AVOW Annual Review 2019 - 2020 (English)

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Annual Review

John Gallanders | Chief Officer

AVOW | Tŷ Avow

21 Egerton Street | 21 Stryd Egerton Wrexham | Wrecsam | LL11 1ND Charity Number/Elusen Rhif: 1043989 Company Limited by Guarantee Number Cwmni Cyfyngedig gan Warant Rhif: 2993429

John Leece Jones | Chair

01978 312556








Our reporting period of 2019/20 has been another successful year with support being provided to a very varied group of organisations across the County Borough. It never ceases to amaze the depth of commitment from so many people at a local, county, regional and national level that want to help others in so many areas of our society. Volunteer recruitment has been strong with people across all ages – it is particularly encouraging to see that our young people want to commit their time. Funding is always a challenge whether it is for a few hundred pounds to put on a small community activity through to many £100k’s as new opportunities may arise for building projects of new teams. We are extremely grateful to all the funders who have enabled AVOW to continue providing the range of support services and the direct services that are operated in Plas Madoc. Without the continued support others would not benefit. AVOW in providing support to our community organisations cannot do this alone and we thank all our partners and stakeholders who we have worked with across a wide range of Partnerships. AVOW has acted as a means for Third Sector organisations to have their voices heard across a wide range of tables during the year feeding into local regional and National consultations and development. The most significant change for AVOW and the Third Sector came at the end of the financial year with the impact of Coronavirus impacting on all our lives. We have seen how AVOW and the Third Sector have adapted at a pace that has been unprecedented to ensure that many services have been able to adapt to the challenges of lockdowns, increasing demand for support and a massive upturn in people wanting to volunteer. Many of the changes such as virtual meetings, response and recovery funding will not be short term as we move into a period of uncertainly until the emergence of a vaccine. Many thanks to all the staff, trustees and volunteers who have adapted and shown their dedication, and everyone AVOW has engaged with over the account period of 2019/20 and look forward to working with you all in the new ‘norm’ of 2020/21


Staff & Trustees Trustees John Leece Jones Stephen Perkins Barbara Roxburgh Joyce M’Caw (resigned 2019) Mervyn Dean Wanjiku Mbugua David Thompson Mary Walker Howard Davies Margaret Heaton Berni Durham Jones Gary Jones Helen Davies Scot Owen John Swarbrick

Community Development Sandra Anderson

Nigel Davies Rafat Arshad-Roberts

Business Support Kate Davies Natasha Borton John Gallanders Victoria Milner Ken Rowlands Sharon Stocker Darren Tomkins Joel Warburton

Wrexham Volunteer Centre Vicky Bolton Val Connelly Vicky Wright

Health and Social Care Sherry Weedall


Finance Katherine Prince Lowri Jones Sian Pritchard

Shopmobility Kath Brown Jean Fortune

Carers Annabel Boyce Kim Sheridan

Little Sunflowers Child Care Sophie Bunning Sharon Evans Stacy Ithell Zoe Jones Lisa Jones Paula Wilcox Carolyn Wilks Louise Evans

AVOW Playteam David Bullough Claire Pugh Gemma Jones Natalie Sear Gareth Poole And a huge THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who help AVOW tremendously day in day out.


Mission Statement

The AVOW Vision is the voluntary and community sectors achieving their missions for the benefit of the community within County Borough of Wrexham.

Mission Statement To enable the voluntary and community sectors to achieve their missions for the benefit of the community within the County Borough of Wrexham, AVOW will: • Support the development of individuals and organisations within the voluntary and community sectors. • Establish and sustain good practice. • Undertake the provision of services appropriate to the voluntary and community sectors • Consult, represent and champion the voluntary and community sectors locally and nationally.

Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW) AVOW is part of Third Sector Support Wales (TSSW), the collaborative name given to the network of support organisations for the Third Sector in Wales. This consists of the 19 County Voluntary Councils (CVCs) in Wales as well as Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) The shared goal is to enable the Third Sector and Volunteers across Wales to contribute fully to individual and community wellbeing, now and for the future. The focus of our collective work concentrates on four pillars of activity: • Volunteering • Good Governance • Sustainable Funding • Engagement and Influencing



Goal: Wales benefits and thrives because of volunteering

Wrexham Volunteer Centre, based at Tŷ AVOW, 21 Egerton Street, Wrexham, provides a valuable service to those wishing to volunteer and for organisations who engage with volunteers.


Vicky Bolton, AVOW’s Youth Volunteering Officer, has worked with many organisations and young volunteers over the last year. AVOW has administered a Youth Led Grant scheme funded by Welsh Government via Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) for the benefit of young people’s organisations during the year. The grants are awarded by the Youth Led Grants Panel, a group of independent young people who read through applications and decided which projects or organisations will receive funding. AVOW asked two of the members of the panel to discuss their experience. Sian Williams said ‘As a panel, we collectively discuss local grant applications and decide who we award money to and who we do not. I heard about the opportunity from a friend who was already involved – it sounded like a good opportunity to make a difference in my area and meet new people. I think that volunteering is being able to help others whilst improving yourself at the same time.’ Pip Bolton said that volunteering is ‘Helping others without any financial gain, but instead there’s personal gain in the sense of meeting new people, increased confidence, and feeling pride in your own actions. For example, we recently awarded £2000 to a local youth theatre group. They had invited panel member to come and see them and view their performance of ‘Oliver’ which they were doing a collaboration with their adult theatre groups. I was one of the ones to go visit and was amazed by the professionalism of the group, and the family atmosphere created around them. It was wonderful seeing how big of an impact the grant money had made’



Volunteering opportunities registered on the Volunteering Wales website


Volunteer placements


Voluntary organisations recruiting in Wrexham


volunteering enquiries


awarded by the Youth Led Grants Panel 7.

Engagement and Influence Goal: Public policies and services are improved through Third Sector Organisations influencing.

The Wrexham Enterprise Initiative

AVOW is working with Welsh Government to support people into self-employment or entrepreneurial activity over the year in partnership with Neighbourhood Economics. The Wrexham Enterprise Initiative is an early intervention project to encourage entrepreneurial attitudes and helping individuals to explore what being self-employed will mean and overcome real and perceived barriers. So far, the project has focused the communities of Plas Madoc, Caia Park and the northern villages (Gwersyllt/Brymbo/Brynteg). The project has also engaged with local groups to encourage co-design and make sure that the priorities and needs of the community are met throughout the project. When the lockdown was imposed in March 2020, the project was just one year into the two-year project. We had:


clients supported to become self-employed or set-up in business



clients referred to Business Wales

clients registered


referrals for education, training and volunteering

BME Skills Project (Black, Minority and Ethnic)

AVOW is a partner with Cardiff and Swansea CVC’s on a project led by Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales (EYST) to run an engagement project with the BME community. The project focus is on the recruitment of trustees and mentors from within the BME community and assisting organisations that offer support to the BME community.

North East Wales Wellbeing Team

In partnership with Flintshire Local Voluntary Council (FLVC) supporting Third Sector groups and organisations across Wrexham and Flintshire to influence the development of services that contribute to the improvement of healthy, social care and wellbeing of the local population. 8.

Holocaust Memorial Day Holocaust Memorial Day Trust’s theme for 2020 was ‘Stand Together’ to commemorate 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Over 300 organisations and community groups produced artwork across the UK, with 75 artworks chosen to be on display at a national exhibition in Central Hall, Westminster London. The exhibition was launched in conjunction with the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust Commemorative Service on 27th January 2020, which was attended by AVOW representatives. The ‘Wrexham Together Flame’ was a participatory arts project to celebrate diversity in Wrexham County Borough. The project was facilitated by AVOW as a contribution to the Holocaust Memorial Day Trusts 75 Memorial Flames exhibition. Through 10 events across Wrexham County Borough the ‘Wrexham Together Flame’ engaged with numerous organisations, over 100 individuals and created approximately 1000 handprints, footprints, boot prints and wheelchair tracks on the 8ft x 20ft mural. The ‘Wrexham Together Flame’ was unveiled on Queen’s Square, Wrexham on Tuesday 7th January 2020 and was on display at the AVOW Holocaust Memorial Day commemorative event on Friday 24th January 2020 at the Memorial Hall, Bodhyfryd, Wrexham. The boards for the artwork were kindly donated by Kronospan and AVOW thanks the company for their support in facilitating the project.


Good Governance

Goal: Those involved in running Third Sector organisations effectively lead their organisations and maintain high standards of governance.

Community Development at AVOW Community Development at AVOW continues to provide all up to date information and good practice that is essential to the third sector in Wrexham County Borough. Throughout 2019-2020 there has been a steady flow of drop ins, events and online enquiries as to how to start, set up or register a charity. This involves ensuring that groups have the most recent information sheets or website links sent to them online to preserve paper to conform with AVOW’s environmental policy. Talking through the steps for which ever topic is requested, is often on a bespoke basis, because each group varies in personnel ability, size, geographical nature and their service. This year AVOW hosted three events focused on Good Governance in the community: • Plas Madoc Health and Wellbeing day • Rhosddu Community Funday • Enterprise and Employability event

BME Skills Project (Black, Minority and Ethnic) The BME Skills Project, now in its second year, supported seven organisations in Wrexham County Borough to continue their development. The project recruited 12 volunteer mentors to support the groups. Each organisation has its own unique culture and challenge, but the Project officers and volunteers have worked to support groups through an organisational health check to identify their needs. As part of the BME Skills Conference, Polish Integration Support Centre (PISC) shared their experience of being involved in the project and gave an overview of their work in the community.


Sustainable Funding Goal: Third Sector services contribute to community wellbeing.

Funding Advice

Funding surgeries have been held every month, with approx. 8-10 participating. This has led to increased applications to the National Lottery Community Fund with Wrexham County Borough receiving further funding to its organisations. The Funding Advice Service continues to support Third Sector organisations in seeking and applying for funding, including numerous information sessions with external funders or support agencies, including:


Funding obtained following support from AVOW


Funding awarded by AVOW

The Rhos Community Café

The Rhos Community Café was established to support vulnerable people in the community. It has provided a valuable resource for residents and as an Inclusion Café strengthening already existing strong links between the Polish community and the Café. As an Inclusion Café, supported by the National Lottery Community fund, the project runs as a project during cafe opening times. Grace Lockhart said; “The initial consultation showed that there was a need to develop an Inclusion Café to complement current initiatives and support the most vulnerable in our community. There was considerable enthusiasm to develop the resource expanding on these initiatives. It has developed skills in hospitality for those seeking employment giving people confidence in a workplace alongside cross-cultural links through both volunteering and offered experiments in a cross-cultural cuisine. At the same time, it has introduced new healthier food options to the community. It has also become a focal point for the community offering an information point for the Polish and Portuguese communities.

Wrexham Youth & Play Partnership (WYPP)

Wrexham Youth & Play Partnership (WYPP) is a relatively new CIO developed to provide support for local community action in developing youth and play provision. WYPP provides functions such as insurance and maintenance alongside community development support. The organisation was formed in 2016 as a partnership working with children and young people, delivering play & youth provision across Wrexham. We specifically work with families, parents & community stakeholders empowering them to get involved. WYPP has been supported by AVOW with help and advice in its initial stages of development and continuing to develop this new model for community led youth & play services as a shared process for volunteer involvement in Youth & Play and to develop WYPP as both an organisation and a partnership. 11.


As AVOW reached the end of the financial year, no-one could foresee the development of the COVID-19 pandemic across Wrexham County Borough and the rest of the UK. The global pandemic has been a catalyst for dramatic change across the Third Sector, as resources and staff turn their attention to the community response. The sector has undergone dramatic and unprecedented changes as the Coronavirus took hold within the community, many organisations and volunteers dedicated their time to keep their neighbours, friends, family and our communities functioning through a difficult time. AVOW staff were redeployed into the AVOW COVID-19 team, establishing links in the community, reaching out to established support and assisting new organisations setting up to tackle particular issues as they arise. All staff have adapted to the changes and embraced new methods of working with the community. Victoria Milner, AVOW Business Support Manager said, ‘I’m proud of the way staff have come together, working more hours and adapting to the high workload, whilst adjusting to working from home.’ Throughout the pandemic funding opportunities have been widely distributed and AVOW have facilitated several opportunities and applications for the sector, as well as strengthening links with local authority and national organisations as the organisation gauge resources across the community. A part of this work, Chief Officer of AVOW, John Gallanders, joined the Resilience group on behalf of the sector.


Individuals registered to volunteer during the COVID-19 pandemic. 12.

Other Services

Goal: Third Sector services contribute to community wellbeing.

AVOW Playteam The AVOW Playteam is funded through Invest Local, Children in Need and Families First. Working in Plas Madoc and other urban villages, the Playteam provide services for children, parents and adults within the community. The Land (a junk playground in Plas Madoc) continues to attract global attention for its innovative approach to play, alongside receiving international recognition and several awards.

£1,000 raised for the AVOW Playteam Six friends, including former AVOW Play Worker Cez Dawson, hiked the 171 mile round trip to the peak of Snowdon to raise funds for the AVOW Playteam. The ‘There and Back Again’ trek has helped raise a total of £1240. Cez Dawson said: “The AVOW Play Team run Play Provision across Wrexham, providing open access play schemes and street play projects for children. Funding is a constant struggle in the playwork sector and rarely long term. The team is funded by various pots of money and the quest for funding to keep projects running is ongoing, with every penny helping.

Little Sunflowers Childcare AVOW Childcare services are based in Plas Madoc. They provide a variety of services for children including Early Education, morning and afternoon playgroups and an afterschool club.

Shopmobility A lifeline for individuals with mobility issues who could not otherwise access the town centre. Shopmobility, located at King Street Bus Station provides mobility scooters and wheelchairs.





Marjorie Dykins OBE Memorial Awards 2019 The awards are designed to recognise and encourage the valuable work that volunteers undertake in their services to local communities and voluntary organisations operating in or based in Wrexham County Borough, which make a positive and significant difference to their local communities. Two awards are available – one for an individual volunteer and one for a group of volunteers. The winners of both categories received a cheque for £500. • Individual Award - Christopher Jones of Blood Bikes Wrexham • Group Award - Citizens Advice Volunteers

High Sheriff of Clwyd Awards The High Sheriff of Clwyd Community Awards 2020 were presented by Wrexhambased sanctuary seeker, Godwin Akinyele, has been awarded the prestigious High Sheriff of Clwyd Community Award in recognition of his exceptional volunteer work. Alongside his positions at British Red Cross Refugee Services, Welsh Refugee Council and a support volunteer with BAWSO, he is also a VOICES Ambassador, working as an expert on refugee and asylum seeker issues and a supporter of the Wrexham Town of Sanctuary campaign.


Quotes We receive first class support from AVOW and the star awards were truly appreciated by the volunteers. Stepping Stones

We’d like to thank Rafat and John from the bottom of our hearts for their help, patience and guidance over the years. North Wales Nappy Collaborative CIC Over the past 3 years Rhostyllen Football Club have been aiming to secure a 25-year lease on our playing field. Without AVOW’s support and guidance shown throughout the process it wouldn’t have been possible. The lease will allow the club to become more sustainable and provide better facilities for the members and community. We are grateful for all the work Rafat and Nigel have offered the club and look forward to working with them in the future as the club continues to grow. Rhostyllen Football Club

Thanks to Nigel for speaking at our event. I really think it got people thinking about support that is on offer. Glyndwr University

Working with AVOW gets you support and advice for our community, access to essential funding and grants, a network of likeminded people to work alongside. Bellevue FC 17.


Volunteers’ Day

Shopmobility Re-launch


Engagement and Employability

Christmas Reception


Tŷ Avow Tŷ Avow remains AVOW’s main operational base delivering training, meeting rooms, equipment loans and our advisory and support services based in the Centre of Wrexham. During the year organisations with office accommodation within Tŷ Avow (which are let on a licence to occupy basis) were:

Agoriad Cyf was established in 1992 with the objectives of developing the employment possibilities for disabled and disadvantaged people.

Barnardo’s work with children, young people and families living on the margins of society who are struggling to overcome the disadvantages caused by poverty, abuse and discrimination.

Cloud 9 for life are talking therapies that help with many difficult life problems..

Empower are bespoke programmes that combine accredited training, volunteering and mentoring to create better skilled, better qualified, confident empowered individuals.

Friends of Wrexham Carers help to raise funds to provide meetings, drop ins, and social/respite activities for unpaid carers in Wrexham.


North East Wales Mind help Flintshire and Wrexham residents recover from mental health problems and stay emotionally healthy.

JobSense are an employment service that has been set up to support people aged over 25, who are Deaf, have a hearing loss and/or sight loss, to find paid work

Snap Cymru offer free and independent information, advice and support to help get the right education for children and young people

St. Giles use expertise and real-life past experiences to empower people who are not getting the help they need.

Vision Support supports visual impaired people and raises awareness of their needs




INCOME Incoming resources from generated funds Donations and Legacies Investment income-interest receivable Income from charitable activities Total income EXPENDITURE Charitable activities

Unrestricted Restricted Total Funds Funds Funds 2020 £ £ £

Total Funds Restated 2019 £

6,114 575 345,516

5,011 511,448

11,125 575 856,964

10,590 216 831,079
























Total funds brought forward





Total funds carried forward





TOTAL EXPENDITURE Net (expenditure)/income for the year before transfers Gross transfers between funds Net movement in funds Reconciliation of funds:



FIXED ASSETS Tangible Assets



£ 203,317


£ 190,147

CURRENT ASSETS Debtors Cash at Bank and In Hand CREDITORS: Amounts falling due within one year

58,490 295,176 353,668

69,709 193,743 263,452




TOTAL ASSETS LESS CURRENT LIABILITIES CREDITORS: Amounts falling due after more than one year NET ASSETS





199,290 389,437


Restricted funds



Unrestricted funds General reserves Designated funds

80,645 105,249

34,731 96,209

389,437 438,030 TOTAL CHARITY The Statement of Financial Activities includes all gains and losses in the year. All income and expenditure derive from continuing activities.The charity’s financial statements have been prepared in accordance with the provisions applicable to companies subject to the small Companies regime. The Trustees consider that the company is entitled to exemption from the requirement to have an audit under the provision of section 477 of the Companies Act 2006 (“the Act”) and members have not required the company to obtain an audit for the year in question in accordance with section 476 of the Act. However, an audit is required in accordance with section 145 of the Charities Act 2011. The Trustees acknowledge their responsibilities for complying with the requirements of the Act with respect to accounting records and their preparation of financial statements. The financial statements were approved by the Board of Directors on 2nd July 2020 and signed on its behalf by John Leece Jones (Chairman).A copy of the full annual report and accounts can be obtained from: John Leece Jones, Secretary, Tŷ Avow, 21 Egerton Street, Wrexham, LL11 1ND. Telephone: 01978 312556. E-mail; info@avow.org

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