Watch Charity Mission Statement
The objectives for which the company was established are; “to secure, co-ordinate and manage resources for the social, economic and environmental improvement of the Hillfields area of Coventry for the benefit of people living and working in the area”
On Tuesday 13th November 2018 we had our annual general meeting to celebrate 21 years of WATCH charity. We combined this with a community lunch in support of Peace Festival with a range of foods. We had a great turn out with around 40 people attending including the deputy Lord Mayor. The event was a great success and sincere thank you to everyone who attended for your outstanding support at this event and other momentous occasions enabling us to bring happiness to Hillfields square and local residents. Also a massive congratulations to our Community Award winner Keith Farrelly and our Champion Volunteers Liney Dampz and Callumn. You have done us all proud!
Today marks the 21st Annual General Meeting of WATCH Ltd (Working Actively to Change Hillfields) and our aims and objectives still remain clear; to help people into work, support community development and cohesion and play a pivotal role in creating a safer neighbourhood. Over the past year WATCH has responded to the increased need and demand for our support and services during a further period of continued reductions in policing, youth provision, community safety and other public services.
With our unwavering resolve and commitment we have continued to grow our business and services even when funding has been minimal. Our promise has guaranteed WATCH will continue to deliver and develop new projects which offer life changing opportunities for disadvantaged people living in Hillfields and across Coventry.
This has been another positive year for the organisation and the centres upgraded facilities go from strength to strength. I would like to thank past and present staff, volunteers, members and Board members for their contributions to our success and achievements.
Farid Noor – Chairman
Centre Manager’s Report
I am pleased to report that the past 12 months have been successful for WATCH irrespective of the continued government cuts and increased rivalry for funding opportunities. WATCH Charity has secured funding and new partnership agreements allowing us to extend our work and provide people-centre support to more people for longer periods delivering projects and services in response to the needs of the local community
Employment Advice and Support – During the past year our experienced Employment Advisors have assisted 50 people into work and 109 completed training assisted 50 people into work and 109 completed training through the delivery of three partnership employment programmes funded by European Social Fund and the Heart of England Community Foundation.
We aim to provide bespoke employment and training support to individuals furthest removed from the labour market include; long-term unemployed, economically inactive, refugees and asylum seekers.
Children and Young People’s Project – Our admired youth development programme supported 55 disadvantaged children and young people aged 8-18, during this period, developing their essential life skills through informal, fun activities including introduction to radio training at HillzFM. Since it began in 2004 this unique project has supported thousands of young people to return to education, college and higher education, employment, Work placements and Apprenticeship schemes. WATCH operates as a safeguarding centre giving children and young people the opportunity to see behind the scenes of a live radio station and learn all aspects of radio production in a safe environment.
Hillz Community Radio project (98.6) – During the past year Hillz radio has continued to provide a valuable source of training, expression, and development. Our community radio project delivers a variety of international shows that reflect the diversity of the neighbourhood enabling residents to express their views and dispelling negative stereotypes about the area to promote community cohesion. In Hillz Radio project has supported 55 work experience and volunteer placements, trained 109 individuals in radio production, and supported 40 community events across the city including; Hillfields Gala Day, Positive Images Festival, Coventry Peace Festival and Hillzmas, Christmas celebration. The sustainability and development of the station is an important part of the organisations future plans.
Hillfields Library and Resources – Our partnership with Coventry City Council, to house the Local Community Library has attracted additional people into the centre increasing the total number of visits to 13,500 in the past 12 months. And after completing its first year of delivery the library has exceeded all targets. An example of this is; free computer usage throughout the year has increased by 488%.
The Need for WATCH – Hillfields is a vibrant community but remains one of the most deprived areas of the city. The pace and churn in population puts pressure on the few existing service providers in the neighbourhood. If WATCH did not exist local people and the surrounding communities would have to travel a substantial distance to access a similar facility of this type. Therefore, new business growth remains the utmost importance in order to achieve long term sustainability for the organisation to be able to provide demand-led services.
Thank you to our dedicated staff team and volunteers for their hard work and dedication throughout the year. Thanks also to our Board of trustees and for their time and expertise whose decision making has continued to steer the business of WATCH and this community venue. A final thank you to the organisations we have worked with and the grant makers who have funded our ideas and projects.
Trisha Evans – Centre Manager