Annual Review 2010

An annual review 2010, written by the Network MESH Chairman Tony Golding and presented in the 2010 Annual General Meeting

Summary:

  • Financially, we are still in a good position thanks to the large anonymous donation we received several years ago. But our resources are running down and we have been asking those members who can afford to pay for subscriptions
  • A new member, Jean Higgins, has volunteered to take over the editorship of our newsletter Outreach
  • Heidi and Pamela set up a new website for the group
  • In order to boost our funds, Heidi and Carolyn have been creating greetings cards for sale. The cards have been selling well.
  • The THAT Fund team were busy earlier in the year working on the information leaflet which was distributed with the summer issue of Outreach.
  •  We raised £1425 for ME Research UK in memory of Eva Sanders

Financially, we are still in a good position thanks to the large anonymous donation we received several years ago. But our resources are running down and we have been asking those members who can afford to pay for subscriptions, even though this is an exercise that involves a lot work and energy on the part of the committee. So far, 73 members have renewed their membership, contributing a much-needed £645. In brief, we had an income of just over £1200 in our financial year, which ends on 31 July, but we spent just over £1600, which means we had to dig into our capital for the difference—-a bit under £400. Our biggest expenditure is the newsletter, which comes out four times a year. If anybody wants to see the accounts, with all the detail, I’m happy to give them a copy. I have also filed them with the Charity Commission so the totals are on the Charity Commission website for anyone to see.

Priscilla has done an excellent job since taking over as editor of the newsletter. Due to personal circumstances, however, she has had to bow out. We thank her for her vital contribution to the group. Very fortunately, a new member, Jean Higgins, volunteered to take over the editorship and was responsible for the last Outreach, which maintained the high standard of previous newsletters. So many group members are unable to get to meetings and events and we know from surveys we’ve done over the years that they regard Outreach as a lifeline. Also we shouldn’t forget the important behind-the-scenes work done by Martin on maintaining the membership database and Colin on actually sending the copies out.

Our new website is now up and running, with a public area and a private area that only members can access. Although Heidi has moved to Kent she will continue to administer the website for us as this is something that can be done remotely. Increasingly, new members find us via the Web.

Heidi and Carolyn have also been responsible for another initiative: taking photographs and turning them into attractive blank greetings cards for members to sell to each other or to people outside the group. The surplus we make goes into group funds. The first batch of cards was a success so a second batch has been produced for sale here today and at other group events.

We have held fewer social events than we would have liked this year. The regular local meetings, overseen by Cath Ross, continue to be popular events for those able to get to them.

We also run a fund for members who need small amounts of financial assistance. Janet Battams, the new administrator of THAT Fund, as we call it, reports:

“Since the last report two grants have been agreed and cheques sent out. Both applicants appreciated the help given to them. Recently there have been two enquiries with one application returned for consideration. The Fund team were busy earlier in the year working on the information leaflet which was distributed with the summer issue of Outreach. We hope it will encourage members to apply.”

Before I finish I just want to pick out a few other things. We raised £1425 for ME Research UK in memory of Eva Sanders. Every six months, I chair a meeting of several London ME support groups, called ME London, which we all find valuable in terms of exchanging ideas and talking about issues of mutual interest.

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