2023 Chairman’s Report for Joey Dunlop Foundation

Tue, 17 Jan 2023

We are well into January 2023 and I usually update our supporters with my chairman’s report at this time. At the weekend (14th January) we had our annual fundraiser where the 2022 tombola draw took place. Many of you will know that the previous two years events were cancelled due to covid but pleased to say that 2023 went ahead with no issues. A big thank you to everyone who attended; lots of regulars who always show great support to the charity. The committee were very pleased to have Linda Dunlop, John Harris and many star guests travel over to be with us. We are so fortunate to have you all assist in making the event a success. I have thanked so many and apologise if I have missed anyone. The Foundation has a very small committee but so many supporters, Thank You All!

Looking back over the last year, Gilly has been very busy at Braddan Bridge House as we returned to welcoming many holiday visitors who booked in at the holiday apartments. Lots of decorating and maintenance completed in early 2022, prior to the holiday season getting underway. The committee held an open day and craft fair in November to showcase the apartments but also the recently revamped laundry room. Big thank you to Stuart at Bits, Bobs and Odd Jobs for all his efforts in completing this in time. Lots of further projects hopefully being completed over the next couple of months. Our long-awaited store to house all our specialist equipment and replacement fencing being the main ones.

A big change at Braddan Bridge House as we welcome in a new General Manager, Mandy Karsa. Gilly Keown, who has been our General Manager for over 5yrs, has stepped down from her role. We thank Gilly for all her hard work over the years and growing BBH to the fantastic, fully accessible holiday accommodation it is today. She’s not escaping completely though and continues as a Trustee for the Foundation as well as looking after our accounts. I’m sure she’ll still look after the Marshals during race periods with her delicious cakes too. Mandy has been involved with the Foundation, helping with fundraising for a number of years and brings with her a wealth of business & hospitality experience. We wish Mandy well in her new role.

There was another big event that took place in April last year; once the world started to open up again after the various lockdowns, the war in Ukraine hit the headlines. So many families were fleeing across the border to Poland to seek shelter. Many young children and babies heading to orphanages leaving most of their belonging behind them. John Harris put together plans for a mercy mission, similar to what Joey had done in the 90’s, to take much needed aid over to Poland. John Harris, Barry Steels with his friend Stephen and our own Trustee, John Watterson with his friend Alex took 3 fully loaded vans over to Poland. There was great support from Peter Murray who loaned us a van and the IOM Steam Packet helped with sailings also Stena Line provided free sailings for everyone who were transporting humanitarian aid. The trip was done very much in honour of Joey, it would have been something that Joey would have done himself without a second thought. The hospitality the lads received was amazing. Some interesting stories they have.

As I have mentioned above, so many people, businesses and organisations assist the Joey Dunlop Foundation each and every year. There are just too many to list but it goes without saying, without you all we would simply struggle to do what we do! All the assistance we receive with travel, free of charge or discounted venue charges, donations and gifts. We thank you all!

I will sign off by saying, “Thank you for your continued support and we hope to see you during our fundraising events throughout 2023.”

Bruce Baker

Chairman: Joey Dunlop Foundation