MANY freelance journalists don't get invited to any of the office Christmas parties of the many organisations for which they work - that's if those in control of the guest lists are aware of their existence at all! Some freelances face isolation at work, enjoying no contact with their colleagues beyond emails and (if they're lucky) the odd phone call. All the more reason for London Freelance Branch to put on a seasonal celebration of its own.
LFB's Yule fest this year was in the generously-proportioned hall of the London Welsh Centre, just down the road from the NUJ's national offices at Headland House. (Headland HHouse was still partially closed for refurbishment, its offices have now re-opened and the new cafe space will be ready soon, in plenty of time to serve as a possible LFB party venue next year.)
Invitations were extended to other NUJ London Branches, to members' colleagues, friends and partners. We were joined by NUJ members from London Central, from New Media and London Photographers. There was also a contingent from the Giornalisti Italiani a Londra (Italian Journalists in London) group, in which LFB members are active.
New arrivals were issued with their raffle ticket entitling them to their first drink at the bar on the house, with a generous spread of food laid out. Rik's Sound System provides ska sounds and other sounds provided from the playlists of LFB members. LFB would like to thank the London Welsh Centre's Mirain Roberts and her staff for helping to make our party such a success - in the words of our Treasurer, "all incredibly helpful, way beyond what we could have expected."
There was the briefest of interruptions to present outgoing Branch Chair Fiona O'Cleirigh with a gift in recongition of the hard work she's put in over the past year. (All the posts in LFB's Committee, including the position of chair, are up for re-election at the Branch AGM on 9 February, see here.)