End of Term Report 2010

Welcome!



Welcome to this our latest newsletter. As the summer recedes into a hazy distant memory and the first frosts are taking their toll, itís good to look back and see what you have done and achieved during the year, even if that means you sometimes see things you havenít done that you would have liked to! We hope you enjoy this bulletin and it gives you a flavour of what we have been up to. None of it would be possible without your support and we never take that for granted.



The recession continues to hit us hard. Although our income for this year looks like being a little up on the year before, we are still £100,000 or so down on the last full year before the recession. I know everyone is in the same boat and we are not complaining. When people feel comfortable again they will recommence their support, I am sure. What we have done to survive is to chop all none essential spending, which has meant basically all capital expenditure has ceased. Itís probably a false economy since vehicles we would have replaced, for instance, have now been breaking down and that has resulted in expensive repair bills. However, the main thing is that our work with the children hasnít directly suffered.

Our work load is greater than ever and the childrenís needs seem ever more complex and difficult to meet, so you can be assured your past support has been well used as we get to the end of this year and look forward to the Christmas celebrations.

Thank you.



Doug Hulme
(Chief Executive)
November 2010




RAF WORKING PARTY (January)




The beginning of the year got off to a terrible start weather wise. You will all recall the thick snows and very low temperatures. Well, in between the snow and the frozen ground, members of The R.A.F taking part in professional training at Southwick House, organised two working parties over two weekends. They planted trees, put up nest boxes and generally got frozen but did a great job down our Nature Reserve and Farm. Volunteering in the raw!



BACK TO SCHOOL SCHEME



Our work to get the youngsters who have been permanently excluded from, or refuse to go to school, back into full time main-stream education has continued to grow in its scale and effectiveness. The scheme is financed mainly by the Esmťe Fairbairn Foundation and with further support from The Evan Cornish Foundation and Johnson Wax Ltd, we increased the numbers this year by 25% and continue to support those already successfully integrated back into school to prevent any further exclusions. Itís a very valuable work, especially since many of the youngsters are very bright and potential straight ĎAí grade material whose potential is being wasted channelling their energies into harmful or at best non constructive activities.





YORKSHIRE BUILDING SOCIETY




We were pleased to receive a donation of £1,485 towards a new laser projector from the Yorkshire Building Society this year.



LEONI WIRING SYSTEMS (March)



It was great to meet with the directors and friends of Leoni Wiring again this year at our annual dinner at The House of Commons. Our Chairman, Baroness Golding, and Chief Executive, Doug Hulme, were delighted to receive a cheque for £1,000 on that occasion from Axel Wittenberg, Executive Director, along with a valuable piece of Moorcroft pottery for the auction.

 

SCLOVES FOR SALE



Many of you will know the story behind our ĎSclovesí marketing exercise to raise money for the Charity. Well, we have a number of Scloves for sale in limited sizes and colours right now for just £10 each. They would make ideal Christmas Presents and all funds would go towards the Charity. Please contact our office for more details or to place an order. Credit cards, cheques or cash all welcome!!



PAUL FRENCH: GREAT SOUTH RUN (October)


Our volunteer Paul French made a great effort by entering this run, completing it in a personal best time and raising sponsorship to the sum of £3,540.

Thank you to all of you who sponsored him!



RUSSELL LEAVES US, JAMES JOINS US!

Many of you will have met our youth worker Russell Lyne over the past few years. He was originally a volunteer with us in his student days at Portsmouth University but then came to work for us full time when we offered him the post. At the end of August he went back to University! Russell has decided to become a teacher and has gone to do his one year teaching certificate. He has gone back to being a volunteer for us again! He left a very big hole to fill as much of the work with our children is all about building and maintaining a relationship. The staff and the volunteers are the single biggest asset and tool we have.

However, we were able to turn to another of our volunteers, James Nice, who had been working in the prison system with young offenders. We were delighted he accepted the offer to take over Russellís job and he will become a familiar face to many of you in the coming months.



ENVIRONMENT AGENCY




We are delighted to say that we have enjoyed a largely E.A free year,
following their ludicrous interventions and time wasting of the year before. We continue to suggest some compensation from them is in order, but whether we actually get some support rather than the drain they became last year remains to be seen. It is a huge relief to have them channel their energies somewhere else! The Land, the lakes and the river continue to improve and be an essential tool for us. It really is very beautiful down there and anyone who would like to have a look is very welcome to come on down. Maybe you could have a fish for the Sea Trout when they are in?!!



TRANSPORT



As mentioned elsewhere we have cut our capital expenditure to help with the drop in income. This has meant that all but one of our vehicles are now past their scheduled replacement date. This showed up in May when we drove one of the minibuses to the cottage in Finland and the gearbox went in Northern Germany and although we limped into Finland the replacement gearbox cost us 4,000 Euros (probably about what the vehicle was worth!!). Vehicles seem to be a very unpopular item for gaining grants for, so we generally have to take the cost out of our general running budget. If anyone would like to buy us some lower mileage vehicles that would be very welcome.



JACK FROST MEMORIAL MATCH; FARNHAM ANGLING SOCIETY (May)


Itís several years now since Farnham Angling Society took over the running of our Jack Frost Memorial Match for us. This year was especially poignant as Ivy, Jackís widow, left us to be with Jack. She always took a great interest in the Charity and until recently was still knitting things for us and the youngsters!! I am pleased to say the match this year raised £1,771. If there is anyone who belongs to a club or society that could organise a sponsored Ďanythingí it is a great way of raising money for the youngsters.




FAMILY FUN DAY AT OUR LAND (July)


We lent the nature reserve and farm to a local church that we work closely with during the year, for a day that they billed as Ďa family fun dayí.


It was gratifying to see about 200 people enjoying the facilities on a
warm July day. A day out in the countryside for so many. The Land
really is a jewel in our assets when working with the children and
local community.

CREATIVE ACADEMY (August)



We used our nursery rooms for and supported a new initiative for the youngsters during the summer holidays run by volunteer Hannah Butler. Her Creative academy covered dance, art, drama and education during a two week period. The show at the end put on by the youngsters was very impressive and they all had clearly got so much from the course.



FINLAND (February, May, June)



The cottage continues to serve us well in Finland and we are very grateful for the continued support of our Finnish Volunteers and Kotka City Council who make it possible both financially and logistically. The recession made the number of summer outings substantially less this year but nonetheless the youngsters enjoyed both winter and summer activities there. From -20 degrees to plus 30 all in the same place! A few of the youngsters were present on both a winter and summer trip in the same year. They were impressed. It has to be said though, they were less impressed with the snow in February this year since for most of them they left a snow covered England behind them. Normally they havenít seen snow they can remember. It was a bit more impressive in Finland, however, as we ended up with almost 5í of snow at one point. See our Christmas Cards this year!



CHRISTMAS CARDS (December)



For this yearís Christmas cards, we have a picture of our cottage under about 3 feet of snow, taken in February 2010, when we were there with the youngsters. A cropped section of the photo forms the front cover of this
report. The cards are £2 each or £20 for a pack of 12. We do these ourselves so all proceeds go to the Charity, bar the cost of toner and card. Itís a great way of supporting the Charity. We can print any message you want on them too. Contact our office to place an order.



CANDY KING SPONSORSHIP (August)



We were delighted that Candy King, a European company with a local presence to our offices, increased their involvement and commitment to the Charity. A collection at work was organised in a novel way and they have contributed over £1,000 this year. In addition, the computers in our classroom were sadly aging and too slow to cope with everything being thrown at them, so we were delighted when Candy King also donated their outgoing computers to the classroom. Homework has never been faster in our drop in centre and classroom!! We often wonder if there are not other companies who could get involved in a similar way; maybe yours?


SIR GEOFFREY JOHNSON SMITH (November)



We sadly had to say goodbye to one of our staunchest supporters in the form of Patron Geoffrey Johnson Smith. He was a great friend to the Charity and a great encourager to our C.E.O Douglas Hulme. Geoffrey enjoyed a great reputation as a gentleman, politician and broadcaster, but ultimately as a gentleman. He had a great sense of humour and a keen wit, both of which had been known to turn on Doug. Doug recounts an occasion when he told Geoffrey a story of how he accidentally ended up staying the night in a Scientology hotel and the measures he took of barricading the door and leaving promptly. Possibly caused by the need to keep decorum in a much vaunted environment or the company present Geoffrey and Doug were quietly reduced to tears. Decorum was however maintained, which really sums Geoffrey up. Doug and Chairman Baroness Golding attended a packed memorial service for Geoffrey in Westminster Abbey in November, which was a real testament to the standing and respect he enjoyed from former Prime Ministers to humble Charity workers! Geoffrey, we shall all miss you!



SOUTH AFRICAN PAINTINGS



We have been given a collection of original artworks by various South African Artists. These we can sell to raise funds for the Charity. Initial research has proved that some of the works are quite valuable. The Artist A.A. Langdown, for instance, was selling works for between £5,000 and £10,000 prior to his death and it may be that his works are worth even more now. Other artists might not command such high prices, but nonetheless we believe this could be a substantial income for the Charity. Anyone interested in these works can contact us for discussions. If there are any experts on South African art reading this then you too would be a most welcome caller as we have not yet finished our research into the works and their values. Check out our website soon as we hope to place an extended article with photographs on it shortly. We may even run an online auction for them. In addition to Langdown, other artists include Margaret du Pre, Stephen Gilpin, M Vorster, P.S. Templeton, Shiela Cooper-Collins, D.W Cowan, E Vanderovar, L.G Kersley, Joe Goubert, Winston Churchill Saoli. Richard Hudson Zolar Check our website out soon!


MOTORBIKES (July)


Several of our volunteers and staff are motorbike riders and one of the activities this year has been going out riding with the older youngsters who are newly into the pastime. This has given us the opportunity to teach road skills and restraint to the budding road racers!! One such trip with the youngsters on their 125cc bikes was to Wales and back, staying overnight at a volunteers house in mid Wales. It is good role-modelling for youngsters who often donít have fathers of their own, at least at home anyway.





JONATHANíS GIFT



Our boat ĎJonathanís Giftí continues to do sterling work at various locations around the country. The boats was given in memory of Jonathan Ryan by his mother, Patricia McCowan. We trail the boat to various locations to take children fishing and experience fishing from a boat for the first time. We have used it this year for pike fishing, harbour fishing for flat fish and mullet, and fishing on a couple of large rivers as well. The youngsters spent a week cleaning it and polishing it back in the summer as it started to lose some of its lustre after much use. A lasting legacy from someone who so enjoyed his fishing.



WANTED: OLD FISHING TACKLE



In October, our very active Patron Major Vince Gwilym went along to Mrs Middleton in Derby, who unfortunately lost her husband recently who had been a supporter of the Charity. Mrs Middleton donated all of her late husbandís fishing tackle to the Charity for the youngsters to use - another lasting legacy! In November, Doug Hulme went along to Major General David Alexanderís daughterís house to pick up the Generalís great grandfatherís fishing tackle. The tackle included old Hardy reels and rods, Allcocks reels and antique flies. These are currently on their way to our volunteer and fishing tackle auctioneer, Neil Freeman, for valuation and possible sale to raise funds for the Charity. These are just two examples of how your old fishing tackle could help the youngsters. Whatever it is, from the latest carbon carp rod to the oldest cane Salmon rod Ė we can use it either for the children directly or by the sale, indirectly. Please consider donating it to the Charity.



ONCE A LANDROVER, NOT ALWAYS A LANDROVER! (November)



Readers of our 2008 ĎEnd of Term Reportí will recall the front cover and numerous pictures inside taken of our Land Rover at the cottage in Finland. It is a special Land Rover provided for us by The Clothworkerís Foundation. It is fully winterised, with heated seats, double battery, heated screen and mirrors, electric pre- heater and battery chargers, locking differentials, winches, roof rack and numerous other extras equipping it for the task of getting the youngsters to the cottage in the middle of winter. No mean feat this winter with at any time 3í of snow on our steep lane leading up to the cottage!! It coped very well with only a burnt out winch as a casualty. If you inspect the pictures below, you will see it has not faired so well in the English climate!! One of our volunteers was driving it down a perfectly straight stretch of road early evening and as the temperature dropped the wet road turned to ice and traction was lost causing the Land Rover to drift off line and across the road into the woods. Fortunately there was no on-coming traffic and the driver suffered only a bruised back; she was even able to go to work the following day. We are just so thankful that she was alright and no one else was involved. This event only took place 3 days before the completion of this report and so things are still working through, but it looks as though the vehicle will be a write-off and of course the insurance offer will not take into account the special features of the vehicle or indeed the pristine condition of it. Itís all the more alarming as we are going to need a replacement vehicle by mid January because of the February expeditions planned to Finland with the youngsters. Anyone feeling like sponsoring a new vehicle by adding to whatever Insurance settlement is concluded would be enthusiastically welcomed!! We estimate we need around £20,000!