Full report of the Chairman of the Association of Jersey Charities, Liz Le Poidevin.

I'd like to begin the evening by welcoming all member representatives, the committee and our speaker Andrew Hind. It's wonderful to see so many of you here tonight. Thank you for coming along and I look forward to being able to speak to as many people as possible on a more personal front later on.

Firstly I like to extend my thank you to you - the charities of Jersey - for all you do for so many islanders. Your contribution to thousands of people's emotional and physical wellbeing - not only to your service users but to the volunteers working alongside you - cannot be stressed enough. Your services and volunteers' dedicated hours also continue to save the States thousands of pounds day in day out and for this you should be highly commended.

I'm sure the personal modesty so commonly featured throughout the sector won't readily accept the praise deserved but you are hugely valued by so many as an integral part of community life so thank you and keep up the great work! And as you continue your efforts, the Association and I will also continue to try and raise the profile of the charitable sector within the island.

One particular initiative we have been involved with is developing a plan for a Third Sector Forum, with special emphasis on representation for each of the main Third Sector interest groups, such as Health, Community, Education and so on.
There is a meeting to launch this initiative on 6 July and I look forward to attending and to seeing you there.

Once again the committee has been very busy over the past twelve months considering membership and grant applications. This last year has seen an increase of 24 new members bringing the total number of charities under our umbrella to 269. This year there has been a total of £433,000 awarded to 29 members following grant applications.

Your Committee are dedicated to considering grant applications on a fair and equitable basis, for the benefit of the people and Island of Jersey, according to need. In some cases applicants will have been disappointed to have had their applications turned down because they have not met the criteria, and this is unfortunate, but we do have to use what resources we have to provide grants on the basis of need.

In an effort to maximise funds available for members your committee are proposing to slightly change the rules which apply to grants, so that if a grant is undrawn 2 years after it has been approved, it shall be withdrawn.

There is another bit of good news on grants - now we have had our first full year of interest received from the large anonymous donation investment, we now find we have a small surplus of funds still to distribute - so get your applications in.

On behalf of the Committee I'd like to thank UK consultant and charity expert, Jane Galloway, for all the help and support she's offered us through her retained time. She has assisted about 15 members with specific issues in the last year as well as running numerous training sessions and workshops on various subjects. Jane is still available to members for one to one sessions during July as well as running other courses so contact us if you'd like to sign up for these or to book her in to help you with anything in particular.
As you know, your Committee do strive to provide members with training and access to advice, particularly on good governance, for whilst there is currently no Charities Law or Charities Regulator, this is very much the way for the future. In fact we have been participating in discussions on a proposed Charities Law.

We're delighted to be supporting Jersey's first ever Charity Awards which have been launched to highlight local excellence within the charitable sector thus raising the profile of charity and voluntary activity in Jersey and I'd like to remind you all that there's £5,000 up for grabs for not very much effort on your part - just one form to fill in and 1,000 words in fact! This is a fantastic opportunity to show the island exactly what you do as well as a chance for you to gain some much needed funds I'm sure.

The Association is working in partnership with the 50 years of Financial Heritage celebrations and as part of this alliance the proceeds from the Golden Gala community charity ball, to be held in September to mark the anniversary, will be donated to local charities through the Association and the Jersey Charity Awards 2011.

The Awards ceremony is on Sunday 4 September 2011 at Radier Manor at 2.30pm and all entrants will be invited, free of charge. The Parklife Choir will be entertaining us with their dulcet tones so it's going to be a lovely afternoon.

The deadline is 5pm on Thursday 30 June 2011 so I'd urge you to get your applications in - forms and guidelines are available on our website or speak to Lyn later on for more information.

Finally I'd like to finish by thanking the Committee for all the time and hard work they put into reviewing grant applications, organising training to further your knowledge and skills and planning and running events and initiatives to raise awareness and funds, all of whom do this in their spare time alongside their other professional work commitments, AND I'm sure you all know our one full timer - our administrator Lyn - if not the face, she's the email bombarder - she's a real asset and my personal thanks go to her for all she does which is always over and above.