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Chair’s Report The last 12 months have been very eventful for ECHO and hopefully this report will capture some of the exciting things that have been happening. 2010 saw ECHO celebrate its 20th Birthday and there have been some fantastic fundraising efforts throughout the year. For example, the ‘Birthday Card’ donations raised over £8,000 and our sincere thanks go to two special volunteers: Graham Archer who raised £2,000 towards the birthday donations total and Mark Harrison for raising £1,500 for About Face through his sponsored sing – Mark sang an amazing 100 different songs. The 20th Birthday gave an excuse to celebrate all year and culminated in a wonderful dinner dance at the Royal Oak in October. Everyone rose to the occasion and donned their finery. The next few years are going to be really hard. The government cuts are being felt across the country and this includes the charity sector. We already know that we will not be getting as much money as previously from Herefordshire Council and expect other grants to be in short supply. The Trustees have already made some tough decisions to cut core staff hours and we are having to say goodbye to News & Views as well as Stardreams. But let’s not forget that what we have at ECHO is the Big Society in action! Despite the recession and all the cuts in the pipeline, ECHO continues to be a vibrant positive organisation run by an enthusiastic staff team supported by an incredible 85 volunteers. Thanks to all of you, we provide opportunities for our participants to enrich all our lives.

Rep Group Annual Report 2011 Over the past year we have worked hard to represent ECHO participants and make sure they are always at the centre of everything ECHO does. Working with ECHO staff, the People's Union and Herefordshire Mencap. Campaigning about Changing Places Toilets, writing to MPs about the cuts, and changes to free bus passes, and keeping up to date with changes which affect our lives. It has been difficult talking about cuts to ECHO's funding, thinking about ways to save money, and what that would mean to our participants. We talked about ECHO and how it is like a tree. Everything we do is to make sure that the wants, needs and ideas of our participants are included. For us to do this we need participants to tell us what they think, and for staff, friends, family and carers to support people to do this. Together we are stronger and together we can help ECHO to survive, grow and develop like our tree.

ECHO is like a tree. The leaves are us, the participants who use ECHO services. The branches are the activities we go to and the staff and volunteers who support us. The trunk is the strength in ECHO, supporting our activities, and helping to include participants in the running of ECHO so it really is participant led. The Board are the roots which feed the trunk and leaves and keeps them grounded, making sure that everyone works in the same way.

Voluntary Work and Training ECHO offers many opportunities for voluntary work experience, training and valued activity. We believe it is important that everyone has the opportunity to contribute to their local communities. The litter gang tidy up Hereford United football ground after home matches. Our two Yam Jams groups are both supported by participant volunteers, “the catering crew.� The gardening group at Leominster Community Centre continues its excellent work. Other participants have been supported to volunteer independently in the community, for example at charity shops, helping serve lunches to homeless people, or dog walking. At Lifelinks in Hereford, small teams volunteer in the community. Shopping for the elderly and housebound is a regular and essential service each week. There are also leaflets to deliver, cars to wash and litter to be collected. It is a great opportunity to provide a service to others. In the Cards & Crafts Shop 20 participants attend on different days, learning new skills and working hard to provide good customer service. The shop looks fantastic and is full of donated fabric, wool, cottons and haberdashery. And the participants are becoming more and more creative with their 101 uses for a pompom!

Frock On has become a lively, productive and fun group. There is a very high level of skills and abilities within the group. Production of items for sale has increased, with the group making some beautiful cushions and quilts. Living Your life is our campaigning group for people with high support needs. Much of our work this year has been about accessibility. In the summer we went on Aida's Accessible Amble in Leominster and reported back about the difficult areas. Since then the path has been improved and it was officially opened in April. We filled in a questionnaire about accessibility of the May Fair and were very pleased to see so many of our comments in the report which followed. News & Views produced its last edition in March. After 6 years of bringing the news about learning disability in Herefordshire, the funding finally came to an end. However, the members of the editorial team have all decided that they want to stay together as a group and are looking at ways of starting up a new newsletter later in the year. Learning New Skills In this our 20th year, ECHO has returned to its roots and run a variety of education courses, for both our participants and the general public. In Hereford we ran courses in Screen Print Art, Sewing Skills and Patchwork.

Whilst in Leominster there was a chance to try Simple Jewellery Making and to learn how to Draw Pastel Portraits.

A Tasty Meals course gave participants the chance to enjoy the results of their learning with a shared evening meal each week,

and our Weaving group all successfully achieved OCN certificates for all their hard work. They are now producing quality hand-woven goods to sell in the ECHO Shop. Some are looking to become self employed weavers through the Mi-enterprise scheme. 'What I like best about weaving is being with the other weavers and working together'. Tracey Jones Thank you to Herefordshire Council for funding all these courses through the Skills Funding Agency and the Learning Disability Development Fund.

Creative Arts About Face has been busy performing 2 shows this year. ‘The Boy Who Opened Doors’ is a magical puppet show for the whole family. ‘Don’t Stare’ is a powerful show about hate crime. Over the year we performed to about 600 people. This included working in 4 local secondary schools where it was good to see the impact that the story had on these young people. Hate crime is a national issue and we hope our work has helped give people the confidence to report it and has also shown the affect hate crime can have on people's lives. The ECHO Cards & Crafts shop is increasingly becoming a centre for arts and creativity. We ran 2 arts classes for the general public here this year. Weaving and Silk Painting were both very popular. Children have also been brought in to take part in the Big Draw. The shop is also the base for Sam’s Spinning Circle for spinners new and old meeting one Saturday a month. Smart Art has spent the year telling stories led by Jess MacKenzie: “Our days together were spent sharing personal stories about families and childhood, pets and parties. We listened to old stories about mermaids and scoundrels. We made books and films. We laughed and sometimes we supported one another when memories were painful. I am now having a break, but the group will continue to meet, and until we start storytelling again, thank you to everyone for sharing so much.” Jess Saturday Arts and Crafts is a very sociable and creative day. This year our most successful workshops were jewellery making and photograph albums. We largely use recycled materials to keep the costs as low as possible and to show respect for the environment.

Yam Jams Music Club continues to grow with over 40 participants. Yam Jams is really buzzing with an awful lot of noise created during the percussion session and a lot of cups of tea and coffee for the Catering Crew to make! In January, Yam Jams Extra was set up in Leominster with Lofty and DeeJay again leading the rapping, singing, dancing and percussion. Jigsaw “This year’s Jigsaw Dance performance at The Courtyard was called The Enigma Express and I was in two pieces. The ECHO piece was about the Land of Games - our wheelchair dancers were the waltzers! The Land of Illusion was the name of the other piece I was in. It was a fun piece to work on because I got to make up my own character dance moves. I really enjoyed performing on stage; it makes me feel fantastic.” Tracy Roberts

The week long Summer Community Arts Project this year was called 'Scrap Scape'. GreenEyed Monster Company oversaw the creation of four stunning decorative wall panels all made from scrap material. These are now livening up the walls of the Kindle Centre foyer.

Keeping Fit & Healthy There are lots of ways of keeping fit and we try to offer a range of activities to suit everyone’s taste. NJ's Sports Club in Hereford is run entirely by volunteers. Over the year it is great to see people's skills, confidence and friendships develop. The Football club meets in Leominster. They have taken part in competitions with other disability football clubs in Hereford. Badminton, swimming and Walking for Health are all continuing as participant led activities with just a little backup from the ECHO staff. Everyone who came on the Walking and Activity Weekend in March had a wonderful time despite our carefully laid plans being threatened by a train strike. We were saved by the generous loan of the Earl Mortimer minibus and we had a great weekend of warm sunny weather and adventure. Rural Crafts continues with our loyal hardworking members. Our site is looking very tidy due partly to the work that the school builders did for us before leaving in February‌. .a new drive, three new raised beds, and some clearing of our over grown areas. Plant and craft sales have been good through the year and our vegetables are growing well.

Leisure & Social Activities Supporting friendships and social activities continues to be an important part of our work. The Friday Club is a relaxing way to end the week. Cooking, bingo and quizzes are all favourites and we now have a Wii computer and TV which is bringing lots of fun. Our monthly Discos continue to be popular and well supported, thanks to the volunteers who run them. In October to mark our 20th Anniversary Year we held a Dinner Dance at The Royal Oak, when over a hundred people shared an enjoyable evening, with a live band. At Vicarage Street Community Garden a small group of participants grow their own fruit and vegetables alongside their neighbours. Their success was recognised with an award from Heart of England Neighbourhood in Bloom. Our Tree Bog was opened with full ceremony by the Mayor, Cllr Roger Hunt. Summer Activities this year included some old favourites, some new activities and a few special events to celebrate ECHO's 20th Birthday. We had a lovely relaxing day cruising down the Gloucester to Sharpness Canal on the Willow Trust Barge, and the weather was good for our picnic on Castle Green. A new and exciting activity was a morning spent sailing on Bodenham Lake. With a hoist, three accessible sailing boats, a sunny day and a calm lake, this is definitely a facility we will use again.

Our main Birthday Celebration in the Summer was our Fun Day in Luston. A lovely lunch was followed by an afternoon of 20 different activities, one for each year of ECHO's life. At the end of the afternoon we were treated to a stunning performance by About Face of “The Boy Who Opened Doors”. In September we had another wonderful activity holiday at Le Fosso in Brittany. This was ECHO's fifth visit to Le Fosso and, as usual, we had a week packed full of exciting new experiences, delicious food and warm Breton hospitality. Each evening we were treated to a poem written and read by Peter about the day’s activities. Here is part of the one he wrote about our day sailing on the Lake at Ploermel: Mandy, Lindsey and Aida all used hoists to get into their boats They sailed superbly with life jackets as well or instead of their coats Mandy’s sail was purple, Lindsey’s blue and Aida’s was green I think that they are the best wheelchair sailors I’ve ever seen. I didn’t do any sailing, I watched from Mel’s van I don’t believe any other sailors can do better than ECHO’s sailors can Those who don’t believe me, photos will prove that this is true And no sailors can do better than ECHO’s sailors can do.

Volunteering for ECHO My name is Emma Tustin and I have been a volunteer for ECHO for some years. I started off helping to run a training group. We trained various people in disability equality. I then had some problems in my personal life so had to leave the group. Just when I was finding life very hard and very lonely, Maggie came to visit me, and she asked me if I would like to help out at Yam Jams. I said I would give it a go, not really knowing whether I was ready to get back into the swing of things. I needn't have worried. It felt like being home again. I now help out at both Yam Jams, I’ve become a buddy, and I'm now thinking of becoming a trustee for ECHO! Everyone is so friendly and supportive. I find volunteering very rewarding. Thanks ECHO for making life worthwhile again!

Staff working for ECHO Steph Baines Participant support worker

Kris Betterton Rural Crafts co-ordinator

Maggie Percy Development Worker Catherine Power Lifelinks project worker

Jamie Griffiths News & Views Editor

Fiona Ritchie Chief Officer

Wendy Holton Office Manager

Hetty Scott Volunteer Co-ordinator

Denise Kerwood Development Worker

Richard Smith Finance Officer

Jess MacKenzie About Face Theatre Co Artistic Director

Emma Standing Office Assistant

Karen Meiklejohn Lifelinks project worker John Newman Lifelinks project worker Wednesday & Friday Lisa Pendlebury Shop Manager (job share)

Lucy Tisdale Project & Activities Worker Jan Trewin Shop Manager (job share)

We also said “goodbye� to Annie as a staff member, although we are delighted that she has continued supporting participants as a volunteer.

Our Trustees Glenn Hutton Chair

Cath Baker Vice Chair

Blaise White Treasurer

Tiz Chapman Sheila Hammond Rose Hunt

Donovan Lewis

Sue Robbins

Graham Archer

Rosalie Hutton Cate La Barre

Paul Scott

Jason Stuchbery

The Rep Group 2010—2011

Back row: Paul Scott, Dan Adcock, David Cross, Simon Harris, John Stuchbery Front row: Doris Bennett, Don Lewis, Carol Cross, Marianne Simpson, Richard Crook

THANK YOU! To our wonderful volunteers: Franca Addyman, Ros Allwright, Graham & Lynda Archer, Matt Ault, Pat Austin, Elle, Lance & Paul Baines, Cath Baker, Doris Bennett, Dawn Bishop, Peter Bladon, Jodie Burke, Jerry Burslem, Laura Button, Tiz Chapman, Beth Collier, James Constance, Janet Covey-Crump, Richard Crook, Carol & David Cross, Una Crowe, Ruth Edwards, Keith Ellis, Marlene Evans, Allegra Fowler-Wright, Jackie Francis, Annie Gamble, David & Sonia George, Jamie Gill, Patrick Goodarzi, Sheila Hammond, Jenny & Mark Harrison, Susan Harvey, Bella Hesbrook, Sheila Hobden, David Holton, Jim Howden, Rose Hunt, Glenn & Rosalie Hutton, Jane & Neil James, Angela Jauncey, Dominic Kemp, Lyne Knight, Cate La Barre, Beth Layton, Donovan, Lewis, Hollie Lewis, Sara Lewis, Linda Lloyd, Gavin Long, Astrid McBride, Peter Mckay, Josh Mather, Dave Merrey, Michelle Morgan, Sam Mullen, Jenny Nicholass, Iris Pedersen, Anne Penning, Jed Pickford, Bethany Porter, Edmund Proctor, Sue Robbins, Tracy Roberts, Jane Rowe, Tom Savagar, Beti Scott, Paul Scott, Rosemary Skuse, Anna, Janet & Kathryn Smith, Martin Sockett, Jane Stockton, John Stone, Jane Stott, Jason, John & Kevin Stuchbery, Sandi Tatum, Jeanne Taylor, Stephen Taylor, Kristina Thimm, Karen Thomas, Joan Thwaites, Jenny Tomlinson, Kathy Townsend, Emma Tustin, Janet Von Anrep, John Walker, Jane Walsh, Carla Warren, Debbie Westwood, Blaise White, Jeanette Williams, Maria Wilson, Vanessa Woodcock.

To our partner organisations Aspire, Earl Mortimer College, Halo Leisure, Hampton Dene URC, HUFC, Herefordshire Mencap, Herefordshire Voluntary Action, Leominster Community Centre, The Music Pool, First Key Scope Hereford, St. Martin’s Church Hunderton, Walk Herefordshire. To our funders: Age Concern Greenagers, The Arts Council of England, The Big Lottery Fund, The EF Bulmer Benevolent Fund, Cargill Community Partnership, The Elmley Foundation, The Eveson Charitable Trust, The Football Foundation, Four Acre Trust, EP Godson Charity, Hereford & Worcester Skills for Care, Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Learning Disability Development Fund, Herefordshire Community Foundation, Herefordshire Mencap, Leominster Town Council, Lloyds TSB Foundation, The Skills Funding Agency, The Terebinth Trust.

ECHO for Extra Choices in Herefordshire Ltd Statement of Financial Activities including the Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31st March 2011

Notes Incoming Resources From generated funds: Fundraising Voluntary Income Sales Investment income 10 From charitable activities Other incoming Resources Total incoming resources Resources expended Cost of generated funds : Fundraising costs Cost of goods sold Charitable activities Governance costs 3 Total Resources expended Transfers Gross tfrs between funds Net movement in funds Reconciliation of funds Total funds B/F Total Funds C/F

Unrestricted Funds 2011

Restricted Funds 2011

1,098 18,920 13,853 345 147,049 5,012 ———186,277 ————

178,481 ———178,481 ————

Total 2011

Total 2010

1,098 2,088 18,920 14,305 13,853 9,438 345 421 325,530 277,299 5,012 4,344 ———— ——— 364,758 307,895 ———- ———-

30 30 1,086 1,086 2,023 169,783 167,913 337,696 318,328 1,049 1,049 1,605 ———— ———— ——— —–—-— 171,948 167,913 339,861 321,956 ———— ———— —————–——(4,473) ———— 9,856

4,473 ——— 15,041

——— ———24,897 (14,061)

144,128 9,226 153,354 167,415 —————————————————153,984 24,267 178,251 153,354

Included in incoming resources from charitable activities is a grant from The Big Lottery of £81,105 (£78,960—2010)

ECHO FOR EXTRA CHOICES IN HEREFORDSHIRE LIMITED Balance Sheet as at 31st March 2011 Notes 4



2011 Fixed assets Restricted funds Unrestricted funds

388 12

775 27





Creditors: falling due within one year




9,484 -------------

Funds Restricted Unrestricted - general - designated Total funds

1,059 5,657 157,803


Net assets



Current assets Stock 988 Debtors & prepayments 17,510 Bank and cash 168,837

Net current assets



11,967 -----------177,851 152,552 ---------- ---------178,251 153,354 ====== ====== 24,267 132,488 21,496 ---------178,251

9,226 90,782 53,346 ---------153,354

============ ============

The Directors consider that the Company was entitled to exemption from audit under section 477 of the Companies Act 2006 relating to small companies for the year ended 31 March 2011. No notice has been deposited under section 476 of the Companies Act 2006 to obtain an audit for the year ended 31st March 2011. The Directors acknowledge their responsibility for: ♦ ensuring the Company keeps accounting records which comply with the Companies Act 2006 and ♦ preparing accounts as at 31st March 2011 which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Company as at 31st March 2011 and of its surplus/deficit for the financial year under the Companies Act and which otherwise comply with the requirements of the Companies Act, relating so far as is applicable to the Company. These accounts have been prepared in accordance with the provisions applicable to companies subject to the small companies regime and were approved by the Board on 2nd June 2011 and signed on its behalf by:



For further details of the work of ECHO please contact

40 West Street Leominster Herefordshire HR6 8ES Telephone: 01568 620307 Fax: 01568 620308 Email: Website:

Registered Charity No: 1096449 Company No: 4475254

ECHO Annual Report 2010-11  

Full of news, photos and information from ECHO's last 12 months work.

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