximum be enough? After all, some 31 people bothered to show at the AGM and AGMs weren’t exactly crowd-pleasing events, were they?

Before the lockdowns, the idea had been to organise euro cafes for our members to meet and help EU citizens, to make them feel welcome and wanted. But life has moved on and we had since learned that euro cafés tended to be visited by local members only. Now that Brexit has happened, we were actually quite keen to meet and speak to our members, find out how they feel, what ideas they have for the future, how they want us to proceed and whether they’d like to contribute themselves. So the idea of a proper Zoom coffee meet was born.

On the morning of 24 March, we were a bit anxious, as we hadn’t prepared anything, had deliberately kept things wide open. We needn’t have worried: we were joined by a lovely lady from London, who told us about her Brexit journey, and saw an old friend from the stalls who made an effort to have a drink with us. An easy start to our first coffee morning, then. We really hope that more of you will be able to join us for the next one, we would love to meet you – promise we won’t bite!