ARCHIVED NEWS 2021

June the 29th 2021

 Inch by inch the shop is getting closer to normality, most of the staff have now had their second jab and customer confidence is growing with a few more of our regulars returning each week, however this is no time to be complacent.

For the time being we will continue to quarantine all donations in the tent before bringing them into the shop. I do understand that this does cause a few problems but the Monday and Thursday morning only system for accepting donations has proven robust and safe thus far. 

Sales for the last four week period were down on budget but this was made up by internet, record and bulk clothing sales; after all very little goes to waste.

All in all the start to this next four week sales period looks very promising and we have had some excellent donations that will boost takings.

Sadly the staff tea party that was to be held in lieu of the Christmas dinner and planned for the 18th of this month has had to be postponed until September when hopefully we will be out of lockdown.

Why not pop into the Charity Shop on Warwick Parade and see just what goodies we have for sale, after all there is always a bargain to be had along with the other items.

Lastly the latest financial reports up to and including June the 20th can be read here on the website.

May the 23rd 2021

​After the first full four week period of trading the shop sales are averaging just over one thousand five hundred pounds per week. This is approximately twenty percent down on the same period in 2019, before the first lockdown but with customer numbers down by almost forty percent it's a very encouraging start.

Internet and bulk clothing sales this period were over one thousand pounds which has helped with the shortfall.​

The Charity made three donations of five thousand pounds each to Newcastle University, Stirling University and Plumpton College for student scholarships. It also gave grants to South Woodham Ferrers Bowls Club and The Station Adopters who do such a great job in keeping the station looking so good.

If you are not a regular rail user please take the trouble to pop into the station car park and see just what a difference this group have made. The first impressions gained by people visiting South Woodham Ferrers by rail verses those by road are worlds apart; flowers, benches and bird feeders plays The Colonel and BP.​

Donations to the shop have settled down into a much steadier pace and we are managing to cope with the Monday and Thursday arrangements. We will continue to quarantine stock before taking it into the shop for the foreseeable future.

It's been good welcoming the existing staff back to the shop although through non Covid-19 related health issues some will be a little longer before they return. There are a couple of shifts that more help is needed for and there will no doubt be a need for extra hands to cover holiday periods, so if you have any spare time and would like to become part of the team, just pop in and leave your contact details, Val will get back to you.

Lastly the latest financial reports are now available on line, just click on the button to the left.

 

April the 25th 2021

 I'm pleased to say that the charity shop on Warwick Parade is open again for business. In the first two weeks of trading the sales totalled just over three thousand three hundred pounds and hopefully by the end of next month we may well be getting back to our 2019 pre-lockdown level of two thousand pounds per week.

The sheer level of donations is still causing logistical problems but with your help and patience in time we will sort it out whilst still keeping everybody safe by quarantining all of the goods before putting them on sale in the shop.

It has been great to welcome back our existing staff including at least one new "granny" as well as some newcomers who have been kind enough to volunteer in various roles.

With the shortfall in donations from the shop to the registered charity last year the trustees are looking at new ways to generate extra income this year as well as trying to help local groups and organisations raise money themselves for specific projects.

With summer on the horizon and people beginning to think about outdoor activities and holidays why not pop into the shop and have a good look at what's on offer. We have everything from golf balls to goggles and from flash lights to flippers. As well as quite a few electrical items and a range of greetings cards made exclusively for and donated to the charity shop by Sarah Parks.

 

 

March the 17th 2021

​ Regretfully I've not been too well this last few weeks but I'm on the mend now so just over two weeks late here is the latest news and financial report. 

​It is the intention of the trustees to re-open the charity shop on the 13th of April subject to staffing numbers. Hopefully this will be the beginning of a full year's trading and donations to the charity will return to the pre Covid-19 levels.

Whilst mentioning the charity shop I would like to once again acknowledge the hard work and effort that is freely given by the team of over forty volunteers. It is only their dedication that generates the money that is made available to clubs, schools and organisations here in South Woodham Ferrers.

The accounts for the first full period from when Mister Gees Foundation Charity No. 1181204 became registered in December 2018 'til March 31st 2020 have now been filled with the Charity Commission and apart from a couple of minor queries all appears to be in order.. Thanks go Pocknells for their services and support. 

This month will see the end of the latest accounting period covering April 2020 to March 2021  inclusive and once again I will submit my book-keeping for audit to Maisie Emans at Pocknells.

​Here comes the rub, I'm still chasing receipts for donations made to local groups and schools as far back as last September in order to complete this book-work. Each recipient of an award is asked to acknowledge receipt of the donation sent to their bank, nothing fancy, just and e-mail or letter showing their name and the sum received. The amount of time that I've spent chasing something so simple has been totally disproportionate and quite frankly it is time that could have been much better raising money for the charity.

After consultation with the trustees, all of whom jointly accept legal responsibility for the correct returns being made to the Charity Commission a simple solution to this problem has been arrived at. Any recipient of a grant that does not forward the requested receipt in a timely manner will not be considered for any future funding. Perhaps I'm just old fashioned but as a small child the first thing I was taught to do after receiving a postal order for my birthday or Christmas was write a thank you letter, either out of politeness or the fear that there might not be one next year.

​So here's looking forward to April and the start of a new year and the opportunity to welcome you back to the shop on Warwick Parade.

January the 25th 2021

​I'm not too sure why but the more time I have the less work I get done, it is three weeks now since the last trading period ended and I have only just written and published the financial report.

It doesn't make good reading but we have just received another grant from Chelmsford Council that has covered our expenses until the end of the financial year in March. This will show up on this month's figures.

The Village Group, with funding from Mister Gees Foundation has just donated fourteen thousand pounds to the seven local schools in order that they might buy much needed laptop computers for use during this period of home schooling. The Village Group has earmarked a further three thousand one hundred and fifty pounds that will enable the schools to have any suitable donated laptop computers wiped of data and a new operating system installed by Ahead 4. Please contact any of the local schools for details.  

​Regretfully the shop remains closed and will do so until it appears safe to reopen it. 

​Thankfully all of the volunteers have kept safe and many are now starting to receive their first Covid-19 vaccination.

​As ever local businesses have continued to support the foundation and our thanks go out to Richard Hewes of Hewes Security , Chris Green & Dave Bowdler of Square Edge Solutions and Maisie Emans at Pocknells.