Members meetings are held monthly either at Ellesmere Port or Chester on the third Tuesday of every month.

Ours is a member led organisation and the course the charity takes is determined by the members.

Meetings also give members the opportunity to voice their concerns about local services and to share information

Happy Christmas and a happy 2019

Wishing everybody as Happy Christmas and a happy 2019 for everybody here at CDFB.

Christmas dinner place settings decorations christmas crackers
a woofing happy christmas from a friendly service dog

happy christmas and happy new year
Christmas entertainment Christmas tree

cdfb member posing with Christmas hat
christmas dinner in progress chistmas hats beting worn

christmas sing along

Minutes of Members Meeting dated 19th October 2018

Present:Gordon Jones, Howel Lloyd, Mum Bhakoo

John Andrew, Ena Wright, Jan Hobday, Ellen Burke,

Joan Hurst, Norman Hughes, Frank Burke, Joyce Jones, Jill Whitmore, Glenys Berry, Diane Spencer, Alex Gillard (Connie’s daughter)

Apologies: Bill Berry, Sue Hearfield, Mohan Bhakoo, Glen Salmon, Linda Butt, Nora Pipkin, Anne Rigby, Audrey Sykes

Minutes of the last meeting:


Matters Arising:

Canal trip was very successful. Thanks to Jill for all her hard work.

Crossing – Access Officer from the council came to have a look. The matter will now be referred to another committee.

Building snags have all been completed.


At present there is approx. £80,000 in the bank but after October expenses for vehicle insurances, etc. there will be approx. £70,000. £56, 000 was raised through collections which is down on previous years, but the council have given us less opportunity to collect in Chester. Shops continue to do well. (Finance report included in notes).


The building is now complete apart from the gates which hopefully will be finished by next week. The gates will be open at all times when the building is open.


Friday, 26th October visit from potential funders. Everyone urged to attend. There will be a coffee morning, bowling and crafts.

Holiday – Hopefully arranging a holiday on 26th November for four nights. Cost estimated at £179 per person for sharing a room and £219 for single room. This price includes dinner, bed and breakfast. Further details to be forwarded at a later date.

29th October Apple are coming to demonstrate their products from 10.00-2.30 lunch will be provided, usual cost for transport.

19th November equipment demonstration. More details to be forwarded at a later date.

Summer trips are now finished.

Cinema showing of Mamma Mia was enjoyed by all.

New mens’ club to be started on a Friday .

Soup and sandwich club to be started on a Thursday possibly with a film when we are able to obtain equipment.

Keep fit club not very successful but it is hoped this will be replaced by a music and movement club.

Trustee Meeting:

Next meeting 1st November

Any Other Business:

Crossing – discussion on where the crossing is to be placed. Dropped kerbs and zebra crossing have been requested. It was thought that sign posting at junctions leading up to the unit would be useful for taxi drivers and visitors and Howel suggested attending a Highways Meeting.

Norman queried the lack of use of our kitchen and was informed about the Food Hygiene Regulations. The matter is now in hand for members and volunteers to attend a food hygiene course to enable them to prepare food. It was suggested we contact the college to enlist the help of catering students who will be assessed as part of their course.

It was requested that we change the colour of our vests to make fundraisers look less like roadworkers.

It was suggested that leaflets be included in the fundraising equipment as there have been several enquiries from members of the public. Also more fundraisers are needed if anyone has some time to spare.

Tables – could the tables be placed in a semi circle for future meetings to enable people to hear the discussions better.

Talking newspaper – this should be used to promote the charity and any items can be passed to Jan Hobday who will ensure they are included in the next available edition.

Friday 19th October

The last Members Meeting was on Friday 19th October at 2pm at the Centre in Ellesmere Port. There was a short meeting followed by a social, refreshments included.

2018 AGM

AGM Minutes of the Members Meeting

August 10th 2018


  • John Andrew
  • Steve Andrews
  • Julie Andrews
  • Ray Ashworth
  • Sheila Bangay
  • Chris Bell
  • Mike Bell
  • Ben McKeary
  • Debbie Duncan
  • Jordon
  • Glen Berry
  • Bill Berry
  • Mohan Bhakoo
  • Mum Bhakoo
  • Margaret Booth
  • Ellen Burke
  • Linda Butt
  • Frank Byrne
  • Beryl Duggan
  • Eddie Currin
  • Gail Nichol
  • Doris Fairbrother
  • Barbara Galvin
  • Sue Hearfield
  • Connie Henshaw
  • Jan Hobday
  • Linda
  • Joan Hurst
  • Gordon Jones
  • Joyce Jones
  • Howell Lloyd
  • Lillian Parry
  • Ian
  • Berkeley Ranby
  • Anne Rigby
  • Glenys Salmon
  • Diane Spencer
  • Audrey Sykes
  • Susan Towell
  • Dave Ward
  • Jill Whitmore
  • Linda Williams
  • Debbie
  • Sheila Wellings
  • Ena Wright
  • Alan Winsor
  • Diana Winsor
  • Carl Ferguson

Apologies: Jon Bhargava, David Nichol, Norman Hughes, Phil Rigby/p>

Minutes of the last AGM: Approved

Matters arising: None

Linda Butt, Chair, reads her report

The Chair’s Report

Good afternoon everyone and welcome. It's so lovely to see so many people here today and so many familiar and new faces.

Just a bit about housekeeping before we proceed with the meeting. If you hear the fire alarm the fire exits are each end of the building and the assembly point is outside the gates, access to the toilets are off this main hall or from the corridor if anyone needs a guide raise your hand or just shout. I am aware that for a few people this is your first visit and we will be happy to show you around after the meeting.

As chair I am pleased to deliver my report at this 8th Annual General Meeting and here in our newly refurbished centre. Nine years ago some of us had a dream. We wanted to start providing services for people with a visual impairment. We wanted to create a centre where people could come together, a space, which was warm and welcoming, which was big enough to embrace all. Now we have somewhere, somewhere to meet, somewhere to party, somewhere to belong, somewhere, which has exceeded my wildest expectations. We have a wonderful building.

In 2014 the Charity purchased this building. Refurbishment began in 2016. Staff and volunteers worked tirelessly on community fundraising and in our charity shops to raise funds to pay for the necessary work. Sue, who managed the project worked 12 hour days, seven days a week, often after sleepless nights spent worrying about money, design and contractors. It was all a huge responsibility but the results of the collective hard work are here for us all to enjoy, a centre which is not only functional but a centre which is light, bright and luxurious.

During the time of upheaval (and it was an upheaval) work continued. We held functions and clubs in a virtual builders yard. Amongst the dirt, dust and noise the activities continued.

Once we had finished we gradually brought in some of the activities, which had taken place in the community. We have started a new keep fit programme and plans are in the pipeline for further new activities in the near future. New referrals are already coming in and we expect membership to rise significantly this year.

Before I finish I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of the board to our staff, our supporters and all our fantastic and dedicated volunteers. Thank you for the endless hours you give, your generosity has brought us to where we are today.

Thank you everyone. Lets all celebrate our achievements together!

Mohan Bhakoo, Treasurer, reads the financial report

Treasurer’s Report to the AGM for Year- End 2017

As Treasurer of CDFB I have a responsibility to keep an eye on the overall financial position of the charity.

My report is based on the annual accounts, that were prepared by Johnstone Howell, and which were approved by the board of trustees of the charity just prior to this AGM.

Once again, we have spent a great deal on the refurbishment of the building. Everything went very well as far as finances are concerned in 2017 and the charity’s financial position has improved again over the year under review. This is without taking into account the increase in the value of the building.

Overall charity income was £128,130. This is slightly up from £125,815 in 2016. Trading is not shown as making a contribution and this is because refurbishment costs of £85,602 were paid by trading another £49,000 was paid by the charity. Trading also pays for the running costs of the Unit. Trading does, in fact, make a large contribution to charity finances though this is not obvious in this year’s accounts. The two shops have made a healthy profit of around £70,000.

Other major contributions to income were £79,868 from fundraising compared with £78,896 in 2016 and grants of £44,878.

Charity expenditure went down last year by £3,000.

Staff costs increased by £8,000 in 2017. Total staff costs were £53,550.

Total funds held by the charity are currently £320,079, an increase of £45,000 on last year’s figures. This is without a revaluation of the unit.

At the start of 2014, the charity had no premises and total net assets of £93,618. At the end of 2017, four years later, the charity has newly refurbished premises and holds net assets of £320,079

CDFB is in a healthy position with respect to finances. Having grown from almost nothing at its registration as a charity in 2009, it now has a healthy cushion of reserves has expanded services, purchased and refurbished a building and is now poised to increase its membership and services to fully utilise its marvelous facility.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful volunteers and dedicated staff. We recently established that volunteers contribute around 310 hours per week. This is a massive input to our organisation, thank you!

Appointment of independent auditors:

It was voted to appoint Johnstone Howell.

Election of the Board of Trustees:

  • Glenys Salmon
  • Jonathan Bhargava
  • Mohan Bhakoo
  • Sue Wellsbury
  • Linda Butt
  • Joyce Jones
  • Susan Towell
  • Jill Whitmore

Were elected to the board of trustees


There was a short discussion on the website and face book pages.

It was suggested that CDFB developed a savings scheme but other members thought this was unnecessary.

Minutes Members Meeting – 17th July 2018

Present: Jan Hobday, Linda Butt, Doreen Timmins, Joan Hurst, Margaret Booth, Sue Hearfield, Joyce Jones, Frank Byrne, Doris Fairbrother, Ena Wright, Jill Whitmore, Audrey Sykes, Howell Lloyd, Glenys Salmon, Gordon Jones, Dave Walters, Janet Jones.

Apologies: Mum Bhakoo, Mohan Bhakoo.

Minutes of the last meeting: Approved.

Matters Arising: The accessible toilets have now been completed.

Finances: We should be left with around £60,000 when the final building costs are met.

Building: There is a little bit of snagging left to do then the building is complete.

Events: Wednesday trips and Thursday trips are continuing throughout the summer.There will be a day long canal boat trip on Oct 4th.

The AGM is scheduled for Friday 10th August at 6pm. A supper and entertainment will be provided.

There was a discussion regarding the payment of trips and members decided unanimously that trips should be paid for in advance and that payment should not be refundable.

Howell suggested a reserve list for trips where tickets could be sold on if necessary.

Glenys pointed out that if a trip was cancelled money should be returned.

AOB: Janet and Gordon suggested we sell Christmas cards to raise funds. Sue will contact the printers to find out the cost and potential profit.

Keep fit begins on Friday at a cost of £3 per session including refreshments.

Joyce asked about a crossing and Sue will contact the Access Officer again.

Meeting at the Centre

The Members Meeting was held at the Unit at 2pm on Tuesday 17th July. Transport and refreshments was  provided.

Ellesmere Port on March 20th

The Member’s Meeting was held at the unit in Ellesmere Port on March 20th at 2pm. Refreshments was provided.

Minutes of the Members Meeting 24th October 2017 2pm


This is our most testing time. This month we have paid out £3,500 for moving the gas meter, £9,000 on materials, £8,000 to builders, and we’ll be paying out £5,000 on insurance for our four vehicles.

However, the shops are doing well, the amount of money raised through fundraising has reached around £64,000 so far this year and we have just been granted £10,000 from Awards for All.

On top of this, we are to receive a legacy, which will probably be between £30,000 and £50,000. At this moment in time we still have £20,000 more in the bank than we did at the end of 2016.


The building has moved on in leaps and bounds though this isn’t always apparent. One of the biggest jobs in the charity side of the unit was laying the drains. These are now hidden and no one would guess the amount of work, which went into them. Without the drains we would have no toilets, no kitchen sinks and no washbasins.

Walls have been built and some ceilings are in place. In some areas we have finished the electrics and in others the first fix is complete.

It is now possible to get a feel of what the unit will become as the layout is complete. We are still on track to open at Christmas though the main hall and new entrance lobby may not (probably won’t) be finished.

The first windows/French doors have been ordered and should arrive within the next two weeks. If we are happy with these the remaining six sets will be ordered.

There was a tour of the building.


Everyone enjoyed the holiday in Blackpool. The cinema is booked for the 6th November, Glenys will be in touch next week with details

Trustee Meeting:

The next trustee meeting is due the first week of November.


It was agreed unanimously to move the Members Meetings to the Unit at the new time of 2pm. Transport and refreshments will be provided. Everyone agreed that the building was ‘brilliant’.

Minutes of Members Meeting held on 16th September 2017

Present : Gordon Jones Jan Hobday Ena Wright Glenys Berry Joyce Jones Sue Wellesbury, Glenys Salmon Linda Butt

Apologies: Bill Berry, Audrey Sykes, Sue Hearfield, Mohan Bhakoo, Jill Whitmore

Last Meeting: There were no minutes taken at the last meeting which was informal due to lack of numbers.

Matters arising: None

Finances: Finances remain good despite the work on the building.

Building: Progress is fantastic; floors due to go down (we have secured bonded vinyl floor tiles at a fraction of the normal cost), the toilets are in place and working, the electrics are complete in part of the building.

The ceiling in the main hall is almost complete and ceilings are being structured in other parts of the building.

The trading side is complete, with its own toilet facilities and small kitchen area, all that needs to be arranged is an official opening.

We are still hoping to open the Charity side by Christmas or New Year.

Events: A holiday has been planned in Blackpool from 16th to 20th October.

Wednesday trips are now finished, for the winter, these proved popular and more trips will be arranged throughout the year.

Trustee Meeting: `One was held on the 6th September, three new trustees are to be co-opted on to the board. Two are full members and the third is an ophthalmologist.

Fund Raising: To date £ 55,000 has been raised.

AOB Raffle was held and proceeds went towards taxi fares.

Thanks were given to Joyce for her hospitality in allowing the meeting to be held in her home.

Date and time of next meeting will be 2pm 24th October 2017 at the unit, where members will have the opportunity to see progress. Refreshments and transport will be provided.

There will be no members meeting on the 3rd Tuesday of the month in October as this coincides with the holiday.

19th Sept 2017

This meeting will be held in Ellesmere Port.

Joyce Jones has volunteered to host the meeting and provide refreshments.

I know this should have been the Chester meeting and if this causes any problem we can hold October's meeting in Chester.

If you would like to attend the meeting and require transport please let me know.

August 2017

This month's Member’s Meeting will be held tomorrow evening (Tuesday 15th August 2017) at Ellesmere Port Labour Club. If you would like to attend and need transport please let me know.

Please find the Agenda and the Minutes of the Last Meeting below.

  • Agenda
  • Present
  • Apologies
  • Minutes of previous meeting (attached)
  • Matters arising:
  • New Building
  • Clubs
  • Finance
  • Fundraising
  • Trustee Meeting
  • Outings and holidays
  • AOB
  • Date and Venue of next meeting

AGM 2017

The AGM is on Friday July 7th at 7pm at Upton British Legion. Transport, refreshments and entertainment are provided. Please let me know if you can make it.

2017 AGM Minutes (download as word).

2017 AGM Minutes (download as pdf).

"What the charity has achieved financially is quite remarkable. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication of all our staff and volunteers. CDFB is in a very healthy position with respect to finances. Having grown from almost nothing at its registration in 2009, the charity now has a very healthy cushion of reserves, a building we own outright and four vehicles we own and run. Just as we have grown financially so have our services expanded."

Next Meeting: 7pm at Upton British Legion 7th July

Tuesday 20th June at the Labour Club

Minutes of Members Meeting 20th June 2017

Ellesmere Port Labour Club

Present: Sue Hearfield, Jill Whitmore, Linda Butt, David Walters, Glenys Salmon, Bill Berry, Glenys Berry, Joyce Jones, Janet Hobday, Audrey Sykes

Apologies: Ena Wright, Gordon Jones

Minutes of the last meeting: Approved

Matters Arising: None

Finances: Both Trading and Fundraising are going well.

Building: The Trading side is virtually finished and there will be an opening party at the end of August. Walls have gone up in the charity side, electrics moved and drainage laid.

Events: A trip to the Anderton Boat lift is arranged for the 6th July and the AGM is on Friday 7th at Upton British Legion.

Trustee Meeting: The next Trustee Meeting will be held prior to the AGM to discuss the accounts.

AOB: Audrey asked us to contact the Storyhouse in Chester to discuss a possible tour.

Sadly Rhonda Wray, member and volunteer passed away this month. Rhonda was a lovely lady and we are all going to miss her. Rhonda was a member and a volunteer who helped out both in the charity shop and on collections.

Minutes of members meeting 18th April 2017

Ellesmere Port Labour Club

Present: Glenys Salmon, Jill Whitmore, Sue Hearfield, Mohan Bhakoo, Linda Butt, Neil Jarvis, Norman Hughes, Joyce Jones, John Andrew, David Walters and David Yardley.

Apologies: Bill and Glenys Berry, Ena Wright, Jan Hobday, Howell Lloyd and Gordon Jones.

Minutes of the last meeting: Approved

Matters Arising: None

Finances: Finances are good. Fundraising is up on last year so far and shops are performing well. We have had three grants totaling £35,000 in the past few months.

Building: Work is progressing nicely. The trading side is almost complete. Work has begun on the charity side of the building and the new firewall is being erected at the moment. We have had a report from a structural engineer, which confirms that we can replace the windows and insert five French doors.

Events: Cinema Club, is delayed as VUE have purchased new audio equipment and as yet have only six of the new headsets. We have been assured that there will be more headsets in the near future and we shall make contact again tomorrow.

It was agreed that weekly trips should begin in June and the following ideas put forward:

  • Towyn
  • New Brighton
  • Jodrell Bank
  • Andreson Boat Lift
  • Parkgate
  • River trip on Mersey
  • The next Ten Pin Bowling club will be held on Wednesday 26th April.

Holiday – it was suggested that this year’s holiday could be to the Isle of Man.

Trustee Meeting: Trustee meeting was taken mainly with discussions re the unit. It was decided that there would be a Trustee’s Away Day this year.

AOB: Neil Jarvis pointed out that we have the wrong address is in the constitution. We are looking at holding the AGM in a hotel in Chester late in May.

Date and venue of next meeting: It was agreed that we would not hold a member’s meeting in May as there will be an AGM (date to be arranged).

Date and venue of next meeting: 21st March 2017 at The Little Owl at 7pm - MEETING CANCELLED

Members Meeting Minutes 21st Feb at Ellesmere Port Labour Club

Present: Gordon, Jan, Ena, Sue, Bill B, Glenys B, Jill and Glenys S

Apologies: Joyce, Audrey, Sue and Anne

Minutes of last meeting: Approved

Finances: Fundraising so far this year has reached £6,800 - Thanks to everybody who were involved.

Building: Progressing as planned. The mezzanine floor is due to arrive on Monday and when this is up all stock can be moved from charity side then work can progress on hall, kitchen and toilets.

Events: Nothing planned at the moment. Bill suggested an outing to the Zoo, entry is expensive but one person can go in free as a carer. Another suggestion was Bangor on Dee races.

Trustee Meeting: A meeting is due in March.

AOB: No.