2020 started off with excitement. We had planned a dynamic fundraising drive, as in previous years. COVID-19 was ‘a world away ‘. It was mentioned in our educational outreach to schools early in the year, but only to put international incidents in context. Never did we believe that it would hit our shores with such a vengeance.
But by the end of March, we, like much of the country, started a new journey of remote working. Our annual ADRA Appeal that takes place in March and April was cancelled only to evolve as an online fundraiser in July and August. And although it did not raise as much as the yearly face-to-face appeal, key lessons were learned for our fundraising on online platforms.
Despite COVID, traditional giving to ADRA-UK is consistent and we want to thank all of you who have so wonderfully and faithfully supported our work this year. To those who have created sponsorship activities, sent in cheques, transferred funds to us through BACS, created Birthday Fundraisers on Facebook and those who sent in cash. – Thank you! Your giving enable us to keep helping the world’s most vulnerable people both at home and overseas.
We held three appeals this year, our replacement Annual Appeal, an Emergency Appeal for Beirut and our Virtual GiftBox Appeal for children in the UK. Even in 2020 while our income was down by 75% we still helped 608,453 in 11 countries including 80,000 people in the UK (half of which were women).
I would salute the work of our Finance Team and Office Manager for their jurisprudence in difficult times.
The challenges of COVID-19 prevented us from visiting our overseas projects, but they were remotely managed by our Programmes Team. We were blessed to have received a grant from DIFD (now the FCDO) to work in Yemen, possibly the poorest country on the planet. Our projects in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Ghana, Myanmar and South Sudan continue to thrive despite the interruptions that COVID has caused.
Thanks to our Programmes Team for their tireless commitment to duty over the past 10 months.
Here, in the UK, we have worked with 73 grassroots community hubs to ensure that we support the most vulnerable people in the UK, through our I Am Urban initiative. Supported by funding from the TED and Barclays PLC, we continue to work with children, families on low incomes, the elderly, rough sleepers, those with no recourse to public funds as well as BAME people living with HIV/Aids.
Thank you to the I AM Urban team, and also to the thousands of volunteers across the country.
Our organisation is run by a Board of Trustees who enable us to have operate efficiently and within Charity guidelines. They drive the vision of the organisation and ensure that we have a strategic framework for our work both home and overseas.
Thank you to the Trustees for their time and dedication to ADRA-UK.
As I close this reflection, I am grateful to the Father who provides us with consistent funding to continue our work, ‘Not to us, O Lord…but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness’, Psalm 115:1 (NIV).