Annual Report: 2017-2018

Trustees’ Report

To say the least, it has been an interesting year for a variety of reasons. We remain enormously pleased for the continued financial support given by the Big Lottery Reaching Communities fund, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) and the Lloyds Banking Foundation, as well as those who choose to donate. We simply could not do what we do so successfully without such essential support, and this has meant that our financial position remains positive.

As trustees, we are acutely aware of the challenges that lay ahead from a financial and longevity perspective. While Lloyds Banking Foundation has given us the green light for a further term and OPCC financial support has been confirmed, we are hoping Big Lottery funding will be renewed. This is most certainly not a given by any means. When we consider the main percentage of our service delivery capability comes from this funding source, it is imperative we are successful in securing this support. We will not stand still on this issue and following the departure of our part-time fundraiser, Nicola Pender, who has done such good work for us, we will continue to seek ways of securing the necessary income.

From a staffing point of view there will be some changes to come including those in our counselling team. Sadly, having taken on a lead role here and enriching the charity with her full complement of skills and integrity, Celena Lewis decided to leave us following a very tough year for her brought about by illness within her family. Trustees thank Celena for the excellent service she has given the Southmead Project, those who use our services, the local community and the City of Bristol, and wish her well for the future.

To ensure continuity, Mike has stepped back into the CEO role supported by Pete Wraith, myself and fellow trustees. Once again Pete has been an invaluable asset to the charity for which the trustees sincerely thank him. Team Southmead Project remains positive and planning for the future smooth running of the charity operations.

In the last five months, we welcomed new Service Coordinator Imogen McCabe and Senior Counsellor Helen Biggs, who joined the team to ensure stability, reduce the waiting list and provide our usual exceptional standard of service.

As identified in the strategic development plan (Sally Britton 2017) financed by Lloyds Banking Trust, the charity has adopted a Leadership Team approach to future planning and decision making. This shared approach is how trustees see as the way forward to ensure continuation of high-quality service provision and longevity of the charity. This will also allow Mike to concentrate on the book he has been invited to write by Jessica Kingsley Publishers and free him up to promote the charity and efficacy of the work we do here.

Unfortunately, last year we reported that we hoped to receive some funding from Bristol City Council but unfortunately this could not happen as the city does not have budgets for the work this charity specialises in. We have accepted this but have looked at alternatives. Mike will be collating information relevant to the impact of child abuse – including financial costs to the state –  intent on building the case for greater safety of children and far more consistent funding for the support of victims and survivors of child abuse. Like Mike and the rest of the team here, trustees are of the view that securing government/statutory funding is essential – not just for this charity, but for those others across the country who carry out similar work.

Trustees are confident that the next year will be positive with the leadership team enabling us to move forward. We will consolidate our working agreements with our partners such as Bristol Consortium and Oasis Talk and build new ones. We hope to develop new services – including family-oriented interventions with Avon and Somerset Police. Once again, Lee Paterson has been tremendously helpful and long may our liaison with the police and OPCC continue. We remain hopeful the business/corporate sector initiative; Friends of Southmead Project (FOSP) will prove financially fruitful and thank Terry Peirce and Jon Treen for their help and support with this. Trustees also thank the wide range of organisations and individuals who have supported the charity by attending events, supported the ‘Paddle to Parliament’ awareness raising effort and numerous golf days – all of which have raised additional funds for the Project. For the second year running Filton Golf Club captains have decided to raise funds on our behalf and we thank the club and captains for their continued support.

Finances remain at the forefront of the trustees concerns and we hope we will receive financial support from across the spectrum. We hope Bristol City Council can support us and to see FOSP numbers increase along with securing finances from this source.

I thank my co-trustees for their continued efforts and as a team we welcome anyone who would like to consider putting themselves forward for consideration. We would particularly like to hear from those with medical and education backgrounds, as well as those with experience in event organising, fund raising and charity operations.

I also especially want to thank Mike for once again being our rock. He will always be the heart of the charity and I thank him especially for his support to me as Chairman of Trustees. This charity would not have been as successful as it has been without the team behind it and I thank all our staff who provide such an exceptional service. Their hard work and expertise allow us to provide such specialist, top quality trauma informed services, which are being required in growing numbers, year on year. Thank you, one and all.

Simon Craker
Chairman of Trustees