LATEST LONDON IRISH CENTRE UPDATE FROM OUR CHAIRPERSON
Update #4 - From the Chair of Trustees
The London Irish Centre charity (25th September 2015)
Dear All – Welcome to our fourth update from the Board of Trustees of The London Irish Centre charity.
- Board meeting 7th September 2015 – 6.30 pm
The meeting was chaired by our interim chair Dermot Murphy. Seven of the nine trustees attended the meeting, along with Director of Welfare Aoife Walshe. Apologies were received from Mary Hickman and Ian McKim.
a.) Operational Reports
Legals: Ian Mc Kim confirmed that contracts have been issued for a new tenancy on a small suite of offices located on the first floor (The former Arts Office). The tenancy will begin in November. The board noted further free legal advice received from Ian’s company, Paul Hastings LLP in preparing this license.
CEO: interim CEO Sean Kennedy delivered an extensive report which began with an update on the property and premises.
- Our new property management agent Jane Thorne will commence from 1 October
- The three garages on Murray Mews are now on the market rent. Simon Clarke estate agency in North London provided their services free of charge. We have had several expressions of interest from neighbours and we hope to achieve in the region of £175 per calendar month per garage
- We received an offer from a local architect to purchase the garage site in order to develop it as a house. The board considered this offer and decided, for the moment, to continue discussing with Network Rail an extended lease for the site rather than accept this offer
- Various security issues at the Camden Centre were discussed and the SMT are looking at improvements to this area
- Changes to our lease agreement at our West Kensington office were discussed and Dermot Murphy updated us on the current situation. We hope to conclude a lease share with the local Citizens Advice Bureau in the next month which will result in lower operational costs for the LIC
- Staffing: sadly, due to reduced grant income we have had to make two posts redundant. The board were also informed that Arts and Online Officer Alison Gorman has left in order to return to Ireland and Advice Officer Louisa Tolland will be leaving shortly. Both Louisa and Alison will be missed and we wish them the very best in the future careers. These two posts are currently being recruited to.
- Projects: there’s been much discussion at SMT and at board level about how the charity operates. Previously the charity has seen itself as two distinct operations – welfare and culture. The current strategic thinking is far more aligned with us being a charity that has a number of key charitable objectives and these objectives are fulfilled by a wide range of projects which we deliver, with the outcome of these projects helping our many thousands of beneficiaries. This may sound complicated however we believe this will make the charity far more effective and we will explain this in far greater detail over the next month.
- Grant income: our major funder the Emigrant Support Programme through the Department of Finance confirmed in mid-August that our grant income for this year had been reduced by 14.2%. Our combined grant income from the programme is now more than 30% lower than 2010. The charity is extremely grateful for the level of support it receives from Ireland (£429,000) and is working closely with the programme to ensure that the charity delivers maximum benefit for the money received to our beneficiaries.
- Donations: we were very grateful to receive the sum of £2000 from the Council of Irish Counties for improvement works to the Kennedy Hall. The money has been spent on the fitting of blinds to all of the windows of the whole (fitting free of charge from a friend of the London Irish Centre – Bill Blazeby), together with a new window to improve ventilation to the kitchen. Further donations in the sum of £500 from Allied Irish Bank towards our annual report and a €1200 from the municipal district of Ennis in County Clare were received and are greatly appreciated in these extremely difficult financial times.
Welfare: Aoife presented an update on the many welfare projects running at the charity. Key operational areas of focus for Aoife and the team include finalising the change over to the Lamplight data monitoring system; building new relationships with partner organisations and potential funders and staff recruitment.
Arts and Culture: Gary`s report was discussed by the board. The board was pleased to receive confirmation of €15,000 funding from Culture Ireland and congratulated Gary on negotiating this. Gary outlined the event management and event programming for the next quarter and into 2016, with an increased number of high-quality artists and events being programmed. We were also delighted to hear news of a £5000 anonymous donation to get the new London Irish Library up and running. We are very open to receiving any further anonymous donations!
Fundraising: Our trustee David Perkins has put together a draft fundraising plan. Fundraising is the second of our two key strategic objectives for this year. David’s plan will now be circulated to the staff for comments.
Finance: Our treasurer Evan Long updated on the new budget. This was adopted by the board on the night and is projecting a 4% surplus for the year. The finance committee have analysed our surpluses and deficits over the past 15 years – of these 15 years we have ran a deficit (loss) for seven years. We believe that in order to budget properly particularly with the ongoing capital costs associated with the building in Camden we need to be achieving a surplus in the region of 8% each year. It is clear that the charity has a very uneven finance history, and a major problem has always been the cost of maintaining and refurbishing the building. Moving to being project led will mean in the future we can be forensic in identifying those projects delivering the best value to our beneficiaries and directing funding towards those projects whilst eliminating the projects that do not add value and all within the context of running a budget surplus. This will be a major challenge for next year onwards. We are currently working on our accounts for last full year which will be showing a substantial deficit due to reduced grant income, increased capital expenditure and the board’s decision to continue our level of welfare provision by utilising our reserves.
Governance: Dermot presented his board assessment. This is the first time the board has carried out its own assessment of its activities. There were a number of areas identified were we are working extremely well but also certain areas where we need to improve our work practices. Dermot will be driving this forward in the future.
OtW: no reports had been received from OtW so this was scheduled for the next board meeting.
b.) Strategic Plan
Update: The key focus over the last three months has been on operational effectiveness and efficiency which is the first objective of our short-term strategic plan. Sean and Aoife reported to the board on this, the majority of tasks are on target. Aoife delivered a report on a very detailed analysis of the operational roles and responsibilities at the charity. David Perkins informed the board of his recent research into charities and the role of the trustees of the boards, background to his research included info that there are 164k charities in the UK, and 161k with turnover of < £100k. He made the point that all charities rely intensely on the expertise of the trustees and board trustees can`t assume their roles starts and finishes with attending board meetings. Agreed that the best use of trustees` time is to be involved on a project by project basis going forward.
Community Consultation: this is part of our preplanning for more detailed strategic plan in 2016. The charity wanted to engage with its users and stakeholders in order to identify what future needs and wants exist. The first part of this has been to carry out a survey and we have received close to 500 replies which is outstanding. Mary Hickman is leading on this and we hope to produce an initial report prior to the AGM.
The meeting closed at 9:30 PM.
- CEO at the London Irish Centre
Since June we have been conducting a search for a new CEO. We originally received applications and interest from 25 potential candidates. The selection process was competency-based and we identified four capabilities/competencies to use as the criteria to select the short list: financial skills, strategic implementation, income generation, and leader & management skills.
We drew up an initial short list of five, then, following interviews with, a final short list of two. At this stage, various other tools, such as the inclusion of an outside evaluator in the final interviews and psychometric evaluation of each candidate, were incorporated into the process.
After an exhaustive search we are delighted to announce that the board has appointed Ian McLintock as our new CEO.
Ian is highly experienced and has a wealth of experience in the charity and voluntary sectors, including welfare. See further information below in Appendix One. We wish Ian the very best at the London Irish Centre.
Our next Annual General Meeting will be held in Camden on 9 November 2015 at 7:30 PM. All members and everyone interested in the charity are very welcome. The board have agreed to award Honorary Life Membership to Mrs Margaret Brown of Sandycove in County Dublin in recognition of her advocacy, fundraising and general support of the charity, which has been greatly appreciated and highly valued by the charity. This is only the second Honorary Life Membership that has been awarded.
- Eire Og GAA Club
Congratulations go to Eire Og GAA club who achieved a major victory recently, winning the Malarkey Cup https://twitter.com/EireOgLDN/status/632529666620956672/photo/1
The club were set up five years ago at the London Irish Centre Day Centre, well done to Damian and all the lads.
Chair of the Board of Trusteeschair@londonirishcentre.org
NEW LONDON IRISH CENTRE CEO APPOINTED
The London Irish Centre (LIC) has appointed Ian McLintock as its new Chief Executive Officer, with effect from 1 December 2015. Ian will take over from Sean Kennedy, the interim CEO and member of the Board of Trustees. The appointment has been made following a highly competitive recruitment process.
Ian joins the LIC from The Climate Group, a charity working to address climate change, where he served as International Operations Director. He has worked in senior management for over 20 years, including as a successful CEO of welfare charity Age Care for six years, and at board level for over a decade. He has worked in the not-for-profit sector in a voluntary capacity for over 30 years in a wide range of charities, including welfare, care, disability and education.
Originally from Scotland, Ian has long-standing Irish roots with family heralding from Donegal. He was appointed by the Board of Trustees by a unanimous decision.
Commenting on his appointment, Ian said: “I am delighted to be joining the talented team at the London Irish Centre. Over the coming years, I hope to build substantially on our current work to meet the growing needs of the Irish community in London, whilst retaining the culture and identity that makes LIC the unique organisation it is today.”
Dermot Murphy, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “The Board of Trustees is pleased to welcome Ian to the London Irish Centre. His appointment is based on an impressive performance record in a number of key senior management and board level leadership roles. I and the Board are confident that in Ian we have a strong CEO who will lead the London Irish Centre towards new heights.”
Biographical Note: Ian McLintock
Ian has worked at senior management level since 1992 and board level from 1999, and holds professional qualifications in business, finance and fundraising. He joins the LIC from the Climate Group, where he has served as International Operations Director responsible for finance, governance, human resources, legal, commercial and fundraising in the UK, USA, China, Hong Kong and India. Prior to this he served in executive roles in the education sector and as Chief Executive of Age Care. He began his career in the Royal Air Force.
He has an MBA in Corporate Management from Cranfield University, professional qualifications in finance and fundraising, and a Bachelor’s degree in natural philosophy, mathematical physics, mathematics and chemistry from the University of Aberdeen.
Ian grew up in Scotland and is fourth-generation Irish, with his maternal great-grandmother heralding from Donegal.