Board of Trustees Meeting
Manchester Deaf Centre
6 March 2023
Board members present:
Claire Holland CH
Plus, a good number (around 15) of members/supporters of MDC
Interpreters: Craig Brown and Mark Hetherington
Notetaker: Irma Heger
1 Welcome and apologies
CH welcomes all and introduces herself and JW.
JW thanks all for attending.
Apologies received from:
Charles and Brenda Hamlin
One member suggests the inclusion of AOB on the AGM agenda is not correct. JW replies AOB remains on the agenda and he will welcome questions at the end.
2 Trustees - The Board
JW presents a list of Board of Trustees members. He invites any attendees interested in joining the Board of Trustees to contact him or senior management.
JW explains MDC relies on volunteers and staff and thanks all for their hard work. He also thanks users and supporters of MDC which has seen a marked increase in people wishing to become involved.
JW points out the Trustees are all volunteers who are committed to MDC and supporting the deaf community to the best of their ability. Issues which have arisen over the past year have been discussed and intervention activities have been put in place.
A document ‘Our Values’, within our Business Plan is available to all and JW is happy to receive comments on this.
JW explains MDC runs many activities including increased services for Children and Young People aimed at 0 to 24 year olds.
The overall balance to March 2022 is £710,021.
JW explains there was £52,000 ‘cash’ left in the MDC account at the end of the financial year last year.
He thanks senior managers and everybody else involved in raising funds and announced Greater Manchester City Council has confirmed ongoing support. JW reports MDC is going from strength to strength and will be here next year and future years.
JW reports the Trustees approved the business plan and budget in February. There are still outstanding bids from the National Lottery for children and young people’s activities and for WAITE and other activities.
He points out not all bids are not always successful which sometimes may necessitate adjustments to staffing.
Questions from members:
• What is the Refurbishment figure for and should it be less? Is it linked to the leaky roof?
JW: The red numbers are all restricted funds for specific projects, not ‘free’ money.
The Refurbishment fund dates back to perhaps 10 years ago when the big refurbishment took place and it goes down every year. It is not linked to the roof – that is separate.
• What are restricted funds?
JW: Funds that can only be used for a particular project such as WAITE or the Trafford Health Project.
• How much is spent on youth? Should the money not be spread around all?
JW: Around £30,000 is spent on youth. We received money to pay for youth work 18 months ago. This money is now running out but we have recently been successful in getting money for a Youth Leader for three years, starting in April.
There is also a bid to National Lottery for youth work for £245,000 over three years.
However, MDC does a range of project – Trafford Health, WAITE and other services. Money is continually applied for, to support the deaf community.
JW reports there has been a change in accountants this year to improve timeliness of accounts produced.
We have engaged ARC Accountancy.
Improved timeliness of accounts means there might be another AGM in September or October this year.
4 Charge to the Governing Document
JW explains MDC is currently registered with Companies House and the Charity Commission. The Governing Document will be changed, so instead MDC will only be registered with the Charity Commission as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
JW adds this does not change what MDC does or anything around membership. Due to a lack of an existing list of members, a new, simple membership form will be sent out. On receipt of a filled in form, a membership card with number will be sent to members. Voting rights for those attending AGMs will remain in place.
JW asks if anybody has any concerns about this. None are raised.
One member questions whether the accounts should have been approved at the AGM before being sent off.
JW points out Trustees of a charity (the Board) approve the accounts, which are then ‘noted’ at AGM. Accounts have been made available to all online and questions can be directed to JW.
Questions/comments by members:
• Why are the health talks held in Trafford on Thursdays and not in Manchester on Mondays?
CH: Talks are ad hoc by our Wellbeing Group and are open to everybody. We are working on possible talks and videos but this takes planning. Members can make a list of talks they would like in Manchester on Mondays.
• We previously provided a list of specific talks but our request was ignored? We have previously been asked what we would like to see happen on a Monday, but workshops were set up on a Thursday?
CH: I have weekly meetings with Terry to discuss improved services for MDSC and prospective funding.
JW: This goes back to restricted funds. There are funds for Trafford to run sessions. We are applying for money for more activities. We can’t spend the money we get for Trafford in Manchester on Monday. Restricted funds are restricted for that particular area or activity. We are looking to get funding or do something through Core funding to do things on Monday.
• Would it be possible to have a document prior to AGM so we can prepare commentary? Deaf people need information in advance because they process information differently.
JW: I understand what you say. I don’t think there is anything that I have not already spoken about at Social Club on Monday the last two or three times. The accounts have been available online. It is your responsibility to have a look. But what we will do for future meetings and the next AGM is to prepare a briefing note.
• Three years ago, the situation between MDC and MDSC was a disaster, with poor communication. Over time things have improved and they will hopefully continue to improve. I don’t want things to regress so keep us in the loop. Don’t let us down and thank you for everything.
BK comments he wants to express his support for JW. BK explains he is deaf and aims to give his best support for MDC as it is important for the deaf community to have full services. He adds all Trustees are volunteers, they try to give their best support, and that all are welcome to join the Board of Trustees.
JW thanks all for coming and closes the meeting at 17.30.
If you would like to know more about
any of our services, please get in touch.
Manchester Deaf Centre,
Booth Street East,
MONDAY - FRIDAY
09:00 – 17:00
0161 273 3415
Registered Charity Number: 1110373