Extracts from the Trustees’ Report 2019-20
The Brook Trust is an independent grant-giving body that seeks to achieve its objectives by working with and donating to registered charities. The trust has broadly drafted objectives, and the trustees have the discretion to make any grants for purely charitable causes.
The trustees have adopted a policy of focusing attention on some particular core themes in inviting and making donations. In addition, the trust prefers to prioritise causes which are unpopular or hard to fund, and smaller to medium-sized charities.
The Brook Trust has maintained its strategy of concentrating support for two key sectors:
(i) Organisations and programmes providing support for women and children victims of domestic and sexual violence and abuse, including crisis services, after care and rehabilitation programmes; and
(ii) Programmes designed to deliver effective 'early intervention' services to support parents, children and families in breaking cycles of social and economic deprivation and dysfunction, particularly through addressing early years development and young children’s mental health.
Support for those who have experienced rape and sexual assault was primarily but not exclusively delivered through grants to members of the Rape Crisis network. The Trust has similarly supported those suffering domestic abuse, through grants to specialist charities. During the year our "early intervention" theme focussed mainly on services to promote good mental health and resilience among children in primary and secondary schools.
The Trust made grants in support of core costs and front-line services. The greater part of our funding goes to support ongoing costs and sustaining or expanding existing, effective, interventions, but we have been pleased to back some innovation and piloting of new services. The Brook Trust is increasingly providing multi-year or continuation funding, subject to appropriat econditions being met, and to charities demontrating sustainable positive outcomes abnd impact.
Restrictions to prevent the spread of covid-19 took effect at the end of the reporting period and had an immediate effect on funding for many of the charities we support. The Trust took the decision to relax conditions applied to grants already made in 2020, allowing recipitent charities to re-deploy funding to other priorities as plans were adapted to the new operating conditions.
The Brook Trust continues to fund a small grants programme to organisations in Kent and Medway. This is delivered by a donation to the Kent Community Foundation which administers the application and monitoring processes. Our Trustees take an active role with the Community Foundation in grant-making decisions. The Brook Trust can and does make certain other donations at the Trustees' discretion.
During the year the charity received donations of £nil and made donations of £1,160,420. Investment income exceeded governance costs by £92,776 and the charity had funds of £5,512,319 available for future donations at the period end.
The trust intends to continue with its current strategy and areas of focus.
(The above are extracts from the Trustees’ Annual Report. The charity’s Financial Statements, including the full Trustees’ Report, is available by downloading from the Charity Commission website https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission or on request from the charity)