We held our 2020 AGM by Zoom on November 30th 2020. It was a short meeting concentrating on the essential business. We look forward to holding a larger and fuller meeting with a wider attendance in future years when we are no longer limited by the COVID restrictions. The AGM was chaired by trustee and project co-ordinator Robin Latimer.
Trustee Mick Holloway was absent through illness and all the other trustees asked Robin to convey messages of goodwill for a full recovery.
1. The notes of the last AGM were approved.
2. The Annual Report and accounts were received and approved (see note 1 below)
3. Trustees Sharmila Rajaratnam and Clare Banham stood down and were then re-elected.
4. Robin reported on what has happened since the last AGM – particularly progress in the last two months.
5. Financial forecast for the next few months was considered and approved.
6. Agree date for next trustees meeting (January 2021)
The trustees noted that:
despite the challenges and difficulties in providing a mentoring service during a global pandemic, Bridging the Gap continued to provide quality provision, adapting to new “virtual” means of communication, thanks to the commitment shown by trustees, volunteer mentors, supervisors and service users alike.
The trustees thanked those that had supported Bridging the Gap financially, including:-
Kingsley Napley solicitors,
Islington Community Chest,
The Postcode lottery,
The National Lottery Coronavirus Community Support Fund and
The Mrs Smith and Mount Trust.
1.Trustees’ Report for the year ended 31 March 2020
The trustees presented and considered their report together with the Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020
The trustees who have served during the year are as follows:
Robin Latimer (Co-ordinator)
Michael H W Holloway (Treasurer)
Madeleine Robinson (resigned 12 November 2019)
Ruth Hayes (From 15 October 2019)
During the year, Madeleine Robinson resigned as a trustee as a result of the pressure of other commitments. The trustees were very pleased to welcome Ruth Hayes as a new trustee. She brings with her an extensive experience of advice work and the legal system.
The objects of the Charity are: The prevention of crime and the rehabilitation of offenders by offering offenders, ex-offenders and people at risk of offending advice, guidance and support, including to address their needs and promote their integration into the wider law-abiding community, working together with other organisations with similar aims particularly but not exclusively by providing a voluntary mentoring service for people at risk of offending.
Review of Activities
Trustees met formally 6 times during the year.
To achieve its objects, Bridging the Gap Islington offers trained, supervised mentors to provide encouragement and support over up to 16 weekly meetings for people aiming to achieve specific short term goals along their chosen path to a more constructive and participative life.
Our service ran smoothly for most of this year. We adopted a more focused approach to publicizing our services. As a result, there were fewer mentoring partnerships offered but not taken up. The proportion of partnerships that lasted for a full 16 weeks continues to increase. We are exploring the option of offering some mentoring partnerships for shorter periods of time in order to provide appropriate help for a wider range of people.
During the year, we helped 15 people through our trained, supervised mentors. 8 people were helped with health issues. There were also 8 people who improved their ability to relate to others and 8 who got access to better work or training. 5 people improved their housing. There were also 5 people who got help with filling in forms or improved their literacy.