AGM 2014

SCOTTISH TERRIER EMERGENCY CARE SCHEME

MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Held on Sunday 27th April, 2014 at 12.30pm.

Hasland Village Hall, Eastwood Park, Chesterfield. S41 0AY

IN ATTENDANCE

Ian Gower, Joy Gower, Anne Baillie, Christine Yates, Paul Yates, Jean Hahm, Karl Hahm,  Viv Barnett, James  Clegg, Linda Kennerley,  Isla Reid, M. Callaghan, Karen Clayton, Ron Clements, Jo Clements, Jennifer Rowland, Cath Marchbank, Gill Simms, Elizabeth Payne, Sheila Maw, Susan Bamford, Paul Simms, Nick Sanders, Jeanette Sanders, Sandra Weir, Rose Smith.

1. APOLOGIES

Shirley Evans, Karen Evans, Edna Kerfoot, David Kennerley, V. Halsall, Mr and Mrs Johnston, Mary Simms.

2. MINUTES OF PREVIOUS AGM

The minutes of the previous AGM dated 28th April, 2013 were agreed. There were no matters arising.

PROPOSED BY JAMES CLEGG and SECONDED BY CATH MARCHBANK. The minutes were passed unanimously.

3. CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS – Sheila Maw

Sheila welcomed all the members coming to the STECS AGM, held in one of its historical haunts, as this was the meeting place of many AGMs in Nellie Holland’s day, though not in this hall, but the wee room behind, during the lunch break of a dog show. It was sometimes only attended by 10 or 12 people.

She went on to say how much STECS had changes since these days, having grown to a large organisation, well funded, and well run by an army of volunteers which she and the Trustees thanked for all their hard work in the field. Sheila felt it rewarding to think how many Scotties now living in warm, happy homes due to the efforts of our re-homers and reps.

Sheila went on to say that it had been a year of many changes for STECS; new trustees, new website, and new Scottie News. Sheila expressed her thanks to the former Trustees, no longer with us, who had all done stalwart work over the years.

Thanks also went to David Kennerley who kept our website alive and interesting, and also held such a variety of goods to sell. She also stated that Scottie News was a hard act to follow, and that Isla, our secretary had excelled herself as editor, and that we would miss her colourful columns which were so professionally produced.

She asked us all to give our support to our new team; to Ian and Joy Gower who have taken over the marketing, to Bee Duffy, the new editor of Scottie News, and to Stuart Platt our new website administrator. She asked for our continued support to the latter two by continuing to send any new or interesting stories as we all love reading about the exploits of our Scots – good or bad!

Sheila also thanked our Treasurer, Karl Hahm for his highly professional work, saying that she felt he must wonder sometimes how many jobs he is working at, but fortunately he hasn’t complained – yet!

Sheila also thanked Nick Sanders for his hard work as Welfare Officer. She commented that the new online dog information was not only very informative, but interesting, too.

She also thanked the Secretary for her hard work throughout the year, saying that no matter what she was dealing with she remained cheerful and was indeed a doughty Scot!

She also gave grateful thanks to our worthy President, Elizabeth Payne, who has been such a long and faithful supporter of STECS, her fund raising efforts have been tremendous and that she was a behind the scenes worker of great value.

Last, but not least she thanked the Trustees who do so much work, which largely goes unnoticed.

Sheila concluded by saying that there were many, many  Scotties who had benefitted from the voluntary work done and on behalf of these Scots she thanked us all and looked forward to seeing us all again in 2015.

4. PRESIDENT’S REPORT- Elizabeth Payne

Elizabeth commenced her report by welcoming everyone to the AGM, and thanked them for coming.

She stated that since the last AGM STECS had had a number of Scotties to care for which always brought mixed emotions and sometimes certain difficulties. She said that our success was due to our caring and enthusiastic team of volunteers and re-homing officers that we invariably find happy endings for our four legged friends.

She also said that with the kindness and generosity of all our members STECS continues to thrive.

She highlighted our events at Crail, Scotland, Wincanton in Somerset, and the Garden Party in Lancashire which contribute enormously to swelling our coffers. She commented that lots of planning and preparations go into these events and she expressed her gratitude to all our contributors.

Elizabeth went on to say that Isla was no longer editing our newsletter and that she would like to say thank you to Isla and her daughter Kirsty for doing such a super job over the past few years. She also welcomed our new editor, Bee Duffy on board.

She concluded by saying once again a thank you to all the loyal members of STECS for the continuing support, saying that it was not easy in this economic climate and busy lives of our members but without them lots of little Scotties would not have the care and attention they undoubtedly deserve.

5. SECRETARY’S REPORT – Isla Reid

Isla started by saying that the primary function of STECS was to help Scotties in need. Nick had mentioned at last year’s AGM that he was uncertain as to the effectiveness of publicity cards, so STECS considered that an alternative way forward might lie in organising more local events where members of the public could find out about STECS and our work.  It was suggested that members should be encouraged to hold small gatherings in their own area as they might welcome the chance to meet other Scottie owners in their area.  A few of these events had already been held, and had proved to be very successful in making people aware of our charity and what we do. Isla encouraged anyone who might consider holding an event to contact Joy and Ian Gower. Isla then gave details of some of these smaller events which had been held and ones which were planned for the future.

Isla gave dates for our other events to be held over the year; namely Northern Scots in Crail, Somerset Fun Day at Wincanton, the annual Garden Party in Lancashire, and after an absence last year, our Christmas Party. She also mentioned a new event for Scottie owners and friends. This year we were pleased to have been invited to Ashbourne Highland Gathering.

This year we have again been invited to have our stall at Scottish Terrier Club (England) Championship Show, invited to attend a Kennel Club Breed Rescue event in London, and a Kennel Club Conference in May. All of these events help STECS keep abreast of current thinking regarding breed rescue and also to meet representatives of other rescue organisations.

Isla then went on to speak about the update to our Governing Document. She told members that after lengthy discussion we completed our proposed update. The intention was to send this document to the Charity Commission and OSCR for their agreement to the changes and then present it to the membership at this AGM in order to seek members’ approval. Unfortunately a rather serious matter occurred which the Trustees had to address. The Governing Body decided that we should send our proposed updated document to our solicitor before sending it to the Charity Commission and OSCR.  We had received his advice, and would discuss his comments at our next meeting. We would then send the document to the appropriate body. This meant that we have had to delay seeking agreement until the AGM in 2015. Isla expressed her regret at this but it was the only course of action open to us.

Regarding the newsletter and the website, Isla welcomed Bee Duffy and Stuart Platt to the respective posts of editor and website administrator. She praised the fact that they had each volunteered their services and considerable expertise to STECS, and reminded the membership that the success of these communications depended entirely on the information which was received from members.

In conclusion, Isla reiterated that STECS had had a very busy year, and was personally very grateful for the continued advice and support from the Governing Body and membership.

6. WELFARE COMMITTEE REPORT –Nick Sanders

Nick started by saying that 2013 was slightly up in the number of rescue Scotties coming into STECS. We had a total of 83 dogs coming in for re-homing. He added that 4 dogs had been rescued from dog pounds in Ireland, and thanked Karen Clayton for arranging their rescue, transportation and re-homing, with the help of the Greyhound rescue. Sadly, Nick informed us that many dogs are abandoned in Ireland, and the extent of the problem meant that abandoned dogs only get a maximum of 7 days before being euthanized, so prompt action was necessary.

He also said that there had been an increase of dogs coming into STECS for financial reasons. Sadly, many of these dogs are the unfortunate result of people losing their homes and having to give up their dogs.

He told the membership that there was an ongoing review of our forms and paperwork, in an attempt to improve the information we gather about potential new homes, and also to improve our method of recording dogs coming into the system. For some time there had been in operation to log dog information online, and periodic changes had been made to improve this system. Most re-homers now complete their returns on line, and this has the advantage of giving an instant record of dogs coming into the system and also being re-homed. This allows Nick to anticipate what paperwork to expect, lets the treasurer know what donations to expect and allows Shirley Evans to keep the microchip data up to date.

Nick went on to say that ongoing publicity was very important and encouraged all members who wished to distribute publicity cards to collect them at this meeting.

Nick concluded by thanking the unstinting help he received from the Welfare Committee members.

Nick handed out an information breakdown sheet for members. This sheet was very informative and gave details of dogs re-homed by region, and also information regarding neutered dogs, sex of dogs and any behavioural problems.  There was an interesting comparison with STECS’s re-homing in previous years. Nick also included in his information sheet some information and photographs of specific rescue dogs. This was very well received as it shows members some of the work that is done with some of our more challenging rescues.

7. TREASURER’S REPORT AND ACCOUNTS – Karl Hahm

Karl handed out copies of our accounts for the year 2013, and added the following comments.

1. For the second successive year direct spend on charitable activities has reduced. Expenditure on charitable activities compared to 2012 fell by 15% to £41,442.

This was mainly attributable to a number of older and poorly dogs rescued in previous years for which STECS provided financial support for veterinary costs, passing away. Vet fees decreased by 23%.

In particular, the latter half of 2010 through to mid 2011 was an exceptional period with a large number of very sick and old dogs re-homed. These dogs have now all worked they way through the system. Sadly they had very short but happy and well cared for lives while in the care of STECS.

Although the number of new dogs coming in to STECS in 2013 increased, compared to the previous year, fewer of these dogs came with major health issues. There were only seven new long term cases added in 2013 accounting for £7,600 (or 22% of our vet fees during the year). The underlying health issues varied but the most common was Cushings disease.

One of the cases however involved three Scotties where the elderly owner had died and he, along with his dogs, was not discovered until three days afterwards. Although very weak and dehydrated, and despite the odds, all three dogs survived and are now being cared for by a STECS member with the Charity providing financial support for their inherent illnesses.

Other expenditure in total stayed at more or less the same levels as 2012. The Charity continues to try and minimise administration costs wherever possible but this is increasingly challenging.

2. Overall Income.

With the exception of investment income, all categories of income were up in 2013 compared to 2012. This is a complete opposite of the previous year.

Last year fund raising was re-energised. In particular:

•                  After having a rest in 2012 we re-instigated the social event in Crail.

•                  Takings at the Annual Garden Party were up.

•                  There was a big push on the Radley draws, including a Xmas draw, raising £1,600 more than the previous year.

Thanks go to everyone who has contributed in any way to STECS during the year, particularly the following major benefactors:

•                  Cath and Steve Marchbank for the huge amount of time and effort they put into hosting the Annual Garden Party and continuing to drive down the event costs.

•                  Elizabeth Payne for her generosity in providing the lovely Cameron raffle prizes at her own expense.

•                  Mrs Hahm for the hours and hours she spends making Scottie quilts and bags to sell or raffle.

And last but not least, Joy and Ian Gower who took over the sales and marketing. Not only is their energy and enthusiasm outstanding, they also donated all of their expenses back to STECS enabling the Charity to claim an additional £500 from the tax man through Gift Aid.

Another positive sign is the membership numbers. After several years of decline, last year showed a small increase as new members outstripped those resigning or failing to renew their membership.

3. Net position

The net expenditure during the year (before legacies) was £1,285. Legacies totalling £12,429 were received resulting in a net financial surplus for the year of £11,144.  This is the first financial surplus since 2010.

Three legacies were received during the year from:

•                  Margaret Crosthwaite

•                  Ian Paxton

•                  Peter Trotman

4. Assets

The total net assets of the charity at 31st December 2013 stood at £372,408. STECS therefore continues to enjoy a relatively strong financial position which means that the Charity is able to fully meet the needs of those less fortunate Scotties needing our support.

However this position can only be maintained if the Charity continues to work hard to keep the reserves topped up. Therefore STECS should not be financially complacent.

A question was put to Karl Hahm from a member regarding the cost of expenses paid to Trustees, and Karl Hahm provided the information sought to the satisfaction of the questioner.

8. ELECTION OF TRUSTEES

Rotational retirement of Trustees had created 4 vacancies for the post of Trustee this year. Originally there were 5 applicants but one application was withdrawn by the Governing Body after a discussion at the meeting immediately before the AGM. This left 4 applicants – James Clegg, Karl Hahm and Nick Sanders, as returning candidates were therefore returned unopposed. The fourth candidate, Karen Clayton informed the membership of her background and gave information as to why she considered herself an appropriate candidate. She was elected as a Trustee unopposed.

9. ELECTION OF WELFARE OFFICER

There was only one candidate for this post, therefore Nick Sanders was returned to the post unopposed.

10. MOTIONS

One notice of motion was received for inclusion in the agenda. The text of the motion was

“That the Scottish Terrier Emergency Care Scheme (STECS), website, newsletter and other advertising material is able to use the term “Scottish Terrier Rescue” and “Scottie Rescue” in addition to the formal title of “The Scottish Terrier Emergency Care Scheme”.

The Scottish Terrier Emergency Care Scheme title cannot be changed without formal approval of the membership, as it is contained within the Governing Document. Therefore the use of these additional terms will not replace the formal STECS title and will only be used as “tag Lines” in order to protect these titles from misuse or misinterpretation by other parties outside the membership of STECS.”

The proposer was Joy Gower, and the seconder was James Clegg.

There was a short discussion about this motion and a proposal was made to vote on the motion. The proposer was Ron Clements and the seconder was Linda Kennerley.

There were a total of 24 votes, with 20 votes in favour and 4 against. The motion was therefore carried.

11. ANY OTHER BUSINESS

The Chairman read out a letter which had been sent to the secretary from a member living in Australia. Who has asked that the letter should be included under Any Other Business. She wished to express her thanks to STECS for the enjoyment she gets for being a member of our Charity.

The meeting was closed at 2.50pm.

NOTES:

1.  Just as the Chairman was about to close the meeting, Elizabeth Payne, our President stood up and announced that she wished to resign from the position of President with immediate effect. She gave written copies of her resignation to the Chairman and the Secretary.

2. Karl Hahm had donated a bottle of whisky to be raffled at the AGM, and Jim Clegg was the lucky winner.

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