END OF TERM REPORT 2011

Welcome!


Welcome to our “End of Term Report”. It has become a tradition in November to send this report out to all our supporters. We’ve been so busy this year that we are somewhat late sending it out. However it comes with the same sentiments as always. That is to say a huge thank you to you for your support during the year. If you happen to be reading this for the first time and have not supported then we hope by dipping into a few of our activities during the year you will better understand what we are about and feel able to support us during the coming year.


As you might expect there have been good and bad bits about the year but I think you will agree as you read this that on balance the youngsters have benefitted considerably from our work.


We hope we can count on your continued support, we certainly value it.


Doug Hulme


Chief Executive


December 2011


 


Local Fundraisers


 


We have noticed this year an increase in support from companies and individuals local to our offices in Portsmouth. This is very encouraging and most welcome! Among those is Candyking UK Ltd who have supplied us with their old computers, a monetary donation and of course ... sweets! Menzies Accountants also raised money for us at a quiz and meal evening in which, it has to be said, the Charity team disgraced itself by coming second to last after gambling its strong position coming into the last round in a double or bust strategy!! One of the Houses at Churchers College in Petersfield has adopted us and an early fundraiser took the form of some of the 6th formers and the House Master, Chris Best, taking part in the ‘Hellrunner’ cross country run at the Longmoor Army camp. The Stroud School in Romsey have likewise adopted us. Space in this newsletter is limited and we cannot mention everyone but we do say a big thank you to all those who have supported us in this manner.


 


Farewell Old Friends


 


Inevitably each newsletter we produce seems to contain a farewell to old friends. This year however has seen two of our very best and most significant friends depart from the fray. Right at the end of last year and too late for that newsletter we received news that the Rev Andy Arbuthnot had passed away. Doug and Jill Hulme had the privilege to attend his memorial service at the beginning of the year. What a positive celebration of a life well lived that was! Andy and Doug were good friends and Andy has been a great encourager of his and the charities work for many years, both financially and morally. Many cups of coffee and ‘pudding’ were consumed at the House in Farnham before Andy’s final retirement to be with his daughter near Worcester. Friends like this are hard to come by and he will be very sorely missed. The Salvation Army have a lovely old fashioned Victorian term for the death of any of its members, it is “Promotion To Glory” - we think Andy qualified!!


 


Whilst no more significant than the loss of Andy Arbuthnot, the loss of ‘our man in Finland’ came as a very great shock. Those of you who get our email bulletins will know that we were all shocked to the core to lose Sakari Seppälä at the age of only 56. Many of our supporters will remember him, perhaps for his presence at the House of Commons Dinners each year, where last year he gave the vote of thanks to Baroness Golding and to the charity for its good work.


 


Or maybe you were hosted by him on a Salmon Fishing holiday in Finland that we auction at our dinners. Sakari raised several thousands of pounds for the charity over the years by putting up 3 nights of luxury accommodation and fully guided fishing days on one of the most productive salmon rivers in the world the Kymioki.


 


His help and support to the charity went much further however than even this. He, along with Sirkka Kotola, was responsible for the support that Kotka City Council have shown towards the Charity over the years since our first tentative trips to Finland.


 


It was Sakari that organised and facilitated the lease of our cottage in Finland; a facility that has meant hundreds of children have had their lives changed by the programmes we offer at the cottage. None of our residential facilities would have taken place in the last ten years if it had not been for Sakari. Sakari was head of the Planning and Technical department of the City and as such is in the position of a deputy Mayor, which in Finland is an appointed paid position. He was amongst the most active patrons and volunteers we have.


 


It hardly seems possible that he is no longer with us and at just 56 years of age, the world has been robbed of a very valuable person. His passing may also have repercussions for our work in Finland, we shall have to wait and see on that front. Sad news…rest in peace our very good friend.


 


FINLAND


 


Some of you will recall that at the beginning of the summer, the recession, for the first time, threatened to impact on our programme with the children. We were short of the finances necessary to use our cottage facilities in Finland as we normally do. In particular, a Fathers and Sons week that we had promised to two families was under threat. I am so pleased to say that following generous support we were not only able to fulfil that commitment but also engage in a further weeks residential with 8 particularly needful youngsters.


 


We want to say thank you and also through a few photographs give you a flavour of what went on during those residential courses. The impact on the young people has been significant. The ‘Dads and Lads’ week was movingly effective and we felt very humbled to see an extraordinary turn around in the relationships between fathers and sons. It was definitely a two way street and the youngsters learned how to respect their fathers as the fathers came alive to the possibilities of enjoying their sons company and directing them in positive ways.


 


As we watched those distressing images of similar aged young people running riot on our streets with no evidence of parental control, we were at the cottage watching a father and son learn respect for each other and discover the benefits of a healthy relationship. Yes, it's old fashioned; but boy is it effective!! Set in the middle of the thick Finnish forest right beside the Baltic Ocean, our facilities are ideal. The youngsters enjoy much freedom but learn they have to abide within a few simple rules and show respect for everyone. It wasn’t long before they learned the benefit of co-operation. They thrive on having boundaries set knowing just where they stand. On one week 6 out of 8 were on medication for hyper activity, given the choice they decided they did not need that support and managed and were managed without any chemical re-alignment. Again, old fashioned but very effective!


We affected these children’s lives in an immeasurable way this summer. They will never be the same again.


 


 


Five of them either didn’t attend school or were on a substantially reduced timetable. I am pleased to report that 3 weeks into the new term saw all five  in full time education and going strong. They may not all maintain this but it is an indication of the effect that has been had on them. None of this would have been possible without your support. I and the staff team are indebted to you.


 


Mini Bus


Many of you on our email bulletin list will be interested to know that the mini bus saga continues. Citroen took it back for an assessment but have not contacted us since it’s now about 12 weeks. Maybe the problems were just too much for them to fix or maybe they were so embarrassed they've stolen it from us? Baroness Golding, our Chairman, is going to write and enquire of the Chief Executive of Peugeot Citroen if either is the case?!! The Saga continues... 4 engines, a dozen clutches, two gearboxes, 30 flat batteries, but when it runs its nice to drive!!


Lloyds


We were delighted to welcome nearly 50 employees of Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets sector to our Nature Reserve and Farm.


It was a ‘working party’ and an opportunity for the bankers to get involved in the community at an end of a training week for them. It was a splendid day, the weather was amazing and no one thought they might get sunburnt in the autumn!


They divided themselves into 4 teams and all had designated tasks to perform. These included recreating the path through the woodlands at the side of the River Meon, planting bluebells, snow drops and wild strawberry plants. They also sowed wild flower seed into the meadows to create a wild flower meadow next year. They pruned and planted new trees around the reserve, did some hedge cutting and fence repairing. They made a significant impact on the site.


One particularly pleasing job was to get a bench and set it in concrete next to the river in a particularly pleasant spot. This was paid for in memory of Robert Mochrie. Robert was a young man travelling in India and was tragically drowned while swimming in a river there. He was a really keen fisherman throughout his childhood and early adult years and his family wanted to make a donation to Second Chance because of our ties to the pastime with our youngsters. Two of the team remembered reading about the sad events in the newspapers.


We want to site about 8 of these kind of benches around the nature reserve and the various fishing spots and this was the first one. A lovely legacy that will benefit many children in the years to come.


The Team made a real impact and it was a joy to meet them all. They met a few of youngsters as well who are still talking about the game of football they enjoyed at the end of the day!! A very positive and useful time. Maybe there are more corporate organisations out there that would like to do a similar thing?


Thanks to Zoe Corney from Lloyds for organising the day and Pat Smith Area Manager for Hampshire and Dorset, Business in The Community for setting it up in the first place.


 


Land Residentials


Whilst we still have quite a way to go yet on developing our facilities at our nature reserve and farm, the youngsters are taking full advantage of what’s there. Taking inner city youngsters into the country side and enjoying the fishing and other country activities often in a residential manner. Camping in bivvies at the side of the lakes, cooking for themselves (well sort of!) learning responsibility to each other and co-operation with someone in charge. Huge progress has been made in many young lives. The pay off comes when you realise that many of these young people would have been in trouble with the police, in the courts, possibly in custodial care, certainly eating up social workers time and disrupting their and others education. These residential are a great investment of our time and your finances.


Emails – our address change, your emails for bulletins please.


Shortly after our last newsletter and starting in January of this year we had to change our email address. Having been one of the first organisations in the country to have one, it had remained unchanged for all that time. If you haven’t noted our new address it is charity@second-chance.org.uk.


Many of you have been enjoying our regular email bulletins that have been coming direct to you. Many have not….because we don’t have your email address! It saves on postage and generally makes it so much easier to communicate with you if we have your email. Please email us if you would like to help us in this way.


Donations... Text by Phone


We have recently signed up to the well publicised 'JustTextGiving' campaign.


You can now donate to the Charity by simply texting "SCCC02" followed by the amount you wish to donate to 70070. For example, if you wished to donate £10 to the Charity, you would text 'SCCC02 £10' to 70070.


 


Jack’s “bomb”!


We thought you might be amused by the mayhem we managed to cause at Heathrow this summer.  On one of our residential trips to our cottage in Finland we took one of the sweetest young men you could meet. He’s 17 and so eager to please, he’s a pleasure to work with. He has a speech impediment which sometimes makes it difficult for people to understand him. He also doesn’t always concentrate!


Despite warnings from two staff members on liquids in your hand luggage he managed to arrive at the security check with 2 cans of coke in his back pack! This of course necessitated a search. Well, the chemical detectors picked up traces of Nitro Glycerine on his bag!! No explanation was or has been forthcoming for this anomaly but three separate re-runs of the tests produced the same result. We had supervisors of supervisors, full x-ray searches, the works!! We almost missed our flight! The lad was in tears... it all ended well though and we have had endless fun with him since!!


  


Finances


Thanks to your support during the year I am glad to report that this year saw an improvement in our financial position. We are still a long way back to the level of funding we enjoyed prior to the recession when our income dropped by £100,000, but just as  2010 saw a slight increase on 2009’s income so too has 2011 over  its predecessor. The year is not yet over but I suspect we may have seen something like a 6-7% increase on 2010. This still leaves us with a big deficit but we are moving in the right direction and in these days of strange economic realities that can’t be bad. We do recognise that some of you reading this newsletter are responsible for that increased level of  income and you can feel justified in your support.


Our big problem on the financial front is that in order to cope with our reduced income we have shelved our capital programme, principally our vehicle replacement strategy and our maintenance regime. As many of you know that enforced decision has come back to bite us with a useless Citroen Mini bus and a burnt out Land Rover and three vehicles with close to or above 200,000 miles on the clock! Our repair bills have shot up and although one has been replaced, thanks to someone's generosity, we can’t afford to replace all of those vehicles. Likewise the maintenance (or lack of it) on our facilities in Portsmouth has led to a flood and some damage to the interior, but we survive and when this recession is over (just when that might be we have no idea, it seems to have been forever already!) we will make a full recovery, though I suspect it may take us as long to get back to where we were as it has to get here and we are about to enter our 5th financial year that has been effected by the slump.


House of Commons this year and date for next


We are so grateful for the support we enjoy for our annual dinner and auction at the House of Commons. It used to be the icing on the cake for us but in these economic times it has become bread and butter!! I am delighted to report that a near capacity crowd of invited guests met in the members Dining Room on March the 11th and we had a splendid time. Neil Freeman as usual did an amazing job with the auction and considering everyone is feeling the pinch from this recession we were so pleased to raise over £20,000 for the charity’s welfare. The date for 2012 is Friday March 9th. Put it in your diary, you would be most welcome!!


Future plans for our land... capital appeal


Many of you have been asking what the future plans are for the development of our land and facilities at Funtley. In the briefest possible terms we hope to very soon put in a 28 day notice for permission to erect a pole barn on the farm (a 28 day notice is a special planning arrangement for agricultural land). The erection of this barn, which will accommodate our machinery, hay, feeds and lambs at lambing time, will cost around £20,000.


The next development, which will be subject to planning permission, is the building of a fishing lodge beside the River Meon.  This will transform the capacity of the nature reserve and farm for the use of the children. The lodge will have a kitchen, shower and toilet facilities. We hope to build a traditional oak framed building that will be  hidden away in the valley and will enhance the environment and make it more accessible to so many more inner city children. We may need as much as £80,000. Ultimately but not next year, there is a spot on the land that would lend itself to accommodation building for an onsite manager. We can see that that may prove more problematical from a planning perspective so we will leave that one for another day. We could do with the services of an expert planning application manager... if anyone is reading this?!!


So stand by for a capital appeal sometime next year for the first two phases. We have been waiting for the recession to end before launching this, but we can’t wait forever and who knows, maybe something like the summer Olympics will lift us out of the nation’s psychological depression and end the recession? (We can but hope!).


  


Welcome... Steve Edge, Christopher Clark QC, Tom Brannan - patrons


Many of you will have seen our splendid new ‘leaflet’ describing and promoting the charity’s activities. It’s had a significant impact on recipients this year from as far away as New York. This was designed and commissioned by our very own Steve Edge. Steve Edge is a designer and artist of epic proportions, known throughout the world. He’s also a very good friend and a great fisherman! A combination of these factors has led to us asking him to be a patron of the charity. We are highly delighted to have him on board and joining our illustrious band of patrons.


Much of our work revolves around broken families, the resulting poor behaviour of young people and the general fallout from having rights but no appreciation of responsibility. I think it’s for these reasons or at least partly, that we have attracted the support and appreciation of many barristers and judges. The reader will be aware of the support we enjoy from our Patron Judge Christopher Compston and that which we had from our old friend the late Sam Rawson. We have been delighted during the year to welcome Judge Christopher Clark QC onto our patrons board alongside Steve Edge. If you have ever sat in a Family Division Court and listened to the scenarios that these judges are asked to preside over, you will quickly see how our work fits into these scenarios and how effective interventions at appropriate and early stages can prevent the sad and ever recurring referral to an expensive and often damaging process in the courts. Christopher, we are delighted to have you on board and are welcoming of your authoritative insights into our world.


One of our most consistent and helpful supporters is Tom Brannan. Tom is known to many of you who attend our corporate days fishing or our Dinner at The House of Commons. He makes a splendid spokesman and auctioneer on these occasions. He has proved to be a very effective ambassador for the Charity and we are delighted to have him onboard as a patron.


 


Back to School scheme


Whilst mention of this scheme is of necessity brief in this newsletter, the scheme remains the back bone of our work in the Portsmouth and Hampshire areas and is getting ever increasing youngsters that are excluded or non attendees from main stream schools back into full time education. The majority of referrals are for secondary age children and boys! We are not sure what that means but are happy just to work with them!


At the time of writing we have extended this service to over 30 local children this year as well as supporting previous participants now back into school or college full time. It’s a service well worth pursuing and has a dramatic impact on the rest of their lives as we are sure you can imagine. The difference between leaving school with or without qualifications is dramatic enough but to leave before you have completed any kind of education is much worse, and the resulting impact on our society is often grave and expensive.


Thank You to Frank Jarratt – signing off as a trustee...


We can’t begin to express our gratitude to one of our trustees. Frank Jarratt has been incredibly influential in the establishment and development of the charity. Doug Hulme, our Chief Executive, has described him as practically a second father in as much as Doug has spent many many hours debating, checking, seeking advice from Frank over Charity problems and strategies. Frank is a retired business man and has a very shrewd business head on him. He managed the family construction business through many successful years and upon retiring from that he was able to use those years of experience to good effect as a trustee of the Charity. 


Back in the mid 90’s British Telecom granted a tenancy at will agreement to the charity, for its property in Portsmouth known as Grey Town House (a six story office block). This led to the Charity establishing its links with Portsmouth that continue to this day. All good things come to an end and so it was that BT sold the offices to the NHS leaving the Charity without a home.


Doug spotted an ideal building in a perfect location that was looking a bit sorry for itself as security had been breached and damage caused. The owner of the building was sought out and an offer of maintenance and security made in return for occupation. Thus in 1999 Frank Jarratt came into the life of the Charity. Frank was the owner and readily granted a tenancy at will agreement and a little while later agreed a very favourable, indeed half price, sale of the premises to the Charity. Franks philanthropic tendencies have never been in doubt, as a founder member of the Portsmouth North Rotary club he has demonstrated those for many years.


It is with Second Chance, however, that he has left such an indelible legacy that will last for many more years to come.


Now well into his mid 80’s Frank has felt with some health issues that he really should retire completely from these duties. It is therefore with great sadness, as well as fondness, that we announce that Frank Jarratt is ‘signing off’. He will be greatly missed at the Charity but he has left a legacy that will outlive all of us. Frank we are so grateful for your input and your friendship, our old friend.


New York!


Doug had the privilege of travelling to New York at the end of the year at the invitation of The Rolls Royce and Bentley owners club, who were launching their annual year book which carried a feature on the charity. The event was held in the world famous Lorin Marsh show rooms. Thomas Lampson of Lorin Marsh was very appreciative of the Charity’s work and has offered to look at how Lorin Marsh may support it. Many friends were made and it is hoped that some benefit to the Charity may come.


  


Carol Playing


Once more the band of volunteer supporters that make up the Second Chance brass ensemble have taken to the streets of Park Gate and the shopping centre at Hedge End, Hampshire. The revenue is very useful from these events, coming, as it does, just before Christmas when we endeavour to make sure the children who would not get any presents do so.


 


Round Table


The Portsmouth and Southsea No2 group of the Round Table have adopted us for the year. They are going to renovate our kitchen and repair the flood damage to our middle floor that we use for our play group, supervised contact and parenting Skills courses. They held a profitable Comedy Night on the 24th September in Portsmouth that included nationally known comedians. Well done lads keep it up and we look forward to seeing you in the kitchen in the new year!!


 


Your Old Fishing Tackle


Several of you have been keeping us supplied with your old or unused fishing tackle for the youngsters use. To name but two Dr Ferguson up there in West Yorkshire continues to keep our fishing activities supplied with equipment from small lures to fishing rods and reels. Russ Naylor lost his fishing buddy Ron earlier in the year and Ron's wife Wendy agreed it would be a nice legacy to leave Ron's fishing tackle to the youngsters so that they may gain as much enjoyment out of the activity as he did. These gifts and the many others, too numerous to go into detail, are greatly appreciated and not taken for granted. Please keep them coming, the youngsters seem to go through copious amounts of tackle!


  


Success


When you get a run of bad luck with things mechanical, structural and personal as we seem to have done of late there is always light ahead and the youngsters can often put it all into perspective. Doug had the privilege of attending one of our youngsters ‘graduation’ event recently. This youngster came to the charity as a troubled teenager with a difficult back ground, several foster homes and numerous childrens homes had been her lot in her childhood. Poor attendance at school meant low grades and an early pregnancy put paid to future plans of a career. However with the support of the charity and despite having three young children and a spell in a woman’s refuge, the young lady in question has completed 4 hard years at college studying beauty therapy and such things that she was able to collect her certificate and receive a special commendation from the college for exceptional effort and achievement. This citation was a complete surprise to us and we were immensely proud when it was read out in the large hall. She now hopes along with a colleague to set her own business up and she is still only 24 years old. Seeing a youngster beat the odds like this makes everything seem worthwhile. This charity cannot be a numbers business  and we would do it all for just this young lady, but we have scored a number of notable and similar successes this year... this makes it all worthwhile... The journey continues!


 


You Can Easily Judge The Character Of Man ...By How He Treats Those Who Can Do Nothing For Him!”


The Second Chance Children’s Charity, Second Chance House, Somers Road Bridge, Portsmouth, Hants, PO5 4NS


Tel 02392 872790. Fax 02392 737550 Email: charity@second-chance.org.uk


 Web Page: http://www.second-chance.org.uk


Registered Charity Number 1001462. Established 1984,


Bankers The Unity Trust Bank  08-60-01 Account No 20142951