Trustees Report for 2013

The trustees present their report and the financial statements of the charity for the year ended 31 March 2013.

LEGAL STATUS

Somerset Trust for Arts & Recreation, also known as STAR, is a registered charity registration number 1080785, governed by a declaration of trust dated 12 August 1999.

OBJECTIVES

The object of the charity is to promote resilience for “children in need” by funding activities in recreation and the arts. It may also support initiatives which lead to the development of a young person’s confidence and ability to undertake such activities.

PUBLIC BENEFIT

In shaping our objectives for the year and planning our activities the trustees have considered the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit. The Charity provides access to opportunities in arts, culture, sports and recreation for disadvantaged young people in Somerset. They may be in the care of the Local Authority or may be classed as “in need” as defined in the Children Act 1989. STAR also assists young people up to the age of 25 who were formerly “in care” beyond the age of 16.

FINANCIAL CONTROLS

The Charity has the customary internal controls on receipts and payments. All payments have to be authorised by Trustees and cheques require signature by two authorised signatories. Expenses may occasionally be paid to trustees where significant costs are incurred.

POLICY ON RESERVES

STAR aims to maintain free reserves which are available for its general purposes, i.e. those funds which are not restricted, designated or otherwise committed, at a level which is reasonably likely to facilitate sustainability of its activities over the ensuing 12 months. This target level was last reviewed in July 2012 and reaffirmed at £30,000. The extent of general funds at the year-end viewed as prudent in the light of a continuing uncertain financial future for all central and local government funded services for disadvantaged young people.

DESIGNATED FUNDS

The Trustees may earmark unrestricted funds for particular future charitable purposes in accordance with the charity’s objectives. At the beginning of the year ended 31 March 2013 the Trustees had designated funds totalling £7,214, being £2,793 for grants for the benefit of children and young people who are offenders or who are at risk of offending, and £4,421 for vulnerable children and young people(especially care leavers) who need support for activities which promote employment and training.Whilst these funds were not materially committed in the year, trustees decided to carry them forward at the same levels into 2013/14 in anticipation of greater take up.

RISK ASSESSMENT

The trustees regularly review the risks to which the charity is exposed and seek to minimise these risks through the implementation of such controls and procedures as they deem appropriate to the level of risk. STAR has a child protection policy.

REVIEW OF ACTIVITIES, ACHIEVEMENTS AND PUBLIC BENEFIT

Trustees report a sound financial position at year end and sustained support to children and young people in need during the year. Over 300 vulnerable children and young people living in Somerset received grant support from STAR in the year to March 2013, either singularly or as part of group activities. STAR funded ten group events during the year including horse-riding, ice skating, cycle safety, a woodland experience, steam train day, narrow-boat trip and a regular Saturday morning club. STAR paid for a Christmas party for 50 youngsters who have a PROMISE mentor.

160 individuals were supported and funded to try out or to continue enjoying their sports, music & arts and other recreational activities. Many events and activities were planned and administered by PROMISE staff and volunteer mentors, evidencing the strong partnership between PROMISE and STAR as a funder. Trustees are slightly disappointed that aggregate grant outflows were 20% less than the previous year. At their fundraising review in June 2013 trustees set up a sub-committee to consider how best to increase the positive impacts STAR delivers for even more beneficiaries in the future. Trustees will consider the options at their November 2013 meeting.

Income this year was 38% less than in 2011/12, including a reduction of £10,000 in donations. 40% of receipts was in restricted grants, up from 10% last year. Trustees acknowledge a higher than expected level of income from government/local government sources, which at £14,000 was still £8,000 down on the previous year. Income was otherwise widely spread from local community, regional and national donors.

Total costs were 9% down on 2011/12. Whilst people costs and administrative costs were lower, trustees committed funds to fundraising development costs for the first time this year. This was to create a stronger foundation for current and future fundraising effort and to raise the profile of the charity generally. PROMISE has continued to donate office space and facilities to STAR, which is acknowledged with thanks.

STAR is administered by a part-time Development Officer. Operational decisions are made by the Vice Chairperson in association with other trustees. As a condition of grant support STAR monitors progress of, or benefits to, each young person. Feedback is received from tutors, teachers, Promise mentors and other sponsors. Trustees thank the Development Officer and all volunteers, donors and other supporters for their continuing hard work and commitment without which STAR would not be able to help so many children and young people.

Trustees remain confident about STAR’s ability to sustain public benefit over the next 12 months and beyond.

THE TRUSTEES

The body of trustees, when complete, should comprise:

• 5 nominated trustees appointed by Somerset Children’s Social Care Services, of which at least two shall be mentors of the “Promise” organisation.

• 10 co-opted trustees

The trustees who served the charity during the period were as follows:

J Harvey (Chairperson) Co-opted

R Salter (Vice Chairperson) Co-opted

S Jefferies Nominated Social Services

B Cresswell Co-opted

S Isherwood Co-opted

L Barnett (Treasurer from July 2013) Co-opted

G Voice Co-opted

A Shepherd (Treasurer until June 2013) Nominated Social Services Promise mentor

G Crees Co-opted

P Knight Nominated Social Services Promise mentor

P Davis Co-opted

R Musto Co-opted (appointed July 2012, resigned February 2013)

D Smith Co-opted (appointed July 2012, resigned June 2013)

K Dunn Co-opted (appointed July 2012, resigned June 2013)

C Drew Nominated Social Services

(appointed March 2013)

The trustees are responsible for preparing the Trustees’ Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice). The law applicable to charities in England & Wales requires the trustees to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the charity and of the incoming resources and application of resources of the charity for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the trustees are required to:

• select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;

• observe the methods and principles in the Charities SORP;

• make judgments and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;

• state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed, subject to anymaterial departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements, and

• prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the charity will continue in business.

The trustees are responsible for keeping proper accounting records that disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the charity and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Charities Act 2011, the Charity (Accounts and Reports) Regulations and the provisions of the trust deed. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

INDEPENDENT EXAMINER

A resolution to re-appoint Mr N D Harris BA(Hons) CTA MIoEE as independent examiner for the ensuing year will be proposed at the annual general meeting.

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