Chairman’s Report 2019-2020

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Chairman’s Report 2019-2020

Reading through last year’s Chairman’s report, it struck me again what a busy time we had had that year. By contrast, this past 12 months has been a little quieter – at last year’s AGM we took a positive decision to slow down a little and not burn ourselves out. We accepted this would result in us not raising as much money in the following 12 months, but that we would still be able to achieve a good total.

So, in the last financial year, we have raised £7,053.54, donated £4,000 to Julia’s House and £1,550 to other causes. This is still an amazing result for a small group such as ours and we should be very proud of our achievements.

We started our year with 13 members, having had to say goodbye to Eve last year. We were very pleased to welcome Pat Hicks in July who has become a very valuable member of the group and then towards the end of our year, Kate Partridge joined us to bring our numbers back up to 15.

Our fund raising year started with our usual Easter Egg Tombola, back at our old venue outside Holbrook’s, which raised £364.70. We then moved on to another of our regular events with the Sero stall at Hey Day. We experimented with selling sandwiches as well this time – all I can say is you have to try everything once! But our stall was very successful and we raised £389.45.

We had hoped to host a Charity Lunch at Doodles Café in Sherborne in July but as we were unable to sell enough tickets, we reluctantly decided to cancel this. Maybe it showed us that we are better to concentrate our efforts on more local events.

We had no Golf Day this year so had a little bit of a break until Cheese Festival weekend in September where we had our usual refreshment marquee, selling lots of lovely home made sandwiches and cakes. Well done to everyone, particularly Caroline, on achieving the grand sum of £3,533.24.

We then had a very successful Charity Lunch at Springhead in October where we ran a bar & raffle and served a 2 course lunch. Ed Parker, director of Springhead, also gave a talk and a tour of the grounds. This was a very enjoyable event in a wonderful setting and we raised the magnificent sum of £1,981.10, which included an auction for an overnight stay at Springhead, kindly donated by the Springhead trust.

As we had decided not to run our Christmas Craft Fayre at The Exchange this year, we needed somewhere else as an outlet to sell our lovely craft items that were still available. We decided we had so enjoyed our event at Springhead that we would take a stall at their Christmas Garden of Delights weekend which was held over 3 days at the end of November. It was a very successful venture, raising a fantastic £670.00, but was very hard work for those involved, particularly Sue Woods (aided by Julie), who set everything up and took it all down each day. A great effort for which we are very grateful, rewarded by a terrific result.

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We then had some events planned for the early part of 2020, the main one being another curry night at The Tithe Barn. We were going to hold this on March 29th but unfortunately, due to lack of ticket sales and a clash with another local major fund raising event, we decided to postpone this until May. This then also had to be cancelled due to Sharon being unavailable but has been rescheduled again for Autumn this year.

Whether this now takes place is of course unknown at the present time. In March the whole country was overtaken by the Corona Virus Pandemic which has put fund raising events for all charities on hold for the foreseeable future. So our financial year ended without us being able to hold any more events.

We also had plans for a number of events over the next 12 months – the Easter Egg Tombola, Hey Day, The Oak Fair, Cheese Festival and hopefully an event at The Tithe Barn. These are all on hold at present, but we remain hopeful that at least some of them will be able to go ahead.

We enjoyed our social events again over the past year – we had a skittles night at The Antelope which was greatly enjoyed by all who attended, and we had our usual annual Summer BBQ in my garden. The weather was a complete contrast from the previous 2 years and I think we were all actually glad of some shelter from the blazing sun! We rounded off our social year with an earlier than usual annual dinner at Claire and Anne’s Yeovil Hospital charity event in Sherborne. A great evening, so well organised by our colleagues.

So overall it has been a quieter year, with a very strange ending and we haven’t been able to raise as much money as some previous years, but we have still enjoyed the comradeship of our fellow members and put on some really good events, whilst donating an impressive amount of money to our charities, so should all still feel a sense of satisfaction and achievement. I am now reaching the end of my 2 years as Chair and I would like to thank everyone for your enthusiasm and support throughout, making my job a lot easier. I hope that I have helped the group to thrive and continue to run in a positive and enjoyable way. Many thanks to the Angelas for all the hard work they have put in with their respective roles as Treasurer and Secretary. Also, to all other members for the roles you have taken on and fulfilled with your usual skill and enthusiasm. We really are a great team.

I will be handing over my role to Julie and Claire who have agreed to be joint-Chairs for the next 12 months (or maybe longer if we look after them?) I know I can pass everything over to them and be confident in the knowledge that their collective expertise and skills are more than a match for the challenges of the role and that the group will continue to thrive and succeed as before, as soon as we are able to get back to what we do so well.

Well done everyone and thank you for everything you have done this year.

Vanessa Dawson Chair
Sero Charity April 2020