On Thursday 22nd March, HIP held its 2018 AGM at the Crewe Arms Hotel. The AGM gave an overview of HIP's year and its prospects for the year ahead.
This year's AGM was held at the Crewe Arms Hotel, the monthly location of the Crewe coffee mornings. Mini-busses picked up some members from Ellesmere Port and Chester, and others met the HIP team at the hotel.
The AGM was opened by Dr Crawford Thomas, HIP trustee. Crawford started off by looking positively at the growth of HIP over the past year in terms of the increase of the HIP membership, as well as that of the staff base and the funding the HIP team have managed to acquire over the past year.
Nick Ankers, fellow HIP trustee, then echoed Crawford's positive attitude. He added that the trustees had met five times over the past year to discuss how HIP could grow most effectively. Such suggestions made, included employing new staff to help with the organisation and funding strategy of the charity, which seems to have worked well for HIP over 2017 and 2018.
Edie, HIP's Operational Manager, was next to speak and gave a lovely overview of HIP's year, with regards to the courses and trips offered to members. These have included cookery and IT courses, boat trips, the Chester Zoo trip and many others. Whilst all HIP socials seem to go well, Edie also gave members an insight into what the HIP team does on a day-to-day basis, to keep the charity running. These tasks consist of the HIP re-doing the member database according to new data protection rules; applying for new funding from a variety of places to keep HIP financially afloat; and organising all the finer details of trips, amongst other things.
Ian, HIP trustee and treasurer, finally concluded the AGM talks by giving HIP members a brief overview of HIP's finances. Although HIP seemed to be financially performing worse in 2017 than 2016, the good news was that HIP was already doing better in 2018 than 2017. The main cause for the lack of good news for the last financial year was that there was no charity ball in 2016 to support HIP's finances in 2017. Regardless, HIP is still very fiscally stable and able to help its members though socials and courses over 2018!
After hearing the finer details of HIP's year, members and trustees were invited to a lunch prepared by the Crewe Arms Hotel. The light lunch offered a delicious selection of sandwiches along with salad and chips, helping to fuel everyone for the afternoon ahead.
Once most lunches had been consumed. Two guest speakers were invited to speak to members over coffee and tea. The first speaker was Nicola from Age UK Cheshire, who informed the AGM attendees about the services Age UK Cheshire offer. These include workshops, help with forms, socials for members and advice where needed. Next to speak was Miles from ICUsteps, a charity supporting individuals leaving ICU. Miles shared his incredible story with us of having been on the brink of death and returned to set up ICUsteps, which supports previous ICU patients through meet-ups; and giving them support networks and advice.
Both speeches were very inspiring and helpful in their own ways, and for those who want to get in touch with either charity to see what help they can offer them, please use the following links, Age UK Cheshire: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/cheshire/, ICUSteps: https://icusteps.org/support/chester.
HIP also looks forward to working with AGE UK Cheshire and ICUsteps in the future.
To finish off the AGM, a raffle was held with prizes such a signed football, a bottle of fizz, and bespoke jewellery on offer. Once the lucky winners had collected their prizes, it was time for the mini-busses to take people back to Ellesmere Port and Chester and for the HIP family to disperse.
It appears HIP in Cheshire has had a very successful year, and that the coming year is very likely to build on that!
By Maggie Allan.