Interim Annual Report December 2011 – December 2012
Prepared by the Trustees for all stakeholders
Phoenix Bereavement Support Services began life on 21 November 2011, when Tina Harris and Lorraine Smith, who both previously worked for Noah’s Ark Trust, set up a meeting with new trustees – Linda Jones (Chair), Leona Patterson (Secretary) and Karen Bunce (Treasurer). They had been left devastated by the closure of Noah’s Ark Trust, and felt that they couldn’t leave bereaved children in Herefordshire without support. Lorraine and Tina were committed to setting up a new charity that would be able to offer children and young people support when someone close to them died. The organisation first had to be set up as a limited company and then apply for charitable status. We had no money, but we had total commitment and a passion to provide a much needed service.
Before the launch: huge support from local companies
The team chose the name Phoenix for the organisation because - according to Russian mythology - when you pull a tail feather from a phoenix it glows bright and you can use it to light your way. We wanted to be able to light the way for the children, young people and families who had experienced bereavement. And, in the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling, the phoenix is a sign of hope.
Kate Thomas, from the Beeline Company, designed our logo and donated it to us free of charge. She helped us to create our whole visual identity. Andrew Barrington of Barrington Print in Leominster designed all our stationery and letterheads free of charge and we were able to print our first flyers. Andy also designed and runs our website www.phoenixbereavement.org.
We have had fantastic support since the very beginning from Marks & Spencer, Hereford and we were delighted that they hosted our launch in their store on 3 February 2012. Photographers from the Hereford Journal and Hereford Times turned up and we featured in both papers. The Ross Gazette carried an interview with Lorraine Smith, Family Support Manager. Shoppers were very excited and pleased to hear that we would be offering a service to children throughout Herefordshire, and they made generous donations.
We have received referrals for 83 children, from 57 families. We have carried out assessments for children, young people and families and offered one to one support where critical. We have run 7 group sessions between March and November 2012, and 9 social therapeutic sessions, as well as our family Christmas party. We also held our Annual Lantern Walk for bereaved families, children and young people.
We have no salaried staff and rely entirely on the generosity of our volunteers to run the service. We have a dedicated team of two professionally qualified staff, who have given their time voluntarily, with some paid sessional work. We have recruited and trained a team of 12 volunteer ‘family befrienders’ who support bereaved families. We also have 4 fundraising volunteers, 2 publicity and communications volunteers and 2 youth ambassadors. We have a strong safeguarding policy in place and all volunteers who work with children must be CRB checked.
Support from businesses and organisations
During the year we have been extraordinarily well supported by local companies and voluntary organisations. Queenswood Country Park organised our Lantern Walks and Dawe Brothers sponsored the lanterns. Marks & Spencer Hereford have allowed us a large number of bag packs in their store and we have also held a bag pack in Sainsbury’s Ross on Wye. Wye Valley Brewery was able to offer us a donation raised by their staff. Hereford Welsh Club organised a fundraiser for us, and offered us the use of the Club for our Christmas party. Hereford Rotary Club invited us to speak and made a generous donation. Gigi’s Wine Bar in Hereford and Sainsbury’s Ross on Wye allowed us free use of their premises for awareness raising events. Weston’s Cider, Yeehaa Outdoor & Awnwell’s Farm have all organised social events for the children and families. Hereford United has offered free use of their venue. Hereford Racecourse allowed us to take a bucket collection at one of their last events. We also received a corporate donation from Cover4Caravans, an insurance company. And, although Hereford Council has not given any financial support so far, some council staff raised money for us at their Christmas party! A massive thank you to all our local companies and voluntary organisations!
Grants & Trusts
We received a generous grant of £3,000 from EF Bulmer Benevolent Fund for running costs. We applied to a large number of other funding sources, but have so far been unsuccessful. We hope that, now that we can prove the impact our work has and how successful we are at managing our budget and giving value for money, more grants and trust will respond positively to our applications.
Local networks and partnerships
We are active members of professional networks and we actively seek to co-collaborate with other organisations where possible and effective.
Community and Schools Fundraising
We have had bag packs, coffee mornings, donations from a birthday party, a ‘pyjama sit’, Sea Shanty evening, sponsored runs, a sponsored walk, and a June Ball. We also set up a text giving account where supporters can donate £5 by texting PBSS12 £5 to 70070. We have a regular giving scheme whereby supporters can download a form from our website and give a fixed amount each month (http://www.phoenixbereavement.org/). St Martin’s school offers us their premises for our group sessions. St Paul’s school has held a silent auction and raffle to raise funds for us. We are very grateful to all our generous supporters and fundraisers in Herefordshire.
Thank you to our fundraising committee and our youth ambassador, Phoebe Crook for all the hard work. And thank you to all our individual donors, who have given very generously indeed this year.
Between 1 December 2011 and 30 November 2012 we raised £16, 274.55 through community fundraising and £3,000 through a grant, making a total of £19,274.55 income during this interim period. During the same period our expenditure was £18, 720.84.
Thank you to all our supporters and volunteers. With your help we have supported 83 children in Herefordshire this year. With your continued support we aim to grow the service over the next year so that we can meet the needs of more children, young people and families when someone close to them dies.
Our donors and supporters this year included:
EF Bulmer Benevolent Fund
Forage fine foods
Gigi’s Wine Bar
Harrison Clark solicitors
Herefordshire Council staff
Hereford Amateur Pantomime Society
Hereford Welsh club
J Sainsbury’s Ross on Wye
Marks and Spencer’s Hereford (bag packs)
Petals of the Valley
Play Nightclub, Hereford
Queenswood Country Park
Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen
South Hereford Audi
St Paul’s school
St Weonard’s Village Hall
Weobley High School
Wye Valley Brewery
Wye Valley Rotary
Zane’s wine bar
The trustees of Phoenix Bereavement Support are Linda Jones (Chair), Karen Bunce (Treasurer) and Leona Patterson (Secretary).
The charitable objects of the organisation are as follows:
1. To relieve the mental and physical sickness of persons resident in Herefordshire suffering from bereavement or loss by the provision of counselling and support for such persons.
2. To act as a resource for young people up to the age of 25 living in Herefordshire by providing advice and assistance and organising programmes of physical, educational and other activities as a means of:
a. Advancing in life and helping young people by developing their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals.
b. The provision of recreational and leisure time activities provided in the interest of social welfare, designed to improve their conditions of life.
3. To advance the education of the public in the subject of grief and bereavement studies.
The trustees affirm that they have complied with the duty in section 4 of the Charities Act 2006 to have due regard to public benefit guidance published by the Commission.
This report constitutes an interim annual review covering the period from 21 November 2011 when the organisation was constituted to 30 November 2012. A full annual review and financial report will be prepared for the end of the financial year March 2013 and will then be made available to all stakeholders.
Issued by Phoenix Bereavement Support 11 January 2013 as agreed at the trustees’ meeting of 5 January 2013.
Phoenix Bereavement is a registered charity number 1147645. Its address and registered office is:
Fred Bulmer Centre, Wall Street
Published on 15 February 2013