These are the Guernsey Deaf Children's Society annual Chairperson's reports, which are created for our yearly public AGM.
Chairperson’s Report AGM 21/07/2020
Let’s start where we left off at the previous AGM 30/4/19.
First things first we had to celebrate 40 years of GDCS! A huge pat on the back to all that were involved in organising this party @ Peninsula Hotel. Special mention to Tracy & Aija who organised the games, decorations and a special cake with our logo on it. There was a magician ( a huge hit with the children) face painter, balloons, food and a disco to finish off the evening. Old and new members were invited and we even had a lady travel from the UK especially to join us. It was lovely to see everyone celebrate together. The Guernsey Press joined us and wrote a feature on the charity.
Camping at Fauquets Valley.
Approx 50 people including a couple of new families that haven’t camped before, we made a few changes to the previous years camp, the bouncy castle was hired for the BBQ in Sat only for insurance reasons, instead we had a large box full of toys and games which the children loved. Again thanks to Tracy who had prepared lots of fun games for the children. Pizza Fri night, BBQ Sat night, we had glorious weather and the children stayed up late playing because of the heat. In some ways, I think this was our most successful camp to date, I feel that this is the event that the children really get to properly socialise and get to know each other. It was lovely watching them swim and play together.
Committee had a well earned rest over the summer.
Sept we offered sailing on the model yacht pond for smaller members & kayaking for older children. The sailing unfortunately didn’t go ahead due to lack of interest and kayaking was also cancelled due to bad weather- we had 13 people put their names down for this event so it was a shame to miss out.
Nov, busy month
4/11 Bonfire party, again thankyou to Healthspan for kindly inviting us to join them again, 47 people came which is a record number ( we usually have around 30) Again it was nice to welcome a new family. A well organised event with entertainment for the children, food and drinks, thankfully the rain held off just long enough for most of the fireworks display.
17/11 Round table Xmas Fayre @ Beau Sejour.
Great fun but hard work. This year we were lucky to receive 3 large boxes of Xmas goodies donated by Sigma, this combined with the lucky dip kept us very busy on the table. We made £311.75.
Dec Ice Skating
Thank you to Emma for organising this, we decided to do a morning session, it wasn’t very crowded so plenty of room on the ice. 14 children & 8 adults put their skates on. Plus we arranged a chocolate treat to hand out to the children at the end. Very enjoyable session & again, thankfully, no broken bones.
Feb climbing at Up Climb
Bit of a last minute event for half term but so glad we organised this as it was the last time we could get together for sometime due to covid-19. We had 15 children split into to an older and a younger group. This was lots of fun and the staff did a great job and had all the children playing together. I think there were a few blisters on fingers by the end of the session.
Covid 19 Struck.
The committee was forced to take a break from organising things, swimming and AGM were cancelled. We acknowledge that as a charity we still wanted to play a part in supporting the children and their families through this. So we made a point of posting ideas, things to do, challenges, positive words on our Facebook page offering support and encouragement through these strange times.
Once again- the charity is not just about organising fun and games, there is still a lot going on in the background.
MSG - our audiologists received his equipment that the charity paid for and was very keen to show us what they do (a bit like a kid with a new toy) he was very appreciative of our help purchasing these items.
We applied for the Waitrose green token community matters grant. Which took place over Christmas time. We received £360.00
Leaflets we had some quickly made up in time for the Xmas fayre but still need to make some small changes before printing some more.
We had 15 minutes of fame for Denise, Elliot, Chris and I @ radio Guernsey in November. Jenny Kendall - Tobias interviewed us about our 40th celebration, how the charity started and growing up in Guernsey with a hearing loss.
Dealing with requests for equipment, we purchased a laptop and a compilot for 2 local children.
Constitution - where do we start. Thank you to Jon who I know spent a lot of time writing a new one for the charity, and thank you to Redwood for their suggestions and for validating the constitution.
My highlights -
looking across the field at the camp and seeing so many children playing and enjoying each other’s company.
During lockdown I posted ‘Roar’ by Katie Perry with BSL one of the children had practiced the song and his mum posted a video of him signing along. I had tears in my eyes when watching him.
To the committee - another successful year, we had 2 big events, the camp and 40th celebrations. Plus the Xmas fayre is a lot of work wrapping hundreds of presents.
Thank you to Elliot for keeping an eye on the accounts. I couldn’t do any of this without the team by my side, I know we have been tested this year so a heartfelt thank you from me.
Thankyou to Sigma for donating the Xmas goods.
To Redwood for their help with the constitution, and to the Villette Hotel for allowing us to hold our AGM here.
Finally, thankyou to the parents for attending our events and for getting involved.
Thankyou for listening.
Chairperson's Report AGM 30/04/2019
by Leonie Burrows
Once again another year has flown by, it’s not until I write this report that I realise how much we do in 12 months.
We started off the year with a healthy committee of 9 people and of course we remain in a strong position financially.
MAY 2018. Swimming party at Beau Sejour, about 25 people came including a new family. This event is great fun and seems to be enjoyed by the younger children. It was decided to do the swimming again in 2019.
JUNE 2018. GDCS Camp. 29/6 - 1/7 Always a popular event, we had 2 new families join us, 19 children in total. This year Tracy purchased a huge box of toys which were a big hit with the children, we had freshly made pizza from the campsite on Fri night & a BBQ on the Sat night where some extra people joined us on site. We enjoyed the pool, had card games, arts and craft, bouncy castle, football, rock/ papers/ scissors game with pegs, all great fun. We received quite a few messages of appreciation after the weekend.
Karen stepped down from the committee due to her study workload. Leonie thanked her for her help with organising events.
AUGUST. 5th Herm trip. Amazing turnout - just shy of 50 people came. Very hot day. Started with a sand sculpture competition, very impressive creations in the sand. Food was pre ordered earlier in the day but took a while to serve which meant that some of us had finished while others were still waiting for their food, but we got there in the end. The afternoon was free to explore the island, enjoy the sun and have a dip in the sea to cool down. Some were lucky to see dolphins on the way home.
SEPTEMBER kayaking 8/9. 20 people put their names down but a few dropped out last minute, 12 came in the end - we had a lovely long paddle across Grande Havre, the younger paddlers got quite tired and needed towing back. Denise has cooked hotdogs for us for when we got back to the beach which was well received. It was suggested we paddle from Havelet to Fermain next year.
22/9 GHHA quiznight. Denise put in a team which did quite well. This event is very well run and we would recommended to anyone who enjoys a good quiz.
NOVEMBER 2/11 Dairy visit. Another popular event - we even had to turn people away as we were limited on numbers. Originally booked for 24 people 35 put their names down so it was agreed with the Dairy that 30 people could attend. Everyone enjoyed themselves, a good insight into how our Dairy operates, the children enjoyed lots of free goodies too.
Bonfire night 2/11. Again thank you to Healthspan for inviting us along to their bonfire event, lots of fun activities for the children and the fireworks were brilliant.
Xmas fayre 18/11. Very enjoyable but very hard work and a long day. We had lucky dip, reindeer food, Santa keys, lolly game, balloons and balloon modeling from the very talented Lawrence. We raised £240.41
DECEMBER 8/12 ice skating. Very relieved to say most people stayed on their feet, the ice was very wet due to heavy rain so you knew if people had fallen as they would be soaked, some children were showing no fear.
Accessible shopping evening. Some of our children performed some signing to jingle bells along with the choir. I hope they organise another one this year as it was a lovely evening.
FEBRUARY 18/2 observatory. We were split into 2 groups, one group went into a telescope/ observation room and the other went into a classroom for a presentation on our solar system. Halfway through the evening we swapped round. Very informative for both adults and children, we were so lucky - it was cloudy all day but the clouds cleared away allowing us to see the moon, seven sisters Orion’s Belt and the andromeda galaxy. Over 30 people put their names down for this event.
MARCH we lost another member of our committee. Paul had decided to step down, a sad loss, both Paul and Karen are always welcome back.
APRIL. Swimming 27/4. Again well attended and seems to be enjoyed by the younger members.
While these events are happening there is lots going on in the background. As we decided at the AGM last year that Facebook was possibly not suitable for everyone, we are now using e-mail too having contacted everyone we could by email to find out their preferred choice of contact. Safeguarding - we now have a safeguarding officer, Denise kindly agreed to take on the role, she will now be the point of contact should anyone have any concerns about any of our children. Website A huge job started by Jon and Elliot, James soon joined in and has done a fab job of putting together the page. We did have a website but it was not fully set up and we had no passwords so no way of managing it, which meant we had issues trying to get hold of the domain which Elliot managed to sort out for us. We now have Letter heads and Compliment slips with our new logo. We have had a few requests for equipment from parents, Lawrence has also requested some funding for equipment. We have new T-shirts with our new logo as well as a banner kindly donated to us by Dowding signs. We have attended meetings on Data protection, and have re-affiliated with NDCS. Not to mention the man hours to organise some of the events eg the Xmas fayre, we had hundreds and hundred of presents to wrap up for the lucky dip. Camp entertainment and shopping for food.
Future. Leaflets are next on the list now we have an email and website up and running. Constitution of GDCS will need to be amended to reflect new laws being introduced in Guernsey.
Events to look out for 40th party 18th May, Camp 28th 29th June, Kayaking, iris and Dora painting Xmas decorations, ice skating, post office.
To summarise - a great year, this wouldn’t be possible without the support of such a great team, they have all done their bit. All the events were successful, well attended, having 50 people in Herm was a huge number, certainly the largest I have seen in my days at GDCS.
Thank you also to the parents for all their support and thank you again to my fellow committee members. Here’s to another good year. Go team GDCS!
Chairperson’s Report AGM 01/05/2018
1 year ago I took on the role of chairperson and the year has gone really fast.
Chris left us in a strong position financially and with a committee of 11 people, during the year Cathy and Lawrence stepped down from the committee due to new family commitments, congratulation and thank you to both of them for all they have done, especially Cathy as she has been on the committee for a number of years. This left us with a healthy committee of 9.
JUNE started straight in at the deep end, the 1st job was to arrange the camp, our biggest event. Everyone did their bit arranging food, setting up BBQ, cooking, and Tracy did a great job arranging some games for the children. Everyone pulled together including parents once we were at the campsite. The camp was well attended the weather was quite fair and the children spent lots of time in the pool.
AUGUST Denise organised a meal at the Fleur for Chris to say thank you for all he had done over the last 38 years,, the meal was attended by 9 committee members some current and some from the past making it a very pleasant evening.
SEPTEMBER Kayaking, we were very lucky with the weather, there was a large black cloud looming over the Island all day, I had many messages asking if the event was going ahead, but when we arrived in the afternoon the sun came out, a very light breeze, it was stunning. 32 people put their names down to come, most of these came. We marked this down as a definite event to repeat next year.
GHHA quiz night, GDCS committee members entered a team, we didn’t do too badly, ended up in the middle of the score board at the end of the night. We thought the event was very well organised and would recommend it to any keen quiz masters out there.
OCTOBER Halloween, we tried to organise a science party, there was not enough interest to hold our own party so we joined another session so we didn’t disappoint the children. 9 attended and made a good effort with costumes. I was away on holiday but was told the food and games were good as were the science experiments, it looked lots of fun from the pictures posted on Facebook.
NOVEMBER Healthspan kindly invited us to their bonfire party on 3rd November over 31 people attended. I thought it was a fairly small intimate party, we felt lucky to be invited. Food and fireworks were brilliant. Thank you to Tristan for the invitation.
Xmas Fayre Cathy came back briefly after a becoming a new mum to pretty much single handedly organise the fayre, plenty of offers of help on the from fellow committee members on the day. It’s an enjoyable day but hard work, we did lucky dip, reindeer food, balloons and Santa keys raising over £200.
DECEMBER busy month, Cathy kindly taught sign language to Christmas songs, a big hit for my family, we really enjoy this. 10 people came along, it’s a very relaxed fun atmosphere. We got to show off our talents to customers at the cafe @ Saumarez park.
Ice skating, we purchased a block of 30 tickets which went very quickly, very popular And luckily no broken bones :-)
After a brief rest in the new year.
MARCH Iris and Dora pottery painting we had 18 children and 10 adults attend it was great to give the children an opportunity to show off their artistic talents.
As well as the events there are lots of things going on behind the scenes, Elliot has been busy setting us up in google docs (and showing us how to use It) he has also set up a new email address. There has been lengthily discussions on new name/ logo for the charity. We have also had requests for equipment for children.
Looking forward to next year GDCS will turn 40!!! We will be working on new brochures continue to update our brand with a new web page.
To finish off thank you to all the parents for attending and bringing their children to the things we organise, and thank you to the committee for all their support over the last 12 months. Good team work.