It is my privilege to present the Chairman’s report for the year 2017-18.

Changes and challenges have come to be the hallmarks of our charity. This last year has demonstrated, without doubt, that our continued policy of flexibility and fiscal prudence, has enabled us to maximise our resources and remain secure. We continue to provide valuable help and support to the young people of Dorset, and most especially to those who are disadvantaged in some way.
The planned changes to the structures of our local authorities have yet to come to fruition. Withdrawal from the EEC may well have an impact on the amount of money available for local projects and, in the current economic climate, we find ourselves facing much more competition from other agencies in our efforts to secure philanthropic grants.
In order to maintain a healthy state of viability we have carefully adapted and improved wherever possible. Constant monitoring and evaluation has steered us into making some key decisions as we look to the future. Historically we shared the use of the ‘Routes’ building, in North Square, with other agencies. We eventually found ourselves as the only occupants and the funding allocation formula for the ‘Drop-in‘ service was changed to such a degree as made it completely unviable. We were therefore forced to withdraw from offering this provision and will be disposing of the property. Fortunately we had the foresight to purchase the freehold and the indications are that the sale will enable us to both re-coup losses and make a modest profit.
Our staff are our biggest asset and, on behalf of all the Trustees I thank them for their hard work and dedicated approach. We say a welcome to new staff and offer grateful thanks to those who have moved on. The Board of Trustees has been joined by three new people, each of whom brings valuable skills and experience. They have already proven their worth and I thank them and all Trustees for the professional way they encourage, guide and protect us in our work.
This year’s report demonstrates that we have been successful in many areas despite the numerous pressures we face. As always we are grateful to all who give of their time, money or other resources to help our cause.
I am proud to report that we remain a competent, viable, enthusiastic and well respected charity that will continue, with confidence, to do all it can for the young people of Dorset.

Allen Knott

Chairman – Dorset Youth Association