FACT (Families and Carers Together) Bucks
A Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registered in England Number 1155067
Registered Office PO Box 1032, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP22 9NL
TRUSTEES for the period 13th December 2013 to 31st March 2015
Kelli EVANS *
Sarah SHAW *
Those Trustees noted with an asterisk shall retire at the AGM
Governance and Administration
FACT Bucks is the Parent Carer Forum for Buckinghamshire, as required by the Children and Families Act 2014.
The objects of the Charity are to embed a local, pan disability, parent led parent/carer forum; build parent/carer participation/co-production based on good practice; and share good practice, knowledge and expertise about parent participation ensure that it continues to grow and strengthen.
The Charity is not able to undertake campaigns, pursue individual cases nor offer support and counselling to individual parent carers.
There are 117 families registered as full members with an additional 160 families on our contact list. Whilst membership is open and free to all those with an interest in the needs of children and young people with SEND, there remains a reluctance to commit. Nevertheless the Charity seeks to represent all parent carers and makes all its activities open to all parent carers.
The Trustees noted above are the founding trustees who signed the Trust document at the time of the registration of FACT Bucks as a CIO. None of the trustees have resigned their office during the period. These founding trustees are required to resign by rota at each AGM and if they are willing to do so, seek re-election for a three year term. By their agreement, two trustees will do so at the first AGM and the remaining two at the subsequent AGM. The Charity may have up to 12 trustees elected by the AGM. Trustees must be members of the Charity.
Under the terms of the Trust, the Trustees have delegated away the day to day administration of the Charity to the Steering Group appointed by them.
The membership of the Steering Group for the period under review has been as follows:-
Kelli EVANS (Until Sept 14)
Sharon FORGAN (Until July 14)
Andrew HOWARD (Secretary: Chair from Sept 14)
Sarah SHAW (Until Sept 14: Chair until Sept 14)
Penni THORNE (Treasurer)
The Steering Group meets monthly to manage the Charity; to co-ordinate parent participation; and to plan events. It also meets twice a year with a wider group of parents who represent the Charity on various bodies; twice a year with professionals to facilitate dialogue and encourage co-production; and also with representatives of Buckinghamshire County Council SEND & Commissioning teams, as well as Bucks SendIAS to ensure effective co-ordination of activities.
The Charity is a member of the National Network of Parent Carer Forums. As a region we attend regular meetings for our area, discussing various topics matters with other parent carer forums. We alternate hosting these meetings and continue to offer support to other forums.
In the year ending 31st March 2015, the Charity received grants from the Department of Education (through a scheme administered by Contact a Family) and Buckinghamshire County Council. It did not undertake any fundraising.
The total income for the period was £29,999.
An exceptional grant of £5,000 was received from the SEND resources of Buckinghamshire County Council from funds earmarked by the Department of Education for the introduction of the SEND reforms.
During the year the Charity expended £26,049.
The main items of expenditure were payments to parent carers for their time and expenses in participation and/or co-production; the administration of the Charity; the provision of a website; training of parents to participate and the staging of certain events.
The operating surplus for the year was £3,950.
The Steering Group have resolved that a balance of £8,000 being the equivalent of 4 months expenditure should be held in reserve since the payment of income grants is subject to annual application processes that delay receipt of funds. In addition, the cost of the AGM and Transition Fair has been carried over as an additional reserve as the meeting was re-scheduled from March to accommodate a conference on the SEND reforms held by Bucks Learning Trust in partnership with Bucks County Council and the Charity.
The Charity has adopted Financial Control, Safeguarding and Equality & Inclusion policies in accordance with best practice guidance from Contact a Family and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums
The Charity has a very effective Steering Group as well as a well-trained and connected wider group engaged in parent participation. This has enabled us to ensure that we take every opportunity to make the voice of parent carers heard in the most co-ordinated and effective manner possible, using the skills of the members to maximum effect.
We have been given considerable opportunity to co-produce the bulk of the SEND reforms and this has required us to dedicate a greater amount of time from our available people than originally planned. However, the results are an EHC Plan and related paperwork that are more family friendly; a developing Local Offer; and a Personal Budget policy that commits the County to review block contracts and provide opportunities for flexibility in the future.
We have updated our website to make it compatible with mobile devices and provided training to two members to ensure that we are able to complete regular updates to our own website without the need to direct all of these through a third party. We have initiated, very recently, a closed Facebook page.
We have updated our publicity material; taken advertising space within a County magazine for Carers; and contributed to the County SEND newsletter to all schools and SEND parents.
We have provided members for co-production of Local Offer; EHC Plans; Personal Budgets; re-commissioning of CAMHS; home to school transport and Post 16/Transitions. We have provided members for the SEND Board; SALT Stakeholders; Carers Bucks; Bucks SendIAS; Short Breaks PAG; and Autism Board.
We co-presented 3 summer workshops for parent carers on the upcoming SEND reforms; participated in 2 County wide conferences for professionals on the SEND reforms (pre and post Sept 14); and we held a day conference on the newly introduced SEND reforms for parent carers with Q&A sessions led by parents who had been involved in co-production.
A member who covers our admin also now acts as our Membership Development officer, holding monthly drop in coffee mornings, attending other events to build contacts with potential members; and to increase our knowledge of the parent/carers we represent. We have more member contacts than this time last year. A newly formed North Bucks forum has recently been established by two members and we are seeking to form a similar group to the south of the County. Both of these are in response to the decision of the County Council to rely on us to provide opportunities for parent forums.
We have participated in national and Champion training events for SEND reforms (often the only parent reps); we have attended national and regional NNPCF events; and our Chair undertook Forum Leadership training through CaF (Contact a Family).
We have supported the development of a parent focused training course on Outcomes which has been devised by a parent consultant using parent participation at every stage. It is anticipated that this will be complete by the autumn.
We have secured representative places on the new multi-agency SEND Board; on the Autism Partnership Board, alongside existing places on the Short Breaks board and the Bucks SendIAS Steering Board. These confirm the role of FACT Bucks as a key player in strategic discussions in key areas of work relating to SEND children.
We have been a full partner in the re-commissioning of CAMHS and have a member on a National body relating to CAMHS as well. This has enabled us to influence the shape of the next phase of this vital work ensuring that there is a greater degree of consistency of contact between CAMHS and families, as well as a resource base for providing information and guidance to parent carers.
We declare that we have had due regard to the Charity Commission guidance on public benefit in exercising our power and duties.
Approved by the Trustees
11th June 2015
INDEPENDENT EXAMINER’S REPORT
At the request of the Trustees, I have examined the receipts and payments account for the year ending 31st March 2015, along with the related paperwork.
In my opinion, the financial statement that follows gives a fair view of the financial activity of the Charity in the year ending 31st March 2015.
12th June 2015
Please open the full PDF document to view the Financial Statement detail.