(An Association with Charitable Status)
Report of the Trustees for the year ended 31 March 2004
The trustees are pleased to present their report together with the financial statements of Senscot for the year ended 31 March 2004.
The financial statements comply with current statutory requirements, the constitution and the Statement of Recommended Practice – Accounting and Reporting by Charities.
Senscot was launched in January 1999 – this is our sixth AGM. During the past year, Trustees and staff jointly refined our mission statement as:
“Senscot will continue to build and operate an independent network with the scale and momentum to drive an expanding social enterprise sector in Scotland.”
Seven actions flow from our mission, which is the basis of our review of business.
Review of the business
1. Connecting the majority of social enterprises in Scotland to our network.
Our working assumption is that there are around 3,000 social enterprises in Scotland. Senscot has contact with around half of them and will continue to seek out new ones.
2. Sharing information and inspiration electronically.
Our weekly electronic bulletin now goes out to 2,500 contacts – we estimate the potential to be around 4,000. Within the next month we will activate our new website with additional features.
3. Sharing information and inspiration through local networks.
Last year we hosted / partnered 31 meetings around Scotland. We expect this work to increase to 35 in the current year.
4. Brokering mutual support and joint working.
The past year saw an increasing flow of requests for assistance from individuals. We have achieved funding for a new post of Exchange Manager to broker help between new and experienced entrepreneurs.
5. Creating, with others, new services to develop the social enterprise community.
Scotland UnLtd is now well established – DTA Scotland has completed its first successful year – The Social Enterprise Academy has appointed a CEO and is ready to roll.
Influencing policy to help the growth of the social enterprise sector.
Senscot has participated in various working groups with the Scottish Executive and other sectoral policy makers.
7. Promoting the wider benefits of social enterprise.
We have “spread the word” about social enterprise through speaking at meetings and conferences and by publishing articles, comment, etc.
(An Association with Charitable Status)
Report of the Trustees (cont’d)
A committee of no less than 4 and no more than 8 members, who meet at least 4 times a year administer Senscot. The Founder / Director, Laurence Demarco is appointed by the Trustees to manage the day-to-day operations of Senscot.
Results for the year
A loss of £25,157 (2003 – surplus of £3,756) arose during the year. This loss incurred during the year has arisen primarily as a result of the time required to fill office space in the Senscot basement and also the decision to withhold approaches to corporate sponsors during the year 2003-04.
Reserves Policy and Risk Management
Senscot has agreed that its policy on reserves should be to provide sufficient liquid resources to meet both revenue and capital needs.
The risks faced by the charity fall into two categories, internal and external. Internal risks are minimised by the implementation of procedures for authorisation of transactions and projects to ensure consistent quality of delivery for all operational aspects of the charity.
External risks relate largely to the continued funding of Senscot. However an encouraging development is the continued support from both private and public sectors which should ensure the long term financial stability of the charity.
An objective of the trustees is to pursue a policy of building up reserves over the next three years to a level which would cover three months running costs.
Trustees responsibilities in relation to the financial statements
Charity law requires the trustees to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the charity’s financial activities during the year and of its financial position at the end of the year. In preparing financial statements giving a true and fair view, the trustees should follow best practice and:
– select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
– make judgments and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
– state whether applicable accounting standards and statements of recommended practice have been followed, subject to any departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and
– prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the charity will continue in operation.
The trustees are responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose, with reasonable accuracy the financial position of the charity and which enable them to both ascertain the financial position of the charity and which enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with applicable law and regulations. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.
Gregor Clark & Co, C.A’s have expressed their willingness to continue in office as auditors to the charity.
By order of the trustees:
Liz Thomas (Chairperson) June 2004