Annual General Meeting April 2021

Introduction

Ettington Community Hub sprang into life, as a response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, on 29th March 2020. The initial aim of the hub was to support the elderly and vulnerable residents of Ettington and Fulready during the first lockdown. This support came from a team of volunteers, willing to support others on a practical and emotional level. 

It became apparent quite quickly that the hub would be required beyond the first lockdown and would be an asset to the wider community beyond the Covid-19 Pandemic. Ettington Community Hub became an unincorporated small charitable association on 1st September 2020.  The purposes of the charity are agreed as:

  1. To link people living in the parish of Ettington and Fulready, who require support, with those who can provide it.
  2. To support wellbeing in our community by strengthening and creating links between community and support groups who work with our community.
  3. To be available to respond at a local level as and when required.
  4. To offer opportunities for all in our community to live a healthy and valued life.

A board of trustees was agreed in July 2020, they have successfully taken the hub from a temporary community group through the process of becoming a small charity, including ensuring all policies and procedures are in place and ensuring the hub and those involved with it are fully insured. Claire Udell, one of the hub’s safeguarding officers has worked hard to ensure all volunteers have had an opportunity to complete safeguarding processes and training for which the rest of the board is grateful.

The Initial Board of Trustees include

Revd. Dr. Nikki Moon – Chair and Hub Manager
Keith Harriss – Vice-Chair and Hub IT Support Officer
Jonathan Allen – Treasurer
Tara Lambert – Secretary
Andy Redmayne – Safeguarding Officer
Claire Udell – Safeguarding Officer

The following report highlights the key achievements and activities of Ettington Community Hub and all its volunteers over the past year.

Gratitude must be given to all who have been involved in the success of the hub, a huge ‘thanks’ to the board of trustees and to Colette Inman and Sharon Price for their support as Hub Coordinators.   There is one person who has spent many hours of his time supporting the hub and ensuring all our systems not only run well but also ensure the safety of our volunteer and client personal data. Without the commitment and time given by Keith Harriss, the hub would not be the success it is. So, a very special ‘thank you’ to Keith for being an absolute star.

Financial Summary to 31st March 2021

Prepared by Jonathan Allen                                                                                                               

Income & ExpenditureAll figures £
Income
Grants ReceivedWCC 775.00
EPC 88.98
863.98
Donations / Fund Raising377.49
Total Income1,241.47 
Expenditure
PPE72.10
Volunteer Training228.00
Telephones80.00
Advertising77.00
Website72.86
Insurance140.00
Admin39.69
Total Expenditure709.65
Excess of Income over Expenditure531.82
Represented By
Cash at Bank506.82
Cash in Hand25.00
531.82
Restricted Funds126.14
Unrestricted Funds405.68
531.82

WCC- Warwickshire County Council
EPC – Ettington Parish Council

Treasurer’s Report – Jonathan Allen

Total income of £1,241 derived from grants and donations.  Out of total expenditure of £710, the most significant items are volunteer training (£228) which is largely completing volunteer DBS checks and £140 for insurance.  Website and telephone costs total £153.

The excess of income for the period of £532 is primarily held on behalf of the hub in the PCC’s bank account.  We are extremely grateful to the PCC for providing this facility.  Modest cash balances are held from occasional cash donations received.

Some of the grants received are considered to be restricted if their use was specified at application.  All other funds are unrestricted.

Known future expenditure is less than £100 relating to completion of DBS checks and payment of expenses associated with this process.

IT/GDPR Report – Keith Harriss

When Ettington Community Hub was set up we used Google Sheets to gather all the information about our clients and volunteers. Whilst this was ok at the beginning, now we are a small charity we need to ensure that our system is secure and that we only release data relating to each client on a need-to-know basis. We also need to keep the data regarding our volunteers safe as well. This was sometimes tricky to do with Google sheets. Our new system which I designed and built using PHP script to communicate with a MYSQL server enables us to have full control over which data we release and to who. All of our new data is stored on a server which is scanned regularly for malware and distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) which protects us from web hackers.

The hub also has a website at ettingtonhub.org. The website can be used by residents to register a need, order a prescription pickup and register as a volunteer. Other important information can also be found on the website including the Hub policy and procedures for Safeguarding, GDPR and Covid secure ways of interacting with clients.

Safeguarding Report – Claire Udell and Andy Redmayne

The Safeguarding Officers, who are also Trustees of Ettington Community Hub, consists of Andrew Redmayne and Claire Udell. Andrew and Claire have, between them, attended all trustee meetings to date, attended all training required and continue to meet with the other trustees regularly.

Andrew Redmayne is Head of UK Operations for a global insurance services company employing around 1,000 people in this country. Andy has several years’ experience of customer service and resource management.

Claire Udell is a Business Manager and HR Business Partner with many years of experience working in varied roles including with vulnerable adults, young people and also as a prison officer. She currently oversees the needs of a team of over 50 employees at her current employment at a large hospitality event venue in Warwickshire.

As well as the Hub Manager, the role of the Safeguarding Officers is to be the named persons within the hub that volunteers could report any disclosures or protection concerns to. If required, the Safeguarding Officers will refer on any disclosures or protection concerns to the local authority in which the vulnerable person lives.

Importance of Safeguarding:

As a community hub, we want to ensure that the vulnerable adults in our community are protected. We want to ensure that we have clear procedures in place and a culture where ensuring our clients are safe is a key priority and taken seriously. We want to ensure we are a community service where people are able to speak out about any concerns they have and any concerns are dealt with in a professional manner, with no covering up or matters being brushed under the carpet.

Volunteers:

All volunteers are overseen by our Hub Manager, who has enhanced DBS clearance.

A third-party DBS ‘umbrella’ organisation called Volunteer Friends processes all of Ettington Community Hub’s enhanced DBS application forms at a cost of £12.00 per application. At the time of writing this report, 21 of our 30 volunteers registered with the hub have enhanced DBS clearance. It is essential that a hub volunteer has an enhanced DBS before they can start working directly with hub clients. This is now carried out prior to undertaking a voluntary role with Ettington Community Hub and does also include any new trustees. Enhanced DBS checks will be renewed every three years. 9 of our 30 volunteers registered with the hub have not got an enhanced DBS. These volunteers are either currently inactive with the hub or have chosen to volunteer their time by carrying out tasks that are not directly with hub clients. For example, leaflet drops, etc.

Two professional/character references are also requested when an individual first expresses an interest in joining Ettington Community Hub. One of the Safeguarding Officers facilitates this. Currently, 22 of 30 hub volunteers have two satisfactory references on file. None of the eight remaining volunteers work directly with hub clients.

Training:

All hub volunteers have been strongly encouraged to attend General Safeguarding Training provided free of charge online by Warwickshire Community and Volunteer Association (WCAVA). At the time of writing this report, five volunteers have attended training and have provided their certificates. It is acknowledged that a number of other volunteers have also attended safeguarding training and are awaiting their certificates. In addition, it has been agreed that all trustees are required to attend the Safeguarding for Trustees Online Training, also provided by Warwickshire CAVA.

Disclosures:

Any disclosures made are dealt with and referred on where required. The safeguarding team are made aware of any disclosures made.

Safeguarding Policies:

The safeguarding team, together with the other trustees, adopted Ettington Community Hub’s Safeguarding Policy on 19 November 2020. This policy will be reviewed by the safeguarding team and the other trustees on 18 November 2021. Current policies can be viewed at ettingtonhub.org.

Conclusion:

Safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility. Acting on your concerns or seeking advice is rarely a bad idea. People often question ‘what if I’m wrong’ but we have to also ask ourselves ‘what if I’m right’. We can’t assume that someone else has seen what we may have seen or will pass on concerns. I am always willing to be asked for advice around any concerns or ‘niggles’ people have and chat things through.

Claire Udell
Safeguarding Officer
17 April 2021

Manager’s Report – Nikki Moon

The Hub Manager’s role is primarily to oversee the work of the Hub volunteers and keep in contact with all hub clients to ensure needs are being met and any issues are resolved well.  However, the role has, for the past year, also included managing email and administration, writing the hub newsletter, making referrals to external agencies when required and keeping up to date with the latest Covid-19 restrictions and communications by attending regular online meetings with Warwickshire County Council (WCC)l and Public Health England (PHE).

In November and December 2020, I undertook the Covid Community Champions course offered by WCC/PHE so as to be better trained to deliver some of the above tasks.  The role of Covid Community Champion has taken on a life of its own, which does often overlap with the Hub Manager role, but has shown that the manger’s role does now need to be split into separate roles undertaken by different people in order to keep it manageable on a voluntary basis. With this in mind we are actively recruiting a Liaison Officer, to take on the task of referrals to outside agencies.

The Hub Manager role is also being advertised with the role only incorporating oversight and care of volunteers and Clients.  I intend to continue in the role of Covid Community Champion, soon to become Community Health Champion, ensuing contact and communication with WCC and PHE. The Community Champion role will also encompass the administration side of email and internal and external communication. We hope to have the new roles filled by July 2021.

The hub has achieved much since it came into existence in March 2020 and has supported a significant number of individuals and households. The table below details the latest hub data, though this does not tell the full story. Alongside prescriptions and shopping being delivered and invaluable phone calls to check on residents the hub community has been on hand for one off support such as emergency transport to medical appointments, support with IT and other issues. The hub has also acted as an intermediary or bridge between residents and external agencies, ensuring the right support is accessible, it has acted as a voice for those struggling to voice their needs, ensuring GP’s and wellbeing teams are aware of individuals requiring their support.  Referrals to Fosse and Stratford Foodbanks have also been made and the hub is a referral agency for both local foodbanks.

Those delivering prescriptions and shopping have been the eyes and ears of the community, picking up on changes that may indicate someone is struggling and passing this info onto the manager so follow up calls and visits can be made.  The befriending service has led to new friendships being forged and a growth in community spirit at a time when other aspects of community had to stop. 

Special thanks must go to Rich Smith for his dedication to the prescription collection which he has done pretty much without interruption, every week since the first lock down began. It was also Rich who voiced the need for a hub at the beginning of lockdown one and supported me in getting it off the ground and operational in just a couple of days.

Looking Ahead:

The hub is about to start offering lateral flow test kits to residents. This is part of the Covid Community Champion initiative and is to ensure as many people as possible have access to regular testing.

We are also looking at how we can actively encourage people to physically re-join the community as restrictions are lifted. Ideas include walking buddies and social events.  We are also working closely with WCC and PHE to be part of the initiative to tackle health issues such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. There is recognition that the high death toll from Covid-19 in the UK is in part because we have significant chronic health conditions within and across our communities. To be better prepared for the future the focus is shifting to one in which we work to decrease chronic health issues through education, information and tailored support. The hub is focused on playing our part in this much needed initiative.

Hub data as of 22nd April 2021

CategoryAmount
Number of clients registered with the hub43
Clients currently receiving support29
Number of volunteers24
Total prescriptions delivered181
Approximate number of shopping deliveries120
Approximate number of village SPAR deliveries60
Approximate number of befriending calls made260
Individuals referred to outside agencies4
Total food bank referrals3

You can download a copy of this report here