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  • Judy Whittaker

What we got up to last year...


There's no exciting way to put this, but yes - we held our AGM. It was a RIOT. ;-)

You may want to have a read of the Chairman's Report which contains my ramblings about our year, reflecting on who we've helped and where we're going.

Summary Report – Royal Oak Charity Fund Registered Charity No: 1085009 Presented at Annual General Meeting on 14/12/16 Formed in 2001, information in our Trust Deed states that the Royal Oak Charity Fund exists to promote any charitable purpose in the county of Surrey, and in particular but not exclusively, to relieve financial hardship and sickness and to advance education within a ten mile radius of the Royal Oak Inn, Staffhurst Wood. The wording filed with the Charity Commission is ‘to relieve financial hardship and sickness and the furtherance of education as the trustees in their sole discretion shall determine’. We raise money by means of a variety of events, and we distribute this money not as cash but as items of need or by paying for services required – to local people and organisations. We must have a minimum of 3 trustees. As at today’s date there are 3 trustees. Mark Hughes, Alan Fyfe and Judy Whittaker. The trustees can appoint responsibility to volunteers as appropriate, and we may appoint others to our decision-making committee. The committee members are conferred with voting rights with regard to charity applications, but have no personal liability for the charity’s administration or actions. As at today’s date, Emma Evans is our sole appointee in this capacity. At the November 2016 committee meeting, charity trustee Dave Roberts resigned his position and relinquished committee responsibility. This brings to an end Dave’s official involvement in the charity – an interest he has had since 2001 as a founding member. Dave was thanked for his work, and all our best wishes offered. Where does our income come from? Traditionally, income for the charity has relied on events at The Royal Oak Inn, or organised by (and for) the local community. Working together with the pub’s management, the idea was always to have fun and build community spirit while we raised money for local causes. Time changes things, and businesses move forward. The accompanying accounts for this report and AGM relate to financial year ending 31st March 2016. During that year the Royal Oak Inn was managed firstly by Paul Jagelman and Helen Noble, then by the short-lived tenant Roger Khan, and again by Paul & Helen while it went through a turbulent time. During the year in question the charity was active in fundraising, despite all the uncertainty from the pub’s ownership saga. I would like to thank the committee members for their continuing efforts to maintain an income for the charity notwithstanding the difficulties of frequent change at the pub and the added complexity that then impacts these events. The meat raffle continued (although raising an ever dwindling amount as the pub’s trade fell) and we held a disco on 1st May. Oakstock returned on 29th August, and the clay shoot at Sunt Farm was on 27th September. A Halloween disco followed swiftly afterwards, then a Christmas raffle. Through this activity, and with the addition of a donation from the winding up of the pub’s cricket club, a total of £5708 is declared as the charity’s income. Our expenditure was £5045.07 in the year, leaving a surplus to funds of £663.28. In the circumstances this result compares well for the year against 2014/15, down just £860 on the previous income figure of £6508. Charity expenditure During the year the charity made a good number of awards to beneficiaries, with enquiries arising through the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, through other local charities, through Social Services and by personal recommendation. We paid for white goods, for carpet for a special needs child, for a mobility scooter, a disabled ramp, circus tickets for disadvantaged children and for equipment for the Woodhouse Centre in Oxted. Our charity continues to make a very valuable difference to the lives of people who are often in desperate situations. Recent demand (falling within the 2016/17 financial year) has been steady – just within the last month we have paid for a washing machine, a mattress and bedding for clients, and authorised some building repair work to help keep a young family warm. Whilst our reserves are currently healthy, we must retain a focus on the future for our charity and review strategy for its income sources. An eye on the future The Royal Oak has been closed for some time during 2016. Whilst now open again, the new focus of the Royal Oak is as a restaurant with its drinking community largely moving elsewhere. This is impacting on our charity’s income and on our long term viability unless we adapt our activities and priorities. Over the next few months we will be reviewing how we can move forward, ideally with the pub’s new owners to maintain the link with the Royal Oak. As a committee we will review our events and look to safeguard the work of the charity that we know makes such a difference in our area. Thank you to Sparky for continuing to manage the charity’s financial affairs, and to the rest of the committee for everything you do. Thank you to everyone who contributes to the Royal Oak Charity Fund. It all helps, and none of this works without you. Judy Whittaker Chair, Royal Oak Charity Fund


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