AGM 2021

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Annual Trustees Report for The Abingdon Bridge

This year has been a challenging one for all age-groups in the community. TAB has risen to this challenge and continued to deliver support for the young people of this area going from strength to strength. TAB used online facilities such as Zoom and Facetime to support clients during the 2 lockdowns, some staff being able to work face-to-face with their most vulnerable clients during the last lockdown. We ensured that our premises were Covid-safe. We have never been as busy as we are now and during this lockdown year we have watched referrals grow in number. This has necessitated us taking on more staff and being innovative in how we have delivered support to those who have requested it.
As you can see from the Summary document we have supported several hundreds of young people with 121 support and many more in groups. A parent group started in January to support the parents of our clients and to help them understand how TAB works with their children, this received excellent feedback. We have run some groups online, but workshops have been fewer due to restrictions.
We are now offering both face-to-face and online support.
Holly Freeland, one of our wellbeing practitioners put together a Wellbeing pack which has been given to hundreds of young people during this last year. 


As well as the Counselling and Wellbeing work TAB has successfully bid for and is now funded for the Youth Intervention Project (YIP). This work is funded by Oxfordshire County Council and is about working with the hard-to-reach young people. If they would like to access support this is provided in 121 sessions, group or gym work. In addition, TAB is training 5 youth ambassadors who are committed to supporting TAB.
We are receiving Children-in-Need funding both for an extension to the Counselling funding we have had for the last 3 years and for an emergency Covid project for 18 months (Next Steps). This has enabled us to enlarge our counselling team to cope with the increase in referrals.


Our staff team is led by our manager Gary. He has done a truly fantastic job over the last year. Not only has he worked at our office for all of lockdown to ensure calls are answered, but he has enabled the smooth running of TAB. He has been ever present in our move to 3 Market Place and has driven our funding bids. He is totally committed to TAB and is enthusiastic in all he does. Thank you Gary.
As already mentioned our staff team has grown in the last year and is now 14 in number. Only 2 people work full time, the rest working between 4 and 30 hours weekly. They all bring something unique to TAB and I would like to thank all of them for their hard work and ability to adapt to change. We do our clinical supervision in-house thanks to our clinical lead Mel. We offer some training for the staff and hold regular staff meetings. We also have 3 students working with us.

Our big news is the move into permanent premises at 3 Market Place (3MP) above the Coventry Building Society. It was at the award ceremony for the Queens Award for Voluntary Service 2 years ago that the seed was planted. After what seemed like months of negotiations and planning we moved into 3 MP in February. It has not been plain sailing as, with all building work, there have been teething problems. We are nearly there now and most of our staff are working at 3MP.
We are hugely grateful to the Charitable trusts and individuals who gave us the means to refurbish the 2 floors. It is a quite superb space with 5 counselling rooms, 2 office spaces, reception area, kitchen, meeting room and toilets. Thank you to the Coventry Building Society for enabling us to lease this space and being generous in their support.
We are hoping to hold an Open Day in July to show our supporters around the premises.


I am pleased to report that TAB is in a healthy financial position. We are very grateful to our 2 national sponsors, Children in Need and the Big Lottery Fund. As you can see from the financial report between them they are funding 40% of our work.
We are very grateful for all the local organisations who contribute to the running of TAB with 45% of the funds coming from individuals, local churches and councils. Thank you to First Growth for their generosity in supporting the healthy lifestyles team and to Christ’s Hospital for their valuable contribution..
The majority of our funds are short term, and we continually search for and bid for long-term funding so that the work can continue.



For the past 3 years we have held a Future Directions meeting to look at where we are now and where we are hoping to be over the next 12 months. This is always a productive meeting and draws on ideas from all the staff and trustees. Although in 2021 it had to be held remotely we were still able to discuss the issues we were concerned about and think about new ideas. We are committed to our core work and hope that we can work collaboratively with other charities this year. We hope to increase the number of groups on offer and would like to do a lot more preventative work in the schools.


TAB has been using “Views” as our database for 3 years. Howard Spencer has guided and supported us in developing this database to help us record and improve our service. He has been invaluable in streamlining the information we can get using Views and we continue to look at ways that TAB can respond to client’s feedback.
We look at our data and performance quarterly to know how many clients have been supported in the various projects. The change in our client’s emotional wellbeing, resilience and aspirations are collated. We look to improve our service and Views is helping us do this. We are aware that not all clients complete the second questionnaire which means that we lose their feedback. Our documentation has improved over the last year. Future challenges include recording feedback from workshops on Views.


There are 12 trustees all of whom contribute to the smooth running of TAB. They are a very dedicated, hard-working team and I feel privileged to be one. My special thanks to Chris Bryan as past chair and Hilary Daffern as vice-chair for their support this year. 
We have an excellent new website thanks to Steve and Sarah plus a little help from their friends.
One of our trustees Trevor Wood is leaving us this year. Thank you Trevor for your commitment to TAB during the last 6 years and good luck with the travelling planned.


We now have a team of volunteer receptionists who are vital to the smooth running of TAB at 3MP. They are led by one of our trustees Sandy. We are very grateful to them for giving up their time. 
Our other volunteers are Howard Spencer and Roland Knight. Howard is our Views expert and Roland makes sure that we are all DBS checked every 2 years. Pat our cookery expert has been unable to run classes this year but hoping to restart them soon.

As we are reaching the end of restrictions in England the effects of the pandemic continue both on the physical health of many people but also on their mental health. 
With your help TAB will continue to support and reach out to those young people in the community who are struggling to cope.
Thank you for your support

Gill Dean     Chair of the trustees at TAB

Details of TAB's finances are here. Click on the button

Minutes of the Special Meeting held in lieu of The Annual General Meeting on Thursday 15th September 2020 at 19:00 via Zoom

(due to Government restrictions arising from the Coronavirus pandemic)




Dick Richards, Chris Bryan, Tim Eustace, Trevor Wood, Gary Hibbins, Gill Dean, Hilary Daffern, Laurie King, Mike Brown, Sandy Kruger, Steve Oakes



  1. Welcome and Apologies for Absence


Welcome by Chris Bryan (former Chair)

Apologies – Sarah Field


  1. Background and purpose of the Special Meeting


Covid-19 impacted upon our ability to host an AGM this year. The original meeting was moved and the second attempt could also not be held. The Charity Commission informed us that we can defer the AGM but we still have to present all relevant information. As such this special meeting has been held to satisfy the charity commission and shows the charity commission that we are doing all we can to ensure good governance.


Fact trail establishing this decision below:


  • Prior to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic the date for TAB AGM had been set for the 16th June 2020.

  • By the 1st June the officers of TAB had made the decision to postpone the AGM to the 22nd September 2020.

  • Having noted the Charity Commissions’ advice on AGM postponements due to COVID-19 guidelines the TAB chair sent an email on the 1st June 2020 to the trustees informing them of deferring the meeting.

  • On the 2nd June 2020 a similar email (Newsletter) was sent to all Supporters and Friends of TAB and the notice was placed on the TAB website.

  • At the TAB Governance Meeting 7th August 2020, the date of the AGM was reviewed and the suggestion of a Special meeting was raised, first seeking Charity Commission advice.

  • Advice was sought for the Charity Commission by the treasurer on the 19th August 2020.

  • The Charity Commission responded on the 20th August 2020 to state that the AGM could be cancelled or postponed but that annual reports and accounts should still be finalised.

  • On 28th August 2020 an email Newsletter was sent to supporters and friends informing them that a Special Meeting of trustees will be held on 15th September 2020 in place of the normal AGM.


  1. Minutes of the last AGM (13th June 2019)


The minutes of last year’s AGM had been circulated and were accepted as a true record of the AGM, so were duly approved and signed.


  1. Matters Arising


No other matters arising.


  1. The Trustees’ Annual Report


The report presents what has been a highly successful year and covers up until the end of March 2020.


Highlights include The Queens Award for Voluntary Service. This award highlights our success and shows visitors to our site the calibre of our work.


We have continued to fulfil our aims as set out in our constitution, recognising the hard work or staff and trustees both past and present.


Gary and the team have worked very well, reacting calmly to the challenges presented to us by the young people that we support. We hope that at some point in the future we will be able to demonstrate and celebrate the hard work done by the team.


Thanks to Howard who has provided us with statistics that have not only provided us with data to improve our day to day work, but also support bids for funding.


Thank you to Laurie and Mike and other trustees who have submitted bids over this year. We previously had a professional fundraiser who we let go and have had an incredibly successful year ourselves with positive bids.


A huge amount of work has been put in place to secure long term suitable accommodation. Whilst this has a significant cost, we have ensured that any fundraising for day to day work has not been impacted. We are now close to having a long-term solution in place.


It was not possible to predict the impact of Covid-19, but this has had huge implications globally. TAB’s response was to try and ensure our service and support remained accessible and we have achieved that. Online working has been a great success and we will continue to offer this service going forward.


BBC Children in Need have just informed us that we were successful for their ‘Covid Next Steps’ funding in full awarding us £73,088. This bid was put in place to improve our counselling service and will fund a new full-time counsellor, helping us to reduce our waiting list and support more young people. Thank you to the trustees and to Gary for their hard work on this bid. Only one charity out of every one hundred received the funding.


  1. Annual Statement of Accounts


Thank you to Mike for his hard work.


Income £184,000 – 36% increase on last year

Expenditure £173,000 – 21% increase on last year.

Surplus £11,000


£113,000 at end of year giving us eight months cover if income were to cease.


Reserve’s policy – we aim for between 6 and 12 months, eight months cover shows that we are in good shape.


Increase shows that our donors, who make up around 28% of our income, have been very generous this year.

Remaining 72% comes from major donors including Laithwaites, Christchurch Hospital, CIN, BLF.


Salary costs went up by 23% this year, showing that we are spending more to provide more support to our clients. This can be seen in the 25% increase on young people supported through counselling.


Donors can see that the money they give goes to supporting our clients and not other expenses.


We also raised an additional £51,000 for our accommodation refurbishment. We currently have a £24,000 shortfall, there is another potential donor with the Albert Hunt Trust who would normally visit sites, but due to the pandemic we are going to provide a video.


This year we have received three significant grants:

OCC Youth Opportunity Fund

Children in Need fund X 2


Accounts were certified and circulated before the AGM.


  1. Appointment of Trustees for 2020-21


All existing trustees are to remain in office, giving us a period of stability.

They are:

Chris Bryan; Mike Brown; Tim Eustace; Hilary Daffern; Gill Dean; Sarah Field; Laurence King; Sandy Kruger; Luke Mattam; Steve Oakes; Dick Richards; Trevor Wood.


  1. Election of the Chair of the Trustees


Dick Richards took the lead at this point as Chris Bryan is standing down as Chair. Dr Gill Dean was proposed by Sandy Kruger and seconded by Laurie King.


All approved this proposal.


Many thanks to Chris Bryan for chairing for the past seven years, bringing great support to the trustees and leading by example.


  1. Appointment of Independent Examiner – Mr Steven Lawrence


Mr Steven Lawrence was duly appointed as the Independent Examiner for another year.

  1. Any Other Business


Thank you from all the staff to the trustees for their role over the year. In particular thank you again to Chris Bryan for his role as chair.


            Chair’s report approved to now go up on the website.


  1. Date of Next AGM


The next AGM will be held on 10th June 2021 at 7:00pm. Venue TBC.

The meeting closed at 8:03pm.