Chairperson statement to CIDP AGM 2017
I am making this brief statement following a tough year – but a year in which CIDP made significant progress on a number of fronts and began to lay foundations for a positive and more secure future. I wish to thank the Board and staff for all your, and their, hard work during the year – while we have had considerable Board membership change, both past and present Board members have given CIDP great support, and I deeply appreciate your voluntary commitment to our organisation at a time of change. Our staffing structure has also been reinforced, and I acknowledge the many different contributions that underpin our performance and service delivery. I am very pleased that I, as Chair, and Keith, as CEO, can confidently say our governance and quality service to those we support are in very good hands.
In this tough year, we had to express our bitter disappointment at the findings of a HSE Internal Audit of CIDP over the 2012-15 period, but thanks to the sustained work of the Board and organisation we have also been able to say that all the issues identified were addressed and would not recur. We received a timely reminder that high standards of control and accountability should properly apply to the use of public funds entrusted to us, and we made a clear commitment that poor practice in these regards has no place in our future.
For the first time, CIDP published an annual report in 2016, both to give a public account of our stewardship, but also to celebrate the vitality and achievements of Holy Family School and our Boarding Residences, the dedication and support to adults at home in St Joseph’s Residence, the wide outreach and pastoral services of the National Chaplaincy, the excellent resources of the Deaf Education Centre and superb facilities of Inspire Fitness Centre. The central administrative team is highly competent and professional in providing financial, HR and other administrative services to the whole organisation.
Looking forward, we have laid the foundations for exciting developments in the coming years:
- A dedicated Project Manager, Tara McBreen, is now leading the transition project for St Joseph’s house de-congregation in line with the HSE policy Time to Move On, supported by a representative Steering Group chaired by John Lamont,
- The Board has approved the sale of land for a Nursing Home adjacent to the Primary Care Centre on the Navan Road; key conditions of this sale are that CIDP and the wider Deaf community would have guaranteed access to beds, and that sufficient staff will be capable of communicating in Irish sign language. The Developer and proposed Operator have engaged very positively with a focus group from the Deaf Community in regard to design issues,
- Holy Family School’s preference to remain long-term in the former St Joseph’s school buildings has been approved by the Board which will now engage with the Department of Education and the school in regard to necessary upgrading and refurbishment,
- A new comprehensive Child Safeguarding Policy has been completed, and will be kept in line with implementation measures under the Childrens’ Act 2015,
- The Board has decided, in line with the vision for Deaf Village Ireland, to transfer control for our subsidiary, National Deaf Village Sports and Leisure Company Ltd, and its trading arm, Inspire Fitness, to Deaf Village Ireland Ltd, and a working group comprising the 3 Board Chairs and CEO/Managers, is developing the detailed transition plan.
For the past year we have pursued a substantial programme of governance reform, and are now poised to confirm our completion of the Governance Code journey for the Charities Sector. We have also substantially overhauled our budgetary and financial procedures, and reined in expenditure without compromising services. In these regards I want to acknowledge the additional support Board members give through participation on Board Committees and the services of external expert members on those committees. Most of all, I want to thank the Central Team and Service Managers who have made much of the change possible and real, under the outstanding leadership and commitment of our CEO, Keith Adams.
I very much look forward to working with all of you, and with the wider Deaf Community, over the coming year with a view to making a success of the work we have in hand, and utilising our combined skills and opportunities for the benefit of the Deaf Community here in Cabra, as well as for Deaf people generally.
26 October 2017