Chair’s Annual Report (2016)

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the trustees, I am pleased to present the Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2016. The full accounts are available on the Charity Commission website.

At this landmark in the Craven Trust’s history – its 21st birthday –  I am delighted to be introducing the Annual Report once again. Our special event in September 2016 not only celebrates all that has been achieved to date, but also welcomes new faces and bring together old and new friends, donors, trustees and volunteers. We will be looking to the future with, among other things, the launch of a refreshed image.

2015-16 has provided many challenges and uncertainties to the charity sector: fluctuations in the stock market; anxious anticipation and then the result of the EU referendum; decreasing funding options for community organisations; pressure to become more commercial; increased competitiveness; struggles in attracting trustees; a massive reduction in public services; and greater need than ever.

However, despite the negatives, trusts such as ours continue to make small but meaningful grants to individuals and to organisations which doggedly develop or continue to provide locally based activities, services and opportunities. Whether it is a new football kit for a junior team, or repairs after flood damage, or a new disabled toilet, all these organisations and volunteers provide the fabric of civil society and enable people of all generations or circumstances to have a better quality of life and opportunity to succeed.

We have considered deeply whether or not we need to change our ways and concluded that “local money for local needs” remains our focus and motivation, and that an easily accessible small grants fund is as valuable as ever. Perhaps never more so than now. Feedback from recipients warmly confirms this.

Along with all other charitable bodies the Craven Trust faces another challenging year but we hope that with your help and support and the boost of a worthwhile celebration, we can attract more donations, improve our profile and encourage an even more extensive range of applications across our fascinatingly varied area of benefit.

I would like thank the trustees for their continuing commitment and energy; Mark Facer for his two year term as chair; the Venerable Paul Slater who stepped down after his appointment as Bishop of Richmond; Karen Leaver who has been treasurer since 2013; all our supporters and sponsors; Mary Hamilton, our very able Administrator; and Ed Askew our regular volunteer who has modernised the trust with an electronic grants process and improved website.

In addition I would like to thank Hilary Templar who joined us in 2016 and valiantly volunteered to take on the task of organising our celebratory event in September and welcome Robert Templar who joins as a new trustee.

May I urge you to reflect upon the contents of this report and help the Craven Trust and the Beamsley Trust  to flourish for many years to come  so that we can reach out to yet more communities and individuals in need.

Caroline Schwaller MBE,
Click here for Full Annual Report Part 1

Click here for Full Annual Report Part 2