CEO - Time to start planning for a brave new world

After seven weeks of staying safe at home, I thought I would do something different in my update this week by explaining some of the processes we, as a charity, have to follow to make sure we meet the guidelines of the Charities Commission, Companies House and our funders.

We follow strict guidance to make sure that we are a charity with good governance, financial controls, safeguarding procedures, health and safety restrictions and are a company that concentrates our attention to our staff and participants’ best interests.

This past week we have had our annual independent financial audit undertaken, so that we can continue to prove all is done in a correct manner. That is all most charities legally have to do, but to receive the funding we are able to access from the Premier League and from the EFL Trust we have to uphold a strict Capability Code of Conduct.

This keeps the organisation maintaining a level of quality assurance across 14 governance subjects and 120 mandatory obligations. The best way to explain this is by saying it is to us what Ofsted is to schools.

While this code of best practice is regularly a thorn in my side, at the current time it has been a great support to make sure our charity has a level of security. Two of the pieces we must complete are a business risk register and business continuity plans, which I have had to refer to on a regular basis over the past two months.

They have helped steer me to make sure our staff are secure, which ultimately means we can continue to support our community. I have also had great support over this period from our board of trustees to guide me in maintaining financial security over a period when our charity is losing more than £350,000 in income.

The board is helping us to find as many ways as possible to mitigate this loss and is supporting us in looking forward. This is now where our attention lies. Working with many local partners and organisations, we now start to plan our developments to help our local residents post-pandemic. We predict this will focus on health and wellbeing checks, supporting children’s and young people’s transitions back to schools and safely reintegrating back into community activity, while also supporting our community to improve their resilience and mental health.

We believe it’s time to find ways to reintegrate our community with safe physical distancing to reengage our participants to love healthy, happy lives. We also understand we have a strict guidance to follow from our Government and look forward to utilising new ways to engage even more people. We anticipate a number of the new ways we have found to work over the past couple of months will now become regular features of our provision, while we hope (in time) to reintroduce our traditional methods too.

We also received an amazing piece of news for our education team this past week. Our BFC Sports College team received their ALPS score, which is a system that allows education providers to measure the value they add to a BTEC student’s performance and journey – compared to what might have been expected of them with their previous academic performance at GCSE.

This system gives a score of one to nine and we received a two, meaning we are in the top 25 per cent of education providers in the country for the quality of support we offer our BTEC students.

This is another example of the attention we pay to supporting our participants and students to give them the best opportunities. Stay safe everyone and stay positive.