Wycombe For Fairtrade formed in August 2008, but for the first 8 years of its existence, had no funds or community bank account, relying entirely on the generosity and goodwill of individual members. In 2016 the Steering Group decided that a Community Not-For-Profit bank account was essential in order to provide a financial base for future promotional campaigns and planned activities.
The Chairman has previously sent Steering Group members the receipts and payment account Excel spreadsheets for the tax years Sept 2016 to March 2017; April 2017 to March 2018; April 2018 to March 2019; April 2019 to March 2020, and April 2020 – Sept 2020. These figures are based on regular Barclays Community Bank balance updates. You may have noticed an anomaly on the accounts from 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020 which has now been rectified and the accounts amended and re-circulated.
Worth noting is that the majority of receipts were from Christ The Servant King Church donations from their Missions Committee during 2016 and early 2018 of 2 x £250.00 cheques for which the Group was exceedingly grateful.
These funds enabled the purchase of a laminated roller banner with “We are a Fairtrade Town” in 2016 which has graced many Fairtrade stalls, presentations and other live events. More recent Fairtrade Foundation publications like an A2 poster, flyers and booklets were bought in 2020.
Remarks will now focus on the accounts from 2019 to the present.
During Fairtrade Fortnight 2019, Wycombe for Fairtrade in conjunction with CSK Church held a ‘Big Brew’ event over 2 consecutive days to celebrate Traidcraft’s 40th birthday. We were fortunate to find an excellent cake maker, Jo Brain, who freely gave her time to make a sumptuous collection of cakes. We gave her £45.84 to cover the cost of the ingredients. All monies raised at these events went to support the work of Traidcraft Exchange.
A major expenditure for 2019 – 2020 was the outlay of £95.00 to Fairtrade Foundation for 12 months Public Liability Insurance, a necessary evil if Wycombe Fairtrade is to attend public events at venues where there is a risk of injury to the public e.g. Pann Mill Open Days.
Other notable expenses were the hire of the Wright’s Meadow Community Centre (£36.00) when Louise Whitaker, Bewley’s UK Group Sustainability Manager gave an enlightening talk covering Fairtrade coffee and the Impact of Climate Change as part of our International Fair Trade Weekend in May 2019.
Louise and David Turney from Bewley’s kindly donated Fairtrade teas, coffees, snacks, flapjacks and soft drinks for our future Fairtrade stalls which we sold from May 2019 onwards at Fairtrade stalls at CSK church, the Population Matters’ Climate Comedy Event, and Pann Mill Open Days. This added £76.10 (£50 and £26.10 being banked respectively) to our account which currently stands at £161.75.
With the Missions Team refocusing their giving abroad, and the corona outbreak meaning no public gatherings to sell Fairtrade products, our income streams have effectively evaporated. The Group’s decision not to purchase PLI this year has given us some breathing space and the chance to exploit private charities, community and voluntary body funding, and grant making trusts suggested by our contact with and the joining of “Community Impact Bucks”.
To broaden our income stream and spread our net wider, MK completed a Waitrose “Green Token” Community Matters request form and submitted it on Monday 13th July 2020 at Waitrose, Handy Cross. It is suggested that this action needs to be repeated across all the supermarket chains in order to fund possible future promotional and campaign projects involving the Grecia/CoopeVictoria friendship links; their Fairtrade coffee and any possible 2021 deals with Masteroast and Kingdom Coffee Company. Post coronavirus, there is much work to be done setting up dialogue and promoting educational links between Grecia and High Wycombe Schools especially in the fields of languages; geography; economic;, environment; and business studies which could lead on to possible exchanges of staff and students.
It was also proposed at our last Steering Group meeting to introduce a membership fee for members of Wycombe for Fairtrade: £15 for regular waged members, £10 for concessions and £5 for students.
To conclude, we need to explore every avenue to discover what other funding sources exist, exploit them, write positive business cases, and even possibly create a specific “Fundraiser post” on the Committee as well as giving ourselves by way of a member subscription.