HEATHERCOMBE BRAKE TRUST
Extracts from the TRUSTEES' REPORT
FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 DECEMBER 2008
Heatree Activity Centre is set in approximately eighty acres in the Dartmoor National Park. It
comprises of Heatree House, which was extended to include the Farmhouse and Stable residential
wings, staff houses, and several outbuildings.
The Charity now owns one residential property in Teignmouth, which is rented out to former
The Directors of the Company are also Charity Trustees for the purpose of Charity Law. Jonathan
Bishop, Stephen Gillham, Barry Liddle and Paul Terry continued as Directors.
Directors are chosen and appointed by the existing Directors at the time of appointment with
emphasis placed on their experience in the wider community and their sharing of the Christian ethos.
Whilst the Directors have overall responsibility for the Charity they delegate the day-to-day operations
of the Charity and implementation of the Policies and Strategies agreed by the Board.
Staff. Typically, through the year, the Team consists of up to twelve full-time employees, a further
three Volunteer Trainee Instructors, and additionally six Volunteer Assistants (there were forty three
Voluntary Assistants in total throughout the year).
Appropriate Policies are in place and subject to annual and ongoing review to mitigate the inherent
Risks associated with the Centre and its activities. Where appropriate, for example the Health and
Safety Policy, the Centre meets both internal and external scrutiny with detailed attention paid to the
relevant Risk Assessments.
The Chairman of the Charity is Jonathan Bishop.
The Secretary of the Charity is Paul Terry.
The Objects of the Charity are:
to advance the education and promote the physical, spiritual, and mental welfare and
development of children and young people and their families (especially but not exclusively
those who have a disability or who suffer from any spiritual or other deprivation by virtue of
their social or economic circumstances) within a Christian environment and ethos
to advance and promote the above amongst adults, in-so-far as from time- to- time the
Charity's facilities and resources exceed the demand for them amongst children, young
people, and their families
to provide, manage, and improve one or more Residential Activity Centre conducted on
Christian principles and to assist in organising conferences and training courses for the
advancement of such purposes
The Objects of the Charity are achieved by providing Activities, which include Environmental
Education, Adventure Activities, and the provision of Hospitality to Schools and other Groups
Heatree Activity Centre provides a wide range of instructor-led Adventure Activities, including
kayaking, raft building, climbing, abseiling, caving, archery, stream scrambling, moorland walking,
rock scrambling, high ropes and low ropes courses, off-site mountain-biking, team-building and
The activity sessions form part of a comprehensive outdoor education programme, tailored to suit the
specific requirements of particular clients and flexibly designed to include participants with special
The charity also provides a wide range of instructor supervised Environmental, Educational
programmes including Bronze Age Roundhouse, Eco-challenge, Ecological Encounters, Earthwalks,
Freshwater Pond and Stream Dipping, Haytor Victorian Quarry, Houndtor Medieval Village, River
Studies, Rocky Shore and Sand Dune studies, Tourism and Settlement Impact Studies.
These activities are all designed to cover various relevant aspects of the National Curriculum.
Residential Visits are an invaluable experience when it comes to developing personal skills and help
prepare the children for independent living. The children participating in these programmes learn
much that they can carry with them as useful resources for their future lives.
The beneficiaries of the charity participating in both the adventure activity and environmental
educational programmes provided are mainly primary and early secondary school pupils (Y4 – Y7).
The schools are drawn mostly from the South West of England.
The residential programme’s duration is usually either 5 days or 2-3 days.
The charity hosted several camps, retreats, seminars, outreach events and training courses for Youth
Organisations such as the Devon Youth Services, Girl Guides, and various church youth groups.
The charity also offers the Centre to Church Groups for conferences and retreats.
During 2008 it was good to see use made of the Centre by those that had used it before, as well as
new clients. A good mix of Schools, Churches, and Youth Groups was achieved. Approximately five
thousand five hundred visited the Centre.
Clients have commented positively on the presentation and safe delivery of activity Sessions, and the
enhanced levels of Catering and Hospitality.
The good news of Jesus Christ has been communicated to the visiting Schools and other Christian
groups have experienced times of refreshment, encouragement, and edification.
The Team members throughout the year have also achieved appropriate training and progression in
obtaining National Qualifications.
Financial performance: with the support of both its Staff and Volunteers the Charity generated, from
typical income and expenditure streams, funds of £11K before depreciation.
This was less than last year and that anticipated in the budget where the reasons for this are
explained below as part of the review of the year.
94% of income came from Fees and Services provided by the Centre, the remaining 6% from
Voluntary Gifts, Interest, Rent, and Grass Keep.
The underlying cash position remained healthy and no short term borrowing was required.
This is in line with the Charity’s Policy where, typically, reserves sufficient to cover three months
operational expenses and working capital requirement are held. The Charity currently holds reserves
worth over 4 months of operational expenses.
The continued employment review impacted upon the results for the year (£15K), but was essential
and appropriate in retaining and maintaining staff and their welfare.
The cost of heating oil had risen by over 50% during the year and contributed to a rise in light and
heat costs of £14K.
The charity also continued to maintain accommodation and equipment for both staff and visitors
spending £13K more than last year.
The Charity continues to look to reinvest surplus funds within the Charity and its development.
Plans for the future include the decision, following a review of the 2008 spending plans, during 2009
to now invest in excess of £67K from Capital Funds to further enhance all aspects of the Centre.
Planning, previously authorised, for both the Staff Accommodation and the Outbuildings continues to
be reviewed looking to, where appropriate, upgrade/make available more on-site accommodation for
the Team and increase the residential capacity of the Centre’s users and Fee/Service income.
A full Employment Review continues looking at Contracts, Job Descriptions, Salaries and Pensions
for all employees with changes anticipated to roll out during 2009, which will also impact on future