You can download the full version of the Born Free Foundation Trustees' Report + Audited Group Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2015 here >
It gives me great pleasure to introduce Born Free Foundation’s Annual Report, which sets out, for our supporters and the general public, what we have achieved in the past twelve months and our future plans.
2014/5 represented a year of huge progress for the charity on several dimensions. We had a strong year in terms of revenue and, as a result, we were able to raise our expenditure on charitable activities by 22%.
We also completed, on 31st January the merger of Born Free Foundation with Care for the Wild, another Horsham-based charity with highly aligned goals and beliefs. Together, we are able to extend our reach and focus even more resources on our important work in wildlife conservation. The merger has gone very well and the combined organisation is operating with passion and purpose.
The merger further strengthened our reserves to an extremely healthy position. We are currently reviewing what proportion of these reserves we can release in the future and exploring opportunities to expand our programmatic work accordingly.
Details of key elements of our exciting work follow later in the report; our impact continues to grow, although the challenges facing wildlife conservation efforts are equally increasingly acute. I would highlight in particular the expansion of our operations in Kenya, the further growth of our rescue centre at Ensessakotteh in Ethiopia, our work to create and drive the Dolphinaria-Free Europe coalition and our efforts to gain political support across the world to tackle the growing crisis of Illegal Wildlife Trade.
I should like, as ever, to thank our staff and our excellent volunteers for their continuing hard work and dedication. Will Travers, our President, and Adam Roberts, our CEO, provide tireless and inspirational leadership. They have been ably supported by their senior team – Alison Hood (Campaigns Director), Anne Tudor (Marketing Director), Shirley Galligan (PR Director), Stephen Chandler (Finance Manager) and Marc Gumbrill (Operations Manager) – who provide first-class leadership. Sadly, we have recently said goodbye to Alison, who after 25 years of dedicated, caring and committed service, has moved to Shropshire for personal reasons. Alison has been with the Born Free Foundation since its very early days and we will miss her passion, comradeship and insight. Brian Bergin, our Secretary and Treasurer, has also decided to retire; he has been an invaluable support to the Trustees and to me through his calm wisdom.
In addition, we are exceptionally fortunate that we have so many long service employees, and that our new recruits, including our new Care for the Wild colleagues have blended in so well in what I am pleased to say is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading wildlife charities.
Finally, it has been a year of transition amongst the Trustees. We have said goodbye to Roz Kidman-Cox, who stepped down after 11 years’ service; we will miss her wisdom and quiet authority. Meanwhile, we have welcomed three new Trustees from Care for the Wild’s Board, Zara Boland, Anne Wignall and Graeme Young and a further new Trustee in Sue Olsen. Together with the management team, we look forward to continuing to drive our work in the coming year.
Chair of Trustees