The Chesterton Parents Group and their financial systems

The need

Chesterton Parents Group was a newly formed support group for parents within Chesterton in Cambridge. Originally developed with the support of the local Children’s Centre, they are now an independent community group. The group required support with their financial accounting.

The support

Advice and guidance was given on all aspects of financial planning, including basic accounting best practice, accounts payable and the completion of year end receipts.

The impact

The Group now uses their financial information more effectively. They have a thorough understanding of budgets and reporting which ensures that their volunteer committee are kept aware of the financial position of the organisation. They have systems in place to report to funders. They are aware of their legal obligations with regard to the preparation of year end accounts and financial records. They can now make sound financial decisions based upon accurate and timely information.

Their treasurer said:

“I think we’ve pretty much implemented everything that was suggested. It has helped us tremendously in keeping the rest of the group informed as to what’s going on, now that it is straightforward for me to give a monthly update on our grant balances and unrestricted reserves. I think in the past we have not made optimal use of our grants, just because we did not effectively keep track of what we’d spent on them verses what we proposed”.

Positive People Care – reaching new heights

The need

The aim of the Positive People Care is to help and support people with mental health issues discharged from hospital or day care centres. They are able to offer members activities and opportunities to improve their confidence and improve their quality of life. This includes support in helping them re-enter community life, and find employment where possible.

Positive People Care was growing in size and felt it should become a constituted organisation with an active operating committee. This would ensure that:

  • the organisation of activities were shared amongst group members
  • negotiation with partners and other organisations could take place more effectively, and
  • fundraising and applying for funding could take place more efficiently.

The support

  • Developing a new constitution and working with the group to help them understand the implications and responsibilities of association.
  • Finding appropriate insurance and bank accounts.
  • Developing a code of conduct for members, helping them manage expectations and resolve possible future disputes.
  • Support with completing funding applications.
  • Attendance at network events and funding fairs to articulate their case for support.

The impact

Positive People Care is now a constituted organisation. It has a committee, a bank account and appropriate insurance. The group is now working to support even more people blighted by mental health issues.

Their chair said:

“A couple or years ago some of these members would not come out of their houses or get on a bus. How they have moved on speaks for its self. That is the purpose of the group (to move them on). They all have suffered from mental illness, with one having had cancer & been made homeless a few years ago and another attempted suicide on several occasions”.

Renovating Leverington Village Hall

 

The need

Leverington village hall sits close to Wisbech, one mile west of the River Nene. The village has a population of 3,300. The village hall was built in 1914, but has been modernised regularly, especially in the 1970’s when a new flat roof extension containing the kitchen, toilets and entrance area was added. The hall is used mainly in the evenings by local groups, and is the evacuation point for the primary school. The committee wished to improve the village hall by renovating the existing kitchen and toilet area, by replacing the existing emergency doors, and by replacing an aged central heating system.

The support

A number of advice sessions were given specifically on where and how to attract funding, with village hall committee members attending workshop events led by principal funders WREN and The Big Lottery Fund.

The impact

The Village hall committee have received over £2,000 in funding with which to begin their renovations. They are also considering a range of other funding opportunities based upon a sound and robust project plan for their village hall, and an understanding of future financial liabilities.

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