The Master’s Voice – December 201319th Dec 2013 — Posted by: Brandon Hill
LOOKING BACK ON 2013
Christmas is a very special time in the Merchant Venturers’ calendar. I am enjoying attending carol concerts and seasonal celebrations with pupils and staff at the schools and residential homes for older people that we support in Bristol. This is a time to reflect on what has been achieved over the past year and to look forward to the opportunities and challenges in the year ahead.
The schools supported by the Merchants have achieved so much in 2013. We are proud of the hardworking staff and pupils at all our schools. Particular congratulations must go to Merchants’ Academy, whose success in being named as one of the country’s most improved schools was celebrated on the front page of the Bristol Post.
Congratulations also to Colston’s Girls’ School, who achieved the best GCSE results in the South West region and is ranked amongst the top 15 of all non-selective schools in the country. This year has also seen an important consolidation of the Society’s involvement in Primary Education.
This summer, Katherine House, our purpose built residential home, achieved an excellent review from the Care Quality Commission. We are looking carefully at the next chapter of the Society’s care for older people and I look forward to sharing our plans with the community over the next 12 months.
Good luck in 2014 to the wide range of good causes that the Merchant Venturers were able to support in 2013. We wish Underfall Yard well with its fund-raising campaign to raise the outstanding £500,000 needed for a £4m project to safeguard the Underfall Yard within Bristol Harbour.
We have provided an overview of the Society’s charitable giving over the past year in Merchants’ Review, our newsletter, which provides an overview on what has been an active year for the Society.
We give priority to helping organisations that benefit local people in the greater Bristol area and look at grant applications that address a range of priorities, including those that meet social needs. This includes care for the elderly, tackling homelessness, poverty and the prevention of crime. We like to support youth projects, including contributing to the funding of training and assisting character development.
Next year will be a further busy year for the Merchant Venturers and I will keep you up to date with progress that we are achieving through regular updates here on the Society’s website.
Alongside the Merchant Venturers active support for education, care for older people, in 2014 I look forward to raising the profile of the Merchants’ involvement in the Downs and Avon Gorge. The Society is the joint custodian of this extraordinary amenity. I, together with many others, am determined that we realise the potential of this remarkable space.
On behalf of the Merchants I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a successful New Year.