Annual General Meeting – 2019 Trustees Report

Annual General Meeting – 2019 Trustees Report

for the Financial Year ended 31 December 2018

INTRODUCTION

Three caring Goans founded the Goan Welfare Society (GWS) in March 1983, to provide limited assistance to the community living in the UK. The original Trustees passed away and responsibility for the Charity was handed over to the Goan Association (UK) in October 2004 by the then existing Trustee. However, as required by the Charity Commission, GWS must operate as an autonomous body with its own membership and raising its own funds. The present Trustees are: Paul De Mendonça, Norma Menezes-Rahim, Alfred Rebello, Rosy De Souza and Flavio Gracias (Chair).

The objectives of the Charity have not changed and GWS continues to assist Goans, who are in need of help and who are resident in the UK or elsewhere. In addition to Trustees, we have two Committee members that provide administrative support. All office-bearers serve in a voluntary capacity. The Board of Trustees meet once a year to review the performance of the Charity but day-to-day decisions are effected via emails.

FUND-RAISING

This annual report covers the Financial Year 2018, which runs from January to December, the period under review. Our fund-raising activities continued throughout the year culminating in the New Year’s Eve Ball on 31 December 2018. We are grateful to the De Mendonça family for their help in this area.

The Planned-Giving Scheme has remained static again in 2018 and the current annual income from this source was £805.80. We really would like to encourage more of our members to join the scheme. A further instalment of £25,000 of the generous legacy left to GWS by Antoinette De Souza in 2017 has allowed the Charity to increase their scope in assisting needy Goans and we would like to request members of the Goan Community to consider nominating the GWS in their Wills.

The trustees have examined the major strategic, business and operational risks, which the charity faces, and confirm that adequate operational, legal, and financial systems are in place to enable regular reports to be produced so that necessary steps can be taken to minimise these risks.

FINANCIAL REVIEW

This annual report covers the Financial Year 2018, which runs from January to December, the period under review. The Charity has a strong balance sheet with liquid assets held in bank Accounts with HSBC Bank. The Trustees are the custodians of all assets held by the Charity. A large part of this asset, surplus to our requirements, has been transferred into a Deposit Account. This action gives the funds added security and also accrues a small level of interest. Despite our strong financial position, our fund-raising activities continued unhindered and we are grateful to the De Mendonça family for their tremendous help in this area.

The Trustees decided to repeat the New Year’s Eve fund-raising event on 31 December 2018. It was a major success, in terms of publicity, but we made a small deficit of £177, following the surplus of £5,040 in 2017. We intend to hold this fund-raising event again in 2019 and look forward to greater support.

The Planned-Giving Scheme showed a slight increase in 2018 and the current annual income from this source was £939 (2017: £745). We would like more members of the Goan Community to consider joining the scheme and we intend to launch an initiative at the next fund-raising event towards this end.

ACHIEVEMENT & PERFORMANCE

It was an extremely busy year with repatriations of deceased Goans to their families in Goa and this activity continues to be an important part of our work. We have two firms of Funeral Directors that provide this service to the Charity at a fixed cost of £2,100.00. On average, we arrange the airlift of three to four bodies every year and it is worthwhile pointing out that burials in the UK cost over twice this figure at £4,600; hence, repatriations are very cost effective.

We are most grateful to the Goan Chaplains in London & Swindon and also to Fr Gerard, the Parish Priest at St Anselm’s R C Church in Southall for their tremendous support in this area of our work.

In December 2015, GWS was asked to assist with the airlift to Goa of Kenneth de Souza, a young Goan boy who suffered brain damage as a result of a cardiac arrest following an asthma attack. Kenneth was airlifted to Goa safely on 15 December 2015 but he is still bed-bound, receiving loving care from his family. Following a visit by Flavio Gracias and Paul de Mendonça to the family in 2018, the subject of further financial assistance was raised at the last AGM. The general body agreed to make an annual contribution of £100.00 to his parents to help with the cost of Kenneth’s medical needs.

Other activities during the year included:

  1. Continuing to help families with financial support where they are experiencing hardship.
  2. Giving advice and support on employment issues.

FUTURE PLANS

  1. Membership & Planned GivingOur membership at the end of 2018 was 145 and our objective is to increase this number by at least 20% per year. Concurrently, our aim is to double the number of donors in our Planned-Giving scheme so that our annual income from this source exceeds £1,000 / year.
  2. Raising awareness
    It is important to increase awareness of the Charity and we will continue to utilize our website forthis purpose. Consideration will be given to reestablishing our presence at the Goan Festival
  3. Building RelationshipsWe intend to continue with our plans to foster better relationships with the Indian High Commission and the Portuguese Consulate in order that we can better serve members of the Community before & after BREXIT.

Our thanks to Rohan of Renard Design for his help in keeping our website updated free-of-charge and to Carringtons Limited, our Accountants, for their invaluable advice & guidance on financial matters and for producing our Annual Accounts in line with the provisions of the Charity Commission.

FLAVIO GRACIAS Chair of Trustees

Registered address: GOAN WELFARE SOCIETY, “The Firs”, 17 Firs Drive, Cranford, Middlesex, TW5 9TA

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