ANNUAL REPORT 2018

 

2nd Floor Jervis House

Jervis Street

Dublin 1

Tel: 01-8725771

Email aislinned@eircom.net

 

www.aislinn.org

 

Christine Buckley Centre for Education and Support CLG, formerly known as Aislinn Education and Support Centre for Survivors of Institutional Abuse, is a Registered Charity.

 

Charity Registration Number RCN 20141646; CRO: 330953; CHY: 13497

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

Chairperson’s statement

 

Purpose and Activities

 

Achievements and Performance

 

CBCES Structure & Charity Status

 

Funding

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

This report represents a significant summary and analysis of the important work of the team at Christine Buckley Centre for Education and Support CLG (CBCES) for 2018. 

 

2018 marked yet another year of progress for the centre and on behalf of the board I wish to express our appreciation to my predecessor Carmel McDonnell-Byrne and to our manager Annmarie Kennedy for their hard work in managing our charity’s move to a new location. Also because the move was within Jervis House this provided a sense of continuity to our clients as well as ease of access due to our location being in the centre of Dublin and easily accessible for clients some of whom travel from Wexford, Tipperary and Antrim.

 

We also availed of the opportunity presented by the move to change the name of the centre from Aislinn Centre. Our current name identifies the centre more easily for survivors because the late Christine Buckley, one of our founders, has become synonymous with the potential of survivors to address and in some cases overcome the setbacks they experienced in their early lives.

 

The long term effects of this abuse have had severe consequences for those affected across many areas of their lives. The lack of education is one of the main consequences and from this perspective CBCES’s goal is to allow a ‘first chance’ at education for those who attend, and help survivors to develop ‘hidden talents.’ Through the supportive environment nurtured in the Centre, opportunities for social interaction and the celebration of success, survivors gain the skills and confidence to fulfil their educational potential.

 

CBCES operates an open - access policy thus survivors can garner support as issues arise in their day to day lives. More in-depth support is also offered on an appointment basis. CBCES ensures excellence in service through the employment of professional staff who are highly trained and experienced in this specialised area. CBCES’s links to statutory and non-statutory agencies, including our key funder, the HSE, ensures staff can liaise with all other services available to clients.

 

The majority of survivors are aged more than 65 and extensive research has shown that continued social engagement and social participation helps to improve health and wellbeing and reduce mortality for this age group including those who are not survivors. So the centre provides such a means for social engagement for many

survivors who may otherwise feel isolated because of their experiences and stigmatisation.

 

While the move to new premises was an added expense in 2018, especially in relation to one-off dilapidation costs, nevertheless because our current premises is less than half the size of our former premises there is an actual net saving on rent. Consequently with HSE maintaining funding at previous levels, the resulting savings on rent could be devoted initially towards the costs of the move in 2018 and subsequently to devote more of our funding directly to the service of survivors.

 

This enhanced service was achieved through the recruitment of one full time staff person and one extra part-time staff person in 2019. Consequently our staff complement has doubled to four including our manager and a part-time assistant manager. These additions have also made the work less stressful for staff as there is cover for them in the event of illnesses etc.

 

During 2018 some of this cover was provided by unpaid volunteers most notably the chairperson Carmel McDonnell-Byrne and the secretary who each worked in the centre one day per week.

With changes in governance codes it is no longer considered good practice for charities to avail of the hands-on services of directors. This has the benefit of drawing a clearer line of demarcation between management and trustees and helps to improve accountability. However it also requires funding for staff to fill this gap and thankfully HSE’s maintenance of funding has helped achieve this.

 

Both the board and staff continues to update our Governance standards to those required by the new Code of Governance introduced by the Charity Regulator Regulator in November 2018 and it is our aim to have our annual report on our activities fully compliant in 2020.

Already we have made a number of improvements by introducing a number of policies relating to management and accountability with the help of assistant manager Doreen Davis and consultants Quality Matters.

 

In addition our 2018 annual accounts are audited by RBK in compliance with SORP Financial Reporting Standard 102 'The Financial Reporting Standard as modified by the Statement of Recommended Practice “Accounting and Reporting by Charities”.

 

As Chairperson I would like to pay tribute to my predecessor Carmel McDonnell-Byrne for all her hard work and inspiration over the years since the foundation of our centre. In addition I wish to thank CBCES staff who are the key to the ongoing success of our service, which is evident through the numbers of callers who continue to avail of their support. Finally I wish to thank our Trustees / Board Members

Carmel McDonnell-Byrne (resigned 30 May 2019), Jackie Gallagher, Máire Mulcahy and Terri Harrison (appointed 11 December 2018)

 

Donal Buckley

Chairperson

 

 

 

1. Purpose and Activities

 

The main object for which the organisation was established is to foster the personal development of survivors of institutional abuse by the provision of appropriate programmes and services including life-skills, personal and one-to-one support, educational programmes and to assist them in their engagement with government and non-governmental agencies which provide services to those survivors.

 

Role of Education

 

Classes at Christine Buckley Centre (CBCESES)

 

Each day we offer a variety of classes so that clients can choose how best to use their time in terms of class attendance, support and sociability. Classes vary from academic/technical (e.g. Computers, Oil Painting) to recreational and therapeutic (e.g. Art for All, Drama, Yoga). CBCES continues to encourage clients to take up literacy courses as improvements in this area can be life-changing. 2018 saw the establishment of a group literacy class which is proving to be very popular. The students are really enjoying the class and the way it is being delivered; in a fun inclusive manner dealing with essential day to day writing and reading tasks.

Lack of basic literacy skills is debilitating for survivors and improvements in this area is vital for their confidence and self-esteem.

 

Tutors & Volunteers for the Educational Programme

The CDETB provides and pays for a number of tutors and allocated 800 tutor hours to our clients in the centre in 2018. CBCES continues to benefit from a number of high calibre volunteers delivering weekly classes.

 

All volunteers and staff must comply with the Garda Vetting process. Currently volunteers are vetted through the HBS (Health Business Service), the business division of the HSE.

 

Role of Support and Advocacy

 

CBCES continues to be a supportive meeting place and provides relevant information to Survivors. CBCES engages with a wide range of organisations and public bodies in  

its endeavours to assist survivors.

 

In line with 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 most contact continued, in 2018, to be with Caranua, the organisation established by Government to dispense more than €100m provided by religious orders to assist survivors with their healthcare, education and housing needs.

CBCES expends considerable time and resources dealing with Caranua applications. The manpower involved in 2018 was significant not only in terms of administrative work but also emotional support as the process is extremely stressful in particular this year as Caranua ceased taking on new applicants and repeat applicants from August 1st 2018.

 

 

2. Achievements and Performance

 

2018 saw the relocation of Christine Buckley Centre to smaller premises. The move resulted from what would have been an unaffordable increase in rent for our previous premises. The CBCES team planned and organised the move ensuring minimum negative impact on clients while also negotiating cost savings to reduce the budgeted expense of the move.

 

In order to further support clients during this period of change CBCES introduced “Holistics / Mindfulness” course. The course was very well attended by both male and female clients.

 

Having secured funding for a “Client Management System” CBCES are now working with Enclude in the development of such a system for CBCES which will make CBCES reporting simpler, communications with clients and support organisations more streamlined, analysis more effective and will facilitate a more efficient use of staff time and resources.

 

From CBCES’s point of view it is very important for the centre to support students and academics as they endeavour to increase the body of knowledge and understanding of Institutional Abuse. To this end CBCES was involved with two major pieces of research:

A Ph.D. student met with a number of clients in Christine Buckley Centre. The research carried out was in the area of Survivorship; focussing on understanding more about how people cope with, and develop after early experiences of trauma.

 

“Survivors’ Stories” is a UCD based project. It offers survivors the opportunity to record their stories and memories to be part of the National Folklore Collection. It will create a permanent national resource so that this part of history will not be forgotten. The stories are recorded at the Christine Buckley Centre and UCD. Heading up this project from UCD are Dr Emilie Pine Associate Professor in Modern Drama and Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, National Irish Folklore Archive.

Overall the CBCES model of offering support and education continues to meet the needs of survivors attending the centre. In 2018 CBCES welcomed twenty-five new clients from various parts of the country. It was also agreed at the December 2018 Meeting of Directors / Trustees that CBCES would amend its constitution to include the following subsidiary object:

 

To provide the same range of services to mothers who were not in institutional care but who were abused in other ways under the societal regime of 20th century Ireland including Mothers who were in Mother and Baby homes and Magdalene laundries, Mothers who had their babies taken from them as well as Mothers whose babies died but who had suffered isolation from their family and friends during their pregnancies.

 

As an education and support centre for survivors of institutional abuse we have

always extended our services to survivors of all state-funded religious run institutions and a number of years ago we facilitated the establishment of a Mothers Group for survivors of Mother and Baby Homes but this amendment means that we will now be in a position to tailor our services to meet the specific needs of various survivors.

 

 

CBCES Structure & Charity Status

 

The reporting structure comprises four unpaid directors who form the board to which the manager reports.

 

Since May 2019 these are: Chairperson Donal Buckley

Company Secretary Máire Mulcahy

Treasurer Jackie Gallagher

Trustee Terri Harrison

 

The members of the CLG in 2018 were our former chairperson and founding director Carmel McDonnell - Byrne, as well as Annmarie Kennedy Donal Buckley, Jackie Gallagher, Darragh Buckley, Conor Buckley and Mary Durack.

 

Mary Durack resigned as a member in 2019.

 

The number of board meetings which had been quarterly, currently taking place at least six times per year. The 2018 AGM was held in July 2018.

 

Staff

Annmarie Kennedy continues as Manager and works three days per week.

Doreen Davis joined the team at CBCES in May 2017 on a two day week as Assistant Manager and after Rory Nolan left CBCES Doreen moved to a three day week.

Ingrid Shannon is employed as a Social Care and Administrative Worker since March 2019.

 

All Directors, staff and volunteers are Garda Vetted. Doreen Davis is CBCES's Garda Vetting Official.

 

 

Funding

 

HSE

CBCES maintains a good working relationship our primary funder, HSE, and is grateful for the continued funding and support.

 

Through the auspices of HSE we also received funding for the organisation of an art exhibition of clients’ work in the art classes. Framing has been undertaken of more than 30 paintings and we are in negotiations with two Dublin venues about hosting the exhibition in the autumn-winter of 2019.

 

City of Dublin Education and Training Board provides funding for educational

materials and equipment.

 

Donations & Fundraising

CBCES received a generous donation from Atlantic Philanthropies Ireland Limited. Half of this funding was devoted to engaging the services of Enclude to deliver a Customer Management System (Salesforce) for the organisation and the other half towards engaging consultants Quality Matters to provide support in the development of CBCES’s service provision and governance. This project has continued into 2019.

 

CBCES undertook no organised fund-raising campaigns.

 

Loyola Enterprises, which owns The Bath pub in Ringsend, continues to organise an annual Charity Cycle in conjunction with Conor Buckley son of our founder, Christine. The proceeds from this event are shared between CBCES and another charity, Aware.

 

We are grateful to the owners and organisers for the hospitality which they provide to the many cyclists who participate. We are also grateful to the cyclists who subscribe and those who donate through the event. We are also grateful to Press-Up, the restaurant, hotel and cinema company as well as Suntory Ireland, distributors of Lucozade, and other donors who contribute to the hospitality for the cyclists in order to make it an enjoyable annual event.

 

Film

To generate funding for the costs of moving premises Conor Buckley organised for Press Up Entertainment to host a showing of the Oscar award-winning film Shape of Water in the Stella Cinema Rathmines in March 2018 with the proceeds from the event going to CBCES.

 

In 2018 we also received funds from Tesco Community Fund as well as from a private donor who had been moved by an article that he read about our founding director Carmel McDonnell-Byrne in the Irish Times. The latter funding is helping us to archive old files, making them more easily accessible and saving much needed physical space which would be wasted on accommodation for paper.