I would just like a few minutes of your time to introduce you to Claire House, the Presidents Charity for today’s AGM.

Claire House is a hospice for children who have life limiting illnesses.

The 10 bedded unit is based in Merseyside and provides care for children and their families. All the children that go to Claire House are not expected to reach adulthood, although due to medical advances in the last 10 years many of their patients with conditions that meant they may only have lived until their teens, are enjoying a longer life.

Sadly though, many children will die and they go to Claire House for end of life care.

Claire House have to raise £2.5 million every year to keep their doors open to these children and provide the specialist care they require.

They get NO guaranteed funding from the Primary Care Trusts nor do they get any funding from government. Like all hospices they can apply for a grant of approximately £300,000 for the year.

This grant covers just 6 weeks of care out of the 52.

The rest of the money has to be raised through fundraising and donations and I have decided, therefore, that the IDE Presidents charity during my time in office will be Claire House. As such, the proceeds from today’s raffle and auction will be split, as they have in the past, between the IDE’s own charitable funds for further education within demolition, and Claire House.

Can I ask you to please dig deep in these difficult financial times to help us to raise as much money as possible for this deserving cause.

John Woodward. IDE President