Annual Report and Accounts 2021-22

 

Brecon Advice Centre is an independent organisation providing advice that is free, confidential and impartial. It is available for everyone regardless of their race, gender, sexuality, disability,

religion, age or marital status.

 

 

 11 Bulwark

Brecon

Powys, LD3 7AE

 

Trustees’ Annual Report for the year ended 31st March 2022 The Chair’s Report

 

The year 2021-22 proved to be another difficult year for the Centre. On a positive note, we successfully completed our move from Castle Street to Bulwark, in the centre of Brecon. The move went comparatively smoothly under the expert guidance of our new Centre Manager, Keith Lawson, and the fact that our new offices were up and running in a matter of days was a tribute to the organisation and hard work of all our staff and volunteers. Sincere thanks are also due to David Russell, who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the transition possible.

 

We were all very pleased to return at last to face to face sessions with clients, this being one of our great strengths, and one which we know is much appreciated by all who drop in for help and advice, and who want to be seen immediately without having to wait for an appointment. I am pleased to report that, since we reopened our doors, the number of clients has begun to pick up and is now averaging around six a day. However, we are a still quite a way off pre-pandemic levels and, as a result of this, the Management Committee reluctantly took the decision to close the Centre on Tuesdays with effect from January 2022. We hope to be in a position, in the not too distant future, to be able to return to four days a week opening if client numbers continue to improve.

 

The Centre Manager has played a pivotal role in ensuring we have an up-to-date social media presence. In the past year, Keith has updated and improved our website, Facebook presence and Twitter account. Facebook is the site mainly used, with regular weekly posts made on the Brecon and Radnorshire community page amongst others. Any new clients are asked how they heard of the Centre, and a record is kept and regularly reviewed so that we can continue to monitor the success of this campaign.

 

Fundraising has proved to be a difficult task in the present economic climate, and my thanks go to Jackie who took on the role as fundraiser at the last AGM. In addition to receiving continued financial support from both Brecon Town Council and Powys County Council, we also received substantial grant income from The Audrey Tyler Trust Fund and The Ratcliffe Foundation. On behalf of the Management Committee and all at Brecon Advice Centre, I would like to express our sincere thanks for all these contributions. The year 2022-23 has started well, with both local councils continuing to back us, and Jackie has just secured a £6,000 grant from Fund for Wales (administered by Community Foundation Wales) to be received in equal instalments over the next three years. At the time of writing this report, these three grants, added to our existing reserves, should mean that we are now financially secure for the remainder of this financial year.

In last year’s report, reference was made to the quite widespread changes that were made to the organisation of the Centre. Three long standing Trustees/Management Committee members left us during the year, as well as the Centre Manager. This year, Jim Price, after many years of loyal service to the Centre, also decided to step down. Our new Management Committee has blended together well, however, and is well placed to tackle the many challenges which lay ahead.

 

I remain confident that the Centre will be able to continue providing help to all those who contact us by whatever means. We will always welcome new clients but are also heartened that “old friends” return, and clearly value the help they have received, some of them for considerable lengths of time.

 

 

Sally Palmer

 

Chair of Trustees

 

June 2022

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Objectives

 

Brecon Advice Centre’s Constitution states that:

The Centre is established for the promotion of any charitable purpose for the benefit of the community in Brecon and district by the advancement of education, the protection of health and the relief of poverty, sickness and distress.

In furtherance of the foregoing purposes, but not further or otherwise, the Centre may:

a)                 provide centres for the supply of advice and guidance;

b)                obtain, collect and receive money and funds by way of contributions, donations, legacies, grants and any other lawful method and accept and receive gifts of property of any description (whether subject to special trusts or not);

c)                 procure to be written, and print, publish, issue and circulate gratuitously or otherwise any reports or periodicals, books, pamphlets, leaflets or other documents; d) arrange and provide for, or join in arranging and providing for, the holding of  exhibitions, meetings, lectures and classes;

e)                  promote, encourage or undertake organised research and experimental work and disseminate the results of such research;

f)                   affiliate or become affiliated to any institution having charitable purposes only and acquire and undertake all or any part of the assets, liabilities and engagements of any such institution which the Centre may lawfully acquire; and

g)                  do all such other things as are necessary for the furtherance of the objects of the Centre.

 

Its main aims are:

(i)      To provide a quality generalist advice service that is free, confidential, impartial and accessible for all people in Brecon and its neighbouring communities

(ii)    To ensure the local provision of specialist legal advice

(iii)  To use clients’ experiences to influence legislation and its administration

(iv)   To manage the organisation and its service with due regard to probity and inclusiveness; and

(v)     To co-operate with other agencies and participate in collaborative endeavours intended to benefit existing and other potential clients

                         

The Centre Personnel

 

Management Committee & Trustees:

 

Sally Palmer – Chair - Volunteers’ Representative 

David Burden – Elected Treasurer

Nikki Alderslade – Elected Secretary

Jackie Boarer – Elected Fund Raiser

Jim Price – Elected (Resigned December 2021)

Keith Lawson - Centre Manager (Ex officio)

Cllr. Robert Thomas – Nominated Representative of Brecon Town Council 

 

Centre Staff:

 

(a)              Volunteers:

Sally Palmer

Beryl Griffiths

Surinder Kaur Price

Tish Jack

Tess Russell

 

(b)              Employees

Keith Lawson - Centre Manager

Janice Prentice - Administrator (Debt Advice)

 

 

 

 

 

The Structure, Governance & Management

 

Constitution

The Centre is a registered charity (Reg. No. 510226) and was set up by constitution in June 1981, which was subsequently amended in October 2002 and December 2008. 

 

Principal Office

The principal office of the Centre is: -

11 Bulwark

Brecon

Powys

LD3 7AE.

Tel: 01874 624595

Email: breconadvicecentre@outlook.com www.breconadvicecentre.org.uk

 

Method of appointment or election of Trustees

Trustees are either elected at the Annual General Meeting or co-opted in line with the constitution. The Centre Manager is an ex officio Trustee.

 

Policies adopted for the induction and training of Trustees

The Centre places a specific emphasis on the governance issues of running a charity. Trustees are recruited who are committed to the objectives of the Centre and who possess specific skills which support the effective running of the Centre. All Trustees undergo an induction process.

 

Organisational structure and decision making

The Trustees comprise the Management Committee which is responsible for the management of the Centre. In undertaking this role, they are supported by the Centre Manager.

 

 

Risk Management

 

The risks facing the Centre fall, broadly, into two categories, financial and operational. The more serious of the two are financial and the management of this risk is dealt with in the following section on the Reserve Policy. 

Operational risks are managed on an on-going basis by the Centre Manager and are reported to the Chair and Management Committee depending on their severity. At each Committee Meeting, the Centre Manager reports formally on any concerns that he might have in this area, together with any proposed plans required to mitigate them.

 

Reserves Policy

The Centre is entirely reliant upon external funding and, as a result, the level of income varies annually. Financial reserves are built up in years when income exceeds expenditure and are, in general, retained to mitigate those years when expenditure exceeds income. Responsibility for monitoring the level of reserves lies with the Treasurer, who will keep the Trustees informed of the financial situation on a regular basis. Consideration of reserves should be made beyond the forthcoming year, as the levels of income, for a charity such as BAC, are variable year-on-year and are dependent primarily on the funds available from grant providers. 

The first call on the reserves is to meet any liabilities should the need arise to close the Centre, and these are designated reserves which are ring-fenced. Designated reserves will cover redundancy payments to staff, any outstanding rent at the time of closure, together with any specific one-off liabilities identified at the time of initiating the closure procedure.  

The level of designated reserves in place is determined annually by the Trustees once an expenditure budget for the financial year has been agreed. Because of the uncertain situation regarding income, the Trustees have decided that the level of designated reserves should be set at six months budgeted expenditure, plus an additional 20% to cover the oneoff contingency payments set out above. For the coming year, 2022-23, the expenditure budget is £21,500, so the level of designated reserves is set at £12,900.

In terms of financial risk mitigation, the Treasurer will advise on the status of available reserves to the Trustees on a regular basis so that grant/fund applications can be timely and ensure sufficient financial stability without compromising future applications, which are often impacted by the level of reserves.

The constant monitoring of reserves is an important financial tool. How the level of reserves changes during the year can be a good indicator of the underlying financial health of the Centre and can also be a good indicator of potential problems.

 

 

Trustees’ Responsibilities

 

The Trustees are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and accounting standards. In undertaking these responsibilities, the Trustees have ensured that: -

 

•                    Suitable accounting policies have been applied consistently

•                    Judgements and estimates are reasonable and prudent

•                    The financial statements have been prepared on a going concern basis

 

The Trustees confirm that the financial statements comply with current statutory requirements and the requirements of the charity’s constitution.

 

 

 

Approval

 

This report was approved by the Trustees on 9th June 2022 and signed on its behalf by

 

 

Sally Palmer

Chair

 

  

 

Independent Examiners’ Report to the Trustees of Brecon Advice Centre

 

I report to the trustees on my examination of the accounts of the above charity (“the Trust”) for the year ended 31st March 2022.

As the charity trustees of the Trust, you are responsible for the preparation of the accounts in accordance with the requirements of the Charities Act 2011 (“the Act”). 

I report in respect of my examination of the Trust’s accounts carried out under section 145 of the 2011 Act and in carrying out my examination, I have followed the applicable Directions given by the Charity Commission under section 145(5)(b) of the Act.

I have completed my examination.  I confirm that no material matters have come to my attention in connection with the examination which gives me cause to believe that in, any material respect:

•      accounting records were not kept in accordance with section 130 of the Act or 

•      the accounts do not accord with the accounting records

 

I have no concerns and have come across no other matters in connection with the examination to which attention should be drawn in order to enable a proper understanding of the accounts to be reached.

 

 

 

 

Date:

 

13th June 2022

 

Julian Rabjohn CPFA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


       
       

Receipts & Payments Account for the year 2020-21

Receipts

2021-2022

 

    2020-2021               

 

 

 

                                 

Grants

£12,325.00

 

   £37,825.00                          

Local Community Councils

£365.00

 

      £795.00                             

Donations (including Gift Aid)

£710.83

 

    £1,997.20               

Bank Interest

£1.89

 

        £4.96                   

 

 

 

                                 

Total Receipts

£13,402.72

 

£40,622.16           

 

 

 

                                 

Payments

2021-2022

 

    2020-2021               

 

 

 

                                 

Employee Costs

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

                                 

Salaries & Associated Employee Costs

(£14,922.28)

 

(£5,951.89)                             

 

 

 

                                 

Total - Employee Costs

(£14,922.28)

 

(£5,951.89)                 

 

 

 

                                 

Premises

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

                                 

Rent

(£5,244.65)

 

(£4,950.00)                             

Electricity/Gas/Water

(£109.98)

 

(£1,162.56)                             

Cleaning and Maintenance

(£49.90)

 

     (£632.47)               

 

 

 

                                 

Total - Premises

(£5,404.53)

 

(£6,745.03)                 

 

 

 

                                 

Office Expenses

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

                                 

Stationery & Other Office Expenses

(£260.41)

 

      (£65.20)                 

Insurance

(£633.66)

 

     (£551.28)               

Photocopying & Printing

(£442.08)

 

     (£620.27)               

Postage

(£12.14)

 

     (£133.49)               

Telephone & Broadband

(£1,535.72)

 

(£1,710.94)                 

Computer Costs

(£165.95)

 

     (£553.99)               

Books & CAB Material

£0.00

 

     (£683.00)               

Foodstuffs

(£34.38)

 

      (£28.40)                 

 

 

 

                                 

Total - Office Expenses

(£3,084.34)

 

(£4,346.57)                 

 

 

 

                                 

Miscellaneous Expenses

 

 

                                 

 

 

 

                                 

Professional Membership

(£664.10)

 

     (£716.00)               

Other Miscellaneous Expenses

(£130.75)

 

     (£362.10)               

 

 

 

                                 

Total - Miscellaneous Expenses

(£794.85)

 

(£1,078.10)                 

 

 

 

                                 

Relocation Expenses

(£6,154.43)

 

        £0.00                   

 

 

 

                                 

Total Payments

(£30,360.43)

 

(£18,121.59)        

 

 

 

                                 

SURPLUS/(DEFICIT)

(£16,957.71)

 

£22,500.57           

Balance Sheet as at 31st March 2022

 

31st  March 2022

 

31st  March 2021

 

Reserves

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balance Brought Forward 

£31,831.03

 

 

£9,330.46

Difference Between Receipts and Payments

(£16,957.71)

 

 

£22,500.57

 

 

 

£14,873.32

 

 

 

£31,831.03

 

Funds

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Account

£4,810.80

 

 

£450.00

Deposit Account

£10,000.25

 

 

£31,261.69

Petty Cash

£62.27

 

 

£119.34

 

 

 

 

 

 

£14,873.32

 

 

£31,831.03

 

                                   

 

 

 

 

The Trustees have pleasure in presenting the above financial statements for the year ended 31st March 2021. The statements were provisionally approved by the Trustees on 9th June 2022 prior to receipt of The Independent Examiner’s Report and signed on its behalf by:  

 

 

 

David Burden

Treasurer

 

 

 

Appreciation

 

Brecon Advice Centre would like to acknowledge the support that it receives from a large number of individuals, statutory bodies, charitable trusts and other voluntary organisations. During 2021-22 the following grants, donations and contributions were gratefully received: 

 

           

Brecon Town Council

£5,000.00

Powys County Council

£3,825.00

Audrey Tyler Trust

£2,500.00

The Ratcliffe Foundation

£1,000.00

 

 

Llanigon Community Council

£100.00

Felinfach C.C.

£75.00

Llanfrynach C.C.

£65.00

Crickhowell Town Council

£50.00

Llangynidr C.C.

£50.00

Talgarth Town Council

£25.00

 

 

Donations

£710.83

             

 

 

 

 

The Centre maintained formal reciprocal arrangements with other organisations that provide advice. These included: -

 

Shelter Cymru

Woodland Davies Partnership LLP

Brecon Food Bank (seeded by the Trussell Trust)