No wage top-ups at COPE Galway as it adheres to best practice standards

Galway Advertiser,

The Board of Management of COPE Galway wish to outline our on-going commitment to best practice governance standards across all our services and structures.

As the chairman of COPE Galway, I wish to assure you that we have been leaders in setting and adhering to best practice governance standards, and we have taken steps throughout our history to ensure transparency and honesty in everything we do.

COPE Galway believes in a quality of life in a home of your own for people affected by homelessness, women and children experiencing domestic violence, and older people. COPE Galway respond to some of the most vulnerable people in our community and are the first point of contact for people in a crisis due to homeless and domestic violence.

COPE Galway is a local Galway service and we depend on the Galway Community to support our work on your behalf.

In 2013: COPE Galway has no connection whatsover with COPE Cork which is a wholly separate organisation.

· COPE Galway provided over 15,000 bed nights to 356 people.

· COPE Galway provided refuge to 88 women with 83 children who were fleeing from violence at home and a further 283 women and 253 children availed of their Support and Outreach service with over 400 appointments provided throughout Galway City and County in 2013.

· COPE Galway helped over 200 older people, some of whom feel isolated and alone, and provided over 45,000 meals.

During the past five years, our funding levels from the HSE have dropped by 12 per cent at a time when demand for our services has grown. Despite cuts to our funding we have continued to deliver all our services and this is as a result of the commitment and service of our staff and volunteers, and the generosity of the public.

In order to provide our range of services, we have over 100 people working for us, a mix of full and part-time, as social care professionals, childcare workers, community support workers, chefs, cleaners, drivers, fundraisers, and administrators. They are supported by over 150 wonderful volunteers - male and female, of all ages.

You can read more about our impact in 2013 in our ‘End of Year Review’ on our website www.copegalway.ie

COPE Galway have always placed a very significant emphasis on good governance.

In May 2013 we became one of the first organisations to voluntarily sign up to the Governance Code for Community and Voluntary organisations in Ireland. Similarly, we adopted the Statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising in January 2013.

Every year we publish our annual report, including a financial summary outlining where our money comes from and where it is spent. Our annual reports for the last six years are available on our website. As a public body our financial records are independently audited every year and our audited accounts are filed with the Companies Office. Our most recent audited financial statements are available on our website.

Furthermore:

* All our salaries are on or below the levels of corresponding staff aligned to HSE pay scales.

* Our CEO, Jacquie Horan, receives a salary of €53,251 (part-time, minimum 25 hours per week).

* We do not and never have paid top ups.

* All expenses claimed are for out of pocket costs incurred and are supported by receipts.

* We operate a defined contribution PRSA scheme for staff with equal terms for all employees who choose to participate.

* Our Board of Management are volunteers and do not receive any payments whatsoever from the organisation.

* As an organisation we manage our resources efficiently in order to deliver the best possible service at the least cost.

* All funds raised in any year are required to deliver services for that year. We have never been in a position to accumulate reserves.

Our annual budget to operate our services is €4m.

We receive 79 per cent in funding from statutory bodies (HSE 57 per cent, Galway City Council 22 per cent). We generate a further eight per cent from service charges, and five per cent from grants.

We depend on the generosity of the public in order to raise the remaining eight per cent of the funds required to deliver our services.

We consider that it is essential that all resources, including donations, are used to greatest effect for public benefit. This includes allocating sufficient expenditure to services, staffing, administration and management, all of which ultimately ensure that the best possible service is available for our clients. 88 per cent of our income is used directly in our services, four per cent supports our fundraising efforts, and 8 per cent is required for the administration of the entire organisation.

The public expect us and all charities to be run and to be managed to the highest possible standards. In this regard we want to reassure our generous supporters that we do, and always have operated to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us directly and we will be more than happy to respond.

On behalf of the men, women and children we support, we thank you for your continued support which keeps our services operating.



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