News 2004

Almost £300,000 raised since charity began’: annual report

Since its formation, Wilmslow Wells for Africa has raised a remarkable £297,183, the Treasurer, Roger Goddard, reported to the annual meeting in October. This includes £38,059 in the year 2003/04 – the second best year in the charity’s history.

The charity has no paid employees. Therefore, thanks to the tremendous amount of voluntary work carried out by supporters of Wilmslow Wells, administration costs for the year were only £234 – and total just £5,350 over 20 years.

This means that 98.2% of funds raised are used directly on projects in Africa. To date 65 projects have been carried out, which have brought clean water to well over 100 villages, mostly in remote areas.

The report highlights ways in which funds were raised: events such as Gardens Day, two Souperdays, a Barn Dance, Holiday Cottage Auction and concerts continue to raise significant amounts. Donations were given to mark the deaths of supporters and people made donations to mark ‘significant’ birthdays or wedding anniversaries.

An increasing number of people make regular monthly donations, often supported by the Gift Aid Scheme. (Click on How Can I Help? for more details about the scheme.)

During the year this website was launched, which enables people to donate on line and has already generated contact both from new donors and potential project partners. Its provision and maintenance is thanks to the generosity of supporters.

Gardens Tour makes a splash with £3,500
Devoted and talented gardeners in Wilmslow opened their gardens to the public in record numbers this year in aid of Wilmslow Wells for Africa.

But the weather was not kind, with wet and windy weather in the days running up to the event – and persistent rain on the day itself (26 June).

Despite this hundreds of people from all over the North West of England took the opportunity to visit some or all of the 18 gardens on display – at only £4 a ticket.

They included the elements of an English garden and more – from water features, herbaceous borders, shrubberies, rockeries and herb gardens, to a working Gauge 3 steam railway, an oriental garden and greenhouses.

Damp visitors restored themselves with an delicious range of home made cakes and other goodies served by volunteers at the St John’s Church Rooms.

Joanna Southgate, chairman, said: We were all rather despondent when we woke up to the awful weather, but what a result!

I cannot thank those who prepared their gardens so carefully and opened them to the public – and all the volunteers who made the day such a success. And I should also like to thank the visitors themselves for braving the elements raise such a splendid amount – a total of £3,467.

2003 a record year for spending on our projects
Record income and record spending on projects was reported at the annual meeting of Wilmslow Wells for Africa on 6 October 2003.

Chairman Joanna Southgate said: “This is wonderful news and it is very encouraging that our friends continue to show such generosity and give us such tremendous support.”

Since its formation, the charity has raised £259,484, of which just £5,116 has been spent on running costs and administration, leaving £254,368 available for direct project work – that’s 98% of the funds raised.

Of this, we have spent £245,108 on 60 projects, helping to provide clean water for communities.

Mrs Southgate added: “The funds we have not spent reflect the time it takes to identify and evaluate projects. We have to obtain information on projects, ensure they appear to be properly researched as to cost and feasibility and have appropriate on-going maintenance programmes in place, and satisfy ourselves that they represent reasonable value in terms of the number of people who will be helped.

“We request reports on the progress and completion of projects to provide evidence that the funds were used appropriately and to enable us to monitor the project against the proposal.”

Activities in financial year August 1 to July 31: Income for the year was £44,454 – a record by far in terms of fund-raising events and donations. Payments amounted to £41,291, which included £40,669 on seven projects in Mozambique, Malawi, Uganda and Zambia.

We held our regular Garden Day, during which local supporters kindly allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of their gardens; two Souperdays, a barn dance, a holiday cottage auction and concerts. Runners in the London Marathon raised £6,000 for our charity, thanks to Martin Ashcroft and Fiona Winterhalder.

We also received funds in memory of supporters who sadly died during the year – Keith Mottershead, Joyce Wilkinson, Jeremy Horne, Violet Harris, Rene Barclay, and T Luzmore.

On a happier note, we had donations to mark the golden and ruby wedding anniversaries of two couples who are regular supporters.