Annual Public Meeting & Volunteers supper 2015

Clarke Foley 16 Mar , 2016

  Notes of the Annual Public Meeting October 2015

and Enhanced James Jottings January 2016


Clarke Foley Centre Annual Public Meeting 21 October 2015


  1. Judith Ellis, Centre Manager welcomed about 60 volunteers, Directors and members of staff to the meeting.


  1. Chairman’s Presentation


The Chairman spoke of recent developments in the Centre and plans for the future:

The swan – serene and beautiful on the surface but may be paddling madly and unseen beneath the surface. The aim of the Centre – what some organisations call their mission statement: … to make the Clarke Foley Centre an outward looking, thriving and welcoming community resource providing a diverse and balanced programme of activities for people over 50. Working with well trained staff and volunteers we will seek to make optimum use of the Centre’s facilities and ensure that the Charity has a sustainable future.


Some words that typify the Centre and what goes on here.


bridge computer classes writing recorders
insight support ILF Café
website art cake bingo
Home-made soup James’ Jottings health services yoga
new horizons orchestra Moornotes choir U3A indoor bowls
legacies stroke club table top sales New Horizons Dance Band
Lunch club geology donations volunteers
social friendship club coffee catering
line dancing tea rooms for hire Senior Citizens club
country dancing quiche art trail disadvantaged
drinks LS29 Mutual Support Group Meet & make Sewing friendly
keep fit venue Cercle Francais
Registered Charity sandwiches pastels language classes


Charitable Objects – govern what we do: to maintain the Centre; to provide activities for people over 50, to be a focal point for voluntary activity. Directors role to ensure charitable objects are met and that we meet the requirements of the Charity Commission and Companies House


Image: Still working on improving this.  Entrenched perception of ‘day Centre’.


Finance. Self-supporting registered charity.  Small income from the endowment.  Occasional legacies.  We need the income from the café and room lettings.


Achievements during the last 12 months:

  • New automatic doors – building work nearly finished, just waiting for he doors!
  • Solar panels – to reduce our electricity costs;
  • Events – for fun and fundraising e.g. 1940s dance, table top sale, Disappearing Ilkley;
  • Communications report by MBA student from Bradford University. Results to be implemented during the next 12 months;
  • Branding and marketing exercise with government funding. Look out for our new look that will help to change our image for the better. And our new logo;
  • Café review, new Catering Manager;
  • Staff training e.g. food hygiene, management;
  • Pensions Auto enrolment for all staff. Now a legal requirement;
  • Volunteers – welcomed some new people. Produced a Volunteers Handbook.


What Next?  Refurbishment of the disabled access toilet.  Important that our disabled access toilet is up to standard.  Will need to raise the money to do it.  Will be organised so that we are never without the disabled access toilet while work goes on.


  1. Clarke Foley Centre Treasurer’s Report to the Annual Public Meeting

Report on the financial results for year ended 31st March 2015


Firstly I apologise for not being able to give my report in person to the meeting. In the circumstances I have compiled a short summary of the financial results for the year ended 31st March 2015.


  • Our total income, which includes the gross contribution from the Café, but excludes money-raising for the front doors and gains from our investments, was £163,000 compared to £160,000 for the previous year. However in 2015 we received a legacy of £14,000, so our underlying income was down on the year.
  • It is too early to say whether or not there will be an improvement in for the current year, particularly as the current building work has caused some disruption.
  • Our overall costs, including major repairs and capital expenditure, were £177,000 compared to £173,000 for last year, which is a good result, overall.
  • This means we had a deficit of some £14,000 on our day-to-day activities. This deficit was more than offset by a gain of £40,000 on our investments.
  • As a result at 31st March 2015 our total assets, excluding the building, were £723,000 compared to £677,000 at 31st March 2014. Included in this total is £407,000 in the endowment fund, where we are only allowed to spend the income and cannot touch the capital.
  • Overall the finances are sound, however we need to get to a position where, our income, excluding investment gains, matches or exceeds our income, given that we cannot rely on the investments constantly increasing in value. We are not far away from that target and it is greatly helped by the work undertaken by all the volunteers.
  • Looking forward to the current year we have, as you all know, embarked on the major work at the front of the building. The fund raising campaign went very well, but we will have to use some of our reserves to complete the project. The exact amount needed is still uncertain, but affordable, pending finalisation of the work and the fund raising efforts.
  • Again I am sorry not to be present and if there are any questions I will happily deal with these in writing if necessary.

Donald Williams

20 October 2015




  1. Centre Manager’s Report Summary

What happens here at Clarke Foley is true public service, we’re all doing it together in our own different ways, doing what we’re good at and receiving the benefit of what other people are good at.

Directing, nurturing, inspiring, organising, delegating, planning, preparing, serving; all skills contributed to the whole by Directors, class leaders, event organisers, café staff, volunteers and employees  Whether you’re paid or give your time voluntarily I feel proud and blessed to spend my working day with a large number of people – that’s all of you – who are so committed to the Centre.  The current Board of Directors has a very positive vision for the Centre and its success, and its importance as a resource for Ilkley.  As you’ve heard the Chairman say, they want it not just to exist, but to thrive.  Individually they give an enormous amount of time to the Centre.  Very positive and supportive of me.  A lot of unseen swan’s feet flapping beneath the surface.


Marcella joined the team as Catering Manager in July. She is the mastermind behind the delicious supper we’ve all enjoyed, so special thanks to her and the whole team.  Marmarcella also has a strong vision for the café and that’s one of the reasons we chose her for the role.  Marcella combines cooking with caring.  There will continue to be changes to the catering.  I thank you for supporting Marcella with them.


Caretaking  You probably heard that David is off work at the moment and we send him our very best wishes.  I have to thank three people who really are going the extra mile in his absence to make sure the Centre continues to run smoothly.  They are Tony, Loz and Blake

Some more unseen paddling madly things:

  • Keeping track of room bookings, thank you to Gerry who comes in and out, largely unnoticed except by me, most Wednesdays.
  • Sending out invoices to people who’ve hired the rooms. Ena spends about a day and a half a month doing this.
  • Keeping track of incoming money. Thank you Julie.
  • The website is very definitely in the unseen paddling madly category. Alec, former Admin Assistant set it up and now his replacement Stef (also one day per week) together with volunteer Helen Rabbage, have taken it up for us. Stef and Helen also do a lot of work with numbers, spreadsheets monitoring and providing management information. It’s all vital to improving our efficacy but you won’t see it because it’s underneath the surface.
  • Hilary Templar has delivered training to a number of us during the past year and is currently working with Don, the Treasurer on analysis of our room lettings. How can we make the building earn its keep better? And there are other people I want to thank for a kind words, an act of practical assistance or support, sympathy or even a distraction when I can’t paddle any faster!


The doors – isn’t the porch looking super? We are thrilled with it and can’t wait to see it completed.  The doors themselves are on their way, the lighting has been chosen, the remaining flags for the ramp are on their way and the handrail too.  There have been some very generous gifts, donations and events to get us this far.  We’re very grateful for all of that.  You might have noticed that a little border has been created under the new windows,  Stef is going to design a planting scheme and we’ve secured £50 towards that by hiring some of our chairs to Fifth Avenue for their fashion show today.  We’ll let you know when a date has been set for the grand opening and we will be having a party.


We had hoped to have a new edition of James’ Jottings ready for tonight but unforeseen events have overtaken us and we’ll get it ready as soon as possible.  When it’s ready we’ll put bundles for each class in your pigeon holes. Pigeonholes? Yes, pigeonholes.  They’re not new.  Tony created them in response to a request from the floor as it were.  They’re on the end of the cupboard across the way – on the way round to the toilets actually and I encourage class leaders to make a habit of looking there.  Thank you.


The next thing is really exciting – Ilkley Chat is producing a calendar and has chosen us as one of two beneficiaries for sales.  It’s fully sponsored so that means all the proceeds will be shared between us and Dan’s Den.  One of the most thrilling things about it is that they approached us!


In conclusion to all of you together we are Clarke Foley and we are what we all make it,  Whatever you do, whether you’re paddling madly underneath the water, to all of you and especially all of you who volunteer, I say a huge thank you.  Without you we wouldn’t be what we are. Thank you.


























A huge thank you to the many people who have worked long and hard towards the New Automatic Doors.  They are a magnificent improvement to our Centre.  It is now fully accessible to all people regardless of mobility and it’s a joy to have them open up as you walk in.  The new lobby and regraded ramp are a beautiful improvement to the front of our building.  The lobby is long enough to prevent the old wind tunnel effect when both doors were open and, being automatic, means they’ll never be accidentally left open with the consequent loss of expensive heat.  There is to be a day of celebration on Saturday 23rd January starting at 11 am.  Everyone is welcome to celebrate with us!  Do come. 

A new and beautiful lobby and railings is causing us to think about how to maintain the smart appearance while still advertising the many events that take place here.


Members of the Lunch Club now enjoy totally home-made lunches.  Under Marcella’s leadership the menus have been transformed. Christmas Lunch on 15th December was very special and for the first time was a three course meal. The Ilkley Singers kindly entertained us with beautifully harmonised seasonal carols and songs.  The Christmas raffle was drawn with several prizes being won by people at the meal.  It was a very enjoyable occasion and our thanks go to Marcella and Marilyn, and the excellent team of fine volunteers.  Also to the Directors for serving sherry and generally contributing to the merriment and raffle draw



4Café Review  We did a full review of the café at the beginning of the year.  There were a lot of good and positive suggestions.  We put off implementing some of them until new Catering Manager Marcella was in post.  The menu has been extended with a more consistent offering including home-made soup every day, always a lovely quiche and salad, and always lots of delicious cakes.  We have extended the opening hours so that people can visit the café before and after their classes.  We now open at 9.30 am and close at 4.30 pm.  A microwave makes serving more flexible, and a panini grill enables us to serve paninis and toasted sandwiches every day.  Home-made soup is served, as a regular portion in a bowl or a smaller portion as a cup of soup, replacing powdered Cuppa Soup   Joan’s Home-made scones are our best seller.

Other improvements in the café have been delayed until completion of the…



Marketing and Branding Project.  We got a government grant of 50% funding for this project.  A small representative team looked at the current situation of perceptions and facts about the Centre, looked at how we want to be perceived and what we need to do to achieve that.  We were ably and sympathetically led through the interesting and challenging process by Vicky Holt and David Jones of Opportunity Marketing.  We all recognised the need to retain the Clarke Foley name and we now have a logo that honours that, a palette of colours to assist with publicity and a clearer idea of how to make full use of the potential of all our resources.  It also means we can redecorate the café and make other non-food changes that accord with the overall plan.  If you’d like to learn more about the outcomes of the project please talk to the Centre Manager or any of the Directors.


Internal Communications. MBA Student Hishige Boldbaatar, from Mongolia and studying at Bradford University, gained a distinction for the project examining internal communication here at the Centre.  The project also gained her an additional award, the Elmwood Award from Elmwood Marketing.  The findings of this report will be implemented during the coming months.  Occasional staff meetings, including some with the Directors, are a small, beneficial step forward.

In June we fitted Solar Panels on our huge roof.  Electricity is our biggest energy expenditure.  Good lighting is crucial but we need to reduce our electricity bills.  We expect the panels to pay for themselves within seven years.  Meanwhile we are planning a gradual change to LED lighting and will be looking at installing sensors so that lights are not left on unnecessarily.  All the new lighting in the lobby and outside the building is LED and set on a timer.

We were thrilled when Ilkley Chat asked if we’d like to be one of two  beneficiaries of their calendar.  Thank you, Ilkley Chat, for thinking of us.  We sold £450 of calendars ourselves and await sales figures from Ilkley’s other outlets.  Of course we appreciate the income but equally important is the affirmation that the community knows about us and recognises our worth as a valuable Ilkley entity.



We are working with an LS29 offshoot group on making Ilkley a Dementia Friendly town.  We host Free Dementia Awareness courses that are open to everyone.  Local businesses are particularly encouraged to do all they can to enable people living with dementia to continue to live as normally as possible for as long as possible.

We also support the following groups, including use of the premises at no cost to them:


Airedale Stoma Support Group Stroke Club
Friendship Club Senior Citizens
Ilkley Insight LS29 Mutual Support Group
Annual party for people over 90 organised by KIVCA Alzheimers Wellbeing Café
Singing for Fun group Cruse bereavement Counselling
Macmillan Cancer Support Dementia Awareness courses
Dementia Friendly Ilkley Subsided Clarke Foley classes











During the summer our very own and very special New Horizons Dance Band played at the bandstand on the Grove.  A large crowd thoroughly enjoyed a lovely summer event of music and refreshments served by Marcella and her wonderful team.












This year we were pleased that Ilkley Literature Festival chose to hold a record number of events at the Centre.  Later we enjoyed hosting an Artist in Residence and being part of the Ilkley Art Trail.












We’re talking to Ilkley Cycling Club and are hopeful about reinstatement of the Tweed Ride.  The first one happened during 2014 as part of our cycling theme for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France.  We hope to be back up and running with it again this year, sharing the proceeds with a charity of ICC’s choice.

Computer classes resume on Monday 25 January; enrolment forms are available in the café. Meet & Make Sewing Class resumes on Wednesday 3 February 2-4pm. Contact Lyndsay Kitching 01943 604683 for more information.

One of the Centre’s strategic objectives is a well trained staff.  Members of staff have been hearing a lot about this and are responding to the need and the challenge of the benefits of training; it makes us all better at our jobs.  We have now incorporated Dementia Awareness into the routine training programme for all staff along with Emergency First Aid at Work ( a legal duty), use of the defibrillator and, for catering staff and some volunteers Food Safety and Hygiene.

Room Lettings. We work hard to accommodate every reasonable request for hire of a meeting room.  It’s a complex situation of routine and occasional lettings and we know that there are periods of underuse.  Our Treasurer, Donald Williams, is working with another volunteer on a thorough analysis of our room use and how we can encourage more lettings.

Our biggest focus during the coming year will be to upgrade the disabled access toilet, which currently does not meet the required specification.  Like the doors, it’s extremely important that the facility is fit for purpose.  There will of course be building work.  There will be fundraising.  And at the end of it there will be a disabled access toilet that meets requirements and enhances our Centre.  We have an abundance of fundraising ideas but if you would like to organise and run an event we would love to hear from you.