Muckamore Parish Development Association.
Report of the Trustees for the Year Ended March 2015
Structure, Governance & Management
Muckamore Parish Development Association (MPDA) was established on 18 February 2008 at the behest of the Select Vestry of Muckamore Church of Ireland Parish. Its present Constitution was formally adopted at the first Annual General Meeting held on 26 March 2009.
Charitable status was granted in June 2009
The functions of MPDA are managed by an Executive Committee consisting of eight members and a Chairperson, all of whom also act as Trustees of the Charity. Four of the Executive Committee members are appointed annually by the Select Vestry of Muckamore Church of lreland Parish and the other four are elected annually at the MPDA Annual General Meeting. The Chairperson is the Rector of Muckamore Church of Ireland Parish or other person nominated by the Rector who shall be a member of the Select Vestry. Membership of the Association is open to persons aged 18 or over residing in the area of benefit, who support the objects of the Association and whose application is accepted by the Executive Committee.
Membership of the Executive Committee during this last year was as follows:
Chairperson: Rev. William Orr (Rector of St Jude’s Church of Ireland Parish)
Vice-Chairperson Mr. Ryan Mairs, (Nominated by Select Vestry)
Treasurer Mr. John McCord (Elected at AGM)
Secretary Miss Beverly Todd (Elected at AGM)
Keith McCullagh (Nominated by Select Vestry)
Sylvia Beacom (Nominated by Select Vestry)
Rachel Chestnutt (Nominated by Select Vestry)
Mr. Paul Dunlop (Elected at AGM)
Mrs. Ellen McKelvey (Elected at AGM)
The Headmistress of Ballycraigy Primary School, Mrs. Hazel Edwards was co-opted onto the Committee at the 2011 AGM because of the significant role played by the school in delivering the Association's outreach programme.
At present MPDA has no paid administrative staff or dedicated office space. All the Association's work is undertaken by unpaid volunteers, except for Dr. Peter Munce, who is paid £300 per month, and will be leaving the organization in September when he will be ordained into the Church of Ireland.
The MPDA address for administrative purposes is located at the private dwelling of the Mrs. Ellen McKelvey on 4 Fortgreen, Antrim, BT41 1DW.
OBJECTIVES AND ACTIVITIES
1. The Association is established to promote activities of benefit to the urban and rural communities in the Muckamore area and its environs of County Antrim (the 'area of benefit') without distinction of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnic identity, disability, political or religious opinion, by associating with the statutory authorities, voluntary organisations and the inhabitants in a common effort to advance education and in particular to promote or assist in promoting community capacity building programmes and projects for the benefit of the people in the 'area of benefit' who have need of such assistance as a result of their youth, age, disability or infirmity, or social and economic circumstances, in an effort to increase the abilities, skills and self-confidence of such communities in the 'area of benefit'.
2 To undertake Muckamore Church of Ireland Parish's outreach programme in the 'area of benefit', and
3. Secure the necessary funding and resources needed to ensure the effective delivery of the agreed outreach programme.
2014 Outreach Programme:
The main objectives of the Outreach programme for 2014 were:
1. To foster and develop the outreach activities already initiated by the Association, as outlined below:
• Mums & Tots Group.
• Senior Citizens Luncheon Club
• Twice weekly after schools homework club.
• Weekly Teenage 5-a-side Football.
• Weekly Friday Night Kids Club.
• Week Long Community Festival & Summer Scheme on the week before the Twelfth.
ACHIEVEMENTS & PERFORMANCE
Mums & Tots.
Mums & Tots meet every Monday morning, during term time from 9:30-11:30. They have an average of 12-15 mums and 25-30 children with 8-10 volunteers. This year they have made their own Christmas Tree decorations, to accompany the Christmas tree they made for St Jude’s Christmas tree festival in December 2014. Special occasions was the Christmas Party with Santa as the special guest, again, Making Mothers & Fathers Day Gifts, Enjoying monthly Joe Jingles Sessions, as well as looking forward to their end of year party and picnic in the Castle Gardens.
Senior Citizen Luncheon Club
This year the Club opened on Wednesday 24th September, and continues to meet every 2nd and 4th Wednesday. When they meet they have a cooked lunch, with an activity to follow. This year, they have worked very hard to redecorate the room in which they meet, and with the financial support of MPDA, they have bought new chairs and cooking equipment. They enjoyed their annual Christmas Dinner on Wednesday 10th December, which again was sponsored by Antrim Borough Council. The local Church of Ireland Rector called in to talk about his experiences along with the children from the school. A coach trip was also part of this years schedule, and up to 30 people enjoyed a tour around Londonderry.
After Schools Homework Club
On a Monday & Tuesday during term time, a small group of 4-6 volunteers, work with 8-12 children to help them with their home work. These children have been identified by the teachers and so this work is vital when some of the teachers have noticed that children’s homework is neither done nor signed. In an age of recognized Protestant working class under achievement, this is valuable work, and much appreciated by not only MPDA but the whole school.
Teenage 5-a-side Football
Every Thursday night, a group of men and teenagers from the local Ballycraigy estate, met together for football between 8-9pm. Over this past year, the numbers have dwindled away, and so after Christmas the decision was made to stop this activity, in order to re-evaluate its effectiveness, with a view to dis-continuing it altogether, unless a desire from local people meant that it could be resurrected.
Friday Night Kids Club.
Every Friday night during term time, a group of between 20-40 local children met in Ballycraigy School, for an hour and a half of activities. This ranged from singing, to stories, to crafts, and sports. The leader in charge is having a baby this year, and we the Committee would want to thank her and wish her well for her future. Consequently, The Club has had to be stopped because of a failure to find and appoint a leader in charge. We believe that this work is important and so it will be very much part of a conversation in evaluating and determining whether or not this club should continue.
Community Festival & Summer Scheme
Ever since the inauguration of MPDA, one of its primary concerns has been the impact of the annual bonfire in Ballycraigy estate on the 11th of July. Since 2007, The Rector along with other volunteers have seen significant progress in ensuring
In 2014, MPDA saw full engagement from the bonfire builders with Antrim Borough Council, and a week long festival with the following activities was enjoyed by the whole community.
The Summer Festival was funded through donations during the week, but also by Funding from Maxol, Ireland (£2000) in partnership with Mr. Charles Henderson, representing Muckamore Cricket Club and local business.
New Developments & Programmes through the Year
‘Boys to Men’
Following a conversation between the Chair of MPDA Rev. William Orr and the Principal of Ballycraigy Primary School, Dr. Hazel Edwards in Feb 2014, where she stated that approximately, 75% of children in the school, do not have a regular male figure in the house. Consequently, Rev. Orr undertook a pilot scheme with the P7 boys, (nine in total) to spend an hour a week with them teaching them practical skills and modeling what it means to become a man in regard to attitudes and behaviours. Such was the success of that, Dr. Edwards wanted it to become a regular part of the P7 programme and so this year since September, with financial support from the Enkalon Foundation and the Church of Ireland Orphan Society, a weekly programme has been running where the boys have been taught how to use basic DIY tools, they have built bird boxes, designed and built their own Christmas trees, had four weeks basic cookery skills, been taught how to treat a lady, by cooking for say a ‘first date’, and are now embarking upon learning what it will mean to move to Secondary school and the basic behavioral skills necessary to make that move. It is hoped that with future funding this programme will become very much part of the P7 program for boys.
GOVERNANCE & PROCEDURES
At the beginning of 2014 year, the Comm. agreed certain changes as to how monies are paid out of the account. Therefore, in the future, all monies gathered at an event are counted with witnesses, and the total amount recorded for lodgment purposes. Furthermore, as far as possible, any cheques required between meetings are brought to the attention of the Committee, before the event/s so that office bearers are aware of any transactions between committee meetings. All governance and procedures are reviewed on an ongoing basis, and it is good practice that in 2015, governance and procedures appear on every agenda.
As with most community based groups, finance is always a concern, as to how we raise the necessary funding to keep the group functioning. Within MPDA, this happens through voluntary donations, membership fees, and funding applications. This year, we received grants from the Enkalon Foundation, Church of Ireland Orphan Society, & The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland.
SAFE-GUARDING CHILDREN & VULNERABLE ADULTS
All Trustees, Executive Committee Members, & all volunteers are vetted by Access NI under the Safeguarding Trust Program through the Church of Ireland, under which MPDA operate all their best practice procedures.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE
This year, the whole purpose and function of MPDA will be reviewed in its entirety, in line with the overall vision and purpose of St Jude’s Church of Ireland Parish, to whom MPDA must give account. As part of that discussion, the Chair would like to see the funding put in place to employ a part-time children and family’s worker to work alongside Ballycraigy Primary School, and supporting parents in their own homes. With well documented austerity, and increased financial pressures particularly on low income families, I feel that there is a huge need for this kind of ministry. Also, with membership of MPDA low, we are looking at the possibility of all members who contribute to the funds of St Jude’s Parish Church being willing to give a percentage of their donation to the work of MPDA, and as such get free membership to all that MPDA do in the future. A conversation has already begun with the staff and some key volunteers within St Jude’s, and we look forward to the direction and conclusion which will set MPDA on a course that we trust will help meet its aims and objectives set out in the Constitution.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF TRUSTEES IN RELATION TO THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Charity law requires the Trustees to prepare financial statements that give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Charity at the end of the financial year and of its surplus or deficit for the financial year. In doing so the Trustees are required to
We are still awaiting to be called by the Charity Commission to go through the necessary procedures for full engagement with the new regulations, but we hope to do so in the next financial year.
The Chairman and Executive Committee Members wish to record their sincere thanks, to all the volunteers that have worked so hard during 2014 to deliver MPDA activities.
They also wish to thank their funders for their generous support during the year
By order of the Trustees
Rev. William Orr
Date 29th April 2015.