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Acorn Village 2018 - 2019 Impact Report


Contents Welcome Financial Review Trustees Report Charity Impact Community Impact Volunteering Next Steps

Social Shout Out Sharing the need for support, thanking companies & individuals, advertising fundraising events, requesting items‌. Social Media helps with all of this

1,263 Followers on Twitter

1,089 Followers on Facebook

*New for 2019* 167 Followers on Instagram

*New for 2018* 271 views & 3 subscribers on YouTube

*New for 2018* 78 Followers on LinkedIn


Welcome from the CEO Welcome to our new look Impact Report! We are really excited to share our year with you and what a year it has been. It’s been quite amazing to look through the highlights and see how many things we have achieved. We will be producing this report annually and alongside the other ways to find out about Acorn Village, we hope it will give everyone a great insight into life here. I first became involved with Acorn Village approximately 17/18 years ago when I was a student nurse. I had a 5 week placement as part of my course and although I was training to be a general nurse, I had always been interested in working with adults with learning disabilities. I was caught early on by the sense of community and the way in which those people who lived within the service were empowered as far as possible to live the life they chose. I started working part time alongside my studies within the supported living service and later when I had completed my course I was successful in joining the Care Management team. I spent many years as a Registered Manager of Acorns care services ensuring that the essence of a person centred approach and culture was Visiting Maersk developed and maintained as well as complying to the standards and expectations set out by the regulators, CQC. I loved my time working within care especially making close connections with wonderful staff all striving to do their best. Taking on the role of CEO was a great insight into a different perspective of the organisation particularly the charitable activities. With the wider climate of social care continuing to be increasingly challenging, it has been vital to ensure that our services meet our overriding aims and objectives whilst still ensuring financial sustainability. Therefore the financial support of the charity remains a priority. This report will give you a fantastic insight into why, not only we need the charitable income that we receive but also the real difference it makes to adults with a learning disability and the opportunities that are given. The founders of Acorn Village decided that ‘Life is for Living’ was our motto and over 40 years later, those words underpin everything we currently do. None of this would be possible without staffing teams, volunteers and supporters and for that I would like to say Thank you. The Witchfinder Trail Run Your support really does make a difference. Michelle Cook Chief Executive Officer


Welcome from the Chairman I first became involved with Acorn Village in 1987 as a member of the Round Table running a hot dog stall at the summer fete and it was through Round Table that my connection with Acorn developed. In 2007 after I had retired the then Company Secretary asked me if I would like to get more involved and I became a trustee and volunteer spending Monday mornings sorting books in Henry’s portakabin. I became Chairman of Acorn at the AGM in 2013 and it was then that I started to really find out first-hand about the difficulties of running an organisation like Acorn in a period of financial austerity. Local Authorities fund the basis day to day costs of looking after our residents and a set number of hours of care for our supported living tenants and even a little day care for some. However to fulfil our aspiration and motto of “Life is for Living” and give our residents and tenants an enjoyable and full life, this we have to fund ourselves. To this end we are extremely grateful to individuals and organisations who run and or sponsor fund raising events for adults with learning disabilities and to the local community who come into the Coffee Shop, who support the events, shop in the charity shops or buy online and to those who make regular monthly donations or who donate items for us to sell. It never ceases to amaze me how many volunteers we have helping at our major events, the commitment shown by those working in our shops, the “sheds” selling and sorting donated items and the other volunteers onsite. Without this support we could not provide the level of care or activities we do so a heartfelt thanks to all of our supporters.

Keith Burrows Chairman of the Board of Trustees Keith emceeing Acorn’s Got Talent It’s all part of the voluntary role


2018/ 2019 Financial Review Financial Review OUR MISSION People First, Disability Second is our philosophy with ‘Life is For Living’ our motto. Every individual, whatever their disability, is encouraged to discover or achieve their life ambition and are supported to be as independent as physically possible.

Financial support is vital to enhancing the lives of adults with learning disabilities. Without it everyday life would be very different to what it is today. Thank you to every single person or group that supports the charity.

Providing additional support staff, activities, transport, a safe, calm and homely environment, counselling, therapy , physiotherapy, exercise and social interaction is essential to the lives of adults with learning disabilities.


2018/ 2019 Trustees Report Our Original 1975 Objectives* 

Provide care in permanent homes within a village community for adults with learning disabilities and associated problems where they can be supported  Allow beneficiaries to enjoy the benefits of a family life  Allow beneficiaries to develop and achieve their full potential  Provide these benefits to adults with learning disabilities and associated problems living in the wider community Facilitate the objectives by providing or arranging access to :  Social interaction  Craft  Gardening and horticulture  Education  Active Leisure  Facilities within the local community

How We Are Run First opening its doors in 1975, Acorn Village currently has room for 64 residents and tenants. Acorn Villages Ltd is a charity registered in England and Wales (No. 263954). A non-profit making company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 1048360. Under charity law Acorn Village is governed by a board of Trustees, who are volunteers. The Trustees are also ‘Directors’ under company law. Ultimately, all legal responsibilities lie with the Trustees. They agree the Trust’s direction, policies, key strategies, overall budget, staffing levels and how performance is measured. The board delegates the day-to-day responsibilities of the Trust to the Chief Executive Officer. The Chief Executive Officer reports to Trustees through board meetings or one of its committees.

Committees There are five committees: The Finance, Risk and Salaries Committee The Health & Safety, Procurement and Premises Committee Care, Safeguarding and CQC Compliance Committee The Personnel Committee. The Charity Committee

*The original 1975 objectives are going to be reviewed and enhanced by the Trustees to meet the current purpose - watch this space! We are always looking for new trustees with relevant skills to take Acorn Village forward, if you are interested or would like further information pleas contact info@acornvillages.com


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact New Logo, Same Values The original logo was hand drawn by Heather Ablett, the founder’s daughter and previous Company Secretary. It has been a cherished part of Acorn Village since day one, demonstrating what can be achieved with hard work and determination - ‘From little acorns, mighty oaks grow’. With times changing a logo was required that would instantly demonstrate that Acorn Village is for adults with learning disabilities whilst still keeping the important history of the charity. The core values are shown within the logo. The tree showcasing the opportunity for continuous growth, the people replacing the trunk are the strength behind this with their ideas and goals leading the way. The outstretched and intertwined arms represent reaching challenging goals together and to always aim high. United, the opportunities are endless. The strapline ‘People First, Disability Second’ is underneath the name. This philosophy has been used throughout the history of Acorn Village so it was decided to bring it to the forefront. The colours showcase the calming and natural environment at Acorn Village with the worldly circle representing the vital support from the community. ‘Life is For Living’ is still heavily used and continues to be the key motto and objective in every day life.

As you can see from the front page there is also an interchangeable impact logo with some of the core responsibilities that is at the heart of Acorn Village.

NB: The new logo was produced in house inline with our philosophy with residents & tenants assistance during the development .


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact New Website www.acornvillages.com

The original website was looking rather tired, it needed to be updated & interactive. With abilities such as an automatic newsletter subscribe pop-up, (enabling you to have full control over what information you receive), menus for the Coffee Shop, up to date fundraising details and events, information on all the facilities, job vacancies, acorn history, volunteering and donating information. This site is the first point of call for anyone requiring information about Acorn Village and we’d like to thank Ian from IJL Web Solutions for all of his support making this happen. Our favourite addition has to be the blogs. Residents and tenants have the opportunity to write about what they’ve been up to. Whether it’s a trip out or a particular piece of art they’ve been working on. It’s also a chance to update supporters on what’s been happening at Acorn Village. If you haven’t signed up to the newsletter go to www.acornvillages.com Tenant Catherine presses the ‘Go Live’ button on the website


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact New Technology Keeping up to date with technology also included a new server for the computer systems and updates to all the computers. Every house now has computer access and wi-fi enabling additional contact with family members, researching projects and days out alongside important CQC updates instantly. Alongside this was the need for cordless phones for all the houses giving extra privacy to all residents as well as more flexibility.

Additional Safety There are constant site surveys at Acorn Village, reviewing the needs of all. The hedges were overgrown and with residents enjoying the freedom of the grounds this was now a risk.

Thanks to funds the hedges have been replaced with low fences and fragrant bushes. Additional site security has been put in place with a new gate on the field replacing the rotten one and additional lighting put in around the site.

Wet-rooms Where individual needs are changing, thanks to donations, their individual homes can be adapted too. Two wet-rooms have been converted so far enabling extended independence and increased dignity.

CQC Report The CQC inspectors came to review the level of care provided at Acorn Village. During these unannounced inspections everything from filing to staff training is reviewed alongside interviews with the residents, tenants and their families. There are five areas that get individually marked, Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive & Well-led. Acorn Village received a good in every area with an overall scoring of ’Good’ thanks to all the wonderful work that goes on within the Care Team.


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact Sensory Kitchen Pen & Jamie (right) from Concord Property Ltd kicked off the Sensory Kitchen Appeal for visually impaired residents with a fabulous fundraising ball raising £1,600, a wonderful start to the appeal for £12,000. The Christmas Market followed adding an additional £10,000, add £400 donations from generous supporters and the target was reached.

The old kitchen was stripped out and a brand new one put in place with additional talking equipment such as a talking weighing machine, measuring machine and microwave.

Contrasting units and floors were added with the centre piece turned and lowered allowing wheelchair access. Larger fridges and freezers have been purchased and are now in the main kitchen rather than the utility room.

Textured cupboards are on order and will be arriving shortly, watch this space. Thank you to everyone who donated making this amazing facility possible.


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact Mistley Wood Lounge Additional donations also enabled Mistley Wood to have their lounge updated in time for Christmas. They were over the moon with their fresh new look.

Acorn Updates Between the website going live on 3rd May 2018 to 31st December 2018, there’s been 17,562 hits. This has helped to increase the current number of supporters on the mailing list to 217.


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact Long Service Awards Over 1000 years of experience…. Acorn Village would not be the place it is today without its loyal and caring staff team.

To celebrate their dedication the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Essex, Nigel Spencer MBE visited for the evening to hand out certificates and thanks to the hard working team. He thanked them for continuing to empower and support adults with learning disabilities in their care ensuring they have as much independence as possible.    

25 Years+ 20 Years+ 15 Years+ 10 Years+

5 staff 7 staff 29 staff 36 staff

They truly are the backbone of Acorn Village working tirelessly every day to ensure ‘Life is For Living’ for every individual within their care.


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact Out & About Thanks to financial support for transport, Acorn has been making the most of what’s been going on locally as well as further afield...


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact

Creative Craft Centre 2018 1,100 hours of Art, 1,470 hours in the Sensory Room, 956 hours of Gardening, 1,100 hours of Textiles, 330 hours of Media Group, 98 hours of Film Club, 116 Horse Riding sessions, 115 Swimming sessions, 8 Sailing sessions, 49 Acorn Choir sessions, 8 Cinema visits, 36 East Bergholt School sessions

Fishing Trip, Walton Sailing, Mayflower Visit, Colchester Zoo, Harwich Haven, Halloween Party Pop Up Workshops—Board Games, Bunting Making,

Christmas Decoration Making, Lights Camera Action Drama

Art Exhibition Evening, On Tracks Completion & Glasgow Trip Acorn’s 43rd Birthday Party


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact

Creative Craft Centre 2018 Where ideas come to life...


2018/ 2019 Charity Impact Acorn Training Services 2018 457 Training Courses Delivered Course Food Hygiene Level 2 Health & Safety Level 2 Fire Safety Infection Control Medication Foundation Emergency First Aid at Work Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults/Children/DOLS Manual Handling Data Protection Mental Capacity Act Care Certificates

Course Sessions 39 40 41 21 44 40 44 91 56 26 15

Diploma in Health & Social Care Completed Level 2, 3 & 4 Near Completion New Trainees

Individuals 8 14 8 Did you know many of these courses are available to the public? Find out more about Acorn Training courses. Contact AcornTrainingServices @acornvillages.com Or call 01206 394124


2018/ 2019 Community Impact Onsite Charity Shop Now £1 Shop The £1 shop has opened up a discount shopping experience for everyone at Acorn Village including visitors using unsold stock from the Manningtree Shop. Combined with the heavily discounted pre-loved furniture, not only can this offer a bit of onsite retail therapy, additional social interaction but it’s also opened up the opportunity for work experience.

Corporate Volunteer Days During 2018 we were very fortunate to be supported by AXA Insurance, The Wall Group & Halifax on their volunteer days. If you know of any Corporates who may like to get involved please contact: supportus@acornvillages.com AXA Insurance have now been supporting Acorn for 6 years

The Wall Group sorting donations


2018/ 2019 Community Impact A Mural for Manningtree & Art Exhibition The Manningtree Train Station mural has been completed with both sides now in place and the artists portraits on display. To celebrate this momentous occasion an art exhibition was held, the Deputy Lord Lieutenant presented certificates and congratulated the Acorn Artists whilst invited dignitaries looked on. We’ve had wonderful feedback on the joy the mural has made to commuters using the train station. Have you seen it yet?


2018/ 2019 Community Impact Work Experience Residents, tenants and external clients have been gaining work skills throughout Acorn Village. Residents and tenants have been helping in the office; photocopying, packaging for e-bay, creating posters, helping with the website & logos and on Reception. They have also gained retail experience volunteering in the onsite Charity ÂŁ1 shop. External clients have been experiencing behind the scenes in the Coffee Shop and at the Manningtree Charity Shop.

Community Support For the past 14years Acorn Village has supported the local community by allowing a staff volunteer Community First Responder to go on call once a week. Previous CEO Ray Ablett was a founder of the Manningtree Community First Responder volunteer group starting the original connection. In 2018 Acorn Village dedicated 364hrs supporting their community this way. Community First Responders are volunteers trained to attend life-threatening 999 calls with the aim to manage emergency situations until the ambulance arrives. Our volunteer went out 22 times throughout the year to various conditions including a cardiac arrest where due to being on scene so quickly they managed to revive the person using effective CPR.


2018/ 2019 Community Impact Tendring Show Winners The Tendring Hundred Show kindly gave Acorn Village another free charity stand in 2018. Acorn Artists and staff ensured the stall was as interactive as possible and cooling during the summer’s heatwaves. With stocks for people to go in, water bowls and wet towels for all the dogs the Tendring Committee decided that Acorn Village were worthy show winners and the team were awarded the Ford Charity Cup. They also managed to raise over £500 as well as increasing peoples awareness of the need for support.

Community Volunteering The tenants really enjoy getting out and about and helping within the community. From volunteering with Suffolk & Essex Community Rail Partnership (thanks to the relationship built with the Manningtree Train Station mural) to helping at local churches, sports & community clubs and charity groups.

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2018/ 2019 Volunteering Acorn Charity Invitation Shield The Acorn Charity Invitation Shield is a football tournament that has been run by volunteers for 46years Involving teams throughout Essex & Suffolk this event raises awareness of Acorn as well as funds. Since they started the volunteers have raised over ÂŁ60,000 . Well done to Belle Vue Social FC for winning and to runners up Langham Lodgers FC. They raised over ÂŁ500 in 2018.

Colchester Fire Swim One of the highlights of the year is the Acorn Swimming team getting together for the Fire Swim. Acorn has been a part of this event since it first began in 1981. The Fire Swim raises money for local causes including Acorn Village and the team show off their skills in Fancy Dress at Colchester Leisure Centre. The firefighters put on a disco and play residents and tenants favourite songs as they take on the swimming challenge.


2018/ 2019 Volunteering Acorn Volunteer Hours 2018

Incredible people changing lives 10 x Trustee Volunteers - 400hours

6 x Shed Volunteers - 966 hours

15 x Manningtree Charity Shop Volunteers - 4,590 hours

5 x Onsite ÂŁ1 Charity Shop Volunteers - 1,512 hours

4 x Online Sales Volunteers - 936hours

255 x Event Volunteers - 2,100 hours


2018/ 2019 Volunteering

Acorn Volunteers 2018

Total: 10,504 voluntary hours in 2018 between 282 volunteers This doesn’t include the time they spend talking about Acorn Village to others, encouraging people to support the charity or preparation at home for the shops, online sales and events!

To have employed staff to cover the volunteer hours would cost the charity a minimum of ÂŁ86,237.00


2018/ 2019 Volunteering

Acorn Village Events 2018


2018/ 2019 Volunteering

Acorn Village New Events 2018 WitchFinder Trail 5k One of our supporters Simon Tavner took on the challenge of creating an event new to Acorn and new to Manningtree. There hadn’t been a locally organised charity run before. With the history of Manningtree the WitchFinder Trail run was created with a booklet given to every runner explaining the history of the town and in memory of all the innocent victims. The run was so popular that it looks like it will now be a regular event.

Swimming for Acorn Three staff members decided to face their fears and attempt to swim a mile in open water at the Great East Swim Event on the 23rd June. Practicing in the River Stour they came across all sorts of creepy crawlies in the lead up. They all completed their challenge and raised over ÂŁ1000 for adults with learning disabilities in the process. Well Done!


2018/ 2019 Volunteering

Friends of Acorn Events 2018 Poetry Evening A kind supporter of Acorn arranged a poetry and music evening at the Red Lion. Thank you to Indie Skreet for all her hard work putting on this wonderful event.

Jazz Night The Rotary Club of Manningtree held a Jazz evening in the Walled Garden at Acorn Village. The weather held off and it was a beautiful evening of music and dance. Thank you to the Rotary Club for arranging this musical evening.

Christmas Spectacular The wonderful Keith from Riverside Taxis lit up his house for everyone to enjoy at Christmas raising over ÂŁ1,300. An incredible amount for an incredible display. Thank you Keith!


2020 Next Steps

What’s Next? Alongside all the ongoing vital funds needed to keep ensuring ’Life is for Living’ for all adults with learning disabilities who use the facilities at Acorn Village. Additional funding will be needed for the next projects..

Sensory Room Updates Wet Room Conversions More Volunteers are Needed - Can you help? High priority areas include sorting donations and online sales. Could this be the exciting opportunity you’ve been looking for? Contact us on supportus@acornvillages.com

2020 Events

Profile for Acorn Villages Ltd Charity

Acorn Village Impact Report 2018 - 2019  

A look back at the impact of the Acorn Village Charity for adults with learning disabilities during 2018 - 2019.

Acorn Village Impact Report 2018 - 2019  

A look back at the impact of the Acorn Village Charity for adults with learning disabilities during 2018 - 2019.

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