Cherry Lodge 2024 AGM presenting the 2023 Annual Report and Financial Summary

The 2024 Annual General Meeting of Cherry Lodge Cancer Care was held at Howard House, 23 Union Street, Barnet on Tuesday 25th June. The meeting, attended by trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters of the charity, was chaired by Sarah Armitage, co-chair of Cherry Lodge (along with Dr Katherine Edwards) since 1st January 2024. Copies of the 2023 Annual Report and the 2023 Financial Summary were provided.

Sarah welcomed and thanked everyone for attending, including CL auditor, Andrew Geary, who would present the 2023 financial report. It was a very warm evening and the England football team were set to play their next Euros match at 8pm – so there was no time to lose. Sarah drew people’s attention to the Annual Report and suggested that people might like to read it later. They would find that the 2023 report was rather different from its predecessors. Co-chairs Sarah and Katherine were not in office during 2023 and in view of this decided on a novel way to gather and present additional information about CL services and performance. Four staff members and a volunteer each wrote their own story of 2023 and, by describing their various roles, provided an interesting insight into the charity’s activities.

Warm thanks were next given by Sarah to all CL staff and volunteers for everything they do to make it possible for CL to help so many people. Special thanks were given to CL nurse Fiona Kiddle, due to retire on 27th June after 23 years, and to CL founder Dr Margaret Clark, who retired after 27 years as Chairman of the Trustees on 31st December 2023. Sarah then presented Margaret with a small gift from the trustees, which was graciously received. Margaret assured everyone that she was still very much involved with CL, giving acupuncture to members on three mornings a week at the centre.

Sarah then handed over to Andrew to talk through the 2023 Financial Summary. This showed a small surplus for the year of £15,883 (before the revaluation of our investments), which was significantly lower than that reported in 2022. Andrew explained that the difference was largely due to the exceptionally high value of legacies received last year. Income from legacies and donations, though unpredictable, is very important to CL as the monies received from fundraising events and the shop are not sufficient to cover our running costs. Should our income reduce, we hold investments that would cover our running costs for some time, ensuring we can continue to provide our services.

Turning to expenditure, Andrew highlighted that the cost base in 2023 of £449,252 had increased significantly from the previous year. This was mainly due to higher staff costs, as additional employees were recruited in support of increasing our services to members, as well as an increase in the cost of patient care due to the provision of more therapy sessions. In addition, there were also one-off costs associated with the renewal of the shop lease to cover a further 7-year period. The shop brings in a valuable source of income and gives us a visible presence in the local community.

As is customary after the presentations, questions were invited from the audience. Among them was a suggestion (from someone who had previously made their opinion known to the person who asked the question) that CL might be spending too much money on recruiting new staff. Co-chair Katherine responded by saying that three new staff members had been recruited during 2023 and in each case thorough research had been done to ensure that CL was offering appropriate remuneration for a required role. Auditor Andrew assured the audience that the overall salary bill at CL was comparable with that of other similar charities and certainly well within any legal parameters.

Cherry Lodge Cancer Care Annual Report 2023

Click here to access our 2023 Annual Report.

Financial Summary 2023

Click here to access a copy of the CL Summary Statement of Financial Activities for the Year Ended 31st December 2023. More detailed information for 2023 and 2024 is available on request.