Argyle Community Trust - Chairman's Report

THE following is the AGM report from the chairman of the Argyle Community Trust, David Tall OBE:

Welcome to this year’s AGM.

I am pleased to report that Argyle Community Trust has enjoyed another remarkable year, and I take this early opportunity to congratulate Alison Lowman and Mark Lovell and their excellent staff for their dedication, initiative, resolve and drive to raise the profile and output of this vital resource.

I acknowledge too the contribution of former trustee, Rev. Steve Payne. We continue to seek additional trustees with the right skills’ level.

In the past year the trust has for the first time generated over a £1m turnover as it has:

• supported thousands of individuals to achieve their goals through sport, including holding prices for various programmes at previous levels.  The trust reaches up to 5,000 children a week throughout the year.
• received European visitors / delegates for various programmes/courses including IT/technology/electronics/photography and administration.
• embedded a new BA Honours degree course with the University of St Mark and St John which offers a pathway for passionate footballers across the country to take their football education to the next level.  Last year we had 15 first year and 13 second year students.
• established 12 satellite clubs in Devon for women and girls for turn-up-and-play sessions in structured coaching clinics and competitions to retain women in football.
• played its full part in delivering a specialised programme to 1,800 Y5 children aimed at highlighting healthy living and involvement in sport.  The trust has exceeded national targets for this programme and has used a variety of interventions including using first team players and the club chef.
• At the other end of the age profile we have seen 190 50+ engage in New Age Kurling, Short Mat Bowls and recreational visits.  When we include the highly successful Walking Football group, we are genuinely catering for a large range of individuals.
• The Education Manager has undertaken a number of consultancy roles within secondary schools, to help improve subject management and delivery, which has improved children’s progress and attainment.  the Education Manager also provided direct instruction to Y10 – Y13 students in achieving the required GCSE English and Maths standards.
• In addition the trust provides functional skills’ support throughout the year.

Argyle Community Trust is particularly proud that it has been able to support individuals suffering from combat stress through its 'It’s a Goal' programme and that its 'Kicks' programme helps the justice authorities by providing constructive activities in neighbourhoods with high level of anti-social behaviour.

I could go on and on, but draw your attention to the Argyle Community Trust website which illustrates perfectly the amount and variety of provision we provide. 

At last year’s AGM I said there was no room for complacency and that remains the case.

We have undoubtedly improved the working environment for our excellent staff but are looking to further improve their lot, and we have yet to assess the potential impact on Brexit on our European initiatives.

We also need to ensure that we continue to provide the very best opportunities for those involved in our 'Ability Counts' programme, which saw a decrease in participation in 2015.  That said we still reached 52 disabled individuals on a regular basis.

For the future, the Board recognises the need for further facility improvement and has invested in initial designs for a 3G pitch and additional offices through the PL Facilities Fund and the local YMCA.

I have thanked our excellent staff for all they do, but in addition I would like to publicly acknowledge the selfless support of the Trustees, who underpin the wonderful work of Argyle Community Trust.

That concludes this year’s report.