Thursday, 17 February 2011

Our 3 Year Plan

The Board of Trustees met in January and approved a 3 year plan for Children North East. The reason Children North East exists is to do as much good as possible for as many children and young people in need in the North East of England. Last year we reviewed and agreed our current objectives to be:
To promote the rights of children, young people; and counter the effects of inequality on them, their families and communities.
And we do this by:
·         Affirming family relationships;
·         giving children and young people opportunities that raise aspirations; and
·         encouraging community engagement.
During the next 3 years (until April 2014) the Trustees have agreed to concentrate on these 3 things: 

a)  Be known to speak out about child poverty in North East England.
Children North East started 120 years ago as an organisation to assist poor children. Essentially our work is still about child poverty. One third of children in the north east are poor and the proportion is likely to grow in the next 3 years.
Our name is more familiar than it used to be, but the public does not know what we stand for or what we do. As other regional bodies are disbanded, we have the chance to be a truly regional organisation advocating for the rights of poorer children and young people from Berwick upon Tweed to Teesside.
How we will know we are succeeding - Significant regional public activities highlighting child poverty each year during the next 3 years. 

b)  Increase the spread and impact of what we do.
At present, we work in Northumberland, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and parts of County Durham, yet we are called Children North East. We ought to be present in more of the region.
We do not know exactly how many children and young people use our services each year but estimate it to be about 4,000.
We are reducing overheads but Children North East will continue to need a turnover of at least £2 million a year to remain viable, to develop new services and adapt to all the changes ahead.
How we will know we are succeeding:
1.     Provide services in all the Tyne and Wear Local Authorities and all of County Durham.
2.     Reach 5,000 children and young people a year by 2014 and explain the impact we have.
3.     Annual turnover of £2.5m a year by 2014.

c) Be financially self-sustaining.
Public Sector spending cuts mean relying on grants and contracts from the public sector is no longer sustainable. Some Father’s Plus activities have been funded by selling them; in 2010 we also began to earn income by selling Hidden Harm services as ‘spot purchases’. Paying for our activities by selling them must now become our main financial model.
This will have big implications for the way we budget, monitor and manage our finances; for contracts of employment, which can no longer be linked to grants or contract; and we must invest in marketing our services.
How we will know we are succeeding – by 2013-2014 a minimum of 40% of our total income should be ‘earned’.

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