Page last updated: April 2018
Next Routine Update due: June 2018
How the Charity continues to develop from small beginnings:
2018 Lewis Barnes is also a Trustee of the Somerville Foundation, and was recently elected to the position of Deputy Chairman of that charity. With two Trustees now members of other charities, useful information and feedback to help with new legislation is being obtained.
2017 We were kindly invited to speak at the Loan Talk Annual Awards ceremony in London in January, and to receive the proceeds of a collection and silent auction held on the night. We were hopeful of further developments for the Charity from that, and several useful contacts were made. £1,380.00 was raised for the Charity
We received the final payment from Charter Court Financial Services in early January, for the funding raised for us as their Charity of the Year for 2016 which raised the total for the year (with Gift Aid) to just over £60,000. A truly exceptional amount, which has made a great difference to the work we have been able to do, and a very big thank you to them.
On completion of a grant on the 8th February, we completed over £500,000 made in grants since we started, with zero administration expenditure, every penny raised having been used to help the children.
The major project this year will be to prepare for the new GDPR - General Data Protection Regulations, which become law on 25th May 2018. These will have a profound effect on data storage, and how we contact our supporters in the future. Our Privacy Statement is on the Data Protection Webpage.
The usual events were again held at the end ogf the year, the Quiz Night raising a record £1,320.00, the Christmas Fayre at the Tennis Club raising £281,20, and we received support of £500.00 from both an Asda (Merery Hill) collection, and Worcestershire Freemasonry. The final figures for the year were a record 102 grants, £137,186.81 granted, and well over £600,000 raised and granted since we started.
2016 We received the final part of a legacy from the estate of a family relation of the founder, the bulk having already been received in late 2015. In January, we also received the proceeds of a collection for Martyn Morgan, from his Memorial Service in Worcester cathedral. With Gift Aid, this raised almost £11,000, a sum of great use to us, but most certainly not obtained in a way we would have wished. This gave us substantial reserves to cope with the rapid expansion that we continued to see. A local group Charter Court Financial Services made us their "Charity of the Year" for 2016, and collected for us all year, with the company match funding whatever was raised from a number of major events. By the end of the year we had received approx £52,800, with more to come from the final event, and other collections. It would appear that we might yet approach a truely amazing £60,000 for the year. With the rapid expansion seen in activity (+56% on 2015), we certainly needed the addition funding, completing the year having made 90 grants totalling £136,323.44.
Having sadly lost Martyn Morgan at the end of 2015, Lewis Barnes joined us as the new fourth Trustee on 02.04.16, and will bring the views and particularly the social media expertise, of a younger generation to the group, as we look to our long term succession plan.
18th May - Chris Westwood received the Palfry Award from Stourbridge Rotary for services to the community through the Charity. This also included a £250.00 donation which was a useful addition to the funds.
2015 the highlight of the year was the receipt of an MBE for the founder, Chris Westwood, revealed in the New Year's Honours List at the end of 2014. The award was subsequently received at Windsor Castle in July, and the Founder also received an invite to the Garden Party at the Palace, which was held in May. The award was regarded as a great honour for the work of the Charity, but little did we know or expect the great sadness that the Trustee group would face in December.
In November 2015 the Charity completed over 300 grants and well over £300,000 granted since inception in November 2003, which meant that we had crossed the "300" milestones. We completed the year on 320 grants and £353,000 granted
December brought us great, and very unexpected, sadness. On 10.12.15, one of the founding trustees, Martyn Morgan, passed away after a short illness, he will be greatly missed. The funeral for Martyn was held in Worcester Cathedral on the 6th January, and the family very kindly requested all donations in memory to be made to the Charity, with the final total, including Gift Aid, exceeding £11,000.
We completed 2015 with 63 grants totalling £87,270, which maintained our compound growth rate over the last nine years at 43% per year.
2014 With further continued rapid expansion, the first major milestone of 250 grants, and over £250,000 granted since inception, was reached in early November 2014, in just 11 years of operation. Two thirds of this activity was achieved in the three years 2012 to 2014, as the activity levels had become so much larger than in the earlier years, and the Charity now looked forward to reaching the next major milestone in a much shorter period, provided that it could at least maintain the current rate of fundraising. We managed to increase our income further to £69, 206, and grants consolidated again at 58, totalling £59,238.
2013 continued the trend and we managed to raise our income level slightly to £57,937, as the grants made increased to 61, with a total granted of £66,853.
2012 saw both income (£55,146) and grants made (£50,707) again rising significantly as our contacts developed, and we became more well known.
2011 then saw very rapid growth as we doubled the activity level to 36 grants, and £35,167 granted.
2010 was a year of consolidation where we again completed 18 grants, although timing had a significant effect as several applications came in just as we entered 2011.
2009 Activity doubled to 18 grants with just under £20,000 raised and granted, as the Charity continued to grow rapidly.
2008 Further rapid growth, and we ended the year with income of £9,558, after several fundraising events, and 9 grants made, totalling £8,998.
2007 With subsequent increased publicity, and the ability to provide easy access to grant application requirements, grant requests began to grow significantly, and the Charity took its first steps in raising additional funds from outside sources, beyond the funding provided by the Founder, the Gift Aid claimed, and the windfall payment from the competition. As mentioned previously, Dr Janine Barnes also joined us as a trustee, increasing our number to four.
Income increased to £5,075, and we completed 5 grants totalling £5,644.
2006 In February of that year, the Trustees agreed that it was time that the Charity developed a website, and this was originally kindly hosted by Talbots Solicitors, who provided some of their spare web space, and access to their website designers for any updates required, at no cost to the Charity. We continued to share web space until they became Quality Solicitors Talbots some years later. Over time, it became clear that the ability to easily update the site, whenever required, would be an advantage, as with rapid growth, the need to publish reports more frequently had become pressing, as well as the need to run a regularly updated news service for our supporters, and details of fundraising events being held. Once the Charity site was moved to a free website/and website software provider - Weebly, the Founder was able to learn how to regularly update the site he had constructed, and hopefully improve the information available to the Charity supporters, as well as continuing to try to develop the facilities of the site. Subsequently, all the required forms, reports published, and a donation facility have been added, as the Charity has grown.
The income in 2005 had been boosted by the Pension competition win and with an improved reserves position, we were able to complete three grants in 2006 totalling £3,375.
2005 The Founder won the non-expert class in a Pension Competition, organised by Axa Equity & Law, and the Financial Times. The original prize was £5,000 of educational vouchers, which they kindly commuted to a donation directly to the Charity. A report in the local paper resulted in an application for help from a local special school, and we began to realise the extent of the problems that local children with disabilities were facing, particularly when further applications began to be submitted. This was also the beginning of our relationships with the local special schools.
2004 We began our work, initially very much finding our way. With total income of £1,501 (the £1 was Bank interest, the remainder was from the Founder) we were able to complete 2 grants totalling £600.
Our initial aims were to supply mobility equipment where the State system was unable to help, and no other sources of funding were available, to operate at minimum cost (and we have continued to manage to operate with zero administration cost, with the Trustees covering any minor incidental expenses, as they arise), and with a fast response (which we have also managed to maintain, generally responding within 24 hours).
We commenced operations at a relatively low level, solely funded by the Founder, with the original intention having been that the Charity would remain at that level of operation, until the untimely demise of the aforementioned Founder. In the interim, all the operating procedures, and structures would be clearly laid down, and then, eventually, the income from a permanent endowment from the estate of the Founder, after his death, would be used to expand the activity level. However, as more people became aware of our existence, the Charity started to grow, and having also discovered that the problems faced by many families were very much greater than had been realised, it was decided that the Charity had to be allowed to develop at whatever rate the requests for help arrived. This was to lead us into a whole new area of fundraising, and rapid expansion.
2003 The Charity was founded with a Declaration of Trust on 19th November, starting with three Trustees, and Dr Janine Barnes joined us in February 2007 - see the Trustees page.