Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund (HCNCF) AGM Chair report April 15th 2016

Welcome to the 2016 AGM of HCNCF; good to see so many new faces!

As you are probably aware there are two main objects of the charity.

We continue, as has been the case for 27 years, to fund extra care for people dying at home. This care, with some equipment and holistic support, allows people to remain at home in their last days of life, if that’s their choice. The need for this funding reduced some years ago due to improved support from statutory services, in particular from the NHS. However we do still spend a considerable sum on care and the future of the NHS continuing healthcare budget is uncertain, as it’s a huge cost to the NHS.

On the care side, we recognise that there have been considerable pressures on Community (District) nursing services and in general practice in recent years. We are ensuring that our funding for care is used as effectively as possible, by liaising closely with the primary care team, ensuring they are well informed and that referral channels are as simple as possible; we are also reviewing the criteria for funding care to see if there are other areas, outside statutory provision, where assistance could be provided.

Our second object involves the HCNCF proposal to build and run an innovative Information and Support Centre (ISC) for people with cancer and other types of life threatening or life changing illness.

Ted, who chairs the ISC project, will speak in more detail about the centre later.

We recognise that the charity is evolving from a small local charity to one with a much larger remit, including future staff employment. The trustees and committee have tended in the past to ‘all get involved with everything’. Over the last year, and continuing during the coming year we will be ensuring stronger governance, with clear areas of responsibility.
We have formed subcommittees and working groups, which will take greater shape in the coming year, reporting back to regular trustee meetings. The subcommittees will benefit from individual areas of expertise to cope with increasing complexity of the charity’s work; at the same time we wish to retain the friendly, relaxed approach with good communication lines, which has always been the strength of the charity. The committee members are now specifically involved in events and fundraising, but less so in the governance and strategic decision making areas, the remit of the trustees.
As part of HCNCF governance, all our policies and protocols for the charity and for the future ISC, will be reviewed this year. We are carefully performing a risk analysis for the whole charity including Dee’s Den and for the ISC. We are also reviewing training requirements for anyone involved in the charity.

The charity shop, Dee’s Den, has been through a period of quite difficult change initially due to relocation, but subsequently since the sad death of Dee who, with her partner Billy, was the founder of the shop. The next year should see a more settled period, with a chance for new systems to settle, as well as continued development of the involvement of the volunteers in decision making about the running of the shop. You will hear about the amazing income from Dee’s Den, all thanks to our wonderful volunteers, to whom we are enormously grateful. We were very sorry to lose the services of Sylvia Warren who stood down recently; an excellent volunteer, who had been with the shop since it started. We were of course very sad to hear of the recent death of Frances Bassam, another excellent and longstanding volunteer at the shop; she will be greatly missed.

Our other sources of income are varied and include donations, legacies and fundraising – both locally and from outside sources. We are very grateful to the many people and organisations who have generously donated or carried out fundraising on our behalf. To pick out one or two of the bigger events or donors would be to neglect the smaller ones – all are equally important and very much appreciated.

The charity itself has continued to work hard to raise funds, as well as offer information through events such as Nikki’s cream teas, stalls at Patrick Stead’s fete and Heveningham Country Fair, the Church Xmas tree event, Dot’s coffee morning and another of her very successful race nights. Many thanks to all who have helped and supported us in these.

Various HCNCF fundraising events are planned for this year including an open garden event in Bramfield, strawberry teas, a choral concert and another golf day. We will also have a stall again at the Patrick Stead Hospital fete on the 4th of June.

Manon Clarke stepped down from being a Trustee due to many other commitments but remains in her financial role in relation to the care side of the charity and for the 50/50 club, as well as assisting with gift aid. Jackie Richardson, a trustee for many years, then committee member, decided to retire for health reasons. We are very grateful to them both for their hard work over many years, and delighted that Manon’s role will continue. We welcomed a new committee member Katie Northover, now very involved in the events committee and as a volunteer in Dee’s Den.

Nikki Sawkins and I are still trustees of Halesworth Health; plans for new purpose built health and care facilities on the Dairy Hill playing fields are progressing – the intention is to submit detailed plans for approval, alongside those of the Middle School sport developments, in May or June this year. Nikki is also heavily involved in the wonderful Dementia Carers’ Fund. The output from these organisations, along with those of the HCNCF, should result in innovative, integrated health and care services locally.

There are many people involved in our charity. I’d like to offer a big thanks to everyone and to their families and friends.

I would specifically like to thank

  • Trustees – all of whom have been working extremely hard in different ways and making difficult decisions, in an increasingly complex charity. For some it’s almost a full time job!
  • Committee members – developing fundraising ideas and plans and helping in many other ways, including three working in Dee’s Den.
  • All the Volunteers of Dees Den, for their dedication in running this amazing shop.
  • District Nurses and Occupational therapists, with whom we work closely to provide optimal care.
  • Carers – without whom people would not be able to be looked after at home.

Then the people we pay for their work for the charity, but who are generous with their support.

  • Anne Frances – who is moving on after providing years of reflexology and listening/support skills – many thanks to Anne and we wish her all the best in the new ventures
  • Liz Hearnshaw – for her continuing marketing expertise
  • Pete Tardrew – always instantaneous help with website support
  • Lovewell Blake accountants for all their helpful advice

Thanks to all of those people and thanks to all of you for joining us today.