Friday, 20 May 2016

Annual Meeting

2016 Annual Meeting
Resolutions, tea-duelling and bras

May is our most formal meeting of the year as it is our Annual Meeting. It gives us a chance to look back over the previous year, look ahead to the next year and debate the year's resolutions ahead of the National meeting in June. There was a lot to talk about.

Emma G announced that Helen Ramsey had been appointed as our independent examiner for the coming year.

Treasurer Dawn introduced the accounts and we discussed how money we raised was spent. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Dawn and seconded by Jenny.

As group secretary, Emma G read a report summarising the previous year. Herts Belles has been extremely busy! Our meetings included life drawing, ghost walks, crafts, power hooping, stuntmen and giant knitting to name a few. We also took part in last year's centenary celebrations, Sustainable St Albans week, Bake Offs and our Jungle Canopy caravan renovation. 3 of our members had babies and we have our highest membership with 47 members signing up this year so far and lots more visitors. Emma G gave a presentation about all the things we had been up to at the HFWI Spring Council Meeting. Herts Belles seems to be going from strength to strength. The annual report was proposed by Emma G and seconded by Penny.

President Emma C thanked all the committee for their hard work over the last year. As well as the monthly meetings, committee members meet for additional meetings, plan online, attend county and group planning meetings and manage our social media accounts. With jobs and families this certainly keeps us all busy! Members are always welcome to join the committee. And don't worry if you can't commit to being a full time member - volunteers are always welcome to take on smaller projects or organise one off events!

Emma C was re-elected as president for the next year.

There were two resolutions to be debated this year:

Avoid food waste, address food poverty
"The WI calls on all supermarkets to sin up to a voluntary agreement to avoid food waste, thereby passing surplus food on to charities thus helping to address the issue of increasing food poverty in the UK"

Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia
"We call upon HM Government and the NHS to provide facilities to enable carers to stay with people with Alzheimer's disease and dementia that have been admitted into hospital."

After much discussion and looking at the for and against arguments for each resolution, Herts Belles voted against both resolutions, giving Emma C discretion to change the vote for Avoid food waste at the National meeting in June.

After the formal part of the evening was over, social time was had and a tea-duelling contest held. Competitors had to dunk biscuits and see who could go the longest before successfully eating the biscuit or ending up with soggy crumbs on their faces. The victor would win the coveted golden teapot prize (kindly created by Bec). 

The Golden Teapot
Several highly competitive rounds were played before Jenny was crowned winner! Congratulations Jenny! Everyone else vowed to continue eating biscuits in preparation for next year!

The 2016 Champion - Jenny

Smalls for All

May's meeting also saw Herts Belles set up a Smalls for All collection point. Smalls for All collect and send bras and underwear to communities in Africa where this is not only a health and hygiene issue, but can protect women who are vulnerable to sexual assault. Having pants also means young women do not have to miss school when they are menstruating.

A bra mountain of 360 new and used bras and 134 pairs of new pants was collected on the evening and with more donations arriving the total is now already over 400!

Bra bunting!

Our special thanks to everyone who donated underwear, to Akers Services who kindly donated packing boxes and to Paul Knight from Mayflower Stores who is generously paying to ship our donations to Smalls for All HQ in Scotland.

Bra-vo ladies!

If you would like more info about Smalls for All or have more donations check out their website

A very busy meeting! See you all next month!
Best wishes
Emma C xxx

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