Chairman’s AGM report: 26 / 07/ 2021.
Firstly, I have to say again a very big thank you to all our staff, volunteers and community drivers for everything that they have done throughout the present pandemic to keep our services running. Without their dedication, a lot of people would not have been able to get to their medical appointments and indeed attend the medical centres for their Covid vaccinations. I believe that the work that they have all done, has shown the worth of the Community Transport Groups across the country, and has at last got us noticed by our Government, and hopeful this will enable the Government and indeed the NHS, to look again and how they fund us.
We continue to receive a number of very positive letters from our passengers which is testament to how good our services are.
This last year has seen the delivery of our new bus, and a big thank you to Mark for sorting out the teething problems with the new vehicle that he was faced with.
We are now in a slightly better situation than we have been for the last eighteen months and the long awaited bus trips have started again. This is just what is required to help people start to mix and travel around again after being in lockdown for so many months. Isolation and loneliness is now the main reason for depression and other mental problems, which are top of the list for most organisations to try to resolve. We do however have to make sure that all our staff, volunteers and passengers are kept as safe as possible, so, as we have a duty of care, we will continue to keeping to the original Covid safety procedures for as long as required.
Within the last year, Mrs Pat Sawyer decided to stand down as Chairman of the group, and I would like to thank her again for all the very hard work that she put into the group of many years. I am very glad that she decided to stay on as a trustee, as her knowledge and experience is second to none.
I feel that we owe an apology to our clients due to the fact that our telephone lines have been in disarray for the last week. This is unfortunately due to us changing our systems, and being let down by our supplier, who really should have been able to address the problems within a couple of days at the very most. It seems that no one cares that the Community Transport is now a lifeline to a lot of people, and we will be putting in a very strong complaint to the highest authority, so that this can be acknowledged, and we and other groups will not have to suffer this sort of delay in the future. My personal thanks must go to Sue for battling her way through what can only be seen as the apathy by our supplier, and getting things almost back to normal.
We would not be so successful if it were not for our hard working staff and volunteers, so thank you all, for everything that you do. Thanks also to our treasurer for keeping us solvent, and for our very hard working new secretary for all she has done, in what has been, a very short time with the charity.
Let’s hope the following year will prove to be a better one for all concerned.
ODCTG—TREASURERS REPORT FOR THE AGM on 26th July 2021
The accounts to 31st March 2021 show an excellent surplus for the year of £8882 and this increased our reserves to £43590. With the turmoil of covid this is a remarkable achievement and reflects the continuing support of both DCC and WDBC, the grants obtained in respect of Mark and Liz via the government furlough scheme, and the hard work of both Sue and Liz in raising funds.
Fortunately DCC have paid the school contract every month and this has enabled us to retain our four vehicles, costing some £11000 in insurance and servicing, despite a fall in our income from fares from around £20000 to £7556.
We received £17568 from DCC, £7033 from WDBC and £2500 from Investors in Devon. A further £2000 was received from Okehampton TC and £3520 from the Parish Councils.
Furlough grants amounted to some £10000 and Gift Aid contributed £974.
The sale of goods, donations and the 100 Club provided a further valuable £5000 or so.
In the period since March fares have increased significantly. We have the DCC grant and I understand that the West Devon one will be paid. We still have the insurance to pay for three of our vehicles. If we decide to replace the Citroen in the coming months some additional funding will be required.
25th July 2021
OKEHAMPTON & DISTRICT COMMUNITY TRANSPORT GROUP
AGM – 26TH JULY 2021
We have had a tricky year with the restrictions but were able to continue most of our services throughout the pandemic thanks to our wonderful volunteer drivers. We have now reinstated all our services and our clients are delighted to be able to enjoy a day out with their friends again. We worked closely with Okehampton Medical Centre to provide transport for the vaccination programme which has been a great success.
Despite the lifting of restrictions on July 19th, we are advising all our clients that we will still require face masks to be worn on all our vehicles until further notice to ensure the safety of both passengers and drivers.
Ring & Ride – The annual figures were obviously very low due to the situation, however for our first quarter of this year – April, May June 2021 our numbers have started to return to normal with 166 passengers being taken shopping into Okehampton and 4616 miles covered.
Lifestyle Trips – We reinstated these in May and during May and June 2021 we took 76 passengers to various destinations, covering 906 miles.
Volunteer Car & Wheelchair Accessible Scheme
April, May, June 2021
We carried 714 passengers, 29 in wheelchairs on 1244 journeys. We received 87 cancellations and were only unable to help 10requests, mainly due to the extremely short notice provided. Our drivers covered 24,612 miles and donated 1900 volunteer hours assisting our clients.
This scheme costs £26000 per year to run.
Our usual fundraising events have all had to be cancelled which was both disappointing to ourselves and our supporters, however we have re-arranged our Coffee Morning to Saturday 11th September and have sold many donated items on the local Facebook pages direct from our office and Liz has been attending car boot sales at weekends when the weather has permitted, which has brought in some much needed funds. We are so grateful to everyone for continuing to support us by offering us goods for sale. We are grateful to one of our volunteer drivers, Lindsey, for the use of his garage for storage and Tom for assisting Liz at some of the car boot sales.
We have welcomed a few new drivers to our group which has been great as some of our regular drivers had to stand down for a while for their own health reasons. We are still very keen to find volunteers in both the Chagford/Whiddon Down area and also Lewdown area, these are both on the edge of our area and with other schemes not currently running, we have had to send our volunteers long distances to cover requests which is not economically viable but we do not want to refuse any requests and have recently helped clients outside of our area as they had no alternative options.
I have continued to take part in meetings with both Devon Community Transport Network and Southern Area Car Forum, by Microsoft Teams to share information with my colleagues in other groups, this has been just as important with the recent situation so that we can support each other in what has been a stressful and demanding time with many of us working from home.
I attended a Health and Wellbeing Event at Winkleigh on 29th June from 4 – 7pm which was organised by West Devon CVS.
We are now back in the office full time. We have had a new telephone system put in place but the numbers remain the same. We only have one line so it can be extremely busy and for 4 out of 5 days there is only one of us in the office to answer calls so please bear with us and leave a message if prompted – If I am on the emergency mobile number I cannot then answer the landline at the same time!
Okehampton and District Community Transport Secretary’s Report – AGM 26.7.21
Having joined the Group during lockdown and meeting the Committee regularly via Zoom it has been a strange time but productive and interesting. Thank you to all members for welcoming me and working with me as I update procedures, policies, contracts and documents.
It is a very valued Group to be involved with and as a Trustee I greatly respect all that everyone does and want to thank our employees and volunteers immensely.
These difficult times due to Covid have tested us all and shown how important our services are for all.
I look forward to working with you in the future and wish you all well.