Annual Review 2015
The charity published (via the Charity Commission website) its Trustees’ Report and Financial Statements for the year to 31 December 2015, in March 2016.
This Annual Review reports on the key elements of the charity’s activities last year, updating where possible as the trustees and staff plan for the future.
Income for the year was £1,578k, which included the transfer of more than £1,051k from the Matthew Hodder Charitable Trust (a one off event). The MHCT funds have to be recorded as income for the year but were almost immediately invested with Rathbones (investment managers) and are being used to provide grants programmes from the designated Matthew Hodder Fund.
Costs at £572k, were as the trustees had forecast.
The result is a surplus of £1,006k (£979k after losses on investments) for 2015.
The forecast result for 2016 is likely to be:
Surplus/(deficit): (£118k) *(as at 31 May 2016 income is £20k ahead of budget; additionally there is a restricted fund of £36k from a grant from the Unwin Charitable Trust, carried over from 2015, to cover the planned cost of boiler replacements at The Retreat) and £55k has been drawn down from reserves to cover cash-shortfall).
With some 98 beneficiaries throughout the country receiving help, support and encouragement in own homes, BTBS has seen a marked uptake of enquiries and grant-making activities. Mr A had to cut his working hours in order to care for his disabled wife and school-age daughter. Carers’ Allowance didn’t go anywhere near making up the shortfall in his income and the family were struggling to make ends meet. BTBS was able to support them with a regular monthly grant of £165 which has made a small but significant difference to their quality of life.
The new education and training grants programmes, which the Matthew Hodder Fund supports, is beginning to gather speed with some 20 grants to individuals and groups last year, which helped individuals enter the book trade, provide support to interns and post-graduates and enable educational projects and initiatives.
Ms B was a bright and enthusiastic graduate from the north of England keen to break into the Book Trade. She was offered a two-week work placement with a prestigious London publishing house, but didn’t think she could take up the offer because she couldn’t afford to stay in London for the duration of the placement. BTBS let her stay in their Guest Bungalow for two weeks and gave her a grant of £400 to cover her travel and living costs.
Ms C was working for six months as an intern for a publishing firm in London, but struggling to cope on the minimum wage. Under the Matthew Hodder Fund “Supporting Interns” scheme, BTBS was able to supplement her income with a grant of £300 per month for the duration of the internship, enabling her to meet the cost of living in London. Since completing her internship, Ms C has secured a permanent marketing job in the Book Trade.
A grant of £1350 from the Matthew Hodder Trust Fund enabled the Chipping Norton Festival to run a short story project for primary school children. The money paid for two children’s authors to go into local schools and deliver creative workshops around Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. The children went on to write their own short stories which were published in a book to be sold at the festival and to parents and relatives.
BTBS’ long-established independent-living housing scheme was largely full throughout the year and into 2016. A trial is underway to use eco-friendly energy solutions to some properties, to reduce fuel use and maintenance costs. If the cost/benefit is positive, is hoped to roll-out energy-saving systems in 2016. There are plans to provide additional self-contained homes in the near future.
Progress with objectives for 2016:
The BTBS Board of trustees set the charity some tough objectives for the year to include:
- rolling out the grants and education programmes as far as possible
- continuing to provide the highest standards of grants, education, training and housing
- collaborating further with trade organisations and other charities to help, support and fund BTBS’ innovative and worthwhile programmes for the benefit of the book trade
- eliminating any annual income and expenditure deficit
- having sufficient reserves for its activities.
Plans for the next 5 years:
BTBS has agreed a succession plan for key trustees and staff to ensure continuity which will ensure the governing body (the Board) and the small staff team are populated with individuals who can offer their knowledge, skills and experiences for the charity’s benefit.
With the linking to a smaller society (hopefully) later in 2016, BTBS will be able to expand and develop its housing provision, while the Board contemplates the possibility of further developments at The Retreat.