We have moved!
In July we moved to a new venue! We are all excited about the move to Whale Wharf, which is only 10 minutes from our previous venue but is also close to the Aust motorway junction. Journey times for most families will remain unchanged. The new venue is very similar to our old home and we have tried to keep the layout almost the same. Let us know what you think of our new venue on our feedback survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/6MPXFLJ
We are extremely grateful to Charlie Tull for his generosity in offering us use of part of his site at Whale Wharf rent free, to ensure that our families can continue to use our service whilst we make plans for a longer term solution.
Smart Move Removals (smartmovebristol.co.uk) kindly fitted us in for free during their busiest time of the year, so on 1st July they came moved our kit over to the new venue filling 4 van loads as well as some volunteers cars.
Chipping Sodbury based insurance company Jelf kindly gave up their time with 12 staff to move our equipment into our new building, and get lots of our boxes unpacked. Thanks to all their hard work we were able to reopen the next day to our families. Thanks Jelf!
A huge thank you to all our volunteers who over the last 12 months have filled approximately 4500 hours of volunteering, which without all this help our sessions would not be able to take place, including helping with admin, Kitchen, playwork, laundry and parent advising. And thankyou to those volunteers who came and helped us pack up, move and unpack.
Update! We are delighted to announce that we received £5000 from the Swimarathon. Massive thank you to all who took part and everyone from the Rotary club who worked so hard to organise the event.
Incredible Kids is delighted to be one of the charities supported by the Thornbury Rotary Club Swimarathon on Friday, Saturday & Sunday 3-5 March 2017.
All you have to do is to form a team of up to 6 swimmers prepared to swim in relay for 55 minutes to complete as many lengths as possible. Get your team’s friends, colleagues, family – anybody! – to sponsor you, fill in the forms and send them to us.
All the details for this annual charity event are available on Rotary’s website page www.thornburyrotary.org/swimarathon. You can contact the organiser, Adrian Dennis, Chairman Swimarathon Committee on mobile: 07970 435520 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
RE: Incredible Kids relocation update October 2016
Since January we have been looking for an alternative home for Incredible Kids as our Thornbury home was always going to be temporary. Despite our hard work we have been unable to find a suitable venue. It is now a very real possibility that we will be left without anywhere to move to. We have now been informed that a planning meeting has been arranged for December so there is a good chance we need to be out by the end of December.
South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council have both confirmed that they do not have any suitable options.
We need your help. Please do not rely on a few individuals at the charity to find a solution. We need help to call any possible venues, churches, and businesses, to ask questions, to visit places, to raise the issue with your local MP or Councillor. Real practical help.
Ideally we wanted a dedicated space so we can open more often and leave our equipment out. We haven’t been able to find this space and will compromise if we can’t find that space. Tell us what is most important to you.
Our basic criteria are for the following
- Disabled access and toilets
- Open plan space (250m2+)
- Availability (Saturday afternoons plus at least one after school day preferably more)
This map shows our approximate search area. It includes Thornbury, Bradley Stoke, Patchway, Filton, Yate and surrounding areas. We would consider locations outside of this area but in practical terms this is the area we feel we would be able to manage to run our sessions without losing the staff and volunteers we have, without them we can’t run the sessions.
We have a limited budget. We have not been successful in raising money towards rent this year. As a charity we would receive 80% business rate relief which would be a saving of thousands of pounds for a business with an empty office space.
Can you help us in any way to fundraise for the charity? We have been amazed by all the fundraising efforts of some of our families but this is an ongoing issue for the charity. We only have one or two individuals doing all the grant fundraising for Incredible Kids. The same individuals trying to find a new location and run all the sessions so we need extra help with this. If you have any ideas for fundraising and are able to help organise them please get in touch.
We had overwhelming support to help us move to Thornbury and we are truly grateful so we just ask anyone that has any time at all to help please get in touch. There is a very real possibility that we won’t have anywhere to move to without your help.
Jennie and Kirstie.
Trustees of Incredible Kids
RE: Incredible Kids relocation update.
Incredible Kids need your help! We are looking for a new home for the charity and urgently need help to identify possible options as we have only a few weeks until we need to leave our current premises. We currently occupy a dedicated 5000 sq ft open plan area with a cafe style kitchen. Ideally we would also like some access to a secure outdoor facility. We need a dedicated space which allows us to leave our equipment in place. We are looking primarily at the area which includes Thornbury, Yate, Bradley Stoke, Little Stoke, Patchway, Aztec West, Stoke Gifford, Filton and the surrounding areas.
Please email email@example.com if you can help in any way.
RE: Incredible Kids to relocate in 2016
Dear Members of Incredible Kids,
Today we are announcing that Incredible Kids will be relocating to a new premises in 2016 in order to better serve our users and create even more exciting opportunities for everyone involved at all levels. Our vision has always been to provide a wider range of activities such as parenting courses & lectures, consultation services and special sessions for specific needs. Relocating to a new venue will bring us a step closer to this vision.
As you will be aware, Incredible Kids has been consulting with you for a number of years as to where we can run our sessions to better meet the diverse needs of the families that visit us. We have long recognised the need to provide amongst other things better disabled access and access to dedicated sensory and quiet areas.
While we wish to extend the services on offer, the charity must also continue to ensure we spend money in line with our main objectives and that our members therefore receive good value for the money we invest. On 20 October 2015, Incredible Kids was informed by our landlord of a series of rent increases commencing from January 2016. These rent increases means that our annual rent will increase from the current £6860 a year to £19,450 in the next financial year (a 283% year over year increase). To put this in context, our total expenditure last year was £21,094, meaning that the new total rent alone equates to 92% of the total expenses we paid last year.
It is our view that continuing our current rental agreement does not represent good value for money. The trustees at Incredible Kids believe we should be using as much as possible of our grant income to support the families we serve and not be spending it on exorbitant rental rates. On the other hand, continuing provision of our services in a way that makes best use of the charity resources is the most important objective for us and we want to reassure you all that we will do everything we can to ensure that our service continues. We want to ensure that changes to our location take place with minimal disruption to you as families. Quite simply, closing Incredible Kids is not an option.
We realise that any change in venue will lead to all kinds of questions and to that end we have prepared a detailed FAQ (link here) which should cover most of your queries. Our objective is to transition to a new venue as soon as practical, starting from January 2016. We are already talking to several nearby potential alternative venues in addition to putting in place a plan of interim program activities that will give us session coverage while the search for a new home continues. The interim program will commence from January 2016, should we need it. Rest assured that we are working hard to ensure a bright future for Incredible Kids while remaining committed to the long term sustainability of the charity.
You should feel free to reach out to us with your questions, concerns and perhaps most importantly, any suggestions and/or help you may be able to offer in order ensure a smooth transition. We look forward to finding a new home for Incredible Kids that better meets your needs. If you would like to be part of the team of volunteers that help us achieve this then please get in touch as soon as possible.
Jennie Prewett, Santie Human, Kirstie Weaver and Trevor Joyes
Trustees of Incredible Kids
Registered Charity 1151185
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):
Please note: This FAQ is subject to change as we work on securing a new home for IK. We will also update this FAQ with new questions and answers as they become known. This is a living document, so please check it regularly for updates.
Why is Incredible Kids moving?
To better serve you, our users and to ensure we get better value for money.
Will Incredible Kids have to close?
NO! We want to offer you a place that is totally disability friendly, have space to offer parent courses on-site, have a kitchen facility bigger and better equipped, be able to offer more opportunities for volunteers in supportive roles.
Now is the time to pursue the better place for IK that we have wanted for a long time now.
This is a really good time to work towards that goal and ensure that we continue to support each other.
We will do everything we can to offer alternative options in the short term, such as day trips. We want to work with our members to find an alternative venue as soon as possible.
Where will Incredible Kids move to?
We have been looking at alternative locations for some time. We would like to involve our members in helping us find an alternative venue that meets our needs and minimises disruption for our families and staff.
How can I help?
There are a number of ways in which you can help:
Firstly, we would like help to identify and visit possible alternative locations to ensure that any new location meets the needs of regular users as well as to help evaluate possible alternatives we have already looked at.
Secondly, your help in fundraising for Incredible Kids to ensure that we have enough money to pay for the costs of moving and paying rent elsewhere, would be really welcomed.
Thirdly, we also need help to organise the 2015 Christmas party to ensure that this goes ahead.
What if Incredible Kids can’t find another location?
Incredible Kids will provide short term alternatives such as day trips and alternative venue hire but, our priority is to minimise disruption to our families and staff.
Will the new location be close to Bradley Stoke?
With your help we will look at a range of options to see which ones best meet the needs of our staff and members and provide the most suitable facilities. We will try to minimise disruption for everyone.
Will you run the new sessions on the same days?
Our Saturday sessions will be our main priority as we believe that this is the day when there is the greatest need. We will negotiate with a new venue which days we can run our after school provision.
I have suggestions about the new venue. Who can I speak to?
You can contact Trevor Joyes about suggestions on a new venue at firstname.lastname@example.org (mark subject “Trevor – Venue”)
What kind of a venue or building is Incredible Kids looking for?
Incredible Kids wants large building, with disabled access, big parking area, kitchen facility, storage space, a secure garden would be a great benefit.
What is the timeline for relocation?
There are 3 phases for the relocation project: current phase until Dec 2015 (in which we continue to operate as usual), a possible interim phase at the start January 2016 if a venue is not secured (in which we will be running a interim program of alternative events and sessions – details TBA and see below), and the last phase in which we relocate and settle into a new venue as early as possible in 2016.
What kinds of activities are planned for the interim program?
Incredible Kids are looking at possible trips, a variety of short term venues, organising meetings for a coffee and chat, courses for staff and parents, investing in volunteers and staff, making the most of any possible transition phase.
What support will IK provide, like play-workers, at interim program events?
Incredible Kids have paid staff on payroll and we have agreements with them. We want to support you as families and users and will do our best to put the support in place as much as possible to help you have support.
Can you help me get to the venue?
Incredible Kids are encouraging parents to make use of car-share opportunities they arrange amongst themselves via our Facebook Group page.
26th February 2015
Update on Appointments
We will shortly announce another new member to the Trustee team, which will help us take IK forwards and expand our services. We are also rolling out a new appointments process that will be applied to all existing and new volunteers and paid staff at IK. This is all part of putting in place the people we need to build a better Incredible Kids for all. If you are considering to get involved more directly as a volunteer or paid worker at IK, please read on to find out who the new appointments process applies to, when it will happen, what’s the 4 steps in the process and what roles people play in ensuring a fair, constructive appointment. We are working hard to make Incredible Kids a place where our volunteers and paid staff get maximum fulfillment out of their contribution.
To read the rest of this article please visit our appointments page. All existing volunteers and paid staff are asked to please read this.
General Charity Announcement
Release date: 20/02/2015
Good day all volunteers, staff, parents and other interested parties,
We are very pleased to announce that as of today, Kirstie Weaver has joined the Incredible Kids Board of Trustees. Kirstie brings a wealth of experience in disability in children and young people and learning disabilities and is well grounded in the core values we uphold at IK, being that of service and love to those in need.
She currently coordinates the Bristol Disability Ministry and Mission Network, which is a group of Christians committed to making positive changes in churches in Bristol for disabled people and is a qualified Learning Disability Nurse. In addition she is an accomplished volunteer for a range of disability groups.
With Kirstie on board as part of our charity leadership team we are even better positioned to drive our transition to a bigger and better charity forwards. Kirstie will take a particular interest in disability access for our service. We are excited about the benefits that her involvement will bring to our changing organisation and hope you join us in welcoming her to the team.
It saddens us to announce the resignation of one of our current Trustees Rachel Checksfield who has made a tremendous contribution to driving forward the changes to our governance which are so vital to the future growth of the charity. We thank her for her work and look forward to her future contribution to the charity.
As a closing note: It is never too late or a bad time for anyone to apply to join our board of trustees! If you think you are the right kind of person to provide overall leadership at Incredible Kids, please do not hesitate to speak to any existing trustee member. We’d be happy to welcome enthusiastic leaders willing to uphold and build upon our core values.
The Trustees of Incredible Kids
19th February 2015
Greetings to all volunteers, staff, parents and other interested parties!
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks at Incredible Kids lately as we gear up for bigger and better things in 2015. As many of you are already aware, we are in the midst of a transition period that will see us adopt a streamlined structure better suited to sustaining our growth plans for IK. We also want to take this opportunity to assure everyone from volunteers to families using our services that the goal is to make IK even better and able to sustain the phenomenal growth and success we have seen in the past year, for the long term. Running a growing organisation such as ours requires that we adapt our structure from time to time in order to meet our changing needs and ensure continued good service to the families we serve. Expect to see more updates from us as we navigate through some of the bigger changes.
Some of the things you can look forward to in 2015:
- More playworkers, providing more varied sessions and activities.
- Regular newsletter to help you stay on top of what’s happening at IK.
- Bigger grants, better funding and more options to our young members.
- An online member management system that will help you (and us) plan for events/sessions.
- Increased consultation with our children, young people and parent/carers.
What’s changing and how will it affect you?
The planned changes mostly relate to internal structure and as such there will be minimal to no observed difference in the way we operate as seen by the typical external user. Rest assured that IK will continue to operate and is simply creating better alignment between the structure we use and the services we provide. We are happy to confirm that we are not “down sizing”, but quite the opposite! In order to continue to meet the growing demand for the respite and support we provide to families, we want to create more opportunities for more people to get involved, whether as volunteer, paid worker or family user. We place a high value on people and rely extensively on volunteers to achieve our goals. Our revised organisational structure will ensure that everybody, whether working as volunteer or in a paid position, is matched as best as possible to a role within which they can effectively contribute. For IK to continue to be successful, it is vital that all contributors understand their responsibilities and operate in an environment that is also fun and rewarding on a personal level. The charity trustees and the management team at IK is committed to ensure that such an environment is nurtured and supported. Apart from some organisation structural changes, we are also looking at opportunities to improve our core session and play services. Better planning and a more rounded/varied programme tailored to the unique accessibility needs of our young people attending these sessions are just some of the things you may see improve.
When will we be “done”?
As a growing organisation, we cannot afford to ever sit back and therefore we are constantly looking at ways to improve what we do. Making things better for ourselves and the families that use our services will always be a primary goal and is never “done”. Having said this, we anticipate that it will take approximately 2 months to implement the bulk of the internal structural changes we need. The majority of this time will be spent to analyse our needs and take all our paid and unpaid workers, both newly recruited and existing, through an appointment process that aims to place committed and capable people in roles where they can effectively contribute and enjoy what they do! We will adjust our plans as required and provide regular monthly updates on progress.
How can I help?
Yes, you guessed right, with an ambitious growth plan for 2015, there are many roles at IK waiting for people like you to fill them! IK was built on the fantastic commitment and love shown by many people just like you over the last few years. If you’d like to be part of something great, please contact any of the trustees and we’d be happy to work with you to see how we can fit even the smallest contribution to IK, into your own needs. Note that all existing and new volunteers will be going through a new appointments process, the goal of which is simply to match people up with roles that will effectively support the charity goals and provide you with a satisfying volunteer experience. If you are a new volunteer, just ask any trustee for a “Volunteer Appointments Questionnaire” to get started. Existing volunteers will receive their questionnaire in the next few days, as part of the appointments process that will be applied to all volunteers going forwards. We expect that for the majority of existing volunteers there will be minimal to no change in their actual responsibilities compared to before. Please keep an eye out for advertised new role openings, or just come talk to us if you’d like to explore any opportunities for yourself.
Note that as a result of the appointments process, we may scale down some services while starting up some new ones, or just tweaking an existing one. We fully anticipate to continue our core services and our funding and grant situation is looking healthy, in order to do so. We are more likely to see small and/or temporary adjustments to some of the peripheral services we provide. The following are examples of some specific areas we earmarked for an increase in resourcing:
- Administrative roles (book keeping, membership records management, IT support, etc.)
- Charity development (marketing, volunteer recruitment, PR, fundraising, grant applications, etc.)
- Events management (session planning, activity planning and delivery, programme planning, etc.)
New trustees – more possibilities
We are happy to report that recruitment for additional trustee members are going well. We will shortly announce one new member to the team and are closing in on securing a second. More updates on this front in the next few days. We are excited about the new ideas and added energy these new trustee members will bring to our changing organisation. It is never too late for anyone to apply to join our board of trustees! If you think you are the right person to help lead Incredible Kids forwards, please do not hesitate to speak to any existing trustee member. We’d be happy to make room for more leaders willing to uphold our core values. Our short term goal is to raise the number of serving trustees to 5, with a medium term goal of getting to 7.
How are we managing the changes?
In line with the announcements made at the last Management Committee meeting on 10 February 2015, the Management Committee is now dissolved, with a view on being replaced with the new Executive Committee. The new Executive Committee will be the primary decision making body of the charity and will consist of a mix of trustee and non-trustee members who represent leadership from all the key functions of the charity. The details of these changes are being documented in our updated Policy, Organisation and Guidelines document (POG). It may be obvious, but perhaps worth noting that during the transition period, in the absence of the Management Committee as well as the soon to be formed replacement Executive Committee, all managerial responsibility and authority automatically reverts back to the board of trustees by default. The Trustees continue to carry ultimate responsibility for the running of the charity as always, and is managing the day to day running of the charity in the interim period.
Furthermore, in order to ensure as smooth as possible a transition, driven by thoughtful consideration, the trustees are appointing a temporary “Transition Advisory Sub-committee” of people to advise on and help monitor the changes as they are planned and implemented. The purpose of this sub-committee is to create a healthy environment for discussion and consultation which will in turn help the trustees make informed decisions as they implement changes. The new sub-committee acts in an advisory capacity only and is not a decision making body with any voting rights (such as the new Executive Committee will be). It is also a temporary sub-committee that will be dissolved as soon as deemed appropriate by the trustees. At time of writing the following people are members of the new Transition Advisory Sub-committee and can change over time:
- All charity trustees
- Josh Radestock
- Suzie Lyle
- Emma Pizzey
- Phil Harrison
- Corné Human
Dealing with questions/concerns/complaints
We know that adjusting to change can be hard and affect people in different ways. As responsible trustees with a duty of care to all our constituents, we will do our best to address any and all questions or concerns as we go through the transition and beyond. We’d like to repeat our open invitation to all parents, young people, volunteers and paid workers to feel free to raise any concerns with the trustees. Here’s how:
– Directly in person with any of the trustees, during session times, time and circumstances permitting. (Sessions can be very busy as you know, so please keep this in mind if you want to talk to a trustee. If circumstances are not convenient for a private conversation, the trustees will make an appointment for follow up.)
– By Email: send your concern in writing to email@example.com (if you want to make a formal complaint, see further below)
While the trustees will always strive for a quick resolution, please be aware that due to the potentially complex nature of some issues, it may be necessary to vote on a decision at the next trustee meeting only. (Meeting usually once a month.) In the meantime, the trustees will collect information and gather pertinent input in order to make an informed decision and seek a good solution to any concerns or questions raised.
If you have a complaint to which you seek a formal response, please follow our complaints procedure as outlined at: http://incrediblekids.org.uk/visitors/feedback/ In short, we require all formal complaints to be documented in order for us to address them properly and efficiently. Once logged, complaints will be dealt with based on the nature of it’s urgency and potential impact. Note that complaints are typically dealt with formally at the appropriate meeting (as described above, this will normally be at the new Executive Committee meetings once up and running, but during the transition period these will be dealt with at Trustee Meetings as an interim measure).
Watch this space!
We will circulate more updates regarding our progress with the changes and in particular what opportunities present itself for more people to get on board and help make IK even better. We want to thank all volunteer and paid workers for their valued contributions and ongoing support and understanding as we work through the changes needed to sustain IK into the future. We hope that this update will also encourage the families using, and indeed rely on, the great work we do at IK. We look forward to working with everyone to improve our organisational structure and quality of services. Please do not hesitate to come talk to us about how we’re doing.
The Incredible Christmas Ball 2014
Due to the Incredible success of the first Incredible Christmas Ball we will be revisiting Old Down Manor on Saturday 13th December 2014. Tickets will cost £40 each which includes a fantastic two course meal, sparkling wine and an award winning disco.
An Incredible Zip Wire!
Join the Incredible Zip Wire team to zip down Newport Bridge. Newport Transporter Bridge is one of the largest temporary zip slides in the country. Launch yourself from a point 50m high on the bridge, before sliding 320m into Coronation Park.
The Incredible Christmas Ball 2013
Incredible Kids hosted a Winter Wonderland Christmas Ball at Old Down Manor in Tockington on Saturday 14th December 2013. The evening was an Incredible success and a great night was had by all. Look out for details of next years event!