Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Delivering our way out of the economic gloom

We are now entering uncertain economic times. For a small charity like WTT there may well be impacts on our core income, in terms of donations, memberships, raffles and auctions. At WTT we are acutely aware of this (we never take income for granted) and we are currently looking at ways of mitigating against any loss of income to allow us to continue to deliver our conservation work. All aspects of our business are under scrutiny including discretionary spending. We may be faced with some difficult decisions and the odd 'sacred cow' may have to be put out to grass. This is the harsh reality of working in the charitable sector - when people feel the pinch, charitable giving could be one of the first casualties. Although the Children In Need appeal seemed to buck the trend!

However, despite the doom and gloom, I am feeling very positive. Whilst we can't spend our way out of a recession, I feel we can deliver our way out of it. Ten years of very hard work has turned WTT into a highly efficient, action focused organisation that has always delivered on it's promises. We have a sound platform to keep moving forward. This is all backed-up by a robust budget, annual business plan, five year strategy and conservation, funding and communications strategies. The team at WTT is a formidable one. Our Conservation Team, Administrator, Executive, Trustees and Presidents are all incredible people. We are an ideas factory and have a huge array of experience and skills to steer us a on a safe voyage through difficult economic waters.

Partnership is a central to everything that WTT does. In the last ten years we have developed national partnerships with The Environment Agency (England & Wales) Natural England, Loughs Agency (Northern Ireland), National Trust, Association of Rivers Trusts, Rivers & Fisheries Trusts of Scotland (RAFTS), Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, various Wildlife Trusts, The Grayling Society, RiverFly Partnership and the Atlantic Salmon Trust.

We are now firmly established as third sector delivery partner and our funders recognise that we have a unique ability to blur the boundaries between fisheries and conservation. Coupled with this as an independent charity our advice is often taken more readily than that provided by organisations that have regulatory functions as well (even though it may be the same!)

Our project work is getting very exciting with Wild Trout Wales, Cinderella Chalk Rivers Project, Anglian Sea Trout Project, Trout in the Town, etc.... These projects not only inspire us, they inspire funders but most importantly the grassroots to start conservation projects.

Our approach during these tough times will be the same as always;

  • stay true to our founding principles

  • keep on delivering to high standards

  • develop innovative ideas and solutions

  • develop new and existing partnerships

  • be as efficient and prudent as possible

  • share knowledge

  • enjoy our work

Our corporate sponsors are backing us all the way. Special mention must be made of Orvis and Sage who have been there from the very start of the then Wild Trout Society....true friends indeed. New friends have come on board in the last 10 years too including, Hardy & Greys, Japanese Knotweed Solutions, John D Wood and the Lloyds Agricultural Mortgage Corporation, etc....their support is invaluable interms of finances but also in helping us to get a toes in the door of other board rooms.

Whether we are in boom or bust cycles ..I feel the top priority for WTT is the delivery of our conservation objectives and I can assure you that at WTT this will always be our top priority. This is why WTT was set-up and as far as I'm concerned it's Business as Usual.

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