|Welcome from Tim Parry, Chief Operating Officer
Welcome to the 2017-18 edition of our Annual Review – here you can read all about our work supporting communities in Berkshire during the last financial year: April 2017 to March 2018.
In common with many charities in Berkshire and beyond, we have seen an increase in demand for our support from the communities we work with. Statistics from a recent report published by Local Giving show that nearly 80% of charities saw increased demand during the last year, but only 14% feel sufficiently resourced to meet this need. Income generation continues to be a priority for us and many others.
Increased competition for funding is having an impact on our budgets, and even where we can demonstrate the vital importance of our projects to our beneficiaries, funding to continue our work is difficult to find. We start each year with a deficit budget and over the last 5 years, we have been able to address the deficit and slowly add to our financial reserves. However, we ended this last year without achieving this, and join the 47% of charities that dipped into reserves to maintain delivery.
We end the year with mixed emotions. In April 2018 we learned of the sad and sudden death of Ganesh Selvarajah, whose interest and involvement with CCB spanned more than 10 years, including 6 years as a Trustee. His sage advice and smiling face will be greatly missed by us all.
In June 2017, Lawrence Spillar resigned as Hon.Treasurer. David Coppinger, former CCB Chairman, also stood down as a Trustee at our AGM in October 2017. David joined CCB in 2009 and was Chairman for 6 years.
At the Board meeting in March 2018, Grenville Annetts stood down. Grenville had been CCB’s Chairman since 2016 and Trustee since 2010. All of our Trustees make a vital and significant contribution to ensuring exemplary governance within the charity and we will miss the support these fine gentlemen have given us over many years.
At the end of March 2018, Wendy Dacey took a very well-deserved retirement from CCB. We paid tribute to Wendy in the April edition ofAction for All and thanked her for her 20 years’ service. During her time as Community Buildings Advisor Wendy resolved 1,984 enquiries and helped 597 people to develop their skills.
We may have lost a number of good people from our team over the year, but we have also welcomed many in. Kate Meads joined us in February as our new Community Buildings Advisor and has already met many of the hall volunteers that she will be supporting in this role.
We have also conducted our most successful trustee recruitment campaign ever! During the year, we co-opted Martina Platts, Ralph Godbold, Peter Thorn, Bob Lyon and Raghavendra Vaishampayan onto the Board. Raghavendra joins us as Honorary Treasurer. In addition, we look forward to welcoming Sue Davison and Katie Aston during the coming year. We furthermore welcomed a new President to our team, The Right Honourable Richard Benyon MP, who gave a rousing speech at our 2017 AGM regarding loneliness and how the public sector needs to work with the voluntary sector to tackle the issue.
I would like to thank every member of the CCB team, both staff and trustees, for their hard work, support, advice and enthusiasm during what was at times a tricky year. We know to expect more of the same during the coming year, but have already identified some new opportunities to pursue. We continue to develop ideas on how to reduce the impact of loneliness and isolation in the more rural parts of Berkshire and hope to reinvigorate our work supporting the development of affordable housing in partnership with colleagues in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone that has engaged with us during the last year. CCB exists to support communities right across Berkshire and the door is always open to anyone that wants to discuss an issue or develop an idea of how to make living in Berkshire even more rewarding.
Best wishes to you all for the year ahead, Tim
To read a full copy of our 2017-18 Annual Review please click here.