The Friends of Holland Park


Legal Structure
The Friends of Holland Park ("The Friends") is a registered charity (registration number 281348) governed by its constitution and rules. The constitution (with the exception of the clauses relating to Objects, Dissolution and Amendments) can only be amended in relation to the charity's name and application of income and property by the assent of not less than two thirds of the members present at a general meeting and in relation to the remainder of the constitution by the assent of a majority of members present at a general meeting.

The president is Sir Angus Stirling.

The trustees who held office since 1 January 2010 were:

R D N Hopkins (chairman)
N J W Brockmann
D Newberry (from 19 January 2010)
K E Hall
D A Jeffreys (treasurer)
J E Puritz
A M Walker
R M Wood (secretary)
MC Gardner (from 10 January 2011)

Objects and Policies
The objects of the Charity are for the public benefit to secure the preservation, protection and improvement of Holland Park as a place of historical and ecological interest and beauty; to promote the conservation of the natural plant, animal and bird life of the Park and, in particular, its retention as a natural woodland habitat for wildlife; and to educate the public in the history, natural history and other aspects of the Park.

Management and Organisation
The officers of the charity are the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The officers and committee are elected by members at the AGM. The trustees do not receive any remuneration or benefits from and no staff are employed by the charity.

Review of Activities and Achievements during the Year
The Friends' wish to have the forecourt of Holland House opened to the public again moved a little closer. The forecourt was partially landscaped after the close of the opera season in September, but the site was deemed to be insufficiently safe to allow access by the public.

Having taken professional acoustic advice, it was decided reluctantly to drop plans for the design and production of wall hangings for use in the cafeteria to reduce noise levels. Instead, the Royal Borough was encouraged to undertake structural changes to the building to improve noise attenuation.

Two 'wavy' benches in English oak were designed and made to stand on either side of the steps up to Holland House, and presented to the Royal Borough for that purpose.
The Friends commissioned work on two new publications: one on the social history of the families of Holland House and the other on the development of the Holland House gardens.

There was communication with the developers of the Commonwealth Institute site to ensure, as far as possible, that the integrity and security of the Park will be maintained and landscaping of the redeveloped site will be compatible with the Park. The Friends were consulted by the newly-appointed developer of the Holland Park School residential scheme. A revised planning application is expected to show improvements to the design resulting in a less intrusive impact on the Park.

The provision of children's toilets adjacent to the Adventure Playground is still unresolved, but, if pursued by The Royal Borough, proposals to develop a new Ecology Centre in that area of the Park would incorporate toilets for public use.

The twenty-eighth Annual Art Exhibition in March was supported by over 70 artists and produced a net profit for The Friends of ca £1000. This was about £350 down on the previous year due largely to fewer exhibits and the cost of new display equipment. Other fundraising and social events for members included two illustrated talks: 'Kenilworth Castle Garden' and 'The Birds of Holland Park'. During the summer, The Friends 'Pimm's in the Park' party was held in the grounds of the Youth Hostel. The annual Christmas Concert was given by the Tallis Chamber Choir for the 11th year in succession.

The Friends' AGM was held on 24 March. The Friends' Committee met on six occasions and four issues of the newsletter were produced during the year. The Friends were represented at each of the bi-monthly Holland Park Liaison Committee meetings and at The Royal Borough's three Holland Park Advisory Group meetings. The chairman was again invited by the Cabinet Member for Transport, Environmental Management and Leisure to attend one of his regular meetings with Officers. Good relations were maintained between the Council and The Friends with general agreement over objectives for the Park.

The trustees have complied with their duty to have due regard to the guidance on public benefit published by the Charity Commission in exercising their powers or duties.

Future Developments in 2011
The Friends will continue to monitor closely the Royal Borough's plans for the Park and any planning proposals, which in the opinion of the Trustees may adversely affect the Park and the public's enjoyment of it.

It is understood that, this year, when the opera season is over, the terraced area in front of the House will not only be landscaped, but opened to the public by The Royal Borough, with safety and security issues satisfactorily resolved.

It is hoped that the two new publications will be completed and printed for sale during the year. A Poetry Chair is to be placed in the woodland area. There is also the possibility of contributing to new stone seating beside the newly-installed outdoor chess board and conservation of the wall-mounted fountain trough.

The Borough's attention has been drawn to the need for maintenance work on two of The Friends' previous gifts, the circular benches and the conservation of the ceramic tiles and the Borough has agreed to fund and carry it out.

The annual Art Exhibition will run as usual this year as will the normal February and October events for members and the 'Pimm's in the Park' party will be repeated in July. The annual Christmas Concert will take place at the beginning of December.

The trustees consider that the present resources of the Charity are adequate to meet its obligations.

Risk Management
The trustees have given consideration to the major risks to which the Charity is exposed and satisfied themselves that systems or procedures are established in order to manage those risks. As part of the process of acquiring the 'wavy' benches £2794 was advanced to the supplier, to be repaid on completion of the contract.  As at 31 December 2010 this sum had not been repaid. The trustees are taking active steps to recover it and the incident was reported to the Charity Commission.

Reserves Policy
The trustees consider that the Charity should hold a minimum reserve equivalent to 50% of annual expenditure to ensure that the quarterly newsletter can continue and other necessary expenditure paid if due to unforeseen circumstances the projected income is not received. Any reserves in excess of this are held pending expenditure on, or donations towards, projects related to the Park in accordance with the Charity's objects.

The Charity currently has substantial reserves because:

• Park projects, which the Charity has indicated a willingness to support, have not yet received final approval from The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
• Projects, which the Charity has definitely committed to fund, have not yet been completed.

If these commitments and indications are fulfilled, a substantial proportion of the reserves would be expended.

Trustees' Responsibilities
Charity Law requires the trustees to prepare financial statements for each financial year. In preparing those financial statements, the trustees are required to:

• select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
• make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
• state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed, subject to any material departures disclosed and explained in the financial statements;
• prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Charity will continue in business.

The trustees are responsible for keeping proper accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the Charity and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Charities Act 1993. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the Charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

Nicholas Hopkins (chairman)
23 March 2011

The Friends of Holland Park

Statement    of Financial Activities for the year ended 31 December 2010




Incoming Resources:




Activities in furtherance of objects:







Activities for generating funds:




Sale of merchandise






Total Incoming Resources



Resources Expended:

Cost of generating funds

Fundraising direct costs



Event expenses



Cost of merchandise





Charitable Expenditure:









Governance Costs



Total Resources Expended



Net Incoming/(Outgoing) Resources



Fund balances brought forward



Fund Balances carried forward



Balance    Sheet as at 31 December 2010




Current Assets:

Debtors and prepayments



Deposit and current accounts






Amounts falling due within one year



Net Assets



R D N Hopkins (Chairman)

23 March 2011

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting was held on 30 March 2011 in The Orangery. The President, Sir Angus Stirling, welcomed all those present. There were no apologies. The minutes of the previous AGM were approved.

The Chairman, Nicholas Hopkins, gave his report for 2010. He said two oak benches had been donated to the Park. The plan for wall hangings for the cafeteria had had to be abandoned. Listed Building consent had been given for the Commonwealth Institute scheme, but planning permission would still be needed for work on the interior. A revised plan for the apartment block on the Holland Park School playground site would be unlikely to affect the Park adversely. The proposal to build a new house against the Park boundary wall in the grounds of Park Close had been granted on appeal. The 2010 Art Exhibition by over 70 artists had raised ca £1,000 for The Friends. Mr Hopkins described the other events of the year. The oak-bench maker had failed to refund The Friends' deposit, and repayment was being sought through legal channels.

The Treasurer, David Jeffreys, pointed out some points of interest in the Report of the Trustees incorporating Accounts for the Year to 31 December 2010 and the Report of the Independent Examiner, both of which had been circulated previously. The fund balance was £74,619.

The Secretary, Mrs Rhoddy Wood, presented her report. She said there were 780 paid-up members and ca 150 might still renew. About three-quarters had signed up for Gift Aid. Mrs Wood thanked all volunteers and especially those who were helping with the art exhibition.

All existing trustees were re-elected with the exception of Deborah Newberry who was standing down. A former trustee, Manuela Gardner, who had recently been co-opted, was re-elected as Hospitality Officer. Leslie Du Cane was thanked and re-elected as the Independent Examiner.

The meeting approved a resolution that joint membership for couples should be £20 or £15 for seniors. A second resolution, that there should be a life membership category, was rejected. A third, that "senior" should mean aged 60 or over, was amended by vote to 65 or over.

Looking ahead to the current year, Mr Hopkins said that the texts of the two new booklets about the history of Holland House and the development of its gardens were almost complete. Holland House terrace would now be open to the public for the winter months. Funding had been obtained for a new Ecology Centre adjacent to the Adventure Playground. Pigs would again be employed in the Park during the summer. A poetry seat was being donated by The Friends and they might be asked to contribute to stone seating beside the outdoor chess board and to conservation of the fountain trough in the Dutch Garden. The Friends might also take over responsibility for some Ecology Centre events due to the current lack of funds. The Borough would carry out maintenance work on the circular tree benches and the ceramic tiles. The Council's Feasibility Study into the Holland Park Estate had employed outside consultants to look at possible "better" uses for all its buildings. The Friends would mount strong opposition to any unacceptable proposals. Mr Hopkins appealed for a new Treasurer to replace Mr Jeffreys, who wished to stand down, and pointed out the need for succession planning for other senior trustees.

There were questions and answers about the Council's Feasibility Study.
Sir Angus Stirling declared the Meeting closed at 9.10pm.

[Summer 2011]

Annual General Meeting 2011

Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 7.30 pm in the Orangery

Our Annual General Meeting gives our membership the chance to hear what your committee (the trustees) has been doing in its work on behalf of the Park, and to learn what it hopes to achieve in the current year. It is also a good opportunity for you to meet all the trustees in person and to tell us of your thoughts about, and concerns for, the Park. The meeting will be chaired by our president, Sir Angus Stirling.

Of course our constitution does require that we do a little formal business, such as elections to the committee, but most of the meeting is spent giving and receiving news and information about the Park and things which affect it and our enjoyment of it.

Over the years I have used various approaches to try to persuade a greater number of members to attend, but sadly it is still only a small proportion of our members who bother. This time I am simply going to repeat a recently revived exhortation: "Your committee needs you! Please come!"

An added attraction is that the AGM is held during our annual Art Exhibition in the Orangery, and after the meeting is the perfect opportunity to view the exhibits – possibly even purchasing something – with a glass or two of wine. How can you refuse!

This is also the time to consider becoming a trustee of The Friends or offering to undertake some work on their behalf. We are always looking for new talent to bring energy and renewed enthusiasm to the committee. Please feel free to contact the chairman or secretary for more details and a confidential, no-obligation chat.

[Winter 2010]

Proposed New Subscription Categories At present we have only two categories of annual subscription: £12 for a single member and £9 for a single senior member, which means that those married couples or partners who join together pay two single subscriptions. Many charities offer joint membership, usually at a rate slightly less than double the single membership, and your committee considers it would be beneficial to The Friends to have such a category. All subscription rates have to be approved by the membership in General Meeting. Your committee therefore proposes the following resolution for approval at the AGM:

1. "There shall be a category of membership called joint membership open to any two individuals living at the same address. The annual subscription for joint membership shall be £20 or £15 for seniors. To qualify for joint senior membership both members must be seniors."

A member has suggested that life membership should be available to The Friends. Your committee is uncertain that this is something that would be attractive to members or prospective members but, in order that the membership can decide, proposes the following resolution:

2. "There shall be a category of membership called life membership the subscription for which for the duration of the member's life shall be £300 or £200 for seniors."

The use of the term "senior" or "concession" varies from one organisation to another. Your committee considers that it would be fair to define it as applying to anyone aged 60 or over and proposes the following resolution for approval:

3. "For the purpose of membership subscriptions 'senior' means someone aged 60 or over".

[Spring 2011]