top of page

Christmas Letter from Chair of Trustees

Please read a Christmas message from Sam D'Auvin, our Chair of Trustees, on behalf of all of us at JBT.

Christmas, as all the best festive films tell us (Love Actually for me) is a time to reflect. So before I started typing this out, I thought I would take a look at last year's letter to reflect on where we have come from. Two sentences stood out to me; 

‘’The aim for 2023 is to establish the Jacob BIllington Trust as a fully registered charity. This crucially involves making a turnover of £5,000’’.

To say we have surpassed this target is an understatement.

After plenty of back and forth with the Charity Commission, it took us over 4 months to finalise our charity status. However, it was the £5,000 part that I anticipated to really be the stumbling block. I remember sitting with our trustees in late 2022 wondering where we would find the money. Over the course of the next 12 months we have been blown away by the generosity of our stakeholders. There have been people walking, running, swimming and parachuting incredible distances (and heights!) in order to raise money for the JBT - each raising hundreds to thousands of pounds at a time. Thanks to these fundraisers, and many more acts of exceptional generosity, we raised much more than the required £5k by the time the Charity Commission gave us the green light in May.

In the most concise snapshot I can possibly give, your kindness has helped us to:

  • Discount over 80 music lessons for referred local youngsters. (You can refer a student here). 

  • Fund studio recording experiences for three JBT supported musicians.

  • Fund a local teaching role to directly improve young people’s creative arts experiences.

  • Purchase over 130 Plaza cinema tickets so that local children can enjoy our community cinema for FREE.

  • Arrange financial support for a local youth choir.

  • Make plans for subsidised financial support for local school choirs.

  • Run our monthly Songwriters & Storytellers sessions, offering young people a safe place to explore their creativity.

  • Support the 2023 Crosby Christmas Light Switch On, ensuring young local artists had a professional platform to perform.

  • And so much more…

To each of you who have donated any amount of money or, just as importantly, your time to the JBT this year - Thank you.

As treasurer, John correctly and regularly reminds me that the financial arm of our charity is vitally important. However, it is the connections we make with our local community that I think Jacob would be most proud of. We have strived from the beginning of the JBT to walk alongside our local community organisations and charities - not compete with them. We have been determined in seeking out ‘the best people for the job’ when trying to organise projects in Sefton and I can assure you, we have found some of the best people. 

To each of you who have teamed up with us over the last year to make a difference to our local youngsters' creative arts journeys - Thank you.

I always make a point of thanking our trustees and I hope you'll forgive me for doing so once again here. Being a trustee of a successful charity is a really tough role. Of course, we have our monthly meetings to go through the admin of the charity and check on each other's progress. But the real work is done outside of those meetings - finding new partner organisations, planning fundraisers, organising events and so much more. Whenever we get stuck in a discussion as to how many leaflets we need to order, what our next event should look like or how much we should fine the Chair of Trustees for being one minute late to our latest planning meeting - I like to think of how Jacob would find it so amusing, looking down on our bickering and wondering quite what all the fuss is about.

To each of our Trustees, the JBT wouldn’t have achieved all it has done so far without your time, patience and unwavering dedication  - Thank you.

2023 has thrown some difficult challenges in the way of the family and friends of Jacob and there will no doubt be more difficult days to come in 2024. The Jacob Billington Trust exists to honour Jacob’s memory in a way that, ourselves and Jacob’s family agree, he would be proud of. To that end, my only aim for next year is that we continue to remember Jacob throughout all that we do and celebrate his life by making a difference in the lives of Sefton’s young people as they continue to explore their path in the creative arts.

I hope each of you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Sam D’Auvin

Chair Of Trustees

Jacob BIllington Trust


bottom of page