Annual Report 2021

Minutes of Cromarty Care Project AGM  November 1st 2021

 

Present – Jill Stoner, Nigel Shapcott, Shirley Matheson, Helen Charley, Denise Macfarlane, Jim Templeton , Lynn Adam , Brenda Monk, Simon Evans, Sheila Currie, Alec Wilson, Paul Monk and Paige Shepherd.

 

Apologies. – Fiona Grist , Jeremy Price

 

Jill Stoner chaired the meeting and welcomed everyone – especially the four friends of the care project and also Paige Shepherd who had agreed to Chair the re-election of trustees.

 

Jill went on to read the Annual report .

 

Cromarty Care Project Annual Report       AGM   November 1st 2021

 

We did not expect that we would still be in the midst of a covid pandemic when we held our AGM last year. Although the trustees have had to meet on Zoom until recently we have still be active within the community and communicated frequently by email – or impromptu meetings of one or two in gardens to discuss specific issues.

 

Sharing Larder and Food deliveries

 

On December 22nd 2020 we opened the Cromarty food larder and it was restocked everyday until the 20th August 2021. It was very well used for most of those months until the last 6 weeks we noticed a drop off in use and it was decided that it should be closed but with an open mind as to whether it should be reopened at a later date – which it has been in October 2021. We are very grateful to the volunteers who have faithfully restocked the larder each day. Thank you to the bakery for providing bread and rolls most days and to the Cromarty Arts Trust for loaning us Ardyne Studio in which to store stock rent free until August of this year. The Highland Council have provided us with large supplies of tinned and packaged food. The Masonic lodge has been generous in their donations both financially and materially.

 

The larder is currently being used but we have reduced the frequency of stocking it to 4 times a week to make the running of it more sustainable and our stock is now stored in the local Masonic lodge for which we are grateful.

 

Food deliveries to 6 households have been carried out every two weeks until September when they were reduced to once a month. A couple of households declined further deliveries and now only 4 households are delivered to on a regular basis. We wish to express our thanks to Rose Farm for the supply of potatoes and eggs for many months which were distributed to families.

 

Fuel payments

In January 2021 CCP launched a Winter warmth grant scheme – offering households £50 to help with heating costs. We were able to offer a second payment ,again of £50 in March 2021. In total we gave payments to 48 households ,which helped 112 people , 67 adults and 45 children. Total payments given were £4750.00.

 

In May 2021  Nigel and myself met with Mark Rodgers , deputy chief executive of Highland Council with a responsibility for housing , along with councillor Craig Fraser , to express our concern about fuel poverty in Cromarty. We were able to tell him about our fuel payments and the number of households we had supported. He took our concerns seriously and we are pleased that heat source pumps have been fitted to many of the houses in Cromarty. Whether our input helped we cannot be sure.

 

Trishaws

Shirley Matheson reports the following –

Trips out on the Cycling Without Age trikes were suspended as a result of Scottish Government Coronavirus Guidelines. Following updated advice from Cycling Without Age Scotland trips restarted in June 2021. The conditions of carriage meant that the trikes could only be used on limited occasions. The uptake has been very poor, with many elderly and vulnerable people remaining reluctant to go out. I have just received notification from Cycling Without Age Scotland that we can take out passengers from separate household bubbles and we can use the warm waterproof blanket. I expect the uptake to remain poor over the winter months, but we can hopefully relaunch in the Spring of 2022.

We have three new trike pilots trained up. One is dedicated to the youth group. The youth group have had an enjoyable afternoon using the trikes.

The trikes are now stored in The Sheddie at the Victoria Hall. Over the Winter they will be stored in David and Susan Kent’s garage to allow the gritter users easier access to the Sheddie. We are very grateful to David and Susan Kent for their flexibility and continued use of their garage for storage.

Our trike mechanic Aidan McCann has gone off to University. We tried to engage a teenager to train up as a trike mechanic, however we were unsuccessful in our attempts. We now have Alasdair Matheson currently undertaking training with Velotec to gain the qualification as a trike mechanic.

 

Shirley Matheson

27 October 2021

 

Table Tennis Club

 

Simon Evans reports -

This was discontinued during the 1st lockdown and restarted on September 6th 2021 in the West Church Hall, Mondays at 10.30 as before.  Some of the members continued TT outdoors at Resolis during lock down, which they have continued, but sometimes join us if the weather is bad. Numbers are down a little compared with pre-lockdown being between 5 and 12 per week.

 

Other activities /payments

 

We have been approached by the school for help with funding for a school trip to Fairburn for the final year pupils – we provided £250 for the cost of the coach. We also purchased a tent for the school to use for shelter when lessons were being held outside during the pandemic.

We have been approached throughout the year for help in various situations – for example ,bereavement , housing and provision of equipment for childcare.

 

Nigel has continued to attend the Tuesday morning meetings of the Black Isle partnership, community groups and Highland council councillors. I was attending initially for months but had to drop out due to work and other commitments, but Nigel has kept the care Project represented for which I am grateful.

 

In the Summer of 2021 we supported the Youth Café summer programme for children and young people with a grant of £5000.

 

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

 

In the autumn of last year we were nominated for the Queen’s award. It was a lot of work compiling a document about our activities and then meeting with a panel for a 3 hour interview. Four of the trustees represented CCP. The panel then compiled a report that was sent to London and in May we heard that we had been successful. It was a great achievement after the months of hard work, particularly during the pandemic.

 

Home care

We continue to provide an office for Highland Home care staff but we are now more distanced from the provision of home care. We had hoped when the pandemic was over to reconnect with HHC and try to provide more support for the clients that they were helping. It may still be something that we can do in the future.

 

Future plans

 

We have applied for funding to restart the Monday lunch club at the Cromarty Arms and wait to hear whether we have been successful.

Fuel payments – will be needed this winter as fuel prices have risen and incomes have dropped. We are looking at funding for this.

Providing a Christmas Party for older residents and /or coffee mornings in the New Year.

Exploring again providing on line sessions in Cromarty with the CAB.

 

We became a charity in 2015 – with the specific idea really of providing care for the elderly and now we have morphed into something quite different. We hope that life will return to more normality soon and we are able to connect safely with older residents and provide more opportunities for socialising.

 

We have had to say goodbye to Meg Shaw , who has moved to Dundee, she has been a wonderful trustee – providing to so much wisdom and practical support . We will miss her greatly.

Thank you to all the trustees for keeping going. We have been able to adapt quickly and get help out to our community rapidly. Let’s see what the next year brings.

Jill Stoner, October 2021

 

Helen Charley then interjected that there was the prospect of some money coming to the ward - £100,000 to the whole of the Black Isle. Nigel clarified that exactly when and how the £15,000 that will come to Cromarty will be available has yet to be determined. Helen will investigate regular cinema viewings for older people that could be subsidised to help with social isolation.

 

Treasurer’s report. Brenda Monk explained that the annual accounts were for the year ending 31st May 2021 and then read out her report.

 

Treasurer’s notes for AGM 2020/21 held 1 November 2021

The Annual Accounts present the bare numbers representing income (receipts) and expenditure (payments). 

The benefit behind these numbers is only recorded in the Care Project paperwork shared with Trustees.   The purpose of this report is to share more details of the projects supported.

As Covid-19 spread in early 2020, and Lockdown loomed it became obvious that families and individuals would struggle without work or transport.   Added to that, schools were closed meaning children were home 24/7 – and they just seem to constantly eat!

Filling the Gap – grocery vouchers.  Grant funding applications were submitted as we all went into Lockdown in March 2020.  When the project closed this year, we had supported 32 families.  91 adults and children were granted £20 each per week, for 16 weeks.  With a great deal of help from Marcel and the staff in the Cromarty Stores families were able to safely shop locally.

Back to School, September 2020 – 42 young people in 23 families were granted £100 each to help with any equipment needed for their return to classes.  Much of the money was spent on shoes and outdoor clothing.

Cromarty Primary School was given funds to buy extra equipment – Government rules were stipulating that children should not share equipment such as colouring pencils and rulers.  Items such as Lego and jigsaws needed to be cleaned between uses. 

Government instructions included spending as much time as possible outside.  Funds were given to the school so that sets of waterproof trousers and jackets, together with hats and gloves could be purchased.  The Care Project also purchased a Bell Tent for the school to use as a well ventilated outside classroom. 

Winter Warmth – 49 households, comprising 68 adults and 45 children, benefitted from a payment of £100 for fuel. 

Community Larder  -  Grant funding was secured to purchase a shed and equipment to safely operate a larder for the community.  Further successful funding applications enabled the initial stock to be purchased. The larder continued through the winter months with the support of individual donations and Marcel’s contribution by giving a discount on all purchases for the Community Larder.

Without the support from Volunteers, organisation grant funding and individual donations from the community, none of these projects would have happened.

Brenda Monk Treasurer   

 

Questions

 

Sheila Currie asked about the balance that we had in our account. Brenda responded.

Alec Wilson asked about the £10,000 from the West Church. Jill explained how that money had come about – from very old funds held by the West Church for use in times of need. Brenda also explained that further expenditure had taken place in the months following those mentioned in the accounts.

 

Jill reported during the meeting that we had been successful in the funding application for the Monday Lunch Club and that that would be restarting next week.

Election of Trustees

Paige Shepherd took the chair. She explained that Meg Shaw had resigned as a trustee and was not up for reelection but that all the other trustees would stand down but are willing to be reelected.

Sheila Currie proposed and Paul seconded their reeclection.

 

 

The AGM closed with a short trustees meeting to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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