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The Digglers' Minutes

Meeting held on 10/07/13

Present:

  • Kath Pearson
  • Catherine Unsworth
  • Norma Smalley
  • Kath Birch
  • Val McKeon
  • Michael Gourley
  • Joan Butterworth
  • Gill Adams, who usually kindly gives her time to do the minutes, had a prior commitment.


Matters Arising:

At the last meeting it was suggested that Scott McKenzie be co-opted as a trustee of the bursaries. Val enquired if there was any further development on the matter.

Kath P replied that Scott had not been in contact and not done any of the things he had expressed an intention of doing eg fund raising for the charity. Therefore, the matter is closed.

Accounts:

Previously, there were two separate accounts one for the bursaries and one for day to day running costs of the charity. The detailed accounts produced by Sue has combined both accounts and show all transactions in detail. A summary was shown to everyone.

Val asked what was the difference between veterinary fees and animal welfare. Kath explained that the latter covered expenses incurred for such things as sheep shearing, ditch clearing, mowing the field and for looking after the animals in bad weather Sylvia.

Michael queried the difference between 'donations' and 'donations misc'. Kath replied that the latter consisted of gift aid claimed whereas the former were straight forward donations to the charity itself.

It was pointed out that a refund is due from Liverpool University. A student who had paid her annual fees has subsequently had the amount reduced. However, this has not yet been received and will be included in next years accounts.

The accounts were passed and will be placed on line.

Bursaries:

Michael reported that there are currently 17 students on our bursary scheme and there are 4 students for whom contributions are regularly being received. The procedure is explained on our website. Sponsors are more receptive donating through a registered charity and that the charity can claim gift aid which is a valuable source of income.

Michael was asked for an update on Catriona, the veterinary student studying in Slovakia because the fees are much less than in the UK. Since she is training in the EURO Zone, her degree will be recognised by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

There was some debate as to whether this was within the constitution of the charity as it was pledged to assist only UK students. It was decided that it was within the constitution and that any student who is a UK national should be allowed to study abroad providing that where they are studying is a member of the EU and the qualification is valid in this country.

Michael will draft a statement to be placed on the website to make our position clear.

Michael informed the trustees that some UK universities have reduced their fees dramatically for undergraduates though, they will be required to study an extra year. This may have an impact on the number of students choosing to study abroad.

Paypal donations and gift aid:

Kath P is concerned that when sponsors donate via this system, they may be unaware that a charge is made so we do not receive the full amount of the donation. Also we cannot claim gift aid unless they complete a gift aid form. This information has now been placed on our website and a gift aid form can be downloaded.

Kath P also suggested that maybe a charge to cover administration costs. This was discussed but it was felt unfair.

Fund raising/sponsorship and raising awareness:

Kath P expressed disappointment with the results of previous fund raising ventures.

Kath B suggested coffee mornings to be held in the local area and will research the possibility of using suitable venues such as Delph Methodist Church.

Michael was asked if awareness could be raised amongst vets particularly regarding the bursaries. He suggested that an article in the Veterinary journal might help and promised to look into the possibility of producing one.

Other business:

Lady Mumford has generously donated 2000 to the charity.

We have also received a generous donation of 600 towards the cost of Holly's operation.

3/7/13 Diggle was inspected by the Environment Agency. They were very impressed with the animal welfare and housing but thought paper work needed improvement especially the documentation regarding medicine administration!

The inspector delivered some disturbing information concerning the possible introduction of rabies into this country due to the smuggling of puppies from puppy farms abroad and also the general public smuggling animals into the country.

The information on rabies received from the inspector will be shown on our website with an explanatory note giving details where the information was obtained and where to access further updates.

Thanks were given to Ann and the team from Manchester Vets and to Prue from Oakwood for their care of our rescue animals (particularly Holly) and for considerably reducing veterinary fees. A formal letter of appreciation (and a poem)! have been sent.

Also thanks to Yvonne from Manchester Vets, who has done considerable amount of excellent work at Diggle and is now a fully fledged Diggler!

Thanks to everyone in attendance. Meeting closed