Annual General Meeting 2016 – minutes

Nystagmus Network Annual General Meeting 2016

The AGM commenced at 1430 BST on 30 September with c150 Nystagmus Network members in attendance.

Introduction and Apologies

The Honorary President (Mrs Vivien Jones) welcomed all attendees to the Nystagmus Network 2016 AGM. All attendees were reminded that the AGM is a formal governance requirement of the Charity Commission to ensure that all members are clear on how the charity is being run and funds spent, particularly as the Charity continues to grow and evolve.

Mrs Jones noted that all attendees should have sight of the minutes from the 2015 AGM and requested that the attendees approve the minutes as an accurate reflection of the 2015 AGM.

The minutes of the 2015 AGM held on 07 May 2016 were approved by the AGM attendees.

Chairman’s Report

The Chairman (Mr Richard Wilson) noted that everyone involved with the Charity can be very proud of what was achieved in 2016. This included modernising the Charity through revised branding, launch of a new website and the introduction of digital content, more accessible for the community the Charity supports. Mr Wilson observed that 2016 ended on a very sad note with the tragic death of Trustee, Steve McKay.

Mr Wilson noted that Mr Dan Lewi recently tendered his resignation from the Charity following the receipt of an external job opportunity which he felt he was unable to turn down. Mr Lewi formally stepped down from his role as Executive Development Manager at the beginning of August 2018. For the record, Mr Wilson noted his thanks to Mr Lewis for his contribution to the Charity. Mr Wilson introduced Mrs Sue Ricketts as the Interim Executive Development Manager to present the Executive Development Report.

Mrs Ricketts noted that she has been a member of the Charity since 1991. She talked about the rebranding of the Charity and the new website and about the revised Charity publications, in particular the new booklet for children, Wobbly Eyes.

Mrs Ricketts said it had been a privilege to work with 5 London Marathon runners who raised funds for the Charity in 2016 and reflected on a Charity event which she attended in Grantham. Mrs Ricketts also spoke of the success of Wobbly Wednesday, the Rugby day in Warrington in May 2017 and the Ski days in the summer.

Mrs Ricketts concluded by noting that the Charity has continued to partner closely with the research community, helping recruit subjects for research trials, as well as seeking out potential funding opportunities.

Treasurers Report

Secretary (Mr Graham Dickson) advised he was deputising for the Treasurer (Miss Fola Tayo) who was unable to attend.

Mr Dickson noted that income for 2016 was £70,888 which was a decrease of just under 30% versus 2015. Mr Dickson advised that, as Trustees, we continue to challenge how the Charity most effectively spends its income to operate as a charity, and in 2016 this really came through as we were able to insource a number of business as usual and operational activities such as development of our internet content, production of Charity guides and the Charity rebrand.

Taking into account our focus on cost management and reduction in income, our expenditure for the year was £82,843, down 48% against 2015. Mr Dickson noted that the money raised and donated by the Charity’s members and friends continues to be its ‘life blood’.

Mr Dickson observed that it allows the Charity to make research grants to support the Charity’s research strategy, develop tools and guidance such as the education pathway and allows us to take brave steps, like running the Open Day as a free event for the first time ever.

Mr Dickson reiterated that the Trustees are all extremely grateful to everybody who raises money on behalf of the Charity and that we look forward to continued support through the rest of 2017 and into 2018.

Appointment of Auditor

Mrs Jones advised the AGM that it is a requirement to appoint an Auditor each year in order to approve and sign off the Charity accounts.

Mrs Pam Jarmain proposed that Mr Andrew Black be appointed as Auditor. The motion was seconded by Mr Graham Dickson.

Mr Andrew Black was hereby appointed as auditor.

Election of Officers

Mrs Jones stated that the next order of business was the appointment of Trustees and the Executive Committee. Nominations were as follows:

  • Honorary President – Mrs Vivien Jones
  • Chair – Mr Richard Wilson
  • Secretary – Mr Graham Dickson
  • Treasurer – Mrs Fola Tayo

The appointment of Trustees was proposed by Mrs Pam Jarmain and seconded by Mr John Sanders.

Mrs Jones noted that there has been considerable change over the past 12 months in respect of Executive Committee membership, with long-standing Committee members Mrs Katy Faulkner, Mrs Claire Entwistle and Mr James Taylor stepping due to various personal priorities. Additionally, the Charity sadly lost Mr Steve McKay to a tragic road accident. The Honorary President recorded her personal thanks for the longstanding contributions of those who have stepped down.

The Honorary President advised that 4 existing members of the Executive Committee were standing for re-election with 6 new proposed Trustees, all of whom have been through a rigorous selection process.

Nominations for the Executive Committee were as follows:

  • Mrs Frances Lilley
  • Mr Peter Greenwood
  • Mr Sam Jones
  • Mr Tim Cuddeford
  • Mrs Vicky Pitman
  • Mrs Deborah McManoman
  • Mrs Mary Elliott
  • Mr James Ronson
  • Mr Mitch Pender
  • Mrs Claire Brinn

The appointment of the Executive Committee was again proposed by Mrs Pam Jarmain and seconded by Mr John Sanders.

The appointment of the Trustees and Executive Committee was hereby approved by the AGM.

Mrs Jones concluded by noting her thanks to all those who contribute their time and energy to the Charity. The AGM attendees expressed their thanks to the Officers and Executive Committee.

Any Other Business

Mr Wilson advised the AGM that the Charity Trustees are in the process of carrying out a review of the Charity’s legal status to ensure the most appropriate Charity and Entity incorporation is in place. Mr Wilson advised that the Charity will update members on future plans at an appropriate point in the future.

No other business was raised.

The AGM closed at 1530 BST, 30 September 2018.