|It’s good to have opened the Big Red Door to the public again after our Christmas and New Year break. Already, 2023 has started with a swing – our sell-out Great Big Kirkgate Quiz which raised welcome funds to help us pay our bills. Many thanks to our special Quiz Master, Toby Gaffney, who always pulls out all the stops to make the Quiz one of Cockermouth’s best nights out of the year.
Fundraising will be a big issue for Kirkgate this year as our annual energy bill is going up from around £5,000 to over £20,000. Nevertheless, we are very pleased to be hosting one of Cockermouth’s Warm Spots, on Mondays, 10am – 12noon. We’d love to see you – drop by the Kirkgate and say ‘hello’ at this free coffee morning, and enjoy some company after doing your shopping, working, getting the kids or grandkids to school or taking a walk.
We held our Annual General Meeting on January 12 and reported a surplus of income over expenditure in the last financial year, 2021-22, boosting our reserves. This was very welcome because, although we always aim to break even and balance the books, the reality is that we need to even out any loss-making years with years that show a surplus. We are a not-for-profit charity, so there are no shareholders, and having healthy reserves is crucial to coping with the lean years, keeping the ship afloat and looking to the future.
Legally we are a limited company as well as being a charity. The AGM is where members of the company – there are around 50 of them – hear from the Board of Trustees, receive the annual accounts and Trustees’ Report, and appoint the Trustees for the forthcoming year. New trustees (who are also directors of the company) have recently joined us and Kirkgate Arts and Heritage is in good shape despite the current energy challenge – and the many other challenges that trustees and staff manage behind the scenes to provide Cockermouth and West Cumbria with an important and ever-evolving cultural and community asset. If you are interested in becoming a member of the company or a trustee (both are voluntary positions), please contact the chair of the Board, Sue Moses, on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you! Being a trustee is a very rewarding role. If you would like a copy of our 2021-22 Annual Report, drop me a line on email@example.com
Finally, returning to the fundraising theme, if you would like to help us with our energy costs, please make a donation here and select ‘your donation’ or contact me to discuss any fundraising events you would like to organise. As the saying goes, every little helps, and we will be very grateful for whatever help you can give. Giving your consent for us to claim Gift Aid on your donation adds another 25% to your donation, at no cost to you. You can do this when you make an online donation, or email me to ask for a hard copy of the Gift Aid consent form. Thank you.