2022-2023 Annual Reports
DAS SECRETARY'S REPORT
MAY 2022 TO APRIL 2023
Our activities returned almost to pre-Covid normality and membership was at an all time high. Your committee made use of the winter period to plan new initiatives such as competitions and collaboration with other like-minded organisations. We also had to address some administrative issues such as the fallout from a reduction in useful service from our website provider and the continuing search for cost-effective insurance.
Membership increased to a record 121. As before, the distribution across the sites reflected the active presence of committee members on those sites. The annual membership fee was kept at £5.
Services to members
Our membership of the National Allotment Society (NAS), for which we pay NAS £3 of our £5 membership fee, provided DAS members with access to NAS publications, discount schemes and third party liability insurance for allotment activities.
The number of members using the discounts with Kings Seeds available through our membership of NAS increased with DAS managing the group order and facilitating the direct orders from individual members. Our group order was submitted well before the pre-Christmas rush so delivery was prompt.
14 newsletters were emailed to members this year providing notice of events, reports on Allotment Liaison Group meetings with the Council, gardening tips and seasonal recipes.
News was also disseminated rapidly to members via the DAS Facebook page.
Our AGM returned to pre-lockdown format combining with a plant bring-and-buy sale at the Fleet Meadow Community Hall. It was attended by 28 members and at least 13 non-members. The existing committee was re-elected and the discussions were summarised in the May 2022 DAS newsletter.
A further plant sale was held on the Broadway site later in May.
Informal seed swaps were organised by committee members on some of the allotment sites.
Two competitions were launched at the AGM. The 'potato in a pot' competition was decided at a weigh in held on the New Road site in September with both the prize for the highest yield and heaviest potato being won by Colin Hayes from Cockcroft. Eleonora Cantini (Wantage Road) won the photo competition.
Taking account of these initiatives, the committee launched two further competitions in 2023. One for a bug hotel will be judged at the 2023 AGM and a photo competition on the subject of 'Wonky fruit & veg' will run through until 30 September 2023.
DAS continued to publicise the availability of D&DHA's shop in Laburnum Grove and its requirement for further volunteer help.
DAS members attended a practical workshop on composting which was hosted by Sustainable Didcot on the New Road site and led by Anais from Oxfordshire Community Action Group's 'Replenish' project. A handout summarising the contents of the workshop was made available to members via a newsletter link.
Committee members have responded to a request from Hanover Court for advice on setting up a garden for its residents.
We had a stall at the Platinum Jubilee event in June promoting the allotments via produce displays and providing free gardening-related activities for families.
Changes in the personal circumstances of some committee members has highlighted the need to avoid over-stretching demands on the committee and the desirability of involving more of the membership directly in the running of our activities.
AF April 2023
SUMMARY OF DAS ACCOUNTS FOR 2022-2023
This period runs for the 2022-2023 financial year to 31/03/2023.
We had 121 members.
The balance of the previous year was £2,181.10 (including £247.53 grant income to be spent or
returned and £25.75 asset for future year).
Summary of Income and Expenditure can be found here.
Net Income less Expenditure:£346.89.
Balance to be carried over the next year:£2,527.99.
Note: The balance carried over includes £204.59 grant income to be spent or returned and £53.62 asset for future years.
Thérèse Feest (Hon. Treasurer)