AVOW Annual Review 2020 - 2021 (English)

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Annual Review 2020 - 2021

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

Stephen Perkins Chairman

01978 312556







Foreword Chief Officer, John Gallanders Chairman, Stephen Perkins Who would have thought 12 months ago that we would still been in the grip of various stages of Covid during the whole of the financial year? We would like to thank all the AVOW Staff and Trustees who have shown continuing dedication to supporting volunteers and organisations during this period. We have all had to come to terms with the new way of working such as learning to regularly tell people ‘You are on mute!’ or waving to people at the end of a Zoom call. No longer are people having to hunt around for video conference suites when they have the facility on their desktop. Many of the changes that have occurred will no doubt shape the way that AVOW engages with organisations and volunteers for a long time to come with changes occurring across the whole of the Third Sector. AVOW is continuing to provide support and we welcome any organisation to make contact. We would like to thank all the people who have come forward to volunteer to help others either formally through AVOW or within their own communities. The response has been unprecedented and shows the level of willingness for people to help others. For any of the new volunteers that have come forward who want to contribute in other ways the AVOW volunteer staff will help find new opportunities. We would like to give personal recognition to the late John Leece Jones who served as Chairman for 11 years. John Leece made significant contributions to AVOW, and the Third Sector in Wrexham and his passing is a great loss for the community. We would also like to acknowledge all the other volunteers and staff from across our community who have passed away during the past year.

Special Tribute Born 20th December 1948 - Passed 1st June 2021 Trustee of AVOW MArch 2011 - June 2021 It is with sadness that we report the death of John Leece Jones or John Leece as he was so affectionately known. John passed away doing one of the things he liked best which was volunteering for AVOW in a meeting when the tragic situation arose. John became a Trustee of the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham (AVOW) in March 2011 during which time he has been Company Secretary and Chair of most of its committees and as Avow Executive Chair has guided the organization through many developments from the days of Community First. John always showed a personal pride and has been a tremendous asset to AVOW and will be sadly missed by all staff, volunteers and Trustees who knew him in various roles. His knowledge about Wrexham and voluntary organisations was first rate. His time and devotion to AVOW was always unstinting offering a cheery smile whenever he came to Ty AVOW and took many opportunities of singing the praises of Trustees, staff, and volunteers. John was a local lad educated at Grove Park School for Boys, Wrexham, and Manchester University where he gained a Law degree. John Leece Jones was a gentleman from the “old School” - warm hearted and much loved by all for his kindness, consideration, and supportive nature. He also embraced technology, as demonstrated with his much-used iPad and knowledge

John Leece Jones

and more recently the willingness to accept Zoom as a new ‘norm’. John entered public service with Wrexham Rural District Council and then, following Local Government reorganization in 1974, he was appointed Principal Legal Officer with the new Wrexham Maelor Borough Council. John later moved into private legal practice with a family firm of local solicitors. John was also a Governor of Coleg Cambria, Chair of Rofft CP, Governor Tanyfron CP, Trustee of Maes-y-Pant and Wrexham League of Friends as well as informal links with numerous other Third Sector organisations over the years including Chairman of Wrexham CAB, Gresford Community Council, Gresford Trust and TCC with their work on Town of Sanctuary. Previously he served for several years as a Non-Executive Director of the North East Wales Health Board, Midwifery Council, and other National appointments. John Leece’s devotion to public service was an example for all in the Third Sector and for public life in Wrexham and he will be fondly remembered for his valuable contribution to Wrexham and the wider community. John is survived by his wife Sali and son John (Jnr).

Staff & Trustees Trustees John Leece Jones Stephen Perkins Barbara Roxburgh 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 Anna Szymanka Nigel Davies Rafat Arshad-Roberts

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

Wrexham Volunteer Centre Vicky Bolton Val Connelly

2020 - 2021 Finance Katherine Prince Lowri Jones Sian Pritchard

Shopmobility Kath Brown Jean Fortune

Carers Kim Sheridan Justine Hurst

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 the County Borough of Wrexham’ 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

Volunteering Goal: Wales benefits and thrives because of volunteering

161 Volunteers supported

8 Volunteer Drop-in Sessions

Wrexham Community Response Team Welsh Government provided funding to promote resilience in the voluntary sector as it rebounds from Covid. As a result, AVOW established the Community Response Team which will have two functions: • To help communities in crisis due to things like floods and emergency evacuation, working closely with the HSVG. • To help voluntary and community groups when they need volunteers for one off events. Relevant training was provided free of charge to them and included: • • • • • • • •

First Aid including Basic and Recreational Mental Health First Aid for Youth and Adult Safeguarding for Children & Young People Good governance and Finding Good Trustees Autism Awareness Equality and Diversity including Hate Crime Awareness ILM in team Supervising Skills and Volunteer Leadership MIDAS training

In addition, the funding helped the whole of the community and voluntary sector by providing free training and DBS checks to any volunteers in Wrexham County Borough.

170 Volunteers recruited

26 training courses in 2021

COVID-19 Awards

The COVID-19 awards were open to the public to nominate and celebrate the people and organisations who volunteered their time to the community during the covid-19 pandemic. No.22 Wrexham have provided a vital service in the community by cooking and delivering hot meals and healthy food to people experiencing homelessness in temporary accommodation. Lynda has volunteered with British Red Cross and supported individuals returning home from hospital. We Are Plas Madoc have provided a vital service in the community during the pandemic. Prioritising residetns well-being and ensuring help reaches those who need it most. Jane has been an active volunteer with Ceiriog Uchaf Volunteers during lockdown, establishing and maintaining essential links in the community. Claire has been fundraising for Awyr Las - The North Wales NHS Charity by sewing face masks and scrub bags for members of the community with Sewing for the NHS - Wrexham area North Wales. Joanne in collaboration with Dragon Diners (a Meals-on-Wheels company) offered free lunches for keyworkers in Llay. This gesture has touched recipients. During lockdown, Catherine has worked tirelessly to co-ordinate a team of volunteers in the local area to help those shielding or self-isolating to receive the support they need. Jayne has assisted vulnerable residents throughout Caia Park during the pandemic to access essential shopping, and raising funds for local charities. Community Agents with Wrexham County Borough Council have worked across Wrexham County Borough during the pandemic, set-up

new and innovative ways to keep older people engaged and coordinating volunteers in their communities. Catrin dedicated her time to assist residents in her local community. She has been described as ‘self-less’ and a ‘life saver’ by members of her community for her continued support. Carys at Caia Park Partnership Ltd has gone above and beyond to deliver essential services to older people and those self-isolating in Caia Park. She has enabled residents to take part in community activities, by delivering activity packs, flowers and information. Throughout lockdown Dylan has worked with Incredible Edible Wrecsam to revitalise the town centre sites for the project, the produce grown in these sites is free food for anyone to harvest. Lisa supported residents and key workers in her community throughout lockdown. As well as being a friend at the end of the phone and volunteering for the local hospital. The Community Café have set-up a foodbank and supplied 120+ families who have suffered hardships during the pandemic

Good governance Goal: Those involved in running third sector organisations effectively lead their organisations and maintain high standards of governance.

133 Organisations supported direct advice

29 Organisations supported with specialist advice

Third Sector Support Wales Knowledge hub A fantastic new resource has been developed and launched this year. The Third sector Support Wales (TSSW) Knowledge Hub is a new website developed in collaboration between WCVA and the CVC’s in Wales and has a huge amount of resources such as template policies, courses and an online forum. Renew Wales A small amount of work has been undertaken through the Renew Wales programme. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a number of enquiries coming in from organisations who require specific support on what activities they are permitted to run. This has led to the establishment of a Community Buildings Network, the new network has operated with updates on current Welsh Government guidance being given approx. every six weeks. BAME Community Support Funded by Ethnic Minorities & Youth Support and Moondance. In January 2021, the BME Skills Project hosted by AVOW and two other CVC’s across Wales came to its third and final year. The project supported small-size BME community groups and organisations to grow and flourish with access to available specialised support. In mid-January 2021, AVOW, with funding from the Moondance Covid-19 Relief Fund, started the BAME Community Support Project in recognition of the vital need to continue this kind of community work. Funded for twelve months, the project aims to engage and support key minority groups within the Wrexham area. Groups can access the full range of services from AVOW, including training, networking forums, funding advice, volunteering support, payroll advice and contributing to local and national consultations.

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

42 partnership events

688 participants attended

The Wrexham Enterprise Initiative The Welsh Government funded project, which seeks to provide early support for start-up businesses, concluded at the end of the year. The initiative encouraged entrepreneurial attitudes and helped individuals explore what being self-employed would mean to them. It also identified perceived barriers to entrepreneurial engagement and looked at creative solutions around participating in self-employment. Despite Covid during it’s last year the project achieved:

135 individuals supported 70 clients to Business Wales self-employed or start-up North East Wales Wellbeing Team A reduction in funding saw the previous Health and wellbeing Team now reduced to a single Health and Wellbeing Officer. There are a considerable number of meetings and partnerships associated with statutory sector partners in this work area. Links to the wider Third Sector are through the Wellbeing Network (run jointly with FLVC), the Children’s and Young People Forum (Wrexham specific) and the electronic Daily Digest funded jointly with FLVC.

Holocaust Memorial Day A virtual ceremony took place with several attendees and speakers, including: • Lesley Griffiths MS • Simon Baynes MP • The Rt Rev’d Peter M Brignall, Bishop of Wrexham • Wanjiku Mbugua – BAWSO • Mayor of Wrexham Cllr Rob Walsh As part of the event to commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day with HMD Trust. AVOW partnered with Wrexham County Borough Council and Natasha Borton to facilitate a poetry workshop with children from the Ruthin Road Caravan Site.

First they came... First they came for the people who are too nice, And I did not speak out because I am not too nice. Then they came for the people who love differently, And I did not speak out because I do not love differently. Then they came for the people who look differently, And I did not speak out because I do not look differently. Then they came for the Gypsy, Roma, Traveller community, And I did not speak out because I am not Gypsy, Roma, or Traveller. And then they came for me And there was no-one left to speak out for me.

Volunteers Week 2021 This year AVOW celebrated volunteers’ week with a virtual ‘Thank you’ campaign, including: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Parkrun Erddig Young volunteers at the Rhos foodbank Young volunteers at The Rhos Community Café Del Williams, volunteer for BCU. Keith Sinclair, St. David’s Church, Froncysyllte Linda Bowe, Kim-Inspire Linda Jones, Stepping Stones North Wales Board of Trustees, Stepping Stones North Wales Jennie Henderson, Stepping Stones North Wale Pat Davies, Stepping Stones North Wales Gaynor Benson Community Volunteer Paul Pemberton, Community Councillor Michelle Wynne, Community Agent Andrew Roberts, community councillor Grace Lockhart, Rhos community café Eddie Roberts, Pant Food Bank, David Maddocks, Pant Food Bank Alison Thompson, Wrexham PPE Hwb Ashanthini Panaimuthu, Centre of Sign, Sight, Sound Susan Lees, Vision Support Wyn Francis, Citizens Advice Wrexham Claire Smith, Citizens Advice Wrexham Barbara Edwards, Maelor Voluntary Services, Young volunteers on the Youth Led Grants Panel All members of the Community Response Team Community volunteers over the COVID-19 pandemic NEWCIS Volunteers Stepping Stones North Wales Team

Sustainable Funding Goal: Third sector services contribute to community wellbeing

£321,000 funding with support from AVOW

£57,476 Funding awarded by AVOW

82 Organisations supported with advice

£12,000 Befriending A Friend in Need Fund

Over the last 12 months, AVOW have provided funding advice and opportunities across the third sector in Wrexham County Borough. This service has become particularly important for organisations in crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The service currently offers advice, guidance, support, a Facebook group and promote the online funding Cymru portal. Some examples of the many successes where we have supported various organisations include: • Wrexham Youth and Play Partnership Legacy Fund received £109,000 to continue their service over the last twelve months. • Polish Integration Group £9,960.00 funding form the Lottery to support the Polish communities of Wrexham and £14,800 from Moondance to take up a larger room at Tŷ Avow to conduct an Advice Service. • Rhos Community Café £9,600 to support the communities food delivery service to older people. Surgeries, workshops and information sessions held included: • Heritage Lottery Fund • Local Giving, practical support sessions • Children in Need surgery • Landfill Disposal Tax with WCVA • BAME Community Fund

AVOW Playteam The AVOW Play Team is funded through Invest Local, Children in Need and Families First to work in Plas Madoc providing a service for children, parents and adults of the community. The Land is a junk playground serving children of Plas Madoc and beyond. Furnished with donated ‘junk’ The Land responds to children’s natural curiosity generating new ideas and creativity. The space is always staffed by trained, experienced and devoted play workers who value working with children and assetbased community development. In addition to the Playworkers the team have also recently recruited a Community Development Officer who supports the work and priorities of the We are Plas Madoc Community group. Covid-19 has seen the team adapt services to ensure the children, young people and the wider community remains connected and supported while face to face activities are suspended. The team have made benches, planters, greenhouses from reclaimed timber for residents, delivered food packages, and activities in the community. The project continues to provide many opportunities for people to be involved and volunteer. The garden furniture has been particularly popular as it is unique and made with the recipient in mind, during such a difficult time having a place to sit outdoors is of upmost importance. The team secured funding for the development of ‘Kettle Club Hub’, a 32ft shipping container which will be used as a community hub. Other services for children and young people include: The Lounge A weekly youth club for 11 – 18-year-olds with positive activities and supplementary outreach work. ‘PlassyLanders’ Drama Club A weekly drama class with an annual Pantomime at Christmas. Kettle Club A weekly support group for parents and carers to meet in an informal setting to discuss issues with their children and provide information regarding available support. Participants are also encouraged to volunteer at Community Events. Brunch and Munch A weekly group of community residents spend time with each other to find out what’s on offer within the community and to discuss how they can make Plas Madoc a better place to live.

Other Services 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 after-school club. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Little Sunflowers have had to adapt to numerous changes in unprecedented times. Staff have supported families by distributing activity bags - they have included chalks, paints, card, glue sticks, treats and a list of activity ideas to do in the safety of your own home. This was initiated due to feedback from families and parents having little or no resources at home and parents highlighting concerns that this was affecting both the parents and children’s emotional and mental wellbeing. Additionally, all families were receiving weekly welfare checks from their keyworkers by telephone. Shopmobility The AVOW Wrexham Shopmobility service operates in Wrexham bus station and there are over 200 members who regularly use the service enabling them freedom to access shops and services. During Covid lockdown the service was closed and only opened for two days a week when lockdown eased. The provision will be opened more in line with any increased demand and subject to funding. Wrexham Carers Service The association with the provision of support for carers has ceased at the end of March 2021 when the last contract for the GP and Hospital Carers Facilitator came to an end. This ended AVOW’s eight year support to carers in the County. The project had considerable difficulty during the Covid period due to not being able to have face to face meetings but nevertheless substantive support was given to carers upon hospital discharge and beyond. The staff member also became a key member of the Covid Team on the AVOW Helpdesk due to their extensive knowledge of support available.

Awards Marjorie Dykins OBE Memorial Awards 2020 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 - Anna Buckley – Polish Integration Support Centre • Group Award - Wrexham Prostrate Cancer Support Group This will be the final award made in the memory of Marjory Dykins and we thank the family on behalf of the voluntary sector in Wrexham.

TŶ AVOW Currently home to a number of Third Sector organisations: 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

Polish Integration Support centre (PISC): support members of the polish community across Wrexham and North East Wales.

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

Unfortunatley, due to covid AVOW closed the building until it was safe to open again.


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 2021 £ £ £

Total Funds Restated 2020 £

1,207 119 493,789 495,115




638,572 654,306



1,132,361 1,149,421

856,964 868,664

















Net movement in funds Reconciliation of funds:





Total funds brought forward





Total funds carried forward





TOTAL EXPENDITURE Net (expenditure)/income for the year before transfers Gross transfers between funds


FIXED ASSETS Tangible Assets



£ 193,982


£ 203,317

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

48,412 496,712 545,124

58,490 295,176 353,666






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





Restricted funds



Unrestricted funds General reserves Designated funds

206,911 162,746


80,645 105,249

438,030 653,617 TOTAL CHARITY FUNDS 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 27th July 2021 and signed on its behalf by Stephen Perkins (Chairman).A copy of the full annual report and accounts can be obtained from: Secretary, Tŷ Avow, 21 Egerton Street, Wrexham, LL11 1ND. Telephone: 01978 312556. E-mail; info@avow.org

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