Focus: Finance and Governance - The Numbers - Vision Homes Association

Patrick McCurry

Vision Homes Association provides residential and other services to people with multiple disabilities, including sensory impairment, profound learning disabilities and those who have suffered brain injuries

Total income: £2.1m (roughly the same as 2002-2003).

Highest salary: No member of staff was paid more than £40,000.

Reserves policy Free reserves stood at around £300,000 at the end of the year, equivalent to about eight weeks' spending. The charity believes this is just sufficient to meet working capital and other requirements, but would like to raise the level of reserves in the long term.

Fundraising costs Although it depends largely on fee income, the charity raised £77,000 in voluntary income and spent £50,000 on generating funds, giving it a fundraising ratio of 65p in the pound.

How performance is communicated

The trustees report is short and rudimentary, giving little idea about the charity and its approach. There is not much on how the charity performed during the year or on aspirations for the future. The charity says its annual report is being reworked in the light of new requirements under the Sorp. The website is basic but, according to the charity, is being expanded. Visit www.visionhomes.org.

The charity says "Local and health authorities - the main purchasers of our services - are increasingly under pressure financially, and this has resulted in increasing difficulties for the charity when it comes to the annual renegotiating of fee levels for each service, while keeping up with cost-of- living increases for staff. Our view is that any reduction in service levels to reflect a possible shortfall in fees is not an option, but this position is constantly under review."

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