Chairman’s Update

Devon Senior Voice is changing, has to change, but we are all the parts that are important to us, and the people that depend on us. This is a time of sustainability and transformation. A time to look at what we are, what we stand for, and how to move for-ward. There are challenges, in all of our areas, in all of our Branches, whether we have an active group or whether we communicate with our members by e-mail. We are valuable within our communities as a champion for elderly people, and we must try to carry on with all that we stand for, only things have to change.

In the past we were funded through the Engagement Contract from Devon County Council and health service Clinical Commissioning Groups. This has ended. From now on we must work in different ways, collaborate with other organisations, bid for funds to finance projects, bid for support from local councils, local charities, local and national organisations. In our communities we are respected for our name and our reputation. We are recognised by all the work we do, now we must promote ourselves even more. In order to hold events, hold memory cafes, attend consultations, run information fairs, support our members in all the ways we do, we have to create new ways to be-come sustainable.

We are desperately sad that due to lack of money we can-not afford to continue to employ Sally on her current contract from 1st April. However, we are lucky to have very limited funds that will allow us to re-employ her on a reduced contract two days/week as she is our back-bone and our strength We shall still have the Magazine, the Web-site, management of the membership database, a way to answer enquiries and e-mails, and the day to day two way communication that is Senior Voice going for ward into the new financial year.

We must keep the Board of Trustees because we are a Company, governed by the Company’s Act. We are setting up an ‘Operational Group’ which will direct the organisation on a day to day basis. This group will extend beyond the Board and Chairmen and include representatives from the localities. We will construct Terms of Reference to direct the group. We will continue to represent our members, locally and across Devon, and in all the strategic forums that we attend in order to influence decision making. We must look at how we work, how we continue to make our voice heard and our opinion recognised. With limited funds we have to find other funding streams, local councils, local charities, local grants. We will continue to collaborate with Devon Communities Together and work in conjunction with them in projects when we can. We will continue to network with the organisations in our localities for the benefit of older people.

Carol McCormack, Chairman  – Spring 2017

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