The 2021 Trustees Report

In accordance with our Constitution, please find the Trustees Report for 2021.  We started the year where we ended 2020, in lockdown, with no meetings/events and having to keep in contact with our ‘Guests’ by weekly phone calls and home meal deliveries and this continued for almost all of the first half. During this period, we delivered over 700 meals which, when added, to the 1,200 plus meals we delivered in 2020 means we have delivered almost 2,000 meals plus lots of other goodies over almost sixteen months to ‘Guests’. Again, in December 2021 we had to add to this number by delivering our Christmas party meal by hand. We did though manage to hold some ‘live’ events including two ‘Guest’ BBQ’s, a Bull Theatre film show, two ‘Guest’ events at Old Fold Manor Golf Club, started a monthly coffee meeting at Wesley Hall and restarted the two Movement to Music classes. Sadly, as I mentioned above, our December Christmas lunch had to be cancelled but full credit to the team who changed this into a home delivery service, and we delivered 113 Christmas meals with all the traditional trimmings plus goody bags. We were though able to run two major Fund-Raising events which were well attended while we received many kind donations (see below).

Puddeneck’s income for 2021 amounted to £23,182 (gross) while expenditure totalled £23,048 resulting in a surplus of just £134. As mentioned above income accrued from our Golf Day, Race Night, subscriptions, Gift Aid, a ‘200’ Club, the Vicky Bailey talks and many generous donations from various sources. These donations included monies from Waitrose, Christmas collection organised by ‘The Monk’ in Barnet and from three members of Totteridge Millhillians Cricket Club (TMCC). On expenses, our delivery service of fish & chips cost over £7,500 while three additional meals delivered (not fish and chips) was generously cooked and paid for by TMCC where our relationships and support continue to bond. We also delivered in February to ‘Guests’ over 100 ‘goodie bags containing cakes, biscuits, hand cream and a Puddenecks mug to ‘Guests’ and this surprise present was very well received. We also started and are continuing to deliver flowers on ‘Guests’ birthdays as well as birthday and Christmas cards and these two gestures have been very much appreciated. Although in 2020 we effectively reduced our register of ‘Guests’ by about 50% to around 120 ‘Guests’ for all of whom live on their own and not in residential care, it still took a lot of volunteers’ time and effort. Once again, the Club is indebted to the effort of Paul Kidd, our Welfare Officer for organising this help, despite having moved to the Sussex coast, and to supporters/volunteers of the Club who ensured we maintained regular contact through phone calls and the delivery of meals.  

As mentioned above we were able to hold two live BBQs in the summer with restricted numbers at TMCC and two events at Old Fold in the Autumn which were well attended and started a monthly coffee morning which has grown in popularity and recommenced both our Movement to Music classes. However, all ‘live’ events had to be temporarily stopped again in December 2021 but hopefully with Covid worries now receding we are beginning to again run events.

We helped The Bull Theatre and, in conjunction with The Bull Players, and two local residents to fund a film about the re-enactment of the ‘Battle of Barnet’ on Hadley Common. Our first thoughts were to take ‘Guests’ to the Common for a live showing but when this became impracticable a film was made and we showed this to over 100 Guests at a matinee performance at the theatre. We also gave money to buy two new wheelchairs for Chipping Barnet Day Centre for the Elderly.

In addition to members and supporters helping us maintain this important regular contact with ‘Guests’ we also have to thank members of TMCC for their support and use of their premises and particularly the kitchen. This allowed Karen Yearley and Steve Nicholas, to cook three meals, in February, May and December, so we could deliver an alternative to ‘Fish & Chips’ on these dates and to Keith Yearley for all the organisational work. These meals were not only well received by our ‘Guests’ but saved the Club considerable expenditure as TMCC prepared these meals at cost price. Also, the Christmas meal, mentioned above, was paid for by three generous members of TMCC.

While the 2020 audited accounts were circulated together with the Committee report and the annual Chairman’s statement, a live AGM (normally in April 2021) was again not permissible under lockdown rules. However, the new committee took office in May after approval was agreed by the membership by email. In accordance with our Constitution any member is entitled to stand for office, but as no volunteers were forthcoming, the existing committee all stayed in their respective roles. This year we will lose two (with another loss possible) committee members so any volunteers will be most welcome.

 The committee met six times during the year, split equally between Zoom and ‘in person’ and had an 83% attendance record. Full notes of the meetings, covering all aspects of the Club’s activities were recorded and distributed to committee members with action points (not many) clearly labelled. In addition, a summary of these meetings was recorded in the newsletter (only six editions due to lack of activity) which was distributed to all members and more recently to all helpers. The newsletter contains important information about the Club, its membership and how it has been helping in the lockdown, so everyone was fully aware what was happening and the actions being taking. Steph Harrison (a helper) very kindly agreed to take on the role of looking after and updating the Club’s WEB page and hopefully this will now be ongoing. However, the site does need modernising and she together with Richard Stell (another helper) are in the process of reorganising this to make it more user friendly.

In order to modernise and conform with statutory rules which seem to grow daily, a booklet setting out all the Club Rules and Operating instructions was circulated to all members in April 2020, and this is regularly monitored. We have recently reviewed all these policies and as there are some substantial changes, we plan to reissue the book, probably by email this time, in Spring 2022. In accordance with Charity Commission advice, risk management, as always, is taken very seriously by the committee and all necessary forms were completed ahead of all the events we organise. All risk procedures are clearly laid out in the Rules booklet and are managed accordingly by the committee. In order to ensure this is given a clear focus, risk management is a standing item on the Committee agenda.

Sadly, due to the pandemic the Club could only meet in person on one occasion for supper in October and, very disappointingly, this was not well attended. However, we did manage to have two more fascinating Zoom talks by Vicky Bailey, a London Blue Badge guide earlier in the year and this brought many members, supporters, and friends back into contact.

At the start of 2021, the Club had 45 members, gained a new member within days of the year starting but then but then sadly lost a long-standing member so we ended the year with an unchanged membership of 42 paid up and 3 Honorary members. The average membership age was 76.3 years ranging from 55 to 102 years and the average length of membership was about 16 years with our longest member having served the club for over 47 years and our newest members having completed just twelve months. We have four female members.

Unfortunately, we again had to use our incident record book when one of our ‘Guests’ collapsed at one of our events, but this was efficiently dealt with by St John Ambulance in attendance; we organised transport home and the lady concerned phoned the next day and apologised for having ‘one too many’ drinks in a hot room and she recovered quickly. We still have no-one directly responsible for the Almoner’s role, but it was recorded that three members were not well during the year but are now fully recovered and of course sadly we all gained one extra year.

The subcommittee looking at ‘One off’ donations widened its role to look how the Club could run new events for our ‘Guests’ and the coffee mornings, theatre outing and the goodie bag deliveries all arose from this committee. This committee also benefited from one of our members connections with other National and local Charities looking after older people and we are indebted to her for all this additional help.

 Organising drivers and helpers as well as ensuring regular phone calls to our ‘Guests’ was the main role for our Welfare officer in 2021 which was organised brilliantly. The Club is indebted to our ever-expanding list of helpers who ensured that we could keep regular contact with our ‘Guests’ to check they were well, not needing any help and that they received the meals organised for them through the year. On several occasions we had to organise for essential food and medical items to be delivered where our ‘Guests’ could not get out. Sadly, without these helpers to fulfil our commitments, the Club would struggle as many members continue to remain shy of helping, with many reasons given as to why they are unavailable, not helped by the age profile, their vulnerability, and a reluctance to drive at night.  

The Club’s accounts have again been efficiently managed by the Treasurer and the 2021 accounts have been given another a clean bill of health by the auditor, Brennan Pearson & Co. I have already talked above about income accrued and expenditure incurred. Our ‘200 Club’ continues to attract new members and at the year-end we had 150 tickets allocated. Administration and one-off expenses continue to remain low at about 8% of total income although the Club again incur exceptional costs relating to printing a news sheet for ‘Guests’ in lockdown. Of this percentage, Public Liability and Trustee Insurance was 2% and maintenance of our Website, 0.4%. The net impact of the small surplus (and allowing for an increase in the COIF shares) was that Reserves at the year-end amounted to £26,532 (£25,717).

While this level still exceeds the Club Reserves policy of, around six months expenditure together with an additional £2,000 as a contingency fund for unforeseen liabilities, in the light of the pandemic and the relaxation on Reserve levels by the Charity Commissioners the Committee will review this policy later in the year. The Club’s high level of Reserves did mean we could continue with all our good works throughout 2021 with no cash flow worries unlike many other Charities. Also, with generous, and numerous donations still appearing it does mean we can continue our commitments of help without financial concerns.

The committee has worked well under an inspired Chairman and a well organised Welfare officer and in very difficult conditions has produced significant results in ensuring the Club’s objective of helping Older People in the Barnet area has been maintained. Zoom has again worked well for the committee and regular emails has meant everybody within the Club has been aware what was occurring and how situations were being responded to. The evidence of our success is clearly seen in the number of thank you cards, smiley faces at doors, welcoming phone calls together with significant positive responses when we have been able to invite ‘Guest’ back out to events.

2022 will be another challenging year with as I have mentioned, two committee members not re-standing and our Welfare officer announcing he will be relinquishing his role in the Autumn but on the positive side we have already gained a new member, two more people are in the process of applying for membership and we have a volunteer to join the committee. But all this will have to wait for the Secretary’s 2022 report.      

Signed on behalf of the Trustees

Roger Moore MBE Hon Secretary                                                                          Date 18th February 2022