Director’s Report 2017/18
DEE-SIGN CHOIR – DIRECTORS REPORT APRIL 2017 – MARCH 2018
2017 saw the first Signing Choir Competition to be held on the UK Mainland, previously this was set up in Jersey in 2010 see details of this on our website pages.
Dee-Sign entered and came away the winners winning the Morgan Astill trophy. This was a lovely event and a very early start to our year.
We will not be entering this years competition as its in Medway in Kent, so a little bit of a long journey. Hopefully if its in Liverpool in 2019 we can think about competing again.
2017 was a really busy year, as are most years, but the amount of bookings completed brought in less charity funds than the previous year. Much of this is due to the fact that many bookings are from groups/organisations/charities that have very little funds, and although some give small amounts many donate nothing and just book the choir to support a particular event. This is becoming more often as the choir becomes more well known, and we try not to refuse people. However, we know that we gave great pleasure to many different people at these events.
We are already taking bookings for 2019 one really large one at the new Storyhouse Theatre in Chester, organised by AmaSing a new Community Interest Company which was formed in April 2017 and is committed to organising and developing exciting and inspiring community projects and performances linked with singing, music and the arts. AmaSing’s first ever project has recently taken place in March 2018 at the Storyhouse. This project involved 34 primary schools in Chester & Ellesmere Port, Education students from The University of Chester, Media Studies students from West Cheshire College, House of Dance and The Hammond School dancers, professional composers Matt Baker, Andrew Smith and Ashley Faith, The Catholic High School Choir ‘Voicebox’ and adult vocal group ‘Harmonix Vocal Collective’. It was partially sponsored by Lumisi and Oliver & Co Solicitors and raised money/awareness for charities Macmillan Cancer Support and Chester Zoo.
The three performances involved more than 1000 children and a sell out audience of 1,800 over three nights. The choir is looking forward to being involved in this event in 2019.
The number of volunteers in the choir is dwindling, as people go off to University, get married, start work, join the army, poor health and basically in some cases needing a ‘gap year’ due to the amount of time they have been in the choir and needing to have a break. We currently have three new members who are thinking of joining us, so that is good.
As Director I continue to try and secure funds for Chester & District Committee for Deaf People, via Trusts, Companies and via information supplied to us by Chester Voluntary Action Group who are a wonderful tool for charities. Chester Deaf Centre is currently in the process of applying to the Lottery Fund for a grant towards building alterations to Chester Deaf Centre, so it is more important than ever for the choir to bring in much needed funds as the total cost of the work is around £135,000.
The choir recently supported two other charities Youth Music and Sign2Sing The Deaf Health Charity raising £770.51p to be shared between them. (see details).
The choir website has been updated and improved and now registers access to Facebook, Twitter and Instgram, huge thanks to Syed Salman Gilani for his wonderful work all on a voluntary basis. Our choir leaflets have also been updated. We are currently working on making sure we comply with the new GDPR which is replacing the Data Protection Act.
In November 2017 we held a 40 year Anniversary Party of Chester Deaf Club and a 20 year Anniversary party of Dee-Sign Choir. We held a joint event at The Mercure Hotel in Chester, which 100 people attended, and our guest of honour was The Sheriff of Chester Cllr. Jane Mercer.
FINANCIAL REPORT 31/03/2017 – 01/04/2018
|Balance||£26,944.14||(subject to audit)|
The reasons for expenses exceeding income:-
|Anniversary Celebrations (some funds have been refunded but will be in next financial year)||£5,857.66|
|New Choir Polo Shirts 2 each||£849.30|
|Donations to:- Deaf Youth Football Team – relating to coaching & party.||£350.00|
|Tarmacing Repairs to Deaf Centre Car Park||£1,400.00|
|Youth Workers Salary Deafness Support Network||£2,493.00|
The choir is proud that over the past 20 years they have currently raised nearly £200,000.
Thanks to all our supporters, our volunteers/Asst.Directors, Webmaster, Treasurer, our collectors, the general public and everyone who books us for their events – please see our website for details.
HERE’S TO ANOTHER EXCITING YEAR
Anne Hesketh – Choir Director/Secretary Volunteers in Partnership Group.