E.A.B. REPORT OF THE TRUSTEES FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31ST OCTOBER 2002
The Trustees are pleased to present their report together with the financial statements of the charity for the year ended 31st October 2002.
Legal and administrative information set out in part 1 forms part of this report. The financial statements comply with current statutory requirements.
Objects of the Association
The aims of the charity are to advance the education of the public in the international language Esperanto.
Organisation, subcommittees etc
The trustees are the members of the Management Committee of the Esperanto-Asocio de Britio, elected by theAnnual General Meeting to serve until the end of the next AGM. The names of the trustees who served during the year are set out in part 1.
The Director of Development was appointed by the trustees.
Subcommittees and individuals are appointed by the Management Committee to carry out specific tasks, requiring feedback to the Committee.
Under the Constitution, the charity has power to make investments as the trustees see fit.
The charity has relations with other Esperanto organisations both in Britain and abroad.
Review of activities and achievements
The greatest effort this year has been the refurbishment of the Old Coachhouse at Wedgwood Memorial College, Barlaston, for use as the Esperanto Office, with an extention for the Butler Library behind, and three bedrooms above.
Construction work was completed just in time to allow participants at the British Esperanto Congress in nearby Stoke to visit in May.
Following that, the Butler Library was moved from storage in Ipswich to the new premises. This involved a lot of hard work. Art works which had been renovated were brought back from safe keeping with Geoff Wood.
Then the new office was furnished, and book and equipment transferred from temporary accommodation in Wedgwood College library. The Association is grateful to the College for this allocation of working space and extra storage and for help given in many ways to ease the move.
The official opening of the new headquarters took place on September 17th, when Renato Corsetti, head of Universala Esperanto-Asocio in Rotterdam, and Councillor Ellis Bevan, Lord Mayor of the city of Stoke-on-Trent, performed the opening ceremonies. Dr. Komorowski, the Polish Ambassador, gave a short speech and other civic dignitaries congratulated EAB on their choice of location, welcoming the Association to the city.
National and local press, T/V and radio coverage of the inauguration , including interviews with Renato Corsetti, David Kelso and Derek Tatton, resulted in many enquiries. Our two lady members of staff appeared in a follow-up article in the local press where they spoke about their own experiences of learning Esperanto.
The event was widely reported in the Esperanto press and news websites.
Surrounding the building, an ‘Esperanto Garden’ has been developed, incorporaing existing mature trees and the ‘Esperanto Sculpture’. People wishing to support the garden may do so by contacting Derek Tatton, Principal of Wegwood College, or the
At Barlaston this year, courses included the prestigious Somera Lernejo in August, Ni Festivalu in January, ‘Esperanto Day’ in March - which included sessions for beginners, SATEB (Esperanto workers) weekend in May and a three-day cultural event surrounding the official opening of the HQ in September.
A new course ‘Elementary…!’ based on the book ‘Gerda Malaperis’ by Claude Piron, was commissioned by EAB and developed by the Education Committee. The first two parts were launched and available for inspection at HQ during the inauguration. The final part of the 25 lesson course will be ready at the end of December 2002. Our office administrator, Viv, is currently studying this course. Angela Tellier and Malcolm Jones were assisted by Bill Walker and Terry Page on this enterprise.
‘Esperanto Education’(formerly Esperanto Teachers Association) a registered charity, transferred all its assets to EAB in August 2002. This included its stocks of teaching materials, cash and National Savings Bonds. The monetary assets appear in the financial statement as ‘Education Fund’.
The Butler Library is a major educational resource, and it is hoped to register it nationally as a ‘Residential Library’ in conjunction with Wegwood Memorial College, where students may stay to study. The college administers the bedroom lettings, along with its own rooms.
The Bendoteko is a lending collection of sound cassettes in Esperanto on educational and cultural topics, administered by Eric Walker. A catalogue is available from the HQ.
The focus has been on the Official Opening event. This was choreographed by professionals Jim and Gaynor Voiles assisted by the publicity committee, Wedgwood College and the Esperanto Office staff. New information packs for enquirers were produced to coincide with the inauguration.
Advertisements were placed in selected publications and the results monitored.
In June, Esperantists were invited to participate in a discusion about the International Language at a meeting of the World Federalist Movement, held in London. As a result, a motion was passed in favour of adopting Esperanto as a fair and neutral means of communicating internationally.
New web and e-mail domain names and service providers were adopted. The web site, esperanto-gb.org was updated by David Bisset with reports and future events.
EAB NetNews, an English-language e-mail newsletter, which is produced as a PR tool as well as for our own members, continued to appear monthly under the editorship of Ian Fantom. The emphasis has been in connecting Esperanto with world events such as educational initiatives, parliamentary debates, EU discussions, the arts, etc. To receive ‘EAB NetNews’ send an e-mail to eabnetnews @ esperanto.org> or to view the archive, set your browser to <hhtp://esperanto.org/uk/eabnetnews>.
‘La Brita Esperantisto’ was revived and two editions published during the year, which were well received. This all-Esperanto journal is sent to full members. Additional copies may be purchased from the Esperanto Office . Thanks are extended to the editor Paul Gubbins, and compiler Simon Bennett Davies.
During the period when ‘La Brita Esperantisto’ did not appear, members received instead ‘La Ondo de Esperanto’, an all-Esperanto international journal, as a stopgap. This will not continue after December 2002.
‘EAB Update’, the newsletter for members and supporters, was sent four times, plus two supplements with ‘LBE’. Thanks to Eric Walker, the editor.
The British Esperanto Congress was held in Stoke in May. Terry Page took on the organisation of this event very efficiently at short notice. The office staff helped with administration.
Membership-based organizations do not seem to attract support in today’s society, though interest has been stimulated as a result of publicity and media involvement. The advanced age of the membership has resulted in high losses this year. At the end of October 2002, 471 full members (with voting rights) and 91 supporters were enrolled.
Subscription rates will remain unchanged at £25 full membership (or £20 concessionary rate) and £10 for Supporters.
‘Esperanto Action’ ceased latterly. Those of its members who are not members of EAB will be invited to join, and will receive ‘EAB Update’.
The national network of Federations (and the Scottish Association) continues as in recent years: some active, some dormant. The federations now play an additional role as the natural point of contact for the many esperantists who enter the Movement through the internet and thus have no necessary connection with a local group.
Staff and volunteers
Once the new office was ready, our admin staff hours were increased, so that Viv O’Dunne works four flexible days a week, and Lydia Arnold three hours.
They deal with all membership renewals and queries, mail order book services at home and overseas, control book stocks and day-to-day finances. In addition, they help enquirers and send information packs, allocate tutors for the Free Postal Course and keep databases up-to-date. They co-ordinate queries from the press and media with suitable Esperanto representatives.
David Kelso, Director of Development, changed his arrangements, and is working on a consultancy basis, averaging one day per week, at present.
The hard work of all the staff was a major factor in the successful move. They co-operated in the organisation and publicity surrounding the inauguration of the new HQ . It was nice to see them at the Congress in Stoke.
Wedgwood Memorial College staff were most co-operative, which helped operations to run smoothly in this busy year of change.
The trustees are indebted to many devoted volunteers who have worked for the Association during the year: administrators, editors, tutors, examiners, teachers- especially those who produced the new Elementary course, the organisers of the British Congress, librarians, etc.
Bequests and donations
The Association benefitted from generous legacies left by Edmund Ashcroft, Bernard Smith and Phyllis Strapps. Donations included gifts to Education Fund and the Esperanto Garden. Donations may be designated for these purposes or for the Butler Library, Publicity or Afrika Agado.
A sum of money has been entrusted to the Esperanto Association from the Scout Esperanto League of Britain. The Scout Movement may use it to re-form the League within seven years, after which it may be used in other ways for young people.
The newly elected body of trustees discussed their roles and responsibilities during an intensive weekend workshop in June. Some items from their programme include:
Complete the third part of the Elementary course by end of 2002.
Produce leaflets to help students to chose the right course. Review courses, publicise.
Strengthen IT and computer methods of learning Esperanto.
Catalogue the Butler Library fully. Sort collections bequeathed to EAB.
Place advettisments in suitable publications.
Involve and link volunteer workers.
Revise EAB Handbook
Risk applies not only to money, but all activities of the Association, and the trustees have endeavoured to address this.
Investments are spread between four companies, in different types of units.
Money held in excess of current requirements may be called ‘reserves’. The capital from the sale of the London premises, less the cost of the new headquarters, is intended to provide income to support the aims of the Association for many years.
The trustees over time have invested capital in specialised unit trusts, designed for the charity sector, to meet the need for both income and growth.
Independent Financial Advisors were consulted in August 2002, one of whom said he would charge £1,000 to manage the investment portfolio, at the same time admitting that EAB’s assets were already reasonably well spread. Another IFA said EAB would be better off without him, and should stay with the recognised Charity Investment Companies.
The current financial climate is not healthy, so the trustees have left a substantial amount on deposit. However, a further £20,000 was invested in the ‘Charities Property Fund ‘ on 30th September. This is one of the few areas which is performing reasonably well at present. Advice is that 8-10% of capital is a reasonable proportion to invest in Property Funds.
EAB’s policy is to provide income and growth for many years, at the same time permitting the release of capital for well-considered projects in furtherance of the aims of the charity.
Responsibilities of the trustees in relation to the financial statements
Law applicable to charities in England and Wales requires the trustees to prepare financial statements at the end of each financial year which give a true and fair view of its financial activities during the year and of its financial position at the end of the year. In doing so the trustees are required to:
- select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently
- make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent
- state whether applicable accounting standards and statements of recommended practice have been followed subject to any departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements; and
- prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the charity will continue in business.
The trustees are responsible for keeping accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial postion of the charity and enable them to ensure that the financial statementas comply with the Charities Act 1993. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention of fraud and other irregularities.
Approved by the trustees and signed on their behalf by...........
[Return to EAB reports list]