St. Stephen’s Millennium Green Trust
Annual Report for the year 1st October 2019 to 30th September 2020.
The St. Stephen’s Millennium Green Trust of 3 Richmond Hill, Bath, BA1 5QT was registered by the Charity Commission under the terms of a Declaration of Trust dated 5 May 1999 as amended by Scheme dated 22 Jan 2019. Registered charity number is 1076240. The Trust Deed is available for inspection by appointment.
Mary Ede, 12 Springfield Place, Bath
Jacqueline Harris, 10 Mount Beacon, Bath
Claire Smith, 14 Upper Camden Place, Bath (Treasurer)
Ian Wilson, 3 Richmond Hill, Bath (Chairman)
Anne Claxton, Hill House, Richmond Hill, Bath
Peter Akbar, Flat 2, 7 Mount Beacon, Bath
Chris Melbourne, 11 Richmond Road, Bath
Duncan Spooner, 15 Springfield Place, Bath
Under the terms of the Deed existing Trustees are responsible for the appointment of new Trustees and officers. All existing Trustees are due to retire and to be open to reselection after a term of 4 years.
Aims of the Trust and Powers of the Trustees
The Trustees are committed to hold the Trust funds and apply them to the maintenance of The Green, to develop The Green for informal recreation, play or other leisure-time occupations, and as a meeting area for local events for the general benefit of the community. The site is designated by Bath and North East Somerset Council as being of “special visual importance”.
The past year, the 20th year of the St. Stephen’s Millennium Green’s existence, has been a year of challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. A major highlight turned out to be the high level of use of the Millennium Green during the period of lockdown and afterwards. The Millennium Green was not only heavily used by the local community but also by people from across Bath.
One major lowlight caused by the pandemic was the curtailment of fundraising events during the past 12 months with only two events held before the pandemic arrived.
Despite the impact of the pandemic the Millennium Green continues to thrive and is seen as a valuable asset by the local community.
This year has seen two changes to the line-up of Trustees. After many years as a Trustee and as a stalwart of the Millennium Green Brenda Bridgeman decided to step down as a Trustee. Our many thanks go to Brenda who, together with her husband Ken, was one of the original instigators of the Millennium Green and has worked tireless to support the Millennium over many years.
We are very pleased that Duncan Spooner has agreed to become a Trustee and we look forward to his support to the Trust in the coming years.
The Millennium Green has been in wonderful condition throughout the year and as always many thanks to our gardener John Gibbon, and to two of the Trustees, Jackie Harris and Brenda Bridgeman, who have worked so hard to ensure that the Green has always looked at its very best. During lockdown the Green was looking particularly wonderful and attracted many favourable comments from the many visitors during that period.
The financial position of the Trust is covered in detail in the Financial Report but the key points are that despite the impact of the pandemic on fundraising events the Trust’s income for the past year balanced expenditure. This means that this year the Trust will not be able to add any surplus to the capital reserve fund. However the capital reserve fund remains healthy despite the financial impact of the pandemic on the financial markets.
Balancing income and expenditure over the next 12 months may be a challenge depending on how soon fundraising events can resume.
Donations have been a major source of revenue for the Trust. This year the income from donations is slightly down on the income from donations in the previous year with the number of donors holding steady. We are especially grateful for significant donations from the Powne family, Harriet Oldridge, John Dickens, Patricia Partridge, and Jonathan Nash. In the future it is important that the Trust manages to maintain donations at the current level.
Another key source of revenue for the Trust has been the fund-raising events normally held throughout the year. Due to the pandemic only two fundraising events were held during the year.
In October 2019 there was a “Talk with Wine” featuring local author Jeremy Seal which was a great success. Jeremy gave an extremely engaging talk about his experiences canoeing down the River Meander across Turkey and provided fascinating insights about life in Turkey. Over 70 people attended the talk which as well as wine featured some Turkish dishes. Many thanks to Claire Smith and Anne Claxton for organising the event.
In February whilst Storm Ciara raged there was a “Talk with Tea” featuring the popular local speaker Amy Frost who gave an excellent talk on James Wilson the architect of St Stephen’s Church, Kingswood and The Royal High Schools. A packed house of over 70 people attended. Thanks to Brenda Bridgeman and Jackie Harris for arranging this event.
The Lansdown Open Gardens to be held in June were cancelled due to the pandemic. Instead the Millennium Green website hosted the ‘Virtual Lansdown Open Gardens’ where visitors could enjoy virtual tours around the gardens that would have been open. This proved very popular with over 1600 visitors taking the virtual tours. Many thanks to the garden owners for providing wonderful photos and video clips.
This year marked the 20th Anniversary of the opening of the Millennium Green. We had hoped to incorporate a celebration of this anniversary into our event schedule. Unfortunately, this was another plan disrupted by the pandemic. As an alternative we produced a video celebrating 20 years on the Millennium Green. Both this video and the Virtual Lansdown Open Gardens are still available at www.millenniumgreen.org.uk.
Fund-raising events have been a key component of the Trust’s annual income. Unfortunately, it is unclear when fundraising events can recommence. We are planning to go ahead with the Lansdown Open Gardens in 2021 and the event is provisionally scheduled for June 6th 2021.
The Trustees believe that it is important that we continue with these events not solely as a means of raising funds but also as events for the local community. The Trustees will lead the way of this but as always we will need the help of volunteers from the local community to make these events a success.
Email continues to be the primary method of communication with supporters of the Green and we currently have a well qualified list of over 140 subscribers. Our email list is now managed using Mailchimp which provides a more robust system and better formatted emails. The website (www.millenniumgreen.org.uk) has been revamped after 9 years with (what we believe!) is a more user friendly and visually appealing appearance.
The Millennium Green has also had a first foray into the world of social media with a presence on Instagram (@mgigram) and Twitter (MillenniumGree1).
In past years there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour from youths on the Green. We are happy to report no significant incidents this year apart from some minor vandalism earlier in the year prior to lockdown. We are pleased that there were no incidents during lockdown or afterwards.
One of the roles of the current Trustees is to ensure the Millennium Green has a healthy future and the challenges to achieving this remain much the same as discussed in previous AGMs:
- Infrastructure & Maintenance. At present the day to day gardening and maintenance activities are well covered but the Trustees need to be considering what refurbishments will be required in the future and that the required funds are available for these refurbishments. In the short term the paths on and around the Millennium Green need resurfacing. This is partly the result of the high number of visitors during lockdown. We hope to start this work by the end of 2020. In time significant items requiring capital expenditure will need to be addressed – e.g. renewal of the stage, maintenance of the fort and the gifted land.
- Resources. Since inception the Millennium Green has been very lucky in having a core of volunteers and supporters who have supported the maintenance and fundraising activities for the Green. In recent years there has also been a paid gardener for the Green and it is our intent to always continue with this model. Looking forward it is vital that we continue to have an active set of core volunteers and supporters to ensure the health of the Green for the future. A continuing challenge for the Trustees is to ensure that we are doing all we can to bring on a new generation of volunteers to support the Green.
- Financial Viability. The present financial status of the Green is healthy as outlined in the Financial Report. However looking at the future there are challenges ahead and the Trustees have a key responsibility to continue to build up the capital reserves of the Trust to ensure financial viability for the next 15 or more years.
This year was the 20th anniversary of the St. Stephen’s Millennium Green. It is to the credit to everyone who has been involved with the Millennium Green that is has thrived and prospered over the past 20 years. Based on the figures from the Charity Commission the St. Stephen’s Millennium Green is in the top 15 Millennium Greens in the country based on annual income.
In this period the income for the Trust was £10,404 and expenditure was £10,272 giving a surplus of £132. No new investments will be made by the Trust this year.
I would like to thank my fellow Trustees for their contributions over the past year. They have always been willing to lend a hand with whatever task needs doing. The St. Stephen’s Millennium Green has been a wonderful community asset for over 20 years. It is my goal, and the goal of the Trustees, that it continues to be a wonderful local asset over the next 20 or more years.
Chairman Dated: 28/10/2020