On the 1st June 2013 we held this year’s National AGM at Chester Zoo. The weather was good and it was fantastic to see so many members attending for one of the biggest turnouts we’ve had in a few years.
To begin the day we all met at the lecture theatre just outside the zoo for the business portion of the meeting. The agenda was kept short as what everybody was really looking forward to getting into the zoo for lunch and to see the animals. Anne gave her report of the past year, which has seen growth in members as well as those looking for support via our Facebook page. Anne thanked the Committee, our Working Groups and our members and supporters who have made this last year such a success for the Association. All committee members were re-elected.
One of the new things we’re setting up this year are Support Groups. These allows families to get together for mutual support under the banner of the Association but who aren’t local to the Liverpool or Manchester branches. As you can see from our member map, we have members from throughout the Northwest and beyond. One major advantage of the Support Group is that it doesn’t need the complexities of a branch such as bank accounts and a full committee and leaves the Support Group to concentrate on helping each other with mutual support, events and fund-raising. We hope this simplification will allow the Association to set up new groups in areas away from the Liverpool and Manchester centres. In order for Support Groups to become a reality we need to make some changes to our constitution. Chris gave a short presentation on the changes and we are to vote these changes through in an EGM that will be held in a few weeks time.
Finally, the branches each gave a short report on their activities over the past year. Manchester has been holding regular meetings at the hospital to engage with the staff and new parents on the ward. Liverpool is continuing to thrive with monthly meetings at Ronald MacDonald House at Alder Hey and lots of events and fund raising with book stalls, charity shops and more. Oldham and Tameside branch has been inactive this past year with their main fund-raising event, the Saddleworth Beer Walk organised by the Saddleworth Round Table, not taking place.
With the meeting drawn to a close it was time to head into the zoo for some fun. Here are a few of the photos from our members and there are more on our Facebook page.
We hope to see you again at next year’s AGM and at some of the events we hold throughout the year too!