Once again, an economically challenging year.

The board had been concerned by the continued underperformance by one of our investment houses in comparison to the other for some time and a change became inevitable. We retained an independent advisor to provide a shortlist of houses and funds that were in line with our goals and ESG guidelines. This has resulted in a transfer of 50% of our total funds to CCLA within their COIF Charities Ethical Investment Fund which at the time of writing is now complete. We decided that the quarterly report from Yoke and Co was now superfluous and in the interests of cost saving we have terminated our arrangement. However, their clear reporting and explanation undoubtedly guided us in our repositioning and the board thanks them for their efforts.

We have continued to make donations as usual and have increased the annual budget by 12.5% to make some headway against inflation. Our revamped website has resulted in increased visibility and consequently the number of applications. We have reviewed our selection criteria and latterly all donations are more in line with our remit. We urge all applicants to study the application guidelines carefully before submission.

In the year we supported 35 charities with a total of £162,904 which benefitted approximately 6700 individuals. These included many water-based charities such as Portsmouth Sail Training Trust. We continued our long-standing support for Professor Richard Kirby and his SECCHI Disk study, now in its 11th year. Another beneficiary was Cetacean Research and Rescue Unit and we trust their new dry suits will assist them in their efforts to rescue stranded marine life.

As always, the board thanks our support team for making our job so much easier. In turn, I would like to thank the trustees for their wisdom and selfless contribution.