The Trustees have reason to be pleased with the performance of the charity over the year, with donations of £163,875 made to partner charities. At the same time, thanks to prudent management of assets over the long term and excellent returns from financial markets during the financial year, Whirlwind is in good financial shape, with a strong surplus of reserves over target.
Donations over each of the past three years have been exceptional in that the Trustees felt confident to allocate additional funds to its donations budget from reserves, rather than relying solely on investment income.
Changes to our Operation
The big change of the year for Whirlwind saw Steve Chipperfield stand down and “pass the baton” to long standing trustee, Chris Riley. Steve was a founder member of the charity and his 11-year stewardship saw the endowment fund grow from £4 million to slightly above £7 million. In this time, we gave in excess of £1.6 million to many great causes, which benefitted thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds. Steve will continue as a Trustee.
Hitherto, many administrative tasks have been carried out by the Trustees in the spirit of reducing costs, the main burden falling on the Chairman. This was becoming unsustainable with increasing regulation such as GDPR, safeguarding, governance and more sophisticated IT demands. Consequently, the Trustees took the step to appoint Dave Febry as Executive Manager to administrate the Trust according to the instructions of the board. Dave has had a career at senior management level. One of his first tasks, working closely with Alison Chipperfield (Donations Manager), was to bring our donations application process into the 21st century using an integrated platform called Survey Monkey. This is now active and early reports from applicants are very positive.
The board has long recognised the need to increase the numbers of Trustees to accommodate absences and bring a broader level of expertise. In February, we had a recruitment drive which produced a number of impressive candidates. This produced two new Trustees, Natalie Levin and Lee Bonham, who are already making a difference.
Focus on our Primary Aim
Whirlwind's donations have continued to reflect both its primary focus - on supporting the personal development of disadvantaged young people through sailing and other outdoor recreational challenges - and its secondary focus on marine conservation. Over the past decade we have built strong relationships with a growing number of able and efficient partner charities who can be relied upon to deliver in line with our remit. Most of these charities featured in our 2018-19 programme. The Trustees will occasionally take advantage of their ability to act fast to deliver aid in the event of a natural disaster.
A full list of grants made during the year can be seen in an appendix to the financial statements.
More details of the organisations supported by Whirlwind over the longer term can be found at www.whirlwindcharitabletrust.org.uk
Teamwork and good relationships, as always, underpin the lean and efficient management of the Trust by the Trustees working closely with Executive Manager Dave Febry, donations manager Alison Chipperfield and Accountant Chris Wilde - with thanks to them all.
Undoubtedly, Whirlwind has a creditable record of providing funds for many deserving causes, but the true heroes are the staff and volunteers of the organisations we support, who selflessly deliver experiences, adventure, care and opportunity for many.
Chris Riley, on behalf of the Whirlwind Trustees