Annual report and accounts

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Annual report

Financial review

In 2015-16 we had a deficit of £30,483 compared with a surplus of £119 in 2014-15. This is a primarily a result of funding changes. Nearly all our funding comes from contracts to provide services and the level of these has reduced as a result of funding pressures and changing contracts. We have sold 55 Christchurch Avenue to meet the deficit and this will mean additional office rental costs and loss of income from the flats in future. We will be taking urgent steps to develop new services and other sources of income to address the deficit in the coming year.

Reserves policy

Mind in Barnet needs reserves to:

  • Cover gaps between incurring expenditure and receiving the corresponding grants, particularly at certain times of the year.
  • Retain the balance of funding that is not spent in the year of receipt.
  • Maintain services if funding is suddenly reduced or withdrawn.
  • Avoid reliance on bank overdrafts, which may be recalled at any time.
  • Provide for unforeseen expenditure such as building repairs.
  • Pay redundancy costs if services are reduced.

A measure of our short term reserves is the net current assets. Mind in Barnet aims to have reserves of at least three months’ expenditure (currently some £100,000). At 31 March 2016, our net current assets were over £1m as a result of selling 55 Christchurch Avenue, but we will be retaining these until we decide how to develop our services in the light of this and have reduced our deficit.

Principal risks and uncertainties

The major risks, to which Mind in Barnet is exposed, as identified by the trustees, are reviewed regularly and systems have been established to mitigate risks. These include: clinical, professional liability, health and safety, financial, premises, personnel and IT risks. We have developed a risk register and which identifies the major risks and steps taken to mitigate this, and will be reviewing this regularly in future.

Achievements and performance

Last year we said we would:

Sell 55 Christchurch Avenue to Jami and lease back the top two floors

This has now been completed.  We have regular meetings with Jami about issues that affect us all in the building, and Jami is generously allowing Mind to use space on the ground floor at times when it is not needed by them.  As a result of selling the building, we do not currently provide a residential project.

Develop a new fundraising strategy

We have developed a strategy group, which involves both staff and trustees, and is working to develop a strategy for the development of new projects.  Staff have also been involved in the borough’s ‘Reimagining Mental Health’ meetings, and are working with partners throughout the borough to ensure that we know what services are needed.

Develop a new volunteer advocacy service

Last year’s report noted that we believe that advocacy is one of the core functions of a local Mind association.  We ran a course for volunteer advocates (which was very well attended and popular) since we did not hold an advocacy contract but were determined to continue running a service. Since then, we have been awarded a funded advocacy contract, working with the CAB and Advocacy in Barnet, when another organisation decided not to continue with their bid to be part of this contract.  The new team have been seriously overcrowded, working from the tiny office in Edgware Community Hospital – the result of this has been that we have had to stop letting office space to Barnet Voice, who are now happily housed with the Network in Hendon.

Because we came into this contract so late in the day, we have had two teams of advocates working to deliver a seamless service.  We used people with a wide experience of mental health, including two trustees, so deliver the service from the beginning of the contract whilst we recruited a permanent team.  We would like to thank this team for their work in developing this service – and in particular the sterling work done by the manager Ellie Crawford, and the two trustees, Chris Hurwitz Bremner and Alison Islin, who stepped down temporarily from being trustees whilst they helped us out in this way.  We hope to expand this new funded service to make more use of our volunteers over the next year.

Develop a new youth service and expand our work with Eating Disorders

Eclipse has developed an ‘Emotional Eating’ course, and has been running this successfully.  This will lead on to an Emotional Eating Support group for clients who wish to participate.  We tried hard to book an eating disorders course for all staff, but this proved impossible, so we are working with CAMHS to develop a new service for young people in the borough.  Once we develop a format for this new service, we also plan to approach another funder to see if we can expand this work.

Plans for the future

Mind in Barnet plans continuing the activities outlined above in the forthcoming years subject to satisfactory funding arrangements.  In the coming year we face considerable financial challenges, and resolving these will be our first priority.  Our plans include:

Recruitment of new Chair for the organisation

Our long serving Chair, Hadley Hunter, stepped down on 31 March 2016, and will be leaving the Trustee board at the 2016 AGM.  We have a skilled interim Chair, but hope to appoint a permanent Chair in the next few months.

Continuing to develop and monitor our fundraising strategy

We will continue to involve both the trustee body, and staff, in ensuring that we invest our capital wisely to ensure sustainability and generate a regular income for the organisation.

Develop a new youth service

Although we have already developed our work in Emotional Eating and educational programmes, we are still aware of the need to explore how our award from the Ellern Mede Foundation can best be used in the borough.  We are working closely with CAMHS on this service.

Expand our provision of Eclipse

The Eclipse service is constantly reviewed to ensure that it remains responsive to the needs of people in the borough.  Two new posts will ensure that the groups focused around mental health issues are co-delivered with people with personal experience of these issues, and that volunteers are supported and helped to develop their skills within the service.

Research new ways of funding services

We are taking advice on new ways of taking part in larger, national contracts and sharing our expertise with other providers.