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RECORDS OF OUR ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGS

Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 23rd July 2015 at SRSB, Mappin Street, Sheffield

1. Chairman
Christine welcomed everyone and gave thanks to Hilary and Steve for all their help and thanked Sue and Norman for organising the raffle. Christine also thanked Rob for the catering.

2. Apologies
No apologies were recorded.

3. Minutes of the last AGM held on 24th July 2014
The minutes were accepted as a true record.

4. Matters Arising
There wer no matters arising.

5. Chairman's Report
Christine gave an excellent report on the Group's activities over the last 12 months and outlined what lies ahead for the group.
Walks
Since the last AGM the group has been out on: 12 Wednesday walks, 11 Sunday walks and 11 Thursday walks (including a Christmas lunch walk last December and another lunch walk in January of this year). The lynch pin of this walking programme is John Bater who finds leaders for all these walks and who also organises guides for Thursdays and Sundays. A very special thank you to John. Also we have had 9 Tuesday walks, these are shorter and easier than other walks and have proved very popular. David Cadet and Norman Pearson have organised and lead all of these, their efforts are much appreciated. In addition we had a day trip to Hebden Bridge with the Hearing Impaired Group, Unfortunately, there was an incident on the towpath and Ken fell in the canal, please lets not let that happen again.
If we add it all up this is again not far short of 300 miles. All of this has been reported in the newsletters thanks to Gail.
Safety on Walks
I want to take this opportunity to say a word or two about safety on walks. We must not let the walking group get too strung out as we risk losing people or we may not be aware of an incident that may have occurred. Leaders set the pace to suit the group as a whole and no one should walk in front of the leader. We must pause at stiles and tops of hills etc to allow walkers to catch up. The back marker should not hesitate to use the radio to ask the leader to wait.
Dogs on Walks
This is about safety, we now regularly have Willow, Barley, Charlie and Holly on walks and it is also possible to have Hattie and Toby as well. There has been some concern about dogs running up and down the line, knocking into people's legs and potentially knocking people over. We will always try to have some free running for the dogs but this is not always possible especially where there is livestock in the fields or where the path is narrow. We may have to restrict free running to one dog at a time. Copies of the Guidance leaflet is being passed round.
Membership
22 new people have joined since July last year of whom 7 are VIPs. Some of these have come from the Hearing Impaired Group. Not all of the people who joined during the year have stuck with us and we have also lost a few more long standing members. Current membership stands at 135 of whom 50 are VIPs
Publicity
Recruitment efforts: we continue to drop leaflets at main hospitals, eye clinics, Social Services rehab teams, and here at SRSB. We have also been attracting some media attention, we had an article in the Guardian, Sheffield Hallam students made a video, a Sheffield University PhD student did radio interviews, and I will be promoting us on Radio Sheffield next Thursday.
Dry Stone Walling
There has been one dry stone walling day thanks to Jack and Ann Allen and to John for organising the participants. Christine wanted to say a special word about Jack Allen who is very poorly and to say that we are all thinking of him and wishing him well. We miss him on our walks.
Guide Awareness Training in June 2015
There has been one Guide Awareness Event at which 7 new guides were trained they are Angela Shrivastava, Olwen Greensides, Julie Graham, Angela Elliot, Wendy Hudson, Joe Fagan and Mike Wilson. Christine wished to thank Anne Rolf who delivered the training and to Gail Fagan for her invaluable assistance. There are no guides awaiting training to date.
Holidays A good time was had by all, including 5 dogs, at Llandudno in 2014 we had some lovely walks and danced away the evenings. We are now looking forward to our trip to the Isle of Man in September - 30 people are going. There will be a briefing for those going on the holiday later this evening. I would like us to thank Hilary our Social Secretary. I don't know how she does it, she does a brilliant job.
Fundraising
Well, we made it to the top of Scafell Pike. I would like us to give a vote of thanks to SRSB for all they do for us eg, printing, room space, database and distribution of the newsletter - they do not charge us for anything. Stan will give us figures in his report later.
This year we are doing the Morecombe Bay walk as our fundraising event for 2015.
Database
A big thank you to Brian for keeping our membership database up to date.
Website
I would like to thank Christine Whittaker for keeping our website up to date. We are the only visually impaired walking group on the web, and we get quite a lot of enquiries from other parts of the country.
Last Year's to do list and Plans Next Year
2014/15 More guide training - More recruitment, First Aid refresher and a Coach Ramble.
22015/16 - First Aid refresher, Coach Rambles (possibly to the seaside), Holiday suggestions welcome re venue.
The Guides
Last but not least, a big thank you to our guides.

6. Treasurer's Report Stan Wainwright, our Treasurer distributed copies of his Treasurer's Report showing the Group's Income and Expenditure Account together with the Balance Sheet as at 31st March 2015. The accounts were audited by Colin Newton on 25th June 2015. No one had any questions therefore the report was accepted as a true record.

7. Election of Officers
All the posts on the Committee are to remain the same as last year as there were no other nominations made for any of the posts. However, Christine will propose to the Committee the prospect of co-opting members on to the Committee in order to plan for the future ensuring the smooth running and continuity of the Group.
Officers:
Chair: Christine Hewitt
Vice Chair: Eric Andrews
Walks Planner and Co-ordinator: John Bater
Membership Secretary: Brian Hirst
Treasurer: Stan Wainwright
Social Secretary: Hilary Myers
Minutes Secretary: Pauline Bullivant
Newsletter Editor: Gail Fagan
Other Committee Members: David Cadet

8. Any other business
a. Jean circulated a card for Ted for members to sign
b. Hearing Impaired Group - The Group has received funding of £2,500.00 from the Sheffield Town Trust for portable audio description units. Philip would like someone from our group to train how to use the equipment and perhaps a full time staff member of SRSB as well. The equipment is to be left at Mappin Street. If you are interested please contact Philip or Joanne Robinson.
c. Betsy wished to thank everyone for visiting her. She is not ready to go walking yet but is looking forward to seeing everyone at her 80th birthday party on Friday 16th October. She knows she doesn't look 80. But - yes - she really is!
d. Jack said it was a pleasure to see everyone gathered here at the AGM. Particularly as he helped to start the group. Recently he saw a large group of young visually impaired walkers at Ringinglow and wondered if we had any feedback from any of them.
e. Eric's Sky Dive. Eric is due to do his Sky Dive on Saturday 1st August. He welcomes sponsorship.

VOTE OF THANKS. Norman, on behalf of everyone gate thanks to Christine for all her hard work, and the excellent evening.


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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 24th July 2014 at SRSB, Mappin Street, Sheffield

1. Chairman
Christine welcomed everyone and gave thanks to Hilary and Steve for all their help and thanked Sue and Norman for organising the raffle. Christine also thanked Rob for the catering.

2. Apologies
Steve Brown and Ann Batty.

3. Minutes of the last AGM held on 12 July 2012
The minutes were accepted as a true record.

4. Matters Arising
No matters arising.

5. Chairman's Report
Christine gave an excellent report on the Group's activities over the last 12 months.

Walks: the group has been on 11 Wednesday walks, 11 Sunday walks and 11 Thursday walks including a Christmas lunch walk in December and another walk in January this year. Special thanks and praise must go to John Bater for his brilliant effort. Also our thanks go to David Cadet and Norman for organising the easier and shorter walks on Tuesdays. We have had 9 walks and these have proved very popular. In addition we have had a day trip to Saltaire with the Hearing Impaired Group and a walk on the wild side on Blacamoor with Sheffield Wildlife Trust. If we add it all up - not far short of 300 miles.

Membership: currently we have 111 members 40 of whom are VIPs. 15 new people have joined since July last year but we have lost 10 names from our membership in the same period. We distribute leaflets to the main hospitals eye clinic, the SRSB and Social Services rehab teams. Our experience with recruitment is similar to that of other walking groups in Sheffield, people getting older and dropping out but not getting the same level of new recruits coming in.

Our guides are very important to us without them we would not be able to function and we cannot thank them enough. Other activities not strictly a group activity but we were pleased to celebrate George Napier's 90th birthday with a buffet supper provided by George back in January this year.

Two dry stone walling days were held one in October last year and one in May this year. Thanks to Jack and Ann Allen and to John for organising the participants.

Two guide awareness training events took place one in September 2013 and one in July 2014. Ten new guides have been trained thanks to Ann Rolf who delivers the training for us and to Gail Fagan for her invaluable assistance. We have 7 guides awaiting training.

Holidays: Everyone enjoyed the holiday in Grassington 2013 there were 18 participants including 6 VIPs. Llandudno is planned for September this year and we are well on the way to having a holiday organised for 2015 in the Isle of Man.

Fundraising: Ann Allen raised £400 from the Sheffield Half Marathon that never was! Thank you Ann. Also thanks to Eric for organising Scafell Pike 2014. We are busy training for this during the Summer. 25% of what we raise will be for our group the rest to SRSB. A vote of thanks to SRSB for all they do for us, they do a tremendous amount including letting us have room space, printing, distribution of our newsletter, database and much more.
Next year will possibly be Morecombe Bay - not for dawdlers!

Thanks to: Website - Our thanks to Christine Whittaker.
Guides - Once again, our heartfelt thanks go to all our Guides.

Next Year - More guide training, more recruitment, hopefully a First Aid refresher and a Coach Ramble (Todmorden to Hebden Bridge).

6. Treasurer's Report Stan Wainwright, our Treasurer distributed copies of his Treasurer's Report showing the Group's Income and Expenditure Account together with the Balance Sheet as at 31st March 2014. The accounts were audited by Colin Newton on 26th June 2014. Stan gave thanks to Sue Pearson who handed over the books to Stan last year. The books he received from Sue were impeccable. Stan went through the report and asked if anyone had any question. No one had any questions therefore the report was accepted as a true record.

7. Election of Officers
All the posts on the Committee are to remain the same as last year as there were no other nominations made for any of the posts.
Chair: Christine Hewitt
Vice Chair: Eric Andrews
Walks Planner and Co-ordinator: John Bater
Membership Secretary: Brian Hirst
Treasurer: Stan Wainwright
Social Secretary: Hilary Myers
Minutes Secretary: Pauline Bullivant
Newsletter Editor: Gail Fagan
Other Committee Members: David Cadet

8. Holiday 2014 and 2015

Llandudno: Hilary distributed an information leaflet to all participants along with luggage labels. She particularly mentioned Guides asking them to please share your 'Buddy' with one of the other guides.
Isle of Man 7 September 2015 5 days - Hilary has sourced a hotel and a guest house and distributed a leaflet to those who wish to go on the holiday asking them to give their preference. At the end of the meeting it was decided that the guest house was the preferred option. Hilary needs confirmed numbers within the next two weeks along with £50 per person so that she can send off the deposit. Hilary answered queries during the course of the evening.

9. Any other business

1. Blind Veterans We have had contact from the Blind Veterans. Tom joined this group who are eager to make ex-serviceman aware of the Blind Veterans. If anyone knows of any ex-serviceman in our group please make them aware of the Blind Veterans. They are putting our publicity leaflet in their Review Magazine.

2. Parachute Jump Betsie's parachute jump scheduled for July was cancelled due to bad weather, however it is now scheduled for 3rd August. So far she has raised £614.11. Betsie is still looking for more sponsorship.


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Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 4th July 2013 at SRSB, Mappin Street, Sheffield

1. Chairman
Christine welcomed everyone and said what a pleasure it was to see everyone and in particular those who we haven't seen regularly including Peter and Brenda and Barbara. Christine also thanked our chef Rob and his staff for their excellent food and service, a really wonderful meal. Christine went on to thank Hilary and Steve for all their help organising the drinks and to Sue and Norman for the raffle.

2. Apologies
Bob Priestley and Don Tales.

3. Minutes of the last AGM held on 12 July 2012
These were circulated with the newsletter last year. Christine reiterated the key points regarding the Constitution that we increase the maximum of officers on the Committee from 7 to 9, the majority of officers to be made up of visually impaired members, i.e. 5 must be VIPs. The minutes were accepted as a true record.

4. Matters Arising
No matters arising.

5. Chairman's Report
Christine said she believed we had had another good year walking regularly once per month on Wednesday, Sunday and Thursday and sometimes on Tuesday. We were very grateful for the support of a range of people, the Ramblers, National Trust, and the Peak Park Rangers and our own guide members. She paid special tribute to John Bater for organising the walks tirelessly and with such dedication, he deserved all the applause we can give him.

The Trip to Saltaire unfortunately has had to be postponed as Philip Timms from the Hearing Group is ill as is his wife. We all wished them both well and will pick this up later in the year. Last year's holiday to Hawes was successful and we are looking forward to this year's holiday to Grassington. Hilary made some points. We would leave at 9.30 am. The walks would be led by Ted on Tuesday, Colin on Wednesday and Rachel on Thursday. Hilary suggested that we have an away day in Skipton on Friday where our own guides could lead us on a canal walk and we could have a meal of fish and chips there. She also mentioned that we could eat at the Black Bull on Monday and perhaps try the Fountain another time but we would see how we feel when we get up there.

Christine went on to thank Jack and Ann particularly for organising the stone walling and Betsy for the motor cycling. She also thanked Eric for raising £265.00 for our funds on his Coast to Coast tandem bike ride with his son Fraser - a really good effort. We are all impressed. We are also impressed with Ann's half marathon she raised £255.00, many thanks Ann - we are very grateful. Christine has been thinking about getting a shorter easier walk once a month on a Tuesday as we are getting older and some of us would welcome this but we need to have enough guides. Christine will put something in the next newsletter. Christine gave a special tribute to Sue Pearson our Treasurer for being Treasurer for the past 5 years. On our behalf Christine thanked Sue for her dedicated service, we are very grateful, thank you Sue.

Finally Christine gave thanks to the guides as none of this would be possible without them.

6. Treasurer's Report A copy of the Treasurer's Report is available if anyone wants a copy. The Treasurer's analysis was read out to members. The report was accepted as a true record by members.

7. Election of Officers
Stan Wainwright was elected as the new Treasurer The posts of Chair (Christine Hewitt), Vice Chair (Eric Andrews), Walks Co-ordinator (John Bater), Social Secretary (Hilary Myers), Membership Secretary (Brian Hirst), Newsletter Editor (Gail Fagin) and the Minute Secretary (Pauline Bullivant) to remain as last year as no other nominations were made for any of the posts. David Cadet was elected on to the Committee.
Chair: Christine Hewitt
Vice Chair: Eric Andrews
Walks Planner and Co-ordinator: John Bater
Membership Secretary: Brian Hirst
Treasurer: Stan Wainwright
Social Secretary: Hilary Myers
Minutes Secretary: Pauline Bullivant
Newsletter Editor: Gail Fagan
Other Committee Members: David Cadet

8. Any other business
Jack Burling telephoned Hilary to say he can't go on the holiday to Grassington due to ill health but wished to be remembered to all and hopes to get to see you all again. Christine closed the meeting with a big thank you to everyone.


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Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 12th July 2012 at SRSB, Mappin Street, Sheffield

1. Chairman
Eric welcomed everyone and also welcomed his guests Harry and Wendy Johnson, who had helped Eric out with the group's trip to Austria during his first year as Chairman. Eric also thanked our Chef Rob and his staff for their excellent food and service and asked them to come out and receive the group's applause. Eric went on to thank Hilary and Steve for all their help and to thank Norman and Sue for the raffle which raised £55.

2. Apologies
Ray Johnson, Ken Bower, Stan Wainwright and George Napier.

3. Minutes of the last AGM held on 22 July 2011
The minutes were agreed as a correct record.

4. Matters Arising
It was noted that the Constitution had been changed as agreed and therefore this would be the only General Meeting of the year.

5. Chairman's Report
Eric believed we had had another successful year. Last year's holiday in Wales included climbing up Snowdon had given him the idea of climbing Ben Nevis and raising funds for SRSB and SVIWG. To date sviwg has raised £2,680. Thanks to members and friends and help from Sue and Jane of SRSB.

Eric gave his commiserations to Ann Allen for her gallant attempt to run the Sheffield half marathon this year. He also welcomed new members, including the several students, who members enjoyed walking with.

6. Election of Officers
Before the election began, Christine Hewitt proposed that the Constitution be amended to allow the number of committee members to be increased from 7 to 9. However, the majority must still be visually impaired. The amendment was seconded by Betsy Wilson and was agreed unanimously by members
Chair: Addressing the meeting, Eric reminded everyone that he intended to retire as Chairman this year, and went on to recommend Christine Hewitt as an excellent candidate for sviwg's new chairman. Christine was voted in as Chairman.
Vice Chair: George Napier, who was standing down, was thanked for his service as Vice Chair over the last 3 years. Eric offered to fill the post of Vice Chair temporarily until Brian Hirst, who had requested to be considered for the role, had gained more active experience as a committee member. Christine Hewitt said she would value Eric's experience, but would also like to see Brian take a more active role on the committee. A paper vote was carried out, and Eric was voted in as vice chair.
Walks Planner and Co-ordinator: John Bater
Membership Secretary: Christine Hewitt
Treasurer: Sue Pearson (for 1 year only)
Social Secretary: Hilary Myers
Minutes Secretary: Pauline Bullivant
Newsletter Editor: Gail Fagan
Other Committee Members: Brian Hirst.

7. Treasurer's Report The treasurer's report was accepted as a true record.

8. Any other business
8.1. Eric thanked Norman Pearson for taking Mick Charlsworth out for walks. Nigel Robb offered to help, and Eric asked for more volunteers.
8.2. Christine Hewitt thanked the guides, and reminded them to let her and John know if the were going on a walk.
8.3. Christine informed members that David Jardin, of Sheffield Ramblers, had recently died.
8.4. Betsy Wilson proposed that the members thanked Christine Hewitt for taking on the role as Chair and wished her luck in her new post.


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Sheffield Visually Impaired Walking Group

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 22nd July 2011 at SRSB, Mappin Street, Sheffield

1. Chairmanís Opening Remarks - The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting, including his own personal special guests Steve Hambleton, the General Manager of SRSB, and Neville, one of the volunteer drivers, and his wife Jean. He then extended thanks to the chef and the SRSB staff, who had produced and served us with an excellent meal, and to Hilary and Steve for organising the event and for the wine.

2. Apologies - There were no apologies.

3. Minutes of the last AGM held on July 2011 - The minutes were agreed as a correct record.

4. Matters Arising - It was noted that the Constitution had been changed as agreed and therefore this would be the only General Meeting of the year.

It was also noted that a new website had been set up by Christine Whittaker. The Chairman thanked Christine for her efforts.

5. Chairmanís Report - The Chairman said that SVIWG had had another successful year Ė thanks to the efforts of the Committee and the support of members. Members had continued to raise funds for the group e.g. Ann Allen who had once again run the Sheffield Half Marathon. Well done to Ann and to all those who had helped to raise funds.

During the past year we had also done our best to support SRSB who relied so much on fundraising/donations to provide a second to none service for visually impaired people. Thanks were also due to those who took part in the recent Chatsworth Sponsored Walk which was so successful. SVIWG continues to be most grateful for the support we received from SRSB. Due to the current financial situation in the UK it will continue to be difficult to raise funds for volunteer groups such as ours. We have to be as thrifty as possible. Generally we try to be self-financing. The recent new activity, water sports, was funded by those who took part. Sailing and canoeing proved to be very stimulating and good exercise enjoyed by all. A return trip next year is possible. If anyone is interested they should contact Eric. Also, if anyone has other suggestions for eye catching/challenging nature fundraising events, please let Eric know.

We have recruited number of new members this year. A warm welcome was extended to new visually impaired members Euin Hill, Julie Hart, Ruzhana Nasvilli, Mike Beck, Graham Marshall, Steph Harris, Lee Teesdale Smith and Craig Moss and to new guides Carol Scanlon, June Wright, Jane Rogers, Joanne and Brett Marshall, Graham Taylor, Julie Graham, Gordon Kitching and Mike Mellors. However, it was with great sadness that that we noted the death of Neil Maw and we extended our sympathy to his family for their loss.

Finally, Eric made it clear that, although he was prepared to stand again as Chair this year, he intended to resign next year. He strongly recommended that a person capable of taking over the chair be elected to the Committee at this meeting, or join the Committee during this year with a view to having an orderly progression to a new Chairman in 2012. This person did not have to be visually impaired. A Special General Meeting could be called at any time to take a vote of members if an applicant came forward later in the year.

6. Treasurerís Report - A copy of the Treasureís report was circulated at the meeting. Hilary read the report out to members. The annual income was £5,747.00 and the outgoings £7,189.93. There was a balance in the bank of £4243.65 and cash in hand of £9.08.

7. Election of Officers - Officers who had indicated that they were prepared to continue were elected unopposed. The were:
Eric Andrews: Chair
George Napier: Vice-Chair
John Bater: Walks Planner and Co-ordinator
Christine Hewitt: Membership Secretary
Sue Pearson: Treasurer
Hilary Myers: Social Secretary

There were no nominations for Secretary to replace Christine Whittaker. This post remains vacant although Christine will continue to do the newsletter and website.

It was noted that Mike Burgin had resigned as Special Advisor. Eric thanked Mike for his long and valuable service to the group.

Brian Hirst was appointed to the Committee to take Mikeís place.

8. Any other business - There was no other business.


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