Itâs been an eventful year for CDFHS.
We had the sudden Death of my Late Husband Ray Brown (Our Chair of Trustees) December last who was our MD, which totally shocked and devastated myself and everybody who knew him. CDFHS has played a big part in our lives since we set it up with Chris Palmer in 2004 (we met and married within the first year). Although we have had a lot of time away from the premises during my Husbands illness, we were both still heavily involved with the running of it. Since my Husbandâs death I have gradually taken on the role as MD as my passion and commitment for CDFHS to expand more and to be able to help even more people who need our help, is as strong as it was in 2004. I am assuming our AGM in October will confirm this.
Once again our team of volunteers and workers have contributed greatly to the continuing success of CDFHS and I would like to say a wholehearted thank you for their time, hard work and also for the unwavering support from all staff and volunteers, from those who knew Ray well and from those whoâd only just met or just heard about him.
We got funding from Northstar Ventures via their North East Social Investment Fund (NESIF) to help us to acquire our own premises. We had the perfect building all lined up, ready to sign on the dotted line when we were gazumped and it all fell through. It was very disheartening for everybody at CDFHS but we are continuing the search for suitable premises or land to build on.
The result for the year being a slight loss of ÂŁ5,000 which was fully indicative of the costs of the abortive building purchase. The turnover being nearly half a million, compared to the previous year of ÂŁ357,000 an increase of 35%.
Once again, we have seen a continued increase in demand for our services we have moved an estimated average of 35 Metric tonnes per month of reusable material diverted from waste landfill sites. Weâve had 13,657 visitors through the door
Weâve also had a very bumpy road so far this year, as with the economy being the way it is and with the sanctions being imposed on already disadvantaged clients. Things were very quiet just after Christmas. Welfare Assistance has been erratic week by week, as well as customer numbers rising and dropping equally so. Weâve also had quite a few hefty repair bills for the vans this quarter. We are also tabling a new proposal for Welfare Assistance working in collaboration with Northstar Ventures, N E First Credit Union and Durham County Council.
We have broadened out not just our domestic goods supply but in some cases we are fitting out complete houses, including the internal decorating or general âhandymanâ work which in turn is giving some of our workers/volunteers more experience under their belts.
We value the employability scheme that we operate and are working on several initiatives, such as Destination, partnered with Cornforth Partnership and with the Durhamworks Project and our Local Authority.
We do a Job Search Club on a Tuesdays and Thursday to help and assist people to get back onto the ladder of employability.
Working with Shaw Trust will find us teaming up to offer those with multiple barriers in their lives earn employment for often for the first
time. We work closely with their local people to achieve these outcomes in a first class partnering structure.
We are still providing a daily substantial meal for volunteers, placements and workers alike. In certain cases it makes all the difference to them having a good hot meal to not having anything at all.
Shabby Chic has done really well, we are now doing bespoke garden furniture out of the wooden pallets.
Our IT Department has also continued to grow with the Charity and has provided a bespoke tracking system for CDFHS for the donations coming in and going out of the Charity. It will also incorporate the facilities for Gift Aid and for the use of Debit/Credit Cards for the first time since weâve been running. We also introduced our Loyalty Card which is doing really well.
I would also like to mention our collaboration with the Durham Foodbank Movement, which so far this year has given us invaluable activity sorting industrial scale amounts of food for distribution to the 28 county wide foodbanks. Which sadly has become a fact of life for the majority of families on benefits and low incomes.
Please make a donation to the box we have here on site today.
I would like to thank our Trusted Partners and of course our Customers, who without we wouldnât be where we are today.
We are partners with Durham County Council, D.A.D, G.F.W, Durham University, Croxdale Fast Fit, Wrap, Local Motion, Monkey, Profound Services, Great Annual Savings, Proctor and Gamble, Kier Construction, Durham Christian Partnership, Cornforth Partnership, Shaw Trust, Durham Food Bank, Durham County Council, Business Durham Area, Action Partnerships, Durhamworks Advice in County Durham, WA Smith, Community Repaint, J Denhams Metals, Pioneering Care Partnership Team, Wearside, New Walk CIC, Northumbria University, National Career Service, N.E. First, Newton News, Ferryhill and Chilton Chapter. I apologise to any that I may have missed off and itâs not intentional.
Durham, WA Smith, Community Repaint, J Denhams Metals, Pioneering Care Partnership Team, Wearside, New Walk CIC, Northumbria University, National Career Service, N.E. First, Newton News, Ferryhill and Chilton Chapter. I apologise to any that I may have missed off and itâs not intentional.
One of our front office staff is undergoing training on Advice and Guidance and is on âattachmentâ to Citizens Advice Bureau. Eventually we hope to be a one stop service hub so we can offer more help and assistance to those who are financially excluded.
We still have a very good track record of our staff/volunteers of acquiring good employability skills with better prospects of future employment. 215 enrolled on the scheme and 70 (33%) that we know of have been took into employment. Well done again to our employability team!
The University work went to plan with the street collections being 1.5 metric tonnes and the Colleges having a total of nearly 400 bags which was just over 19 metric tonnes of belongings donated to CDFHS. Many going to other causes, helping CDFHS funds and providing a large amount of work for volunteers and trainees to carry out from June to October. This activity runs till October which culminates in a student sale day
Once again our team of Trustees, Management, Volunteers and Workers have contributed greatly to the continuing success of CDFHS by helping to generate alternative methods of funding the Charity. Helping us to thrive and grow becoming a Frontline Charity when most are struggling and closing down.
So I would like to thank them again for their time and hard work. It doesnât go unnoticed and it is appreciated.
-Managing Director of CDFHS, Diane Brown
For earlier posts please check the CDFHS archive