Chairman’s annual report (for 2010)
To dispel any doubts there may be in these tough times the Journalists’ Charity is thriving and in good financial order. May I thank the members of the council, particularly Brian Ager, our treasurer, for their sound judgement over the year, and all those who have worked so hard to raise money.
But it is going to get harder. Our membership is falling and as you can see from the pie chart that is attached to my report, it is getting older. We need new blood and that, along with raising an extra £100,000, should be our main emphasis in the next 12 months.
Our treasurer will give a detailed financial report but I think he will agree with me that we should be looking for income to match or be more than expenditure and this ideal should be reached by raising more and not by decreasing what we give in grants or the money spent on our homes and residents.
These homes: Ribblesdale with 26 residents, Harmsworth with 5, and Pickering House, 19, are a continuing success story of this Charity along with the help we give through grants: nearly £250,000 this year.
In the last 12 months we have welcomed two new members to the council: Paul Jones, who replaced David Leach as the representative from the north-east, and Keith Beabey, who took over from John Featherstone in the north-west.
Sadly, we lost our former chairman Robert Warren early in the New Year. A dynamo of the Charity for more than 10 years.
I shall now briefly report on the last year:
In March, David Cameron was the guest speaker at the annual lunch where we thank sponsors Trinity Mirror for their generosity in supporting this lunch.
Later in the year, our first House of Commons reception raised nearly £11,000, and in the autumn, the Press Ball saw us receive £40,000. The Irish Embassy reception was also successful and there were magnificent achievements from Glasgow (£30,000), West Midlands (£23,000) and Bristol (£5,500)
We owe many thanks for the help we received last year, and every year, to:
- The Press Complaints Commission, who lend us their boardroom for our monthly meetings with wine and snacks
- St Bride’s, who provide these premises
- The Society of Editors, Press Gazette, the Parliamentary Press Gallery and the Stationers Company
- Our District Volunteers, who do so much groundwork that leads to the success of our Charity work. Our thanks go to Gerry Armes who stepped down as the Chairman of the West Midlands District after many years. He continues on that Committee supporting Laurie Upshon, the new Chairman
- EDF, the energy company, who give regular donations and promote our role among regional journalists at their awards lunches
- Jason Winslow of Charles Stanley, who had skilfully managed our portfolio in difficult times and kept it ahead of the Apcims index, our benchmark
- Our Councillors, who give up their time
- All the staff at Dorking who advise on our deliberations and execute our decisions