April 2011 - March 2012
OBJECTIVES OF THE CHARITY
To support the education and training of adults who have come to settle in the UK and whose first language is not English.
CONTRIBUTION TO PUBLIC BENEFIT
The Trust helps individuals with inadequate financial means to pursue a course of study or training. It enhances their opportunities to gain qualifications and enter employment appropriate to their ability so that they contribute to the wider economy and social cohesion of the UK, advancing equality for individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
In 2011-12 the Ruth Hayman Trust:
- awarded grants of £16,475 to 152 applicants towards course and exam fees.
Inevitably we were asked for far more than we could give.
- supported applicants from all parts of the UK (most originally refugees and asylum seekers) from 42 countries, 71% from Africa, including 13 refugees and asylum seekers resident in Belfast. Their courses covered a broad spectrum: vocational and academic, including all levels of English from very basic to those studying for the English language qualification for university admission.
- organised successful fundraising events: star violinist Jack Liebeck in a sell-out concert at South Africa House; a barbecue, raffles and quizzes.
- recognises the superb efforts of ESOL students from Walsall, Hackney and City & Islington Colleges who raised over £1,500 (for student fundraising materials, go to Support our work and British Council Nexus website)
- acknowledges generous support from Oxford University Press who donated and posted out 56 dictionaries to applicants.
- gives a massive thank you to everyone who supported us during the past year, and especially to our loyal supporters who donated over £4,000 through regular Standing Order payments.
APPLICANTS WE SUPPORTED
Our applicants for a wide range of courses came from around the world and across the UK. Once again, they reflected the world’s troubled areas, coming from 42 countries including Cameroon, Uzbekistan, Myanmar and Columbia. The biggest group, 71%, came from Africa, in particular, Somalia, Congo and Eritrea.
During the last year, the vast majority of our successful applicants were originally refugees and asylum seekers but had now settled in the UK. Last year 56% were permanently settled or were given leave to remain here and 16% were British nationals. The number of asylum seekers dropped again, representing only 17% of applicants as opposed to 25% last year and only 9 successful applicants had EU citizenship. Again the vast majority were adults over the age of 25 and again more women than men were awarded grants, 62 male and 90 female.
We are proud to recognise the contribution of the 3 recipients of the Rose Grant Special Award given to applicants with excellent references but who are also performing voluntary work in the community and the wider UK society.
- An Eritrean accountancy student grew up in a refugee camp, gained a BA in Baghdad and came to the UK as a refugee. Since his arrival, he has been working for a community health organisation and volunteering as treasurer for an asylum seekers’ organisation in Islington, while caring for his ailing wife.
- A young woman refugee (whose photo heads this report) in Hull is working as a volunteer with the Refugee Council, a local church and local NHS organisations while waiting for registration with the British Dental Council (with our financial support).
- A talented young asylum seeker (a victim of torture) from Cameroon who has been working as a volunteer with the Jesuit Refugee Service UK and the Children’s Society. She is now completing her degree studies in London.
The Trust is a UK wide charity and we were very pleased we were able to support applicants across the entire United Kingdom and especially to help 13 refugees and asylum seekers in Belfast. 57% of recipients were living or studying in London and the Home Counties (a slight increase on last year).
THE AWARDS AND THE COURSES
In 2011-12 we received 319 inquiries or applications and 152 people were awarded grants. Compared with last year, this is a small reduction in the number of both those applying for and those receiving awards. However there was no reduction in the number of awards made for ESOL courses. One possible explanation for this is the substantial number of ESOL awards made to students in 2 particular colleges (one in Northern Ireland). The reduction in the number of awards for Higher Education could reflect the unwillingness of students to embark on increasingly costly programmes of study.
Our recipients were following the usual wide range of courses from basic English to the language qualification needed to enter university, and from pharmacy, accountancy and a diploma in bricklaying, to a BA in Youth Justice. More than three quarters of our successful applicants were on courses in further or adult education.
FINANCE (see accounts, appended)
We are again grateful to Stewart Laitner for his oversight of the accounts.
Our improved financial situation permitted us to increase the total amount we were able to award, £16,475 against £15,141 last year. Despite the general rise in fees charged for courses in Further and Higher Education courses this increase gave us the ability to meet a higher proportion of the amount applicants requested. Fees accounted for all awards from our own resources.
Over 92% of our income was available to support learners. In this financial year 6.48% was used in fund-raising costs (renting space, publicity, insurance etc), and less than 1.4% by administration costs (cost of PO box, Data Commissioner.)
RAISING THE MONEY
SOURCES OF INCOME 2011-12
Thank you to our 43 supporters who contributed £4,000 through regular Standing Orders this year. With payments ranging from £10-300 a year their donations provide us with a regular, secure source of income. But we are also grateful to all those who support our fundraising activities and make one-off donations. We depend on our individual supporters - whether through donation, in kind or by giving generously of their time- for the continuing survival of the Trust.
We joined the BT My Donate scheme so that donors can make payments online (see http://mydonate.bt.com/charities/ruthhaymantrust) as well as the Give as You Live scheme www.giveasyoulive.com allowing donors to give small amounts at absolutely no cost to themselves when shopping on line.
Several well-supported fund-raising events included a barbecue, raffles and quizzes.
An extremely successful gala concert at South Africa House was organised in co-operation with the Rainbow Fund for South Africa, raising £3,700 for us.
We are extremely grateful to Oxford University Press for donating and posting 56 dictionaries directly to applicants. The financial value of their contribution is noted in the appended accounts as a donation.
MONITORING & QUALITY ASSURANCE
Our concern that a third of cheques issued by the Trust were not presented promptly (though most of these were eventually paid) led us to investigate all applications awarded during a 6 month period. The results highlighted the mobile nature of many of our applicants: some recipients had changed address or course; some had borrowed money and some had already paid fees themselves and were thus entitled to reimbursement (cheques awarded are normally payable to the institution where the learner is studying). Some informed us they had not enrolled on their courses because they had been unable to find the balance of the tuition costs which impels us to fund-raise harder so we can increase the size of the awards.
Eventually all but 4% of the queries had been satisfactorily resolved.
It is our belief that the awards we make for courses in education and training will improve the life chances of our applicants. To that end, we check that courses chosen by our applicants are both nationally validated and run in accredited institutions. We also assess the impact of our awards from both the letters we receive and the requested acknowledgements. Written by college tutors as well as those who have received grants, they leave us in no doubt that our awards are valued and make a difference to learners and their lives.
Plans were finalised to redesign our website and leaflet. A Facebook page was established. Please ‘like’ us, if you are a member.
We are most grateful for the support we received from our large group of volunteers: present and former trustees, their friends and family, our patrons, ESOL teachers (especially NATECLA members) as well as ESOL students. We thank you all.
PATRONS & TRUSTEES
S K Chand, S Colquhoun, S Diplock, J Lee, L Murphy O’Dwyer, G Panchapagesan, S Rosenberg, S Shah, M Simpson, M Siudek, J Smith, J Wainman, F Weinreich and S Zagor. We were sorry to lose the services of Sue Diplock and Sonny Khem Chand. We thank Sonny for the very many years he has given to the Trust. We have no paid officers, so all the day to day work of running the Trust, including most expenses, are borne by the trustees themselves. This means that 92% of the money we raise is available for awards to our applicants.
OUR PATRONS always respond to our requests for help and this year we are especially grateful to Sue MacGregor for being such an excellent presenter at the concert at South Africa House.
Implication for next year.
At the end of this financial year, predictions are difficult. We cannot know whether the number of our applications will rise, stabilise or continue to fall. Or even where they will come from.
The issue of fees for ESOL learners on low incomes has only been partially resolved in the short term. The current fee policy will remain in place for 2012-13 but the future is uncertain, particularly as the number of ESOL classes in colleges of Further Education has been reduced. At the same time there is evidence of a rise in informal learning and of volunteer schemes for ESOL.
We anticipate that we will continue to be asked for support for other academic and vocational courses in Further Education but it is difficult to predict the effect of rising fees for Higher Education courses. Our applicants are adults with low incomes and we can only make small contributions to very high university fees.
In a couple of matters, we can make certain predictions: first, we will be asked for much more money than we have available to award. And, second, we will continue to rely on all those people who have supported us with money, in kind or with voluntary work in 2011-2012.