Annual Report and Financial Statement

TRUSTEES ANNUAL REPORT to end January 2019

The financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies set out in note 1 to the financial statements and comply with the charity’s constitution , the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005, the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 (as amended) and “Accounting and Reporting by Charities: Statement of Recommended Practice applicable to charities preparing their accounts in accordance with the Financial Reporting Standard applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102)” (as amended for accounting periods commencing from 1 January 2016) .

Objectives and activities

The charity’s objects are to promote the advancement of education by training people to produce food in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.  In addition, our activities can reasonably be expected to also promote the relief of poverty, specifically food poverty, through the development of skills, including but not restricted to, food growing, preservation and cooking.  Environmental protection and improvement by, for example, teaching the benefits of wildlife to food production and by creating healthy soil ecosystems.  The charity promotes the use of land for recreational purposes by, for example, the creation of community gardens and other growing spaces .

The trustees have paid due regard to guidance issued by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator in deciding what activities the charity should undertake.

Achievements and performance 

In 2018/19 achievements and performance were as follows:

  • Hawick

Abundant Borders, as a result of grant funding from National Lottery Awards for All and Postcode Lottery Trust, held two training courses based in Hawick.

Fourteen people took part in the gardening course and certificates were issued to ten of the participants.  Six of the participants continue to be involved in the project, volunteering in the development of the community forest garden.

Comments about the course included: “This course came at just the right moment for me. It gave me something to get up for in the morning.”  “I’ve learned a lot of useful information.  Not just about gardening”.  “It’s proved to be an awful lot more than a gardening course.  For me it’s come at just the right time.  So many bad things are happening in the world it’s good to be reminded there are lots of people of goodwill out there in the world”.  “Keep all these good things going to volunteer for”.

The cookery course ran for one day a week over six weeks and involved 13 participants, four support workers and two volunteers.  Most of the participants prior to completing the course, did not do any cooking for themselves.  They enrolled on the course to get some understanding of healthy eating, portion control, recipes for simple cooking, and food handling knowledge, regarding re-heating and re-using leftovers.

By the end of the course, some participants were making food from scratch for themselves and family.  They realised how much better homemade food tastes and were willing to try new recipes. The social aspect was particularly important for some and sitting down to eat with others a novelty which they enjoyed.   Those participants who had previously found it difficult to mix with others began to look forward to this part of the session.   Everyone enjoyed being able to make enough to take some food home too.  Participants took recipe cards of the food they had cooked, away with them.

One of the support workers said the of the person she was supporting: “It has been an excellent opportunity for JH – she has gained confidence and now wants to volunteer further.  We have really enjoyed the group and it has been an excellent opportunity.  She has learned to interact better with other people and have more patience with other people”.

Grant funding was provided from July to December to employ a co-ordinator to manage volunteering sessions in the community forest garden.  There was an average of five volunteers at each session.  When asked what they enjoyed about volunteering, comments included: “meeting different people”, “liked having work/enjoyed manual labour”, “sense of achievement” and “teamwork and support”.  However, volunteers felt that the garden lacked a clear plan (which we can do something about) and complained about wasps (which is not so easy to correct).

Work at Hawick will continue in 2019/20 with the support of a new volunteer co-ordinator, funded for three years by the Big Lottery Community Fund.  In addition to the supported volunteer sessions, we are developing a programme of events, some of which will run at weekends to bring families into the community food garden.

  • Ayton

The land leased at Ayton continues to develop with the support of a small group of dedicated volunteers, and the amount of produce increasing year on year.  The garden is part of a larger plot where social housing is planned within the next year.  It is hoped that it will be a resource which will be used by tenants also, in the future. We will look to develop more events to engage the wider community, such as the Apple Day event in October 2018, which was a great success.

  • Eyemouth Good Food Partnership (EGFP)

Abundant Borders agreed to take the lead at the beginning of 2019 in taking forward the EGFP through a lead group:  NHS Healthy Living Network co-ordinator, SBC Local Area Co-ordinator (learning difficulties), Berwickshire Housing Association Community Development Officer with the owner of OBLO (restaurant) and Minister from the Eyemouth United Congregational Church to develop a wider network to promote healthy eating in Eyemouth and district.  Plans are in place to provide community lunches for families during school holidays and to have emergency food parcels available through the Eyemouth United Congregational church.  The lead group will put a strategy in place to move this work forward in 2019/2010.

  • Climate Change Fund (CCF)

Working with Sea the Change (an environmental charity based in Eyemouth), Abundant Borders was awarded £880 to carry out research into the viability of food recycling.  This research is continuing, and a report will be submitted to CCF in March.  It is clear from the information gathered that there is huge commitment to managing food waste better.

  • Open Space

At the end of 2018, Abundant Borders agreed to take over the management of an allotment space in Eyemouth.  The allotment had been run previously by SBC mental health team, but they were no longer able to support the project.  The allotment was falling into disrepair and Abundant Borders agreed to step in.  The project offers an opportunity for those experiencing mental health problems, to benefit from outdoor activity in a supportive, friendly setting. Abundant Borders will support weekly volunteer session to encourage people to come along and stay engaged.  We were able to do this as a result of a grant of £5000 from SCVO which will be paid at the end of the project date.  It is expected that support will continue as a result of successful bids to the Big Lottery Community Fund and Robertson Trust.

  • Governance

The board decided that it would be beneficial to become a SCIO and the process was successfully completed in January 2019.

Ros McArthur, trustee holds the position of treasurer and she meets monthly with the Chief Officer (Administration) to oversee bank and card statements and provide advice on the financial running of the charity.

Financial review

Reserves

It is the policy of the charity that unrestricted funds which have not been designated for a specific use should be maintained at a level equivalent to between three- and six-month’s expenditure.  The trustees consider that reserves at this level will ensure that, in the event of a significant drop in funding, they will be able to continue the charity’s current activities while consideration is given to ways in which additional funds may be raised.  At the year end, the charity did not reach this target for unrestricted funds and will work to increase these to reach an appropriate level.

Risk review

The trustees have assessed the major risks to which the charity is exposed and are satisfied that systems are in place to mitigate exposure to the major risks.

Plans for future periods

The charity intends to continue its charitable activities in order to achieve its aims and objectives.

Public benefit

In considering the operations, achievements, performance and finances of the charity, the trustees are satisfied that public benefit has been provided in accordance with the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and guidance provided by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Structure, governance and management

The charity is a SCIO, number SC049008.

Suitably qualified trustees are recruited from the local network of organisations, agencies and third sector groups to meet the skills and experience needs of the board, with the support of the local TSI. New trustees are approved by members at the next available meeting.

New trustees are briefed on their obligations under charity law and provided with a copy of the constitution, strategic plan and financial statements as part of an induction process.

The Trustees report was approved by the Board of Trustees.

Please note: Accounts were complied for the period April 2018 to January 2019. At this point Abundant Borders SCO46962 converted to SCIO SCO49008

View accounts to end January 2019 here.

Accounts to end March 2018 can be viewed here.

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