Statement of Financial Position as At March 31st 2020
A Financial review of the year
The Trustees are pleased to submit their report on the Finances of the Group as at 31st March 2020.
It is with pleasure that the Trustees can report that the balance of funds at the end of the year were £27,437 compared to £40,695 for the previous year. The main reason for the reduction in retained earnings was that the Black Tie Ball, which generates a large contribution to our funds, needed to be rescheduled to January 2021 because of Covid 19. This was a difficult decision but the Trustees took the view that the virus would substantially effect the numbers attending and hence the total funds generated. The rescheduling was at no cost to DSGN as the venue will hold the money as part payment for the new date.
Other receipts for the year from fundraising events and donations increased year on year by around £3,000. This was thanks to a number of strong cycling and running events and this level of support is really appreciated by the committee and members.
The positive closing balance at the year end still puts the Group in a comfortable financial position for the next financial year but the Trustees considered it prudent to review the range and level of support for the groups events and activities. It was agreed that a contribution should be made towards the BBQ and Xmas Party and after careful consideration it was decided to suspend the Occupational Therapy sessions in order to reduce the overall level of expenditure. Most schools provide OT support and it was viewed there is greater benefit to our members by retaining the speech and language support. The effect of these moves should be a £10,000 saving per year.
The Group will continue to stage a wide variety of popular events which appeal to our members who have an ever widening range of interests and again the Group is grateful to the many individuals, groups and businesses that have supported the fundraising events and made generous donations of cash and prizes for the various events we hold throughout the year.
At this point it considered prudent to retain Fortus (formally named Haines Watts) to undertake a financial review on an annual basis. Following last years’ review, the management letter did not highlight any short comings in the Groups figures and so was given a clean bill of health. We extend our thanks to Fortus for their continued help and advice.
We have renewed our Trustee Liability insurance for another year at a cost of £134 which was the same cost as the previous year.
Financial Prospects 2020/2021
We are hoping for another successful year of fundraising but realise in times of Covid19 this will be challenging and every pound of funding and expenditure counts. The Black Tie Ball planned for January 2021, if Government Policy allows, should boost funds and allow us to continue to support our members as we have done in the past. In these difficult times, the Group needs, and is always looking for new and innovative ways of raising funds. Therefore ideas and support from members is always welcome and appreciated any member with any ideas or comments please contact a member of the committee who will table it for discussion.
Our trustees this year closed with Darren as Chair, Kirsty as secretary and Steve as Treasurer along with Vanessa, Jamie, Beryl, David, James & Mike.
The committee has continued to meet regularly to review the activities of the group and ensure that it is securing sufficient funding through fund raising and that the funds are being spent in the best interests of the members and in line with the groups policies.
Membership numbers have increased over the year to 95 families and again this goes to demonstrate the good work that is being done by the group.
Our trustees stood at 9 people at year end and the constitution rules state that a 1/3rd of trustees stand down from their position but are eligible for re-election, it also states that one of the group’s officers must stand down and the same or new officer be re-elected which will take the form of the nominations and vote.
Throughout the year we have continued to support the heart of the Charity’s activities, those being the social gatherings in order to bring the members together to listen, provide support, encouragement and advice.
This year has seen the continuation of the familiar and every popular seasonal activities of the group including Christmas Party & Pantomime alongside the Summer BBQ in addition to cinema visits to name but a few. We instigated a nominal charge of £5 per ticket for the Christmas Party in 2019 to assist in covering costs but are delighted that we maintained our strong attendance of this event with 193 people joining in.
We’ve also been engaging with our members more than ever through our Facebook group that has seen higher than ever levels of usage and is proving to be a valuable platform for us to engage with our community.
Community engagement remains strong with Beryl, Kirsty and Cassandra giving talks to midwives and trainee midwives at the Northampton General Hospital about their experiences and raising awareness of DSGN and Down Syndrome. We have also been working with the national Down Syndrome Association to advertise their ‘Workfit’ campaign for our older members to encourage these into employment.
We are as ever indebted to our fund raisers who are too numerous to name individually but we’d like to pay special thanks to our cycling heroes, Richard Cheney who cycled from Daventry to Paris raising £1718.90 and Craig Prickett who cycled the East Coast of England raising £1500.
Unfortunately we have seen an impact of Coronavirus on our activities toward the end of the financial year and have needed to further postpone our Black Tie Ball event which is a significant income stream for the charity though we are grateful to our venue partner for promising to rearrange without further cost to the group and look forward to rescheduling this event as early as guidelines permit.
Coronavirus continues to impact our ability to raise funds and the committee is meeting regularly to assess how we can adjust our activities but we remain in good financial shape and look forward to being able to continue to support our members in the future.
Please find the documentation required to hold a AGM.
Due to Covid 19 and in order to protect DSGNs Trustees and members all the Groups future activities have been suspended until further notice.
However the Group will continue to support members and their families in any way they can help.
You will find the Chairman’s report and the financial update on seperate posts
Welcome by the Chairperson
The minutes of the last AGM and any business arising from them
The report of the Chair and Trustees for the year ended 31st March 2020
The Treasurer’s report for the year ended 31st March 2020
Beryl Cobb and Jamie Cheney will be Retiring as a Trustee by rotation, and offering them self for re-election for a period of three years
Kirsty Curtis will be retiring as Secretary by rotation of Officers, and offering herself for re-election for a period of three years
From this week, adults (18 and over) who have Down’s syndrome are to be added to the group of people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable. This means that they have been classed as at higher risk from coronavirus: https://bit.ly/LatestNewsCoronavirus
The decision has been agreed across all four nations of the UK by their Chief Medical Officers.
People who are in the clinically extremely vulnerable group are advised to be extra careful in protecting themselves.
Please read our statement which explains in more detail here: https://bit.ly/LatestNewsCoronavirus We will keep this page updated with any incoming news associated with coronavirus and what it means for our community.
I am posting this to see if it would be of any use for our members
On the 1st October 2019, Wouldn’t Change A Thing are launching a new book produce by Celebrate T21 to support new parents, maternity units, midwives, support groups and more within the UK and beyond.
The publication focuses solely on lived experience typical of the majority of people with Down Syndrome and their families. It seeks to dispel the fear that can consume new parents upon hearing news that their child has Down Syndrome.
The book contains page after page of images of the positive, lived experience of real families from all over the UK who have a member with Down Syndrome. From babies to grown ups, you get a sense of children growing up as you turn the pages of the book. The book also features the stories of some inspirational and successful adults with Down Syndrome from around the world.
This book is brought to you courtesy of #wouldntchangeathing : A parent-led organisation that exists to correct negative, outdated perceptions of the capabilities and quality of life of people with Down Syndrome and their families. Our stated mission is “To create a world where negative, outdated perceptions of Down Syndrome become a thing of the past.”
When deciding on our big project to fundraise for this year, The Wouldn’t Change A Thing Book has been the perfect fit for our mission and has given families a chance to share how they feel with images and words of their choice.
Having fundraised for this project we will look to gift to support groups and new parents.
Pop along and take a look of the slideshow on launch to see the full book.
As an organisation we are very aware that there are fabulous resources, in many forms, already available and that some support groups will be already using these well and feel no need for additional resource. This is an offer from us to those support groups in need of resource to ensure they are available to as many new/ expectant parents as possible, we strongly feel the more resources available, the more chance we as a community have to support parents in early stages of their journey with Down syndrome. I personally produce new parent baskets for my local support group and cannot wait to add these books to our baskets of homemade blankets, teddies, toiletries, parent letters, local group leaflet, positive about down syndrome info and top blog lists.
If you feel your support group would be able to use these books to support new/expectant parents directly please drop me an email by reply with your postal address. It would be wonderful if groups have strong links with birth units to also have these on ward ready for any new parents or in scan/screening waiting rooms.
Please note: We wish to fund these books for as long as possible, so ask that groups only request what they immediately need. We will happily send out should new parent be signposted to your group in a couple of days once initial despatch is done. Ideally if those wanting the books could request one to start with, but let us know if you have recent new parents you wish to gift too.
As time moves forwards we may need to start charging for the books merely to cover book cost. Currently the books cost £3.08 each. We are selling on our website for £6 with a means to cover the cost of the book and fund another, so we hope to keep the pot going for as long as possible. We have purposefully priced the book low to make it achievable for all to purchase. This is a totally non profit project.
Some groups, organisations and individuals have already asked how they can donate for the books to support their distribution, should you wish to do so this can be done through our PayPal account:
It’s important to say, this is not a request, but information as we have been asked how to donate. We will post out free of charge for as long as possible. Until we have all group requests through it will be impossible to know the demand.
We are a fairly small group of volunteers at Wouldn’t Change A Thing HQ so despatching quantities may take some time, but we will endeavour to get these book to those who want them as soon as possible.
If your group does decide to receive our book we would be delighted to hear any feedback or new parent comments once they are in use.
Fabulous afternoon at the Rocking Roadrunner Festival, members spending the afternoon together and importantly sharing information with others about Down Syndrome Group Northampton. If you would like to support us send us a message. ????????????
WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY (WDSD) Thursday 21st March 2019
DSGN will be holding another fundraising stall at Weston Favell on WDSD 21.03.19
There will be a tombola, guess how many sweets in the jar, name the teddy competition, we will also be selling as new toys and handbags all proceeds go to DSGN
WE NEED YOUR HELP – are you able to spare a bit of time to assist on the stall, or maybe you have donations for tombola prizes, as new toys or as new handbags – if you are able to offer any help please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are also selling WDSD badges £1 each, they can be worn every year to raise awareness
Cotswold Wildlife Park – Sunday 5th May – Adults/Carers £8, Children (3-16 years) £5, Children (0-2 years) FREE, person with DS goes FREE. There will NOT be a coach for this event, but if transport is an issue please contact email@example.com and we will get something sorted. We will aim to meet at the main gates for 10.30am then you are free to explore the park as you wish, we will gather for lunch near the picnic shelter at 12.30pm but this is optional. DLA proof required.
Thomley Activity Centre, Menmarsh Road, Worminghall, Bucks HP18 9JZ – Sunday 23rd June – Child/young adults £10 each including person with DS, parents/carers go FREE. There will NOT be a coach for this event, but if transport is an issue please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get something sorted. This venue provides entertainment for all ages in a safe indoor and outdoor environment, please feel free to look on their website www.thomley.org.uk you can bring a picnic lunch, or there is a café area to purchase food and drinks.
Twinlakes, Melton Mowbray – Saturday 13th July – Adults/Carers £6, child prices under 3s FREE, 3-4 years old £3, 5-11 years old £6, person with DS goes FREE. There will be a coach provided for this event charged at £5 per person, person with DS travels FREE. If you require transport for this event please state this on booking form. Coach will pick up from Upper Mounts Car Park please arrive in time for departure at 9am. Leaving Twinlakes at 5pm.
Summer BBQ – Sunday 8th September, Venue: The Freemason’s Hall, Lodge Farm Industrial Estate, Duston, Northampton NN5 7UL. 1-4 pm. A separate invitation will be sent nearer to the event.
Christmas Party – Saturday 7th December, 12-3pm at County Cricket Ground Old Speckled Hen Suite – Separate invitations will be sent nearer to the event.
Derngate Panto, Cinderella – Sunday 29th December 1pm – Cinderella will feature star casting, laugh-out-loud comedy, jaw-dropping special effects, stunning song and dance and plenty of boos and hisses, making it perfect family entertainmen. Emails will be sent for this event separately.
Movie Afternoon at The Picturedrome – Sunday 24th March and Sunday 10th November, please arrive for the movie to start at 3pm – The Picturedrome, 222 Kettering Road, Northampton NN1 4BN for a family movie, suitable for all ages. Meals and juice will be provided for the children/young adults, there is also an opportunity for parents/carers to purchase meals at their own cost. This is a FREE event for all the family, although Sweets will be sold for a £1 donation to help raise money for DSGN. Invites for these events will be sent separately. Please contact Vanessa email: NDSGN007@yahoo.co.uk