Sensing Friends Annual General Meeting Jan 2019
Present: Emma, Kay, Daisy, Pat, Will, Moira, Pete and Penny
- Current status and run through of Sensing Friends work last year, the successes and any problems that occurred.
• General feeling that it has been a big success and that all the children had grown together and formed some important friendships. We all agreed that we had achieved more than we had imagined with the young people, we had reached our mission to bring these young people together to form deeper friendships and understand each other better. Pat pointed out that it was interesting and important to notice how comfortable the children had come to be with each other. There had been one incident where one of the young people had been unwell during the session due to ill health at the time. We agreed that we had handled this well as a team and had all the resources and methods at hand, including all being properly trained/ experienced, to have handled this very well, keeping all the children safe. In light of the risk that came up through this particular incident we also agreed and affirmed that it was essential to continue being mindful of checking the garden at the beginning of session and during session for all possible hazards for young people including such situations as having seizures.
- Current funding bid with Big lottery and reaching communities
Penny reported back that at end of December we put in a funding bid for around £141’000.00 to Reaching Communities for three years to do the following with the current young people and other new young service users who may need the service.
• Introductory Community Weekend
• Continue Circle Of Friendships
• Creative Arts Work
• One to one Counselling /Solution Focused Therapy
- The question was raised about what work we would need to do if we were successful with the funding bid?
• What does the Big lottery want from Sensing Freinds in terms of structure, policy making, registering as charity, admin and reporting in order to meet the funding requirement of Reaching Communities? Penny to clarify this with the Reaching Communities team and to also let BLF know about our decision to go down charity status.
• Emma highlighted that we would have to put in more thought and work to run all the new different areas. It was agreed that this will mean more admin meetings to keep up on policy, checks etc as well as other areas.
• Kay raised a question about better ways of communicating changes that happens within Sensing Friends, or developments. A concern around having to read and respond to information in lengthy emails was raised. We all agreed that we need to keep doing the work but will communicate more effectively. We agreed that Penny and Emma to continue with the admin process but to give details of developments via limited emails and also proposed meeting times so that others can arrange to also meet if possible and take active part of this process. Emma is looking into new online management system.
• Will raised the idea of recording and compiling, forming a template for the Circle Of Friendship, he highlighted that it would be good to see the Circle Of Friendship move onto other areas in the uk. If we formed a record or template of the CoF method we can use this in other areas of the uk as well as any future CoF. This template can also be used as information for funders Will to look at taking on compiling this CoF template with support of others.
• The issue was raised that we will need to find out on how we need to do reporting.We got good feedback from our last reporting and monitoring from young people attending.
• Penny pointed out that the introductory Community Weekend will need a lot of additional thought fairly soon, prior to finding out if we have been successful with funding. Additional meeting will be needed for this. We can use MFG or Starnash Farm. We felt it might be easier as non residential at MFG. Penny suggested we can start to move forward with thinking about how to promote this even before getting funding. We have some funding left so if everyone is in agreement we can use a small proportion to promote Sensing Friends and this possibly can be focused on a Community Weekend. We agreed to discuss this further.
- Current financial situation
At the time of the meeting the balance currently in the bank is just over £6’250
We agree that some of this money needs to be kept in reserves for insurance next year, DBS, online management system for record keeping and to also pay for Moira’s and Wills training. All felt that some money would be well spent on a reunion for the children. We talked about reunion ideas and maybe doing this in a location that is away from MFG so that it does not confuse youngsters in terms of the restarting of the CoF before we have got conformation of a further possible CoF for 2019. One suggestion was at Starnash farm. Daisy also suggested possibly offering a really lovely and cheep reunion at her house with her lovely dogs. We talked about possibly doing this in February.
- Re electing Trustees and Members
All trustees and committee members agreed to be re voted in.
- Decision and voting on status, Charitable or Community Interest.
We all agreed unanimously, after considering the options of CIC or CIO, that we want to move forward with CIO Associative model, where both trustees and committee member have voting rights
- Any other business.
No other business