ESPERANTO-ASOCIO DE BRITIO Registered Charity no: 272676
(also known as Esperanto Association of Britain, EAB, Springboard, Esperanto-GB.)

Trustees' Report
for the year ended 31st October 2008

The trustees are pleased to present their report with the financial statements of the charity for the year ended 31st October 2008. A full copy of the report and financial statements may be had from Esperanto House.

[This report was published in EAB Update No. 45 (April-June 2009)]

Trustees

The Management Committee of the Association are the trustees of the charity. Those who served from 1st November 2007 to 31st October 2008 were:

Staff and appointees

The objects of the Esperanto Association of Britain (EAB)

To advance the education of the public in the international language Esperanto in the furtherance of international communication without discrimination, and of the natural right of all people and peoples, their languages and cultures to be treated equally.

Activities undertaken to achieve the objects

The trustees appoint staff, team leaders and individuals to carry out specific activities. Many are volunteers, without whose staunch support little would be achieved, whilst the trustees undertake many jobs in a voluntary capacity. The Association depends on such people for the following activities.

Education: provide postal and residential (educational and cultural) courses for students of all levels with experienced Esperanto teachers - each level leading to an examination; a language awareness course for primary school children, with support and Esperanto teachers; Esperanto Education and Springboard to Languages websites; develop modern educational materials and choose literature for the bookshop; produce education-related publicity materials; operate Telephone Buddy system.

Butler Library: study and research facility for Esperanto history and culture.

Publicity: language shows; media coverage of events; press releases, particularly educational; occasional advertisements in national journals; comprehensive website with information for enquirers and links to other Esperanto organisations.

Members: newsletters in English and Esperanto; encourage members to attend national & international congresses, to correspond internationally and read Esperanto literature; stimulate group activity; advise and help with British Esperanto Congress.

Summary of main achievements during the year 2007/2008

Springboard to Languages project. Four pilot primary schools have an Esperantist teacher, although in two the teaching is shared with school staff. A Home Education Group began in April 2008. Four of the five groups plan to continue next year (one school will cease after the two-year pilot programme). One will move towards a self-sustaining model with class teachers gradually taking over teaching. The first pilot school has set up successful partner links with Benin, Hungary, Germany and France. EAB assisted one pilot and two international partner schools through a successful application under the Comenius scheme to achieve EU-funding for reciprocal visits: EAB is listed as an associate partner. In August 2008, 3 teachers and 9 children (accompanied by parents) from a Cambridge pilot visited a partner school in Herzberg. Partners are currently being sought for all the schools. Staff and pupils are enjoying the course and finding it beneficial.

Exams in 3 stages were prepared for schools at Key Stage 2. Improved materials and teacher-handbook were prepared.

Manchester University is undertaking a long-term independent evaluation of the Springboard programme. Their first-year report was presented October 2007. Manchester is listed as an associate partner in the Comenius Application and they will be evaluating the success of the partnerships.

Media: 'Times Educational Supplement', 'The Independent' newspaper, Esperanto Revuo (UEA) and several other overseas Esperanto magazines carried reports about the Springboard pilots. There is wide interest in the progress of the course and it has spawned an international working group which uses the Esperanto name of the Springboard to Languages project - 'Lingvolanĉilo'.

Presentations were given at the Universal Congress in Rotterdam, Asian Congress in Bangalore and Interlinguistics Congress in Poznan, plus radio interviews with Radio Poland and Manx Radio.

Promotion: Springboard was again represented at the CILT Primary Languages Show in Manchester (2 days).

Publishing: 'Elementary,..!'course and resources book are now available in book form, along with CDs and a tutor handbook; a Games CD was produced; 'Presenting Esperanto' CD was updated and an 8-minute DVD of a pilot school in action was recorded.'Conversational Esperanto' has been reformatted ready to be published in a second edition.

ODD course: A new 'Open Democracy' Discussion group convened in January and October. It is a cultural and educational event for fluent (and reasonably fluent) Esperanto speakers, covering a wide range of topics.

Publicity: EAB organized a stand at the London Language Show for three days, when a new CD 'A Taste of Esperanto' was distributed free during the exhibition.

Selena Scott's short film for TV featuring Esperanto and Somera Festivalo appeared in the series 'Tales from the Country'. Publicity was snatched from Littlewoods Direct when they announced that a new TV advertisement was in Esperanto. The language used was not really Esperanto, but gave rise to several radio and newspaper interviews.

A professional PR company was engaged in October 2008, for 6 months in the first instance. Their brief is to raise EAB's exposure nationally.

The EAB website was visited on average 280 times every day.

Butler Library: The concise catalogue was completed in June 2008. It contains 13,606 distinct records and may be consulted online or downloaded. Work on the major catalogue and conservation continued, including further binding of magazines, minutes etc. The library was used for research by members - especially during the Somera Festivalo residential course, and occasionally by journalists.

The British Esperanto Congress 2008 in Southport in May was successful, and local publicity reaped from it. Roman Dobrzynski, from Brazil showed films of Esperanto work at 'La Bona Espero' foundation.

Administration: credit and debit card payments for all services can now be accepted by telephone.

Plans for 2008/9 and further

Future of Wedgwood Memorial College

A temporary (12 months) part-time appointment has been made for Principal of the Wedgwood Memorial College [on whose campus the EAB office in Esperanto House is situated]. The college is still being evaluated by Stoke and Stafford City Councils in consultation with users, including EAB. Results were promised for November 2007 but though EAB took part in a NIACE enquiry, and received a copy of the report, no decision has reached the trustees yet from SOT or Staffordshire CC.

Membership

Life members 25, full members 336, family members 15, supporters 57.

New members and supporters were welcomed, but several aged members died during the year. Members and supporters receive EAB Update newsletter (English and Esperanto) quarterly. In addition, full members receive an all-Esperanto journal - La Brita Esperantisto - twice a year, and are automatically affiliated to Universala Esperanto-Asocio. Full members are entitled to vote at the AGM. Services include transfer of payment for international Esperanto events via the UEA credit system. The modest subscriptions have not increased for several years.

Financial Review of the year

Income is derived from investments, membership subscriptions, sales, bequests and donations and spent on the charitable objects. Grants were received from Esperantic Studies Foundation and Institution Hodler '68. The trustees sought advice on the spread of investments, and as a result adjusted the balance slightly between asset types in July 2008. Global financial instability during the year resulted in a fall in the total value of EAB's investments by 17%.

Donations are gratefully received and acknowledged.

A legacy of £11,420 for general funds was received from the estate of Ruth Sylvia Fitton.

Reserves. The Association has good financial reserves. This enables the trustees to plan activities which once started must be continued for several years to bring results. Two years ago the trustees designated funds to the main areas of activity in a five year forecast. Designated funds can be re-directed to other projects at the discretion of the trustees.

'Free reserves', or uncommitted funds, are required to meet any emergency or shortfall in income. £150,000 is considered sufficient cover for 18-24 months.

Scout Esperanto League of Britain entrusted money to EAB in 2002. If the Scout League in Britain has not been restarted within seven years the money may be used for other youth activity.

Investment policy. The Constitution states that the trustees have power to make investments as they see fit. Their duty is to seek both adequate income and capital growth. At the AGM in 2008, the membership showed an overriding wish for the Association to hold assets in socially responsible funds. Capital is invested in deposit accounts and unit trusts specifically designed for the charity sector, which are for the greater part socially responsible. The split between asset classes is approximately:

Total value of cash and investments at 31st October 2008: £1.3m.

Investment managers:
CCLA/COIF Charity Investment Funds , 80 Cheapside London, EC2V 6DZ
Black Rock, 33 King William Street, London, EC4R 9AS
Charities Property Fund, 2 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NQ
Charities Aid Foundation, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent. ME19 4TA

Responsibilities of the trustees in relation to the financial statements

The trustees are responsible for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations.

Charity law requires the trustees to prepare financial statements for each financial year in accordance with United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (United Kingdom Accounting Standards and applicable law). The financial statements are required by law to give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the charity and of the income and expenditure of the charity for that period. In preparing these financial statements, the trustees are required to:

The trustees are responsible for keeping proper accounting records that disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the charity and enable them to ensure that the financial statements 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 and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

Approved by the trustees and signed on their behalf on 7th February 2009 by:

Prof. J.C.Wells, president      E. Grimley Evans, vice president


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