Page URL: https://www.progress.org.uk/trusteesreport2013
This document is part of the Progress Educational Trust (PET)'s reports and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2013, as submitted to the Charity Commission and Companies House.
The charity's 2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 reports and accounts are also available on this website.

Trustees' Report for the year ended 31 March 2013

The Trustees present their report for the period ended 31 March 2013.
The accounts have been prepared in accordance with the accounting policies set out in note 1 to the accounts and comply with the Companies Act 2006 and the and the Statement of Recommended Practice Accounting and Reporting by Charities, issued in March 2005.

Charity information
Trustees: Professor Marcus Pembrey (Chair)
Dr Jess Buxton
Professor John Galloway
Tony Hickinbotham
John Parsons
Laura Riley
Advisory Committee: James Lawford-Davies (Chair)
Professor Colin Blakemore
Pat Bristow
Kerry Dyus
Fiona Fox
Simon Freeman
Dr Evan Harris
Harry Hart
Dr Tessa Homfray
Dr Kirsty Horsey
Dr Dusko Ilic (from June 2012)
Professor Martin Johnson (from June 2012)
Ben Jones
Alastair Kent
Stuart Lavery
Fiona Miller
Dr Stephen Minger
Dr Anna Smajdor
Peter Taylor (from June 2012)
Dr Alan Thornhill
Patron: Baroness Mary Warnock
Company details: Company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales number 07405980
Registered charity number 1139856
Principal address/
registered office:
140 Gray's Inn Road, London, WC1X 8AX, UK
Auditors: Gerald Edelman, 25 Harley Street, London W1G 9BR, UK
Bankers: Royal Bank of Scotland, 28 Cavendish Square, London W1M 0DB, UK
Charities Aid Foundation Bank, 25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent ME19 4QJ, UK

Structure, governance and management
The charity is a company limited by guarantee, its predecessor charity of the same name having been originally established in May 1992 as an unincorporated charitable trust.
The charitable company is governed by its memorandum and articles of association and is managed by a board of Trustees who are the directors of the company and appointed in accordance with the articles of association. The Trustees can appoint additional Trustees by invitation.
The articles of association state there must be a minimum number of Trustees in office of three and there is no maximum number.
The Trustees, who are directors of the company for the purposes of company law and who served during the period, were:
Professor Marcus Pembrey (Chair)
Dr Jess Buxton
Professor John Galloway
Tony Hickinbotham
John Parsons
Laura Riley
None of the Trustees has any beneficial interest in the company. All of the Trustees are members of the company and guarantee to contribute the sum of £10 each in the event of a winding up.
All Trustees give freely of their time and no remuneration or benefits are paid to them.
All Trustees are kept up to date with ongoing developments in charity law and practice with appropriate training courses being considered if appropriate. It is the policy of the Trustees to provide new Trustees with all relevant information appertaining to the charity and its affairs upon induction in order that they can obtain a sufficient level of knowledge to enable them to perform their roles effectively.
The Trustees met seven times during the year. The decisions of the Trustees are recorded by written minute. Daily management of the Trust is the responsibility of Sarah Norcross and her team. The Trustees also refer to the Advisory Committee set up to assist them on matters relating to the activities of the charity.
The Trustees have assessed the major risks to which the charity is exposed, and are satisfied that systems are in place to mitigate exposure to those risks.

Advisory Committee
The Advisory Committee has a breadth of skills and experience in genetics, embryology, assisted conception, stem cell research, clinical practice, media, education, information technology, business, commercial practices, law, medical ethics and charity management.
The Committee met three times during the year. At their meetings the Advisers discuss informally with each other, with staff and with Trustees and participate in a more formal session when specific questions are tabled and addressed. In addition, individual Advisers are consulted by the Director on an ad hoc basis.

Patron
The charity's Patron is Baroness Mary Warnock, philosopher and Crossbench Peer in the House of Lords. Baroness Warnock chaired the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology, whose 1984 report (.pdf 769KB) - often referred to simply as the Warnock Report - is perhaps the world's most influential analysis of the ethics of assisted conception and embryo research. The UK authorities still abide by this report's recommendations.

Objectives and activities
The charitable company's object is to advance the education of the public in general (and in particular amongst those concerned with genetic disease and infertility) in the fields of human genetics, assisted conception and embryology including their ethical and regulatory aspects.
In carrying out this review, the Trustees have referred to the Charity Commission's general guidance on public benefit, and in particular its supplementary public benefit guidance on the advancement of education. The Trustees consider how planned activities will contribute to the objects of the charity.
The Trustees review the aims, objectives and activities of the charity each year. There is a rolling evaluation of its activities at both Trustees' and Advisory Committee meetings.

Main objectives, strategies and public benefits
The fundamental objective of the Progress Educational Trust (PET) is to create an environment in which ethically sound research and practice in genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas will thrive. The ultimate beneficiaries are families threatened by genetic disease or infertility, including parents aspiring to give birth to healthy children. One in six couples in the UK is affected by infertility and 2-3% of births result in babies with either congenital or genetically determined abnormalities.
The wellbeing of such patients is enhanced not only by direct medical help, but also by a fuller understanding of their condition. Assisted conception and genetics are fast-moving areas of science which are tightly regulated and the public struggle to keep up with the science, policies and ethics involved. PET seeks to educate not only those with a personal interest in these fields, but also those with a professional interest.
PET's strategy to achieve these objectives in 2012-2013 has been to provide and encourage authoritative and balanced information, comment and debate on topical and contentious issues arising in its fields. PET has operated in the civic space between government/regulators, scientists, and practitioners, and those who are directly or potentially affected by developments in genetics, assisted conception and embryo/stem cell research. PET has sought to bring timely influence to bear on policymakers as new advances and issues have arisen.
PET has continued to do this through its weekly email news digest, commentary service and website BioNews, through public debates and an annual conference, and through working with the media and other interested parties. BioNews is free of subscription charges, and has a wide readership which is estimated to be in the region of 18,000.
PET strives to make contact with a wide range of age and interest groups and to educate the public about the complex scientific, ethical and social issues which arise from genetics, assisted conception and embryo/stem cell research. PET's public events are mostly free of charge, and are supported by donations or grant funding. Where a charge is made, for example at PET's annual conference, concessions are offered for students, pensioners and those on benefits. All PET events are widely advertised, so as to attract a large and diverse audience.
More than 850 people attended PET events held during this year. Reports of the events, and comment pieces by some of the event speakers, were published in BioNews in order that those who could not attend could nonetheless read about each event online. This widens the reach of PET events, and together with the media coverage that these events attract, helps to bring informed debate to an even wider audience.
The benefits of PET's activities were carefully balanced against any potential harm or detriment. For example, some of PET's activities this year involved debate about racial classification, and so care was taken to ensure that the relevant issues were handled with due sensitivity.
Related parties
Collaborations with reputable and established organisations are being maintained and expanded, in order to enable PET to reach a larger audience. Communication is central to PET's work, and PET will continue to engage with its audience via the spoken word, print publications and websites.
The charity continues to be and to be seen to be a leading source of information and expertise on genetics, assisted conception and embryo/ stem cell research, and shares its expertise by serving on several committees including:
the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority's National Donation Strategy Group;
the National Infertility Awareness Campaign's Committee;
the National Gamete Donation Trust's Advisory Council;
the Association of Fertility Patient Organisations;
the Advisory Group for the project 'Assessing Child Welfare under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: The New Law', at the University of Kent's Centre for Parenting Culture Studies;
the Autism Ethics Group at King's College London's Centre of Medical Law and Ethics;
the Ethics Advisory Board of the research project 'European Autism Interventions: A Multicentre Study for Developing New Medications';
the Royal College of Nursing working group to develop a free to access genetics online learning tool 'Their future is in their history'.
PET continues to enjoy excellent relationships with professional bodies such as the Association of Clinical Embryologists, the British Fertility Society, the British Infertility Counselling Association and the British Society for Genetic Medicine, as well as patient support groups such as the Donor Conception Network, Infertility Network UK and the National Gamete Donation Trust.
PET's work remains vital to these and other organisations, which all rely upon PET to keep abreast of the latest developments and to act as a hub for developing policy.

Development activities and achievements
BioNews
BioNews is the charity's free online news service and comment resource.
Between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013, there were 248, 810 visits to the BioNews website, which is an average of 682 visitors per day. An average of 1.5 pages was visited per website visit, and visitors spent an average of 1 minute 52 seconds on the site.
The geographic reach of BioNews is wide.
UK: 81,094 visits
USA: 77,109 visits
Australia: 13,263 visits
Canada: 12,736 visits
India: 5,451 visits
Reader survey
In 2012-2013, the charity analysed and published results of a reader survey. 700 readers responded to this, and the key findings are as follows.
Who reads BioNews?
BioNews readers share a common interest in research and practice relating to genetics, fertility and embryos. They represent a wide range of occupations: fertility health professionals, genetic health professionals, scientific researchers, ethicists, lawyers, policymakers, social scientists, journalists, students, lecturers, schoolchildren and teachers.
Just over half of BioNews readers live in the UK, but BioNews continues to have a global reach, with readers in 44 different countries around the world.
Why do people read BioNews?
Most people read BioNews to keep up-to-date with the latest news; to learn what's happening in a particular field; for research or study purposes; and for the publication's clear explanations of complex issues.
A third of respondents said they read BioNews because it carries stories found nowhere else - up from 9% in the 2010 reader survey.
What changes to BioNews would readers like to see?
The majority of readers think that BioNews is clearly laid out, easy to navigate and visually attractive. When asked what changes could be made to the design or layout of BioNews, the most popular answer by far was 'Please don't change it, I like it as it is'.
In terms of content, 78% would like to see more articles providing in-depth explanations of key topics in BioNews. More than 200 readers said they would like to see more interviews with key figures, and more news stories. 98% of readers said they would recommend BioNews to a colleague or friend.
As with previous surveys, these results will be invaluable for the future development of BioNews, to ensure it continues to meet the needs of its readers. The survey results will also help PET provide information about BioNews readers to prospective funders and sponsors -this is vital in order to maintain BioNews as a free resource during financially challenging times.
BioNews writing scheme
The BioNews writing scheme, which trains postgraduate students in the art of news writing, has continued to flourish and the number of places on the course was expanded. Life sciences, biomedical sciences and law PhD students from leading universities participate each term, gaining practical news writing experience under the expert supervision of BioNews editors.
During 2012-13, a total of eleven PhD students from University College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University London and the University of Sheffield completed the course.
All participants have provided positive feedback. Many have joined the pool of volunteer BioNews writers. PET continues to keep in regular contact with those who have completed the course, monitoring and encouraging the development of their careers.
Other BioNews highlights
BioNews has continued to attract a wide variety of writers for its opinion pieces; a particular highlight was a piece by the Government minister, Earl Frederick Howe in July 2012.
BioNews was listed in the '10 Best Websites' section of Professor Donna Dickenson's book Bioethics: All That Matters.
PET continued to increase the reach of BioNews and secured revenue by syndicating BioNews articles to other publications.
More advertisements were carried in BioNews during the year than in any previous year, a welcome source of additional revenue.
Parliamentary and Policy Work
The three largest areas of PET's Parliamentary and policy work were:
changes to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)'s Clinical Guideline Fertility: Assessment and Treatment for People with Fertility Problems;
techniques to avoid the transmission of mitochondrial disease;
the future of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
NICE Fertility Guideline
In 2012, NICE published a draft Update of its clinical guideline Fertility: Assessment and Treatment for People with Fertility Problems, and went to public consultation on its contents. This was significant, as it was the first update of the guideline since it was introduced in 2004.
PET responded to the consultation, the response was made publicly available on its website.
PET also made proposed changes to the Guideline the focus of the opening session at its annual conference, and commissioned related opinion pieces from key stakeholders including the National Infertility Awareness Campaign, Stonewall and the Terrence Higgins Trust. These opinion pieces were then published on BioNews.
The updated Guideline was published in February 2013, PET covered it extensively on BioNews so as to alert its readership to the changes and their ramifications. PET plans to follow up on the implementation of the Guideline.
Mitochondrial disease
Techniques are being developed that use IVF to avoid the transmission of mitochondrial disease, by exchanging a prospective mother's mitochondria with the mitochondria of a donor. A change in the law is needed, before such techniques can be used in treatment within the UK even in a controlled clinical trial.
PET has been interested in the possibility of such techniques for many years, having first discussed them on BioNews in 1999 when they were still hypothetical. The charity liaises with several other organisations in monitoring policy developments and formulating strategy in relation to mitochondrial replacement.
In 2012, the Government tasked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) and Sciencewise with carrying out a public consultation on the relevant ethical issues. PET attended a Stakeholder Workshop to discuss the scope of the HFEA's Mitochondria Public Consultation.
PET submitted a response to the HFEA's Consultation, Medical Frontiers: Debating Mitochondria Replacement which incorporated the charity's survey results and outputs from its public event (see below).
PET attended the HFEA open meeting where the findings of its consultation were discussed. It was announced that there was broad public support for permitting mitochondrial replacement, to give families at risk of mitochondrial disease the chance of having a healthy child.
Poll: Before the official consultation was launched, PET conducted a poll on its BioNews website which asked: 'Should Government allow variations of IVF using genetic material from three people to prevent people from inheriting mitochondrial diseases?' 793 people responded, with 542 people saying yes and 251 saying no.
PET wrote about the survey responses in BioNews in September 2012, on the day the HFEA's public consultation opened.
Public event: The charity held a free public event a week later, so that people had the opportunity to leam about and debate the relevant issues before submitting their own response to the HFEA's consultation. The event was entitled 'Freeing Us from Our Cells: Avoiding Inherited Mitochondrial Disease', and was organised in partnership with City University London's Science Journalism Course and was supported financially by the Wellcome Trust.
The event was attended by around 150 people (more than attended both of the HFEA's 'official' consultation events combined). A multidisciplinary panel was chaired by Sir Mark Walport, then director of the Wellcome Trust and now Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government.
PET wrote about the survey responses in BioNews in September 2012, on the day the HFEA's public consultation opened.
Media: The 'Freeing Us from Our Cells' event was filmed by the BBC for its Science Britannica series. It was also the subject of the podcast How Many People Does It Take to Make a Baby?, produced by Pod Academy.
PET's director had a letter about mitochondrial replacement published in the Guardian newspaper on 19 March, and she was also quoted in the Guardian news article 'Britain ponders three-person embryos to combat genetic diseases' the following day.
Articles about the event were also published by City University London and the Wellcome Trust. PET commissioned and published BioNews articles about its own event, about the HFEA's two consultation events, and about the HFEA open meeting where the results of the consultation were discussed. PET published a review of the educational materials featured on the HFEA's consultation website.
The future of the HFEA
PET continued to follow up on the Government's plans for the future of the HFEA, and what impact this might have upon future regulation of fertility treatment and embryo research in the UK. PET was delighted when a Government minister, Earl Frederick Howe, wrote an opinion piece for BioNews to launch the Government's consultation.
The Government consultation offered three options -abolish the HFEA and allocate its functions to the Health Research Authority and the Care Quality Commission; abolish the HFEA and transfer its functions to a wider range of organisations; or retain the HFEA and require it to deliver further efficiency savings.
Public event: PET held an event entitled 'Quangoing, Going, Gone: What Should Happen to the HFEA?' on 11 September 2012, so that people had the opportunity to learn about and debate the relevant issues before submitting their own response to the HFEA's consultation.
The speaker panel included Paul Whitboum (Head of the Arm' s-Length Bodies Transition Programme at the Department of Health), while Frank Dobson (Labour MP for Holborn and St Pancras and a veteran of Parliamentary debate about fertility regulation) contributed from the audience.
During the event a consensus seemed to emerge among the audience that the Government had missed an opportunity to carry out a thorough audit of current HFEA activities, to determine which activities are required by statute and which are a consequence of 'mission creep'.
The event was attended by around 150 people, and was organised in partnership with the Anne McLaren Memorial Fund. PET drew upon and quoted audience feedback from the event in its own response to the Government's consultation, and published its response on the PET website. PET also referenced all related BioNews opinion pieces in its consultation response.
Media: When it was announced in January 2013 that the Government had decided not to abolish the HFEA, PET's Director was quoted in the article 'Two health regulators spared axe but face efficiency review' in the Guardian newspaper.
Other policy work
PET submitted a response to a Call for Evidence issued by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, as part of its project Donor Conception: Ethical Aspects of Information Disclosure.
Annual Conference
Fertility Treatment: A Life-Changing Event?
PET's annual conference was held on 28 November 2012 at University College London's Institute of Child Health.
What was it about? Much is often made of patients' lifestyle choices when they are having difficulties conceiving. Some lifestyle advice is supported by scientific evidence, but often there is no clear-cut evidence supporting the merits (or demerits) of such advice. Ethical issues arise when those who commission fertility services use lifestyle factors as criteria for rationing access to fertility treatment, and when practitioners sell 'add-ons' to optimise the chances of fertility treatment working (for example, alleviating a patient's stress).
The conference addressed the impact of mothers' and fathers' lifestyles upon conception, upon the success of fertility treatment, and upon the health of the resulting child.
Speakers: Susan Bewley (Professor of Complex Obstetrics at King's College London)
Jacky Boivin (Professor of Health Psychology and Chartered Health Psychologist at Cardiff University, and Lead Researcher at Cardiff Fertility Studies)
Fiona Ford (Dietitian)
Louisa Ghevaert (Partner at Porter Dodson Solicitors and Advisers)
Jean Golding (Emeritus Professor of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology at the University of Bristol, and Founding Scientific and Executive Director of the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children)
Bas Heijmans (Associate Professor of Molecular Epidemiology at Leiden University's Medical Centre)
Dr Ellie Lee (Reader in Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Parenting Culture Studies at the University of Kent)
Dr Gillian Lockwood (Medical Director of Midland Fertility Services)
Nick Macklon (Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Southampton, and Director of the Complete Fertility Centre)
Neil McClure (Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen's University Belfast)
Dr Allan Pacey (Chair of the British Fertility Society)
Tracey Sainsbury (Fertility Counsellor at the London Women's Clinic, the London Sperm Bank and the London Bridge Fertility, Gynaecology and Genetics Centre)
Peter Taylor (Healthcare Policy Adviser at the Cooperation and Competition Panel for NHS-Funded Services)
Zita West (Founder and Clinical Director of the Zita West Clinic and the Zita West Assisted Fertility Programme)
Chairs:
Dr Gillian Lockwood (Medical Director of Midland Fertility Services)
Professor Lord Naren Patel (Crossbench Peer and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity)
David Whittingham (Emeritus Professor of Experimental Embryology at St George's University of London and former Chair of Trustees at PET)
Audience: PET received 46 evaluation forms from conference attendees.
In summary:
100% thought the programme was 'excellent' or 'good';
100% thought the whole experience was 'excellent' or 'good';
100% thought the opportunity to view their opinion was 'excellent' or 'good';
97% stated they were better informed;
43% had not attended a PET event before.
Freeform comments from attendees included:
'All talks great, fantastic range of interrelated topics covered.'
'Appreciated the different backgrounds of the speakers in each session. Presented a more rounded view and argument than if all the speakers were scientists, a well balanced conference of social, science, holistic etc. Discussion and opportunities for lots of questions worked really well.'
British Society for Genetic Medicine
PET's media expertise continued to be employed by the British Society for Genetic Medicine (BSGM).
Again, PET ran the press office at the BSGM's annual conference, held at the University of Warwick in September 2012. As a result, the BSGM's Chair (Professor Sir John Burn) was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. Several pieces of research presented at the conference were also covered by PET in BioNews, and PET manned an exhibition stand throughout the conference, promoting BioNews and the charity's other activities and initiatives.
'When It Takes More Than Two' project
In December 2012, PET launched a project entitled 'When It Takes More Than Two', which was supported by the Wellcome Trust. The project aimed to clarify public and professional understanding of issues related to donor conception, particularly questions of identity, parenthood, genetics, donor information and screening.
Identity and genetics are important considerations in donor conception. The donor's sense of identity may influence how they describe themselves to the fertility clinic. The recipient parent(s) may want to choose a donor who 'matches' them in looks, to preserve the family's identity. The donor-conceived person's sense of identity may be influenced by what they know about their donor, and by how and when they receive this information.
There is also an urgent need to improve understanding of genetics in relation to donor conception. Donors are frequently marketed on the basis of characteristics whose heritability is complex or disputed at best, and nonexistent at worst. Some clinics advertise donors on the basis of 'intelligence', and one highlights its staff's impressions of donors -for example, 'he looks very athletic and often shows up wearing sporty but stylish clothes'.
The heritability of intellect and personal predispositions is far more complex and contentious than such advertising suggests. But even with physical attributes -such as height (tallness is an almost universally preferred donor characteristic), studies show that strict patterns of inheritance are not followed down the generations and that environmental factors such as nutrition play a role.
Previous public engagement work in this area focused on shortages of gamete donors and the ethics of remunerating donors. This project attempted something different, by focusing on the different parties involved in donor conception -categorised broadly as donors, recipients and donor-conceived people -and examining the issues pertinent to each group in turn. At previous PET events, there had been consistent demand in audience feedback for more to be heard from these groups.
The project comprised three public events, and podcasts of interviews with the events' panel speakers. It also involved the writing and publishing of case studies, a factsheet on heredity, a glossary of key terms, and an online poll to gauge attitudes towards contentious issues in donor conception. All three public events took place at University College, London, as the venues were donated as a benefit in kind.
Giving: The Gamete Donor Perspective
This event (which took place on 12 December 2012) focused on the perspective of the donor of the sperm or egg. Issues addressed included what motivates people to donate, the criteria used to screen donors for their physiological and psychological health and the placing of conditions upon the use of sperm or eggs one has donated (for example, a sperm donor may want to prevent his sperm from being used by a lesbian). The latter is a controversial area where the HFEA has recently issued new policy, and where different parts of UK law are potentially in conflict.
Receiving: The Recipient Parent Perspective
This event (which took place on 24 January 2013) focused on the perspective of the person who conceives with donated sperm or eggs. It addressed issues including mechanisms and patterns of heritability, the desirability and practicality or otherwise of donor matching (seeking a donor with similar physical characteristics to the recipient individual or couple so the child looks like part of the family), and whether/when/how to tell donor-conceived children about their origins.
Being: The Donor-Conceived Perspective
This event (which took place on 28 February 2013) focused on the perspective of those who are conceived from donated sperm or eggs. It addressed issues including the impact of being donor conceived upon one' s identity, the HFEA's changing policy on donor codes (administrative reference numbers which until recently were issued to patients on request), the issues faced by adults who were conceived in the era of donor anonymity, and the latest findings of the Cambridge Centre for Family Research's work with donor-conceived children.
Outputs and outcomes
Case studies: Five case studies were produced, and were all included in the delegate packs at each event and published on the PET website. These presented the perspectives of two sperm donors, two women who conceived using donated eggs, and one donor-conceived man.
Factsheet: A 'What's hereditary and what's not?' factsheet was produced by the charity, included in delegate packs and published on its PET website, to provide a simple guide for people thinking about how to select an egg or sperm donor.
Glossary: A glossary of technical terms used in the project was also published on the PET website, and incorporated into the BioNews glossary.
Podcasts: PET conducted interviews with the members of the speaker panels at the 'Receiving' and 'Being' events, and incorporated these into podcasts that were made freely available online. This was the charity's first ever venture into audio production. A podcast about the 'Being' event, incorporating an interview with the British Fertility Society's Chair (Dr Allan Pacey), will be published on the PET website later in 2013.
Media: Two of the panel speakers from the 'Receiving' event -Professor Marcus Pembrey (PET's Chair of Trustees) and Olivia Montuschi -were interviewed in an item about the event on the BBC Radio 4 programme Woman's Hour.
Poll: In order to gauge public opinion on issues that the project raised, PET conducted an online poll. Attendees at each event were invited to suggest questions for the poll, and their feedback informed both the poll's scope and how the poll questions were framed.
HFEA leaflet: As a result of the charity's discussions with the HFEA about the project, the HFEA produced a leaflet on 'Information Access for Donor Conceived People', to clarify who can access what information about a donor and when. This leaflet was distributed for the first time at the 'Being' event.
Policy: As a member of the HFEA's National Donation Strategy Group, PET's Director fed the project's findings and conclusions directly to policymakers.
Publications: PET's Director has also written about the project for the British Infertility Counselling Association Journal, and a synopsis of each event's proceedings was published on BioNews.
Audience evaluation
Of those attending who completed evaluation forms:
96% scored the events as 'excellent' or 'good';
91% scored the chance to voice their opinion as 'excellent' or good';
90% stated that they were better informed as a result of attending;
50% had not attended a PET event before, clear evidence that the project had reached a new audience.
The charity was pleased to see that it had improved on the already very good audience evaluation of its 'Genes, Ancestry and Racial Identity' project in the previous financial year.
Work with the Royal College of Nursing, schools and universities
PET was part of the team set up by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) which developed an online resource to help nurses and health care assistants understand the role genetics plays in everyday care in nursing and midwifery. It focused on the practical, 'must know' knowledge that could be put to immediate use in day-to-day work. This resource, called 'The Future is in Their History', is in the Learning Zone on the RCN website.
PET undertook consultancy work for the charity Jeans for Genes, and in September 2012 participated in the launch of the charity's latest suite of films and educational resources for schools, which PET helped to disseminate.
In July 2012, Sandy Starr was one of the judges at the National Final of the sixth-form debating competition Debating Matters.
In March 2013, Sarah Norcross gave a presentation to undergraduate students at the annual conference of the University of Kent's Critical Law Society.
Progress Educational Trust website
The PET website records another large year-on-year increase in visitors: between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013:,there were 74,852 visits to the PET website, a 127% increase on the year before. That represents an average of more than 205 visitors a day and over 86% of these visitors are new -which means that PET is continuing to broaden its reach.
The BioNews page on the PET website received the most visits. It was followed by 'conference 2012'. Search (which includes both organic and paid -see below) accounted for 88% of the traffic, which demonstrates that a wider audience is discovering PET's website.
New content and features continued to be added to the Progress Educational Trust website throughout the year.
An Introduction to the Genetics and Epigenetics of Human Disease
This downloadable booklet was published on the PET website, and aims to provide a basic introduction to the role of genetics and epigenetics in diseases ranging from the well known (breast cancer and eczema) to the rarer (Fragile X and Angelman syndromes). It begins by examining conditions where there is a single faulty gene to blame, and moves on to diseases where there are likely to be many contributing factors, including one's early developmental experience and the prevailing social and physical environment.
Working with PET
Testimonials from former PET volunteers were added to the website, as were details of corporate, institutional and charitable partners with whom PET has collaborated.
'This week at the Progress Educational Trust'
Testimonials from former PET volunteers were added to the website, as were details of corporate, institutional and charitable partners with whom PET has collaborated.
This feature continued to be posted on the homepage each week, highlighting PET's activities. PET believes that this feature demonstrates our transparency and accountability; it makes information about PET's activities easily accessible. It provides users with an incentive to visit the website regularly.
PET retained its Google Adwords Grant throughout this year, enabling PET to place Google Adwords (up to a daily value of US$329) on Google's Result Page completely free of charge. Between April 2012 and March 2013, Google Adwords sent 59,992 visitors to the PET website-an increase of 196% on the previous year. Google Adwords are now the highest source of traffic to the PET website, and the majority of these visitors are new.
The main benefit of the Google Grant was that it is now the primary web traffic driving source, allowing PET to get to people that it would not otherwise reach.
Social media
PET and BioNews have continued to have a strong, and growing, presence on the social networking platforms Facebook and Twitter.
There has been a 77% increase in the number of followers of @BioNewsUK on Twitter (which stands at 1,352) and an 84% increase in the number of 'likes' on the Progress Educational Trust's Facebook page (which stands at 485).
The Fertility Show
PET exhibited at the Fertility Show in November 2012. 3,655 people attended this event, most were members of the public who were having difficulty in conceiving. The event provided a valuable opportunity for PET to speak to UK fertility patients face-to-face. Visitors to PET's exhibition stand were invited to subscribe to BioNews, and were given a complimentary copy of PET's Guide to Genetics.
Other events
PET staff attended and contributed to many other conferences and events in 2010-2011. This was valuable for reasons including:
networking;
raising the profile of PET and BioNews and promoting PET events and initiatives;
evaluating the suitability of speakers and experts for future PET events;
commissioning commentaries for BioNews;
keeping abreast of developments and horizon scanning.

Operational Achievements
Personnel
During the period the charity had five employees, filling two full-time and three part-time positions.
Sarah Norcross, as Director, manages the day-to-day operations of the charity. Sandy Starr (Communications Officer), James Brooks (Science Editor) and Antony Blackburn Starza (Legal Editor) continued to work at PET.
Dr Rebecca Hill resigned as PET/BioNews Genetics Editor in July, and Dr Lux Fatimathas was appointed in her place.
Training
PET makes a point of seeking opportunities for its staff to undergo training and participate in relevant courses, in order to develop their skills and improve their performance.
During this financial year, Sarah Norcross attended training on 'Fundraising from Trusts and Foundations' organised by the Foundation for Social Improvement, and Sandy Starr attended a 'Science Press Officer Training Day' organised by the UK Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine Public Relations Association.
Volunteers
PET has benefitted from a steady stream of highly motivated and professional volunteers. During 2012 and 2013, these volunteers have undertaken a broad range of activities from maintaining the vast BioNews archive to assisting at PET events.
PET is an equal opportunity organisation, and is committed to a working environment that is free from any form of discrimination on the grounds of colour, race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability.
Financial review
The net incoming resources for the period amounted to £30,375 (2012: £21,919).
Incoming resources amounted to £150,989 (2012: £135,480) which is an increase of 11% compared to the last financial year. This total is mainly represented by income from charitable activities in the sum of £102,622 (2012: £105,740) as detailed in note 4. The majority of the balance of incoming resources consists of donations in the sum of £48,347 (2012: £30,054). There was a substantial fall in grant income in the year of £32,138 which was offset by an increase in consultancy income of £15,548 and of donation income of £18,293. The increase in donations received predominantly arises from financial support provided by the Friends of PET including the Trustees.
Expenditure amounted to £120,164 (2012: £113,921) which is an increase of 6% compared to the last financial year. The main constituent of the total relates to salaries. At a cost of £95,827 salaries represented 79% of total expenditure (2012: 80%).
Due to the receipt of grant funding from the Wellcome Trust and the donations from Friends of PET, the charity's financial situation was satisfactory throughout the year. Net current assets at year end amounted to £52,294. Future financial viability will depend upon the continued support of grant funding bodies, customers for PET's writing and training work, sponsors, advertisers and private donors. Future viability will also depend upon PET's many greatly valued Friends, Volunteers and Advisers, without whose support the charity could not survive.

Future Developments
BioNews
PET aims to implement a number of strategies to increase visits to the website. One is the use of hyperlinks to external websites in the body of articles (at present such links are appended to articles, with only internal links allowed in body text).
Friends of PET scheme
PET plans to make increasing the number of Friends of PET a significantly greater part of its fundraising strategy. The scheme will be promoted more aggressively on both the PET and BioNews websites.
Events
The overarching theme of PET's annual conference will be 'twins', and the conference will examine this topic in terms of both genetics and assisted conception. Flexibility in PET's workplan will allow other events to be organised as and when relevant issues arise.
Funding
PET will apply for several grants in 2013-2014. It intends to generate revenue from writing, and from advisory and consultancy work with other organisations. The charity has seen an increase in advertising revenue generated by the PET and BioNews websites and the BioNews email newsletter. It will work at sustaining and increasing this advertising revenue.
A major objective will be increasing reserves as a hedge against uncertain income, and less reliance will be placed on project funding where this is possible.
Auditors
Gerald Edelman were appointed auditors to the company, a resolution proposing that they be re-appointed will be put to the members.

Statement of disclosure to the auditors
Each of the Trustees has confirmed that there is no relevant audit information of which the charity's auditors are unaware. They have further confirmed that they have taken all the steps that they ought to have taken as Trustees in order to make themselves aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the charity's auditors are aware of that information.
This report is prepared in accordance with the small company regime under section 419(2) of the Companies Act 2006.

Approval
This report was approved by the Trustees on 18 October 2013 and signed on their behalf by Professor Marcus Pembrey (Trustee).