The StreetGames Annual Governance Update is provided in the interests of transparency, in order to help our stakeholders understand:
- The structures through which the charity is governed
- The key frameworks within which it operates and the major controls to ensure compliance
- The continuous improvement processes it has in place to ensure good governance
Legal and Organisational
StreetGames is a company limited by guarantee, governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association, and all members of the board are also members of the company. It is also registered as a charity with the Charity Commission.
StreetGames’ Articles of Association were reviewed in 2022 according to a three-year review cycle and changes were made, as follows:
- The maximum number of Vice Presidents was increased to eight to give the charity greater flexibility to appoint to this position in the future
- Amendments to Trustee terms of service were made to reflect requirements in the latest version of Sport England/ UK Sport’s Code for Sports Governance
- Sub-Committee membership was amended to allow co-option of non-trustees to ensure the Committee has the skills and experience to fulfil its role
The amended Memorandum and Articles of Association were scrutinised by the Audit Committee, which recommended their approval at the AGM in October 2022.
StreetGames Memorandum and Articles of Association
The role of the board is to provide direction and stewardship for StreetGames for the benefit of current and future beneficiaries, by:
- Setting the vision, mission and values for the charity;
- Developing strategy to achieve the charity’s objects, and monitoring and communicating performance;
- Ensuring that the charity seeks the views of stakeholders and that these views are considered in developing strategy and delivering services;
- Acting as the guardians of the charity’s assets, both tangible and intangible, taking all due care over their security, deployment and proper application;
- Ensuring that StreetGames complies with all constitutional, legal and regulatory requirements;
- Ensuring that the charity’s governance is of the highest possible standard.
Admission to the board is by election and through an open recruitment process. During 2021/2 the following new Trustees were elected to the Board: Mark Cornelius, Immacolata Pescatore, Victoria Hill, Mark Osikoya. Margaret Bowler, Susan Capel and Jonathan Hughes resigned having come to the end of their terms of office.
Whilst the board reserves key strategic decisions to itself, day to day management of the charity is delegated by the charity trustees to its chief executive officer, Mark Lawrie.
Board Terms of Reference and Scheme of Delegation
The board meets four times per year. It has three sub-committees, which serve to advise the board, and provide additional scrutiny in key areas:
- Finance Committee (Chaired by Peter Rowley OBE)
The objectives of the finance committee are to advise the board on:
- Maintaining an overview of the group’s financial health and strategy;
- Reviewing the financial strategy and systems on a regular basis and making recommendations to the board to ensure that the overall financial health is maintained;
- Day-to-day financial operations and controls including recommending the annual budget, monitoring actual performance against that budget and monitoring the production of timely and accurate management accounts;
- The approval of operational financial systems, investment management controls and policy;
- The adequacy of risk management, internal control, governance and human resources pertaining to financial and related matters.
- Audit Committee (Chaired by Margaret Bowler)
The objectives of the audit committee are to:
- Provide the board with assurance that an adequate process of corporate governance, risk management and internal controls are in place and working effectively;
- Monitor the integrity of the financial statements of the charity, reviewing significant financial reporting judgments contained within them, and to advise the board on the contents of the audit report and any management letter drafted by the external auditors.
- Fundraising Committee (Chaired by Victoria Hill)
The objectives of the fundraising committee are to:
- Support the development and implementation of fundraising and communications plans;
- Identify strategic fundraising and marketing opportunities for the charity;
- Review fundraising opportunities against the charity’s ethical fundraising policy and make recommendations to the board based on this and other considerations.
Attendance at Board and Committee meetings during 2021/2 was as follows:
Board Key Activities
During the year the Board regularly reviewed progress against major programmes and activities, monitored aspects of the internal health of the organisation and assessed new opportunities as they arose.
Development of the new StreetGames Strategy formed a central focus during the year. The Strategy will direct the charity’s work over the next ten years, ensuring that every young person has the opportunity to gain the many benefits of sport and physical activity. It identifies four key objectives that StreetGames will strive towards over this next ten-year period:
- All young people from low-income, underserved communities can engage in life-enhancing Doorstep Sport
- There is a year-round, multisport offer available in every low-income, underserved community
- All young people from low-income underserved communities can access a pathway to become volunteers and future community leaders
- All mainstream sports providers change their practice to meet the needs of young people from low-income, underserved communities
Produced in collaboration with over 200 individuals and organisations, this is a strategy developed with cooperation and partnership at its heart.
With a view to ensuring we have robust structures in place to deliver the Strategy, the Board focussed on a number of other key areas of work during the year. These included the development of a new performance management framework, together with new Communications, Research and Insight, Fundraising, and IT Strategies.
StreetGames remains committed to working with our external partners in order to ensure we are more reflective of the communities we serve. We recognise that in order to do this effectively, we need to first work on developing and better equipping our staff and contractors, leading to effective and meaningful engagement with diverse communities. During the year, we therefore published our 2021-5 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. Five goals have been agreed and each year progress against these goals will be reviewed and an action plan for delivery of next steps agreed.
- Diversity of Voice – ensuring our internal and external programmes and interventions have diversity of voice at the heart of the design process
- Recruitment – increasing the diversity of those applying, being offered and accepting roles at StreetGames – staff, contractors and Trustees
- Grow our own – planning for the long term increase of movement from grassroots community sport into the StreetGames workforce and the wider sector
- Inclusive Environment – providing a working environment where everyone feels able to be their whole selves
- Learning and development – creating a learning culture which enables all trustees, staff and contractors to develop their knowledge and understanding in a way that they choose
During 2021, Sport England and UK Sport issued a revised Code for Sports Governance. The Board undertook a preliminary review of StreetGames’ governance arrangements in relation to the Code. It concluded that the charity is broadly in compliance with the new, more demanding requirements, although further work was identified in a limited number of areas, including:
- A review of Board roles including the introduction of a Welfare and Safety lead
- A comprehensive review of our environmental policy
An action plan is now in place and performance against this will be monitored regularly.
Board and Committee Evaluation
The board and committees have a comprehensive and multi-faceted programme of self-evaluation to review their performance and help the charity to identify areas of improvement. A Code for Sport Governance requires that the board conduct a self-assessment on an annual basis, and facilitate an external evaluation every four years. The committees also undertake a self-evaluation on a biennial basis.
Board External Evaluation
During 2021, trustees commissioned an external evaluation of board effectiveness to provide an independent perspective on board performance. This was undertaken by Linda Freeman Sports Development Consultancy.
Having implemented the findings from a largely procedural review of Board activities undertaken in 2018, the Board determined that this evaluation should focus primarily on the way in which Board members work together and with the senior team to transact Board business and manage risk effectively. Overall, there was a positive view from participants about the governance of StreetGames, with those involved in the organisation commenting on the challenging and ambitious approach to both strategic delivery and internal governance. The Board have established an Action Plan to take forward key areas for improvement; to ensure it continues manage the growth of the organisation and its people, advise and advocate for StreetGames within the sector, and manage change on diversity and inclusion.
To comply with the requirement of A Code for Sport Governance, the charity will be externally evaluated again in 2025.
Audit Committee Self-Evaluation
The audit committee self-evaluation covers the composition of the committee, its terms of reference and duties, administrative arrangements surrounding committee activity, reporting processes, and risk management.
The most recent review, conducted in October 2020, was broadly positive and members expressed a confidence in the committee’s performance and capabilities. Specific areas for improvement included ensuring effective systems were in place for rapidly occurring/high impact risks and the need for greater consideration of the charity’s longer-term risks.
Finance Committee Self-Evaluation
The most recent self-evaluation of the finance committee, carried out in April 2021, sought members’ opinions on the appropriateness of the level resources and training available, the quality of papers and the conduct of meetings. Responses received were generally positive and identified areas of improvement included, review of committee membership, with a view to increasing numbers and including more qualified accountants; and improved training around accounting policies in use, the organisation’s financial regulations and articles of government.
Risk and Internal Controls
Trustees carry out an annual evaluation of StreetGames’ internal financial controls against legal requirements and good practice as set out in the Charity Commission’s guidance ‘Internal financial control for charities’ (CC8). Results of the latest review can be found here: CC8 Review
The trustees have a risk management strategy which puts in place procedures to:
- Integrate risk management into the culture of StreetGames;
- Manage risk in accordance with best practice;
- Fully document major threats and opportunities;
- Clearly identify risk exposures;
- Implement cost effective actions to reduce risks;
- Ensure conscious and properly evaluated risk decisions
The Risk Management Strategy was last reviewed in December 2022 and can be found here.
On a quarterly basis, both the audit and finance committees undertake a detailed review of the principal risks and uncertainties facing the charity and its subsidiary DST Ltd. Seven key strategic risk themes have been identified which are outlined together with our response below:
- Network Capability – that the StreetGames Network is not in a position to successfully deliver local programmes and key stakeholders no longer engage with StreetGames.
Our new ten-year Strategy is focussed on ensuring that our LTOs are sustainable and have access to funding streams that will provide opportunities for all young people from underserved communities to engage in Doorstep Sport. We have expanded core resources to support LTOs in accessing a variety of funds and our Training Academy continues to support capacity building across the sector. Our Fundraising and Stakeholder Engagement Strategies set the framework though which we work maintain strong relationships with existing funders and ensure we are in a strong position to take advantage of new opportunities as they arise.
- Resources – that StreetGames has inadequate staffing resources to deliver StreetGames’ contractual commitments.
The organisation has a keen focus on retention and staff development, seeking to ensure effective supervision and support for key staff, with regular performance reviews, mentoring, in-house training and development in place. We carry out annual Staff Surveys to understand how staff feel about working for StreetGames.
An in-depth, Trustee-led, review was carried out into arrangements surrounding our employee life-cycle during the year and we have committed to the development of a new People Strategy as a result. Staff-led Wellbeing, Continuing Professional Development and Equality Diversity & Inclusion Groups are already in place to lead on development and maintenance of staff support structures and we plan to build on the work carried out by these in the coming twelve months.
2021/2 saw plans for additional investment in staffing structures as StreetGames looks to build for the future. Recruitment was led by a dedicated Resourcing Group, which has looked to ensure that activity leads to the employment of the best possible candidates and that high quality induction and training is in place.
- Funding and Fundraising – that StreetGames generates insufficient financial resources to deliver its commitments
As we emerge from the immediate Covid crisis, we recognise that the funding environment will continue to be characterised by considerable ongoing uncertainty. We continue to build long-term relationships with a wide range of government, corporate and charitable partners as a key means of managing this risk.
Many of our contracts are short term in nature, which is part of the normal charitable funding setting. We have however been recognised as a System Partner by Sport England and awarded a funding settlement which runs to 2027 and this provides a welcome degree of security underpinning our core activity. Similarly, our delivery of HAF programmes in partnership with a number of local authorities offers the prospect of longer term funding given the government’s three year commitment to the programme. However, recent increases in the cost of living are likely to put long term funding streams such as these under pressure and our own cost base will need to be carefully monitored as a result.
- Finance and Financial Control – that StreetGames has inadequate cashflow or reserves
Both the cashflow and reserves position continue to be resilient and, as noted below, StreetGames holds sufficient free reserves to meet the requirements of its Reserves Policy. Procedures are in place to ensure the Chair of the Finance Committee is informed should cash balances drop below £0.5m.
Income receipts can be variable, dependent on funding draw down and claim submission. However, our relationships with our major funders is good and we seek payment in advance of need where possible. Every effort is made to maintain flexibility around timing of expenditure should funds run low. Current cashflow forecasts predict balances in excess of £0.5m at least until March 2023.
- Governance – that governance arrangements do not meet best practice
Corporate governance structures and systems are in place to meet all legal requirements, together with any additional funder governance requirements. A variety of internal groups ensure governance and compliance issues are actively managed and the Board Audit Committee scrutinises the overall approach to internal control. Sport England/ UK Sport published new Code of Governance for Sport during the year and an Action Plan is now in place to meet the Tier 3 requirements where gaps were identified internally. We also hold Quest’s Sport for Development accreditation with an ‘Excellent’ rating.
- Safeguarding – that a major incident takes place at a StreetGames event or LTO funded activity
Safeguarding remains a key area of focus, both in terms of our own internal delivery and our relationship with partner LTOs and their provision. Trustees undertook a detailed review of our partner ‘take on’ procedures during 2019/20 and this has been supplemented by an external review examining the legal environment within which we and our partners operate. As a result, revised procedures are in place which focus on provision of support to prospective partners to develop areas of practice, including safeguarding, focused on ensuring that investment is used in the right way and that the organisations we support are well-run and ready for the long term.
In April 2020 StreetGames attained the Preliminary Standard of the Child Protection in Sport Unit’s Safeguarding Standards. We are currently working towards the Intermediate Standard.
- Data Protection – that StreetGames or its partners inadvertently disclose personal data
A Data Protection & Records Management Policy is in place, alongside associated protocols and regular training in IT security and Data Protection for all staff.
Data Protection is at the centre of our new IT Strategy as we seek to make use of the latest technology to embed secure systems and practices. We continue to move to cloud-based systems where possible and this has allowed us to both standardise use of many programmes and to exercise increased managerial oversight, thus helping to increase security around the data we hold.
External audit services are provided by Crowe UK who were appointed for the first time in December 2016 as a result of a competitive tender process carried out by the audit committee. As it has been a significant length of time since we last tendered audit services, in line with good practice a re-tendering process took place for the service in advance of the 2022/3 audit. Crowe UK were successful during this process and will continue to provide audit services to StreetGames.
The audit committee scrutinises the StreetGames and the Doorstep Sport Trading Ltd annual report and accounts, before recommending their approval to the board of trustees. The committee has the opportunity to question the external auditor during this process, including without the presence of the StreetGames finance team. During the audit of the 2021/22 accounts Crowe UK were satisfied that no significant control issues had been identified.