The Annual Accounts are presented to our AGM in September of each year and discussed and adopted by Trustees. These Accounts were audited by Armstrong Watson (Chartered Accountants) of Hexham.
We have tried over the years to see that money received for our Charitable activities (the delivering of care) match all our general outgoings. Many of the pressures on Charlotte Straker are also faced by the care home sector as a whole in Northumberland. Balancing the books has become noticeably harder with margins being squeezed and rising costs.
It should be noted that at the end of the financial year 2016/17 we had raised £132,000 towards the Community Respite Bed Appeal. We also received a number of Legacies; some of which went to the CRB Appeal and some into our Development Fund for future work to enhance and upgrade Charlotte Straker House.
Occupancy has been high over the year with one room being used for the new Community Respite Bed service which began on 1st January 2017. The trustees continue to be mindful of the current and uncertain economic climate when considering financial issues and are aware of the need to manage the overall financial performance of Charlotte Straker with great care.
We must also note that an important aspect of our work is ensuring our ethos is implemented – that care is given according to need and an inability to pay is not a bar to entry. This makes our Fundraising activities and financial results all the more important. It should be noted that Trustees are all volunteers and unpaid.
The accounts for the year ended 31st March 2019 are available to download by clicking on: Report for Year ended 31 March 2019
A detailed description of the pressures we faced is given in the Trustee report.
The Charity operates a reserves policy as required by the Charity Commission. The Board of Trustees have agreed that we retain 6 months running costs as reserves, that the reserves situation is reviewed at each quarterly Finance Committee and that information is also forwarded to Board members quarterly. If we need to access the reserves we discuss and agree this at a Board meeting and agree to what degree we should reduce the reserves; we also monitor their reinstatement.