Canterbury Cantata Trust
7.15 pm, 24thJanuary 2018 @ St. Paul’s Church, Canterbury
Present: Grenville Hancox (GH) (Artistic Director), Roshna Ahmad (RA) (Chair), Jo Heath (JH) (Treasurer), Andrea Hepworth (Administrator)
- Apologies/Declarations of Interest
Apologies were received from Blair Gulland, Laurence Green and Wendy de Las. A declaration of interest was declared from Blair Gulland who is also a trustee of Kent Community Foundation.
- Previous Minutes
The minutes of last year’s AGM were approved and signed off as correct.
- Matters Arising
RA briefly synopsised all new developments relating to the Trust in the last year, details of which were all covered in the Trust’s latest newsletter (a copy of which was given to all present) and include the following:
- Christine McVie has been appointed as a new patron of CCT.
- The Trust has had donations from Kent Community Foundation (KCF) and Athertons Grassroots Fund and will be receiving renewed sponsorship from Bob Leydon of Leydon Lettings. In particular, the funding from KCF helped to set up and establish Medway Skylarks STBP choir from Jan-Oct 2017.
- A grant from the Oak Foundation of £30k (GH to expand on this) which will enable six pilot STBP groups to be ‘pump prime’ funded.
- Loris Clements has resigned as a trustee so thanks were given to her. She may still be available to help with marketing as needed. CCT are now looking for a new trustee.
- Accountancy support – with effect from last summer, Jo Heath now has help and support with CCT accounts preparation from Jenny Sherwood.
- Training courses at Aldeburgh are becoming well-established which is enabling CCT to train more facilitators and grow its STBP family.
- A trademark application for STBP was submitted at end of 2016 by RA.
- Chair’s Report (Roshna Ahmad)
RA thanked all members of Amici Chorus and all the helpers and volunteers from all the other choirs. She also thanked Ben Knox for maintaining and updating the website and GH for all he does to promote the spirit of the Trust. She stressed the importance of the ethos of all the different groups that comprise CCT working together to support each other and for the greater good of the charity, including maintaining a healthy financial situation and balance sheet. She finished by saying it had been a big year of change with the Trust growing, securing extra funding and expanding its STBP groups and activities.
- Financial Summary (Joanna Heath)
JH stated that all financial accounts and balance sheets are available on Companies House for perusal. The Trust’s year end runs to the end of November and she presented an Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 30thNovember 2016 which are the first set of accounts published by CCT as a charity. Page 3 of this document gives a breakdown of each choir’s activities and how they fulfil the Charity’s aims and objectives. Page 7 is the Statement of Financial Activities (SOFA) which details the breakdown of the Trust’s finances for the year ended 30thNovember 2016. JH outlined the difference between ‘restricted funds’ which are monies donated for a specific purpose (e.g. the 30k donated by the Oak Foundation) and ‘unrestricted funds’ which are funds that are not ring-fenced for a specific purpose, e.g. choir membership fees. There was over £44k of total income received by the Trust last year indicating the extent to which it is expanding. The surplus for the year (after transfers) is in excess of £14k which all helps to pay for the ongoing costs of running the Trust. There have also been purchases of fixed assets this year – a laptop, Sage accounting software plus a Technics Roland Harpsichord/organ. The final balance of total funds as at 30th November 2016 is £14,530 – this figure has been approved both by the Trust’s accountants and the Charities Commission.
All financial information is being transferred onto Sage and this will help not only with the transfer of information between CCT and the accountant but also with calculating spending trends throughout the year. JH reiterated that some concerts make a profit and some don’t. The Armed Man (in November 2017) was the Trust’s biggest concert to date and JH echoed RA’s thanks earlier for the donations for that concert which allowed CCT to cover all their costs. Analysis of this event is still ongoing but the Trust were able to make a donation in the region of £500 to the Royal British Legion which is fantastic news. JH added that this money won’t show in our accounts but will show in theirs. JH also thanked those present (Amici choir members) for transferring their subscription money to her in a timely manner.
Questions were then forthcoming from those present at the AGM (Amici members). One member asked if it was permissible for one charity to donate to another. JH said that it was, and was in fact encouraged to avoid too much surplus at the end of the year.
Other queries involved the breakdown of income as presented in the SOFA with the concern that more profit should have been made from concerts in 2015-16. JH said that the figures presented were profits and that some of this income would have counted as restricted funds. GH suggested that this might also be a reflection of different accounting methodologies and also that CCT used to be a Limited Company. He also said that Amici ensure that there are funds in place beforehand to cover all a concert’s fixed costs. He also stated how much of a thankless task it is for JH compiling and analysing all these income and costs. Issues were then raised from the floor regarding the transparency of where membership fees and donations from Amici events go. GH stated that the venue hire from, for instance, the Armed Man concert, is £1k and that Colyer Fergusson take a percentage of all sales plus a credit card fee. When everything has been transferred over to Sage, this should make analysis and breakdown of income and costs much easier. JH said she was willing to answer any further questions via email or after the AGM.
- Future Plans (Grenville Hancox)
The long-term objective of the STBP project is to get ‘singing on prescription’ as standard and GH would like to see a momentum built to lobby Government to take this idea forward. The Morley College lecture entitled ‘Singing on Prescription’ takes place tomorrow – Thursday 25thJanuary 2018 – with 200 people expected to attend.
CCT had been successful in obtaining a £30k grant from the Oak Foundation as RA mentioned earlier. These are restricted (ring-fenced) funds in that they act as a platform from which to facilitate the ongoing development of the STBP project as well as to ‘pump prime’ the six pilot choirs of Canterbury, Medway, Pimlico, Camberwell, Cromer (+ A.N. Other) with the hope these groups will eventually become autonomous, albeit still under the STBP umbrella. He explained how choirs can become associate members of STBP after demonstrating that they fulfil certain criteria.
His vision was to see the realisation of Aldeburgh as a cultural centre for music and health, holding regular seminars and with research projects reporting to them, and for this vision to be included in CCT’s strategic plan by 2022.
Matthew Shipton is beginning a six-month role as Project Manager of the STBP project, working one day a week from a ‘hot desk’ in Folkestone, the hire of which costs £75 per month. The aim is to raise awareness of the STBP project and to match the £30k of funding already received from the Oak Foundation through bids and fundraising.
GH said that the current climate is a good one for singing and health initiatives but, at present, there are not enough proposals in this area to improve people’s quality of life. He cited the example of LSVT (Lee Silverman vocal therapy – a vocal intervention for people with Parkinson’s (PwP)) which the NHS will fund for 16 sessions and which costs a lot of money. This has proven to be successful but feedback suggests that vocal strength is possibly improved significantly for PwP by singing at a cost of £2 per week! So enhanced opportunities need to be made available so that more PwP can benefit from these singing interventions.
GH mentioned that there are many groups striving to achieve similar objectives to CCT regarding the STBP initiative and it makes sense to try and embrace these other groups under a common goal to avoid duplication of effort and resources.
He finished by saying that he was touched by the way members of CCT groups supported the other groups and said it was a great example of people helping each other.
- Any Other Business
At this point, questions went out to the floor.
A member asked why there was no mention of the Leiden trip in the newsletter. RA said it was because there was no room but that photographs of the trip were welcome to be uploaded onto the website.
RA thanked everyone again for their support at this exciting time in the Trust’s development in helping to contribute to CCT’s ongoing success.
- Date of next AGM.
The next AGM will be in January 2019, exact date to be advised nearer the time.
Minutes taken and transcribed by Andrea Hepworth.