Board Report #10

 

Update #10 – from the Chair of Trustees at The London Irish Centre Charity (March-April 2017)

 

Dear All

Welcome to the tenth update from the Board of Trustees of the London Irish Centre Charity.  It is good to hear how many of you value these updates, and I am very pleased to bring you news about the Charity and to give a summary of the most recent meeting of the Board of Trustees.

 

PART ONE:  GENERAL NEWS

  • Big Night Out (3 March 2017) – our fourth annual black-tie dinner was a huge success.

Ambassador and Mrs Mulhall attended along with our Patron Dermot O` Leary, Angela Scanlon, Christian O’Connell and Simon Calder The event was sponsored by Powerday and we were delighted to receive further significant sponsorship from The McGrath Group; O’Donovan Waste; The Irish World; J.Coffey Construction; Clonakilty Black Pudding; WheyHey Icecream; Eat 17 and Ballymaloe Relish. Thanks also to all our Live Auction Donors, our Silent Auction Donors, our MC Sarah Duffy and to everyone who pledged, bid and donated £81,000. Dave Mc Carthy, Head Chef at Scotts of Mayfair oversaw the food and we raised almost £50,000 after all expenses

  • St Patrick’s weekend - was a huge success at the LIC – a full weekend of activities with over 250 at the Pensioners’ Lunch and Kila packing the Centre on the Friday night. Close to 1200 packed the Centre from early morning to 2am!

  • Brexit and the Irish Community - Ambassador Mulhall will be in Luton on the 13th to discuss Brexit and the implications for the Irish in Britain. The Ambassador spoke at the London Irish Centre in February and it was an extremely informative evening. Tickets are available here - https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brexit-and-the-irish-community-tickets-31694689670?aff=es2  . Read his most recent letter to the Irish community at the end of this update.
  • Collaboration - There will now be seven organisations based at the LIC and a number of the groups are meeting regularly in order to discuss ways to collaborate
  • Garages - we were pleased to receive planning permission for the change of usage of our Murray Mews garages to a single dwelling, subject to the agreeing of an S106 notice
  • Community Services - Our remodelled Reception Area has been completed and we are trialling new opening hours

  • Recruitment - we are currently at interview stage for our Befriending and Volunteer posts and have offered the role of Team leader
  • Volunteering - Our volunteering software Better Impact is now being rolled out and tested.
  • Social Clubs  - Our Hammersmith Social Group reopened in March at the Irish Cultural Centre and our Ealing Social Group was relaunched on the 18th April
  • SHP - one of our current tenants agreed to take additional space, in the Kennedy Hall, to carry out training workshops for those in rehabilitation. These workshops are open to LICC clients
  • Shelter - The leading homeless charity is now partnering with the LICC and running regular specialist advice sessions
  • Freelancers - Will St. Ledger has joined our team as our Designer and Helen Evans is helping us to set up our Sales Force CRM (The LICC was selected by the Sales Force Foundation for database overhaul and upgrades)
  • Millie Cortizo - from Media-Spaces, who specialise in video production for the charity sector, will be joining our expanding charity hub at the end of April and we are looking forward to welcoming her
  • AGM - Our AGM will be held in The Presidential Suite on Monday 8th May, at 7.30pm, all are welcome.

 

PART TWO:  DONORS, DONATIONS AND FUNDRAISING

 

As part of our strategy to diversify the sources of our income, we are launching our Friends Scheme.  We are inviting all members of the community and supporters of the Charity to commit to giving us a regular donation.  Your support will help us continue to offer much-needed services and to stabilise our income so that we can manage what we offer and do with greater assurance.  To find out more, pick up a leaflet in the Centre, or click here http://www.londonirishcentre.org/news/view/?id=85

 

Our wonderful Honorary Life Member of the charity, Margaret Brown, held another fundraiser for the charity over St. Patricks weekend in Ireland and through her we received donations of €1000 from Mr John Reihill and €100 from the Presentation Brothers in Dun Laoghaire.

 

We are very pleased to be successful in our bid to Transform London, who have awarded a grant of £18,000 which will enable us to build a new, dynamic website for the charity and will be instrumental in improving our online work. We have also submitted bids to Beyond Me (£25k cash and consultancy); Irish Youth Foundation (£10k) and Impact Management Programme (£49k) as well as a number of small bids.

 

PART THREE:  BOARD MEETING 23 JANUARY 2017

 

Present:  Dermot Murphy (Chair), Nyall Jacobs, Alex O’Cinneide, Mary Kerrigan, Ian McKim, Paddy Cowan

Apologies:  Mary Hickman, Philomena Cullen, Lyndsey Drea

In Attendance:  Sean Kennedy (CEO).

 

1  Procedural items

1.1  Declarations of interest – none.

 

1.2  Minutes of the Board meeting on 14 November 2016 approved and signed.

 

1.3  Actions from previous meetings

•  A schedule for the Directors of Arts & Culture and of Welfare to attend board meetings is being drawn up.  They will also attend the AGM on 8 May and the Strategy Day on 3 July.

•  Board considered sequencing of board meetings. There is a short board meeting on the 8th May and a Strategy Day 3rd July – this was considered to be sufficient alongside the four other main board meetings.

 

2  Operational items

2.1  The different services provide quality outputs but our overall cost base is high and we need to be more strategic and targeted in allocating resources. The CEO is investigating this in conjunction with impact measurement and will report back.

2.2  The CEO reported on implementation of the policy to ensure that all community users of the Centre contribute to running costs and play a fair part in the upkeep of the very costly building. Information has been sought from those who benefit and the next stage will be to develop an equitable agreement.

2.3  The outcome of the application for planning permission to develop the garages in the Mews behind the Centre will soon be announced.

2.4  The CEO continues to liaise with Off To Work in regards to improved collaboration and management of the organisation of events and staffing of events in the Centre.

2.5  The Centre needs to generate at least another £100k per year to improve its financial stability and continue in its aim of diversifying sources of income.  It was agreed to appoint a Development Assistant to work with the SMT on fundraising, manage the database, and work on sales and marketing.

2.6  The Board noted the success of the Big Night Out (see above).

2.7  The Emigrant Support Programme bid was submitted on time.

2.8  The Board agreed to new enhanced conditions in draft staff contracts.

2.9  The Finance Report showed that spending is in line with the budget, and that cash flow is on track until at least mid-June, so that the Charity can meet its commitments.  Any income generated will strengthen this position.

2.10  It was agreed that the Strategy Day would take place on the 3rd July and review the key strategic objectives and mission statement.

3  Strategic Plan and Income Generation

3.1  The CEO presented the draft income generation plan.  In reporting income generation, net income or profit will be shown, not just gross income, so that the return on investment is clear.  Income generation remains a priority and this will be kept in mind when recruiting new trustees.

3.2  As part of its role to monitor the operation, the Oversight Committee will look at progress relative to the strategic focus items for the year set out in the strategic plan.

4  General

Board meetings scheduled for the rest of 2017:

Monday 8 May  Short Board Meeting and AGM

Monday 3 July  Strategy Day and Short Board Meeting

Monday 11 September  Full Board Meeting

Monday 13 November  Full Board Meeting

Events scheduled

Friday 13 October TBC  Rugby Legends fundraiser

 

If you have any questions, please contact me.  With warmest regards,

 

Dermot Murphy

chair@londonirishcentre.org

 

 

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