CEO Chat #35

CEO Chat

Dear Reader

Yes, I know that in my last CEO chat I had every good intention of resuming weekly updates however, life does not always run smoothly.

My past month has largely been occupied with resolving an issue with Barclays Bank, in which they closed our bank accounts. They claim that we had failed to provide information in a timely fashion yet we believe we had supplied everything asked of us. As a charity and a company limited by guarantee the business banking forms don’t quite align with our company structure, that resulted in some complications.

You can read the story here:
https://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/23975187.cumbria-deaf-association-struggling-barclays-debanking-chaos/

Border TV also covered the story, as did The Telegraph and the News & Star/Cumberland News. This situation isn’t unique to CDA, it is an increasing occurrence among charities, clubs and groups across the country. The Charity Commission is aware of the situation and has raised the matter affecting so many charities to the major financial institutions.

I took time to explain the situation to CDA staff who have been wholly understanding and done a fabulous job of answering concerns to people out in the community – huge thanks to them for continuing to deliver the high level of service they provide across Cumbria.

Without an operating bank account we had to postpone a few projects, that will now be launched in the new year. It has also prevented us for applying for warm spot funding, enabling us to expand our reach in the deaf community over the winter period, assisting with cost of living queries, providing some warmth and food for those wanting company, in an environment where everyone uses British Sign Language, enabling visitors to relax and chat in their first language.

In amongst all this we have welcomed new Trustees who have been invaluable in their support, guidance and actions. After many years as a trustee, Eric Martlew took the opportunity to step down. His insight and critical challenges to complex issues was one of his key contributions to the Board, and I thank him for his questioning as it improved my understanding.

After 130years of CDA, we will not be halted by a banking hiccup, or an electricity bill for £44,655.35! The invoice is an error but again, another issue to work through causing unnecessary work.

Next week I will be bringing the working year to a close with a more positive reflection on 2023 and a hint of what we have planned for 2024.