2014 Annual Report (extract) – famine response

The trustee present their report and the accounts for the year ended 30 June 2014.

Overall, there were four key issues in 2014. We improved the reliability of and our operating experience with the helicopter. And we built disaster response support. We also improved our relationships with our supporters. And we keep a good oversight of the charity. So we summarize these and our future plans below.

Disaster response helicopter in 2014

Disaster response helicopter. In December 2013 the helicopter was committed to crop spraying because of the famine across Southern Africa. We believe this work has helped lower the cost of food by increasing output. Also we have learned much about sustained helicopter operations: experience of managing engineers, spares delivery and finances are all necessary to be able to conduct sustained disaster relief operations away from main bases.

However, by year end, June 2014, the helicopter was not yet reliable. We found major problems and fixed them. But we saw that fixing them meant purchasing expensive parts. And we anticipated major servicing work in September.  So WLE Logistics Southern Africa spent all its revenues on maintenance. This was disappointing to them and us.  However this investment is starting to remove deep engineering risks. And we are starting to see a more reliable helicopter.   And we have two charitable benefits: (1) improved helicopter reliability and (2) an improved capability for sustained disaster operations .  We are delighted that both benefits point to the future disaster relief operations of Wings Like Eagles. 

So the trustees decided that not insisting on receiving the loan interest for a second year was right. We review managing this loan at every meeting.

Disaster response support  

In 2014 , we had an opportunity to accumulate funds for our primary output. This is another disaster relief operation in Mozambique. In earlier reports, we have shown fund raising takes us 4 years. 

We put a lot of effort into the website. And the charity has increased its profile. So we think we can respond another small operation in December 2014. We are delighted that our supporters have risen to this challenge over the last two years. The income for 2014 has been £11,066 which combined with £15,000 from 2013, assisted by reduction in non-disaster expenditure to £5451 (2013: £6239) or nearly 25%. Our funds are likely to be sufficient and advanced disaster response and disaster support network is ready, if called for.

Relationships with supporters

Our new website has further increased transparency. So we think that our supporters are more up-to-date. And you have increased your use of that website, Facebook and LinkedIn pages. That’s great! So we are delighted that about 90% of website visits are from new people.  

And we remain deeply thankful to our regular supporters for their prayers and encouragement. Overall in 2014, we saw a 36% increase in regular giving. And we had a much better balance of income. We received 27% of one-off giving (2013:61%). Our corporate was giving 32% (2013:20%). And our regular giving was 41% (2013:19%).  Thank you all.


We trustees believe that Wings should continue to have External Examinations of its accounts. We have a limited staff at the charity. And we know that the CEO provides a single focus of activity. So, we think this external check remains sensible to confirm the right use of funds. That’s even though we are not required to do this by law.  Our biggest operational risk is the capacity of the CEO. And we seek to add resilience there. We will review this in 2015. In 2015 we will also have another review of Trustees’ skills.

Future plans

We want an air operating certificate in South Africa. And we want to operate our helicopter (and others) across the region. So we can help with disaster response.

If you have seen enough and want to give to us, why not follow this link

We heard that charities should spend more time posting information that donors really want. We think you want to know how money is spent. And we want to show you our impact. So we hope this report and our new website do that.

So please contact us if you need other accounts information.  We would be delighted to help.  Thank you.