It's time to sit back and relax for a moment now that I've just submitted our Charity Commission Annual Return. Reflecting on 2014 - 2015 has been a humbling experience for me. We've done so much and met so many people during this last year. On behalf of our Trustees I'd like to say a huge thank you to all the sponsored event fundraisers, bucket shakers, runners, swimmers, knitters, tea makers, cyclists, bag packers etc and contributors.
Thanks also to all the businesses out there who have supported us during the last year - from donating time and space for events to assisting us with design time and materials for our promotional items.
Here's a quick rundown of what's been happening:
· Partnerships have been developed with other National and Local charities to promote our aim – Macmillan Cancer Support, Mummy’s Star, Derby Breast Cancer Support Group and The Laura Centre.
· Ben Nevis sponsored walk (group activity).
· Auction events held on regular basis at various sites.
· Promotion of individual’s fundraising events via own website.
· Charity race night organised by Alvo Boys FC.
· Charity of the year status and ongoing support with The Bubble Inn, Stenson, Derbyshire. Several fundraising opportunities have taken place at the Bubble. This will continue into 2015/2016.
· Bucket collections in supermarkets and businesses around Derby.
· Wristband sales in businesses around Derby have increased.
· Charity sweets partnership developed across Derby with ‘Reach Out’ – 20% of money taken for sweets sold are donated to Annabel’s Angels.
· Election of a Macmillan/Derby Royal Hospital employed individual to enhance grant application promotion via local hospital.
· We supported 40 women living with breast cancer by means of funding bespoke clothing – in partnership with Derby Breast Cancer Support Group.
· Enhancement of website and social media promotion via volunteer support from individuals with expertise in this area.
· Granted designated charity of year status by Status Social, a Midlands based social media specialist. This led to bespoke training provided at no cost, along with an increase in our social media output and engagement along with networking/promotional opportunities.
· Sale of merchandise via partnerships with local businesses.
· Increased presence in health and social care establishments in Derby – static displays at Macmillan Information Centre, Combined Day Unit, Breast Clinic and Outpatients Clinic.
· Promotional literature about the charity is offered to newly diagnosed cancer patients and families.
· BBC Radio Derby and The Derby Telegraph have published several Annabel's Angels news stories.
· Our volunteer reach continues to grow. Volunteers play a huge part in our work. Put simply, the charity would not be able to function were it not for the significant contribution made by the volunteer team of Trustees and the ever-increasing team of ad-hoc event and fundraising volunteers. Based on national minimum wage, we have calculated a financial contribution of £4382 made by volunteers. However, we know that this is just the tip of the iceberg; it's too simplistic, way too simplistic to measure input and impact from volunteers in this way.
So many people have all helped us raise our game this past year. You've helped to connect us into important conversations with others, you have helped tirelessly to promote our name and you have boosted our fundraising income significantly. With your support we have seen our income from donations increase by 84% from the previous year. We are grateful, we are humbled.
Our grant applications have shown a steady increase in 2014 - 2015 from the previous year. We expect this to increase as we forge new partnerships across the city. We continue to process grant applications quickly and responsibly, with an aim of making a decision within ten days from the date of receipt.
We move forward with the intention of keeping the charity 100% volunteer-led. We recognise that this could, and probably will, impact on our personal time (all Trustees have commitments etc) but we felt strongly, very strongly in fact that almost all of the fundraising donations we receive (91%) is given to the individuals and the families who need it most in the form of grant funded services and items to improve quality of life.
The Trustees and I have all been affected by cancer at some point, either as someone living with cancer, a carer or a close friend of someone affected by cancer. We have a good idea of how life can change when a diagnosis is given. That's why we do what we do, that's why we will continue to do what we do.
Thank you all for your support so far. Let’s build on this for 2015 and beyond