Welcome from our CEO

Although this is an introduction to the annual review for 2019, it would be remiss of me to ignore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic across the world and within our own communities. Overnight, the Trust’s operation underwent a profound change and the same was true for the groups and charities that we support. Many of them having to rapidly rethink how to deliver specialist services to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community. A large part of our income is derived from our commercial property portfolio and it is clear that, despite government aid, some businesses simply will not survive this crisis. We have no way of knowing what our town centre will be like in the future but as I write we find ourselves in a perfect storm of reduced income and increased need.

In 2019 the Trust’s income was £3.6 million which enabled us to deliver £2.0m in discretionary and non-discretionary grants to the town. We were delighted to make first time awards to Acorns Children’s Hospice who provide specialist support to children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and in contrast, to Shottery FC, a newly formed football team, to help buy training kits for young players. Along with our support for local schools and grants for people in crisis, we continue to strive to make a positive impact on the town and bring communities together.

Street Arts Project

CONTENTS 5 Who we are

6 Highlights of the year 8 Listening to you 10 Our year in numbers 11 Financials 14 Improve health and wellbeing 16 Positive activities for young people 18 Reduce loneliness and social isolation 20 Protect and support vulnerable communities 22 The Guild Chapel 23 Foundation House 26 Looking to the future

Beyond grant making we endeavour to be at the heart of our community with the Guild Chapel, our outdoor spaces at Rowley Fields and Warwick Road Lands, and the much loved Sunday bandstand concerts. I am particularly proud of the plans this year to increase the biodiversity at Rowley Fields with a change in the management regime and the introduction of a community orchard. Small steps but important nonetheless. Through the grants that we make and our unique role in the town we aim to be at the centre of the recovery. Creating a connected and vibrant community is our vision statement and it has never felt more relevant than now that we work tirelessly in support of this.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated Trustees for their support and direction over the last year. It is clear that in the months and maybe years ahead we will need to find new, collaborative and creative ways to support and unite our community. We look forward to the challenge.

Sara Aspley Chief Executive

Stratford Town Trust Annual Report 2019 3


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