A Happy New Year to all our volunteers and supporters. A special thanks to the Shop volunteers who are our face to our valued customers.
Last year was in some respects a difficult year as some shops began experiencing difficulties in attracting volunteers. But despite those challenges we have donated over €140.000 to the Hospice which is more than ever before!
The shops have performed brilliantly. Notable achievements has been the revamp of the Geroskipou shop under the new managers Marian and Petra building on the achievements of Sheila Rose who retired in October. Other shops the Harbour Shop (Sue Leslie) and Peyia (Barbara Newman) made very significant contributions. During the year the Polemi Shop was relocated to a smaller premises under a new Manager. Combined with a smaller number of volunteers and restricted furniture sales, income did drop, but the shop still produced a creditable performance despite these difficulties. Shop No1 Polis Road (Ann Friend) achieved the same high level of sales as in 2018.
During the year we introduced a van service headed by Keith Smith Shops Co-ordinator Trustee, with Paul as his buddy. This enabled us to move stock between shops to where we could readily make sales. A new messaging service between the shops coordinated the movement of stock. Currently the service is weekly but we are looking at the feasibility of increasing the service, this has also been an important factor in the excellent results.
Logicom 5k 2019
Last year Marathon team donations covered 9k for emergency funding and a/c repairs at the Hospice, 100% of the nurses’ salary increase in 2019 and all the training. Andrew Lauder as he did in 2018 carried the whole responsibility on behalf of SMHC for the event. Its administration, recruitment of sponsors advertising on the radio and getting preferential terms from the Organisers.
This year aided by Charlotte Hadjikyriakou our wonderful graphic designer we are in the final weeks of preparation for this event. The 5K is really important for the Charity and the future of the Hospice and we need your support please. So please either sponsor Team SMHC at any of our 5 wonderful shops, or “Join the Fun” and walk on the easy 5k from the Castle back along the coastal path and raise sponsorship for this great cause. Entries must be in by January 22nd 2020 to get your tee shirt and goody bag.
This time last year the Charity was at risk of not having enough Trustees to support its Statute. I am pleased to say that we have recruited a further 3, two have been Shop Volunteers. Kay our new Secretary did a magnificent job in getting the Statute Meeting organised last month. Marian is to assist Keith Smith in supporting the Shops in addition to her role as joint Manager of the Geroskipou shop. Mary Beth also a Shop 1 Volunteer is until March to assist Andrew with the Public Relations and Marketing when she will take over the role. Chris our Treasurer has continued to provide a first class service with the prompt monthly Accounts. As mentioned before Keith our Shops Co-Ordinator has been brilliant with the Van service and providing maintenance in the shops.
I wish to record my thanks to the Board for their support in what was a challenging and eventful year. It is with regret I announce the resignation of Andrew Lauder the previous Chairman from the Board of Trustees. The health of this Charity owes very much to his drive and enthusiasm.
I should not forget that last Month we had to produce a new Statute to meet the Government’s new Law at short notice. We were instructed to update the original Statute produced in 2008 which had been mandated at that time by the Ministry of Finance. Reference to supporting the Hospice submitted in previous years had been ignored. Due to shortage of time we were unable to carry out an investigation with the Ministry of Finance to find out who was to blame. As a result we will be submitting to Voting Members the 2008 Statute revised, to reflect the current situation. This will be proposed at the AGM in March. Unfortunately even if Members approve it, the revised Statute will have to be submitted to firstly the Ministry of Finance and then to the Ministry of the Interior. The final approved version may not be totally the same as that agreed by Members. Before this can be done we have to get notification from the Ministry of the Interior that the Statute submitted in December 2019 has been approved.
At the moment of writing this piece the Board is considering a new Income Strategy which has identified additional areas of income. It is apparent that costs are going to rise for the Hospice and without bringing on new streams of income the risk of the Charity being unable to plug any shortfall becomes more apparent. Being staffed by wholly volunteers may also mean that the workload to achieve a higher income level becomes unsustainable. So perhaps other forms of providing support may have to be considered.
My year as your Chairman was intended to bring the Hospice and the Charity more closely aligned. Unfortunately that has not been the case. Efforts for joint participation made by the Charity were either rejected or ignored. A proposal by the Charity in April 2019 to achieve closer integration was rejected by the Hospice Trustees. A response from the Hospice included a proposed takeover of the Charity’s shops. The Board asked all its Shop volunteers what were their wishes and the result was a 100% rejection of the proposal.
During September the Charity were asked by the Hospice to help cover an additional shortfall of €11000 above our normal monthly contributions. This debt had accumulated during the summer months when the level of donations tend to drop. . Despite having to postpone some of our planned expenditure we cleared the debt for them. An agreement to future joint Financial Planning meetings to avoid repetition and manage joint cash flow was not followed through by the Hospice.
Finally the Charity continues to actively support end of life care and the care of those terminally ill patients as they journey through their remaining days.
Chairman SMHC January 2020