As I talk to volunteers around East Lancashire, it becomes quickly apparent that AGMs are notorious for being poorly attended. There are many reasons why people don’t attend an AGM, but here’s a few:
- Some volunteers are under the mistaken belief that their contribution at the AGM would be unnecessary because ‘it wouldn’t change anything anyway‘
- It’s not on the right night, right time or it’s too far away
- If the Chair, trustees and managers are doing a good job, then people feel no need to be involved in the decisions taken at the AGM
You may fit into one of these categories, but I thought I’d shake things up and tell you why you really SHOULD attend but it primarily boils down to the fact that the decisions made at the AGM directly affect you and your Scouting!
If you need to know more then here goes:
Find out what you’re apart of!
The AGM is a great way of finding out what’s been happening over the last 12 months. Sometimes we miss an email and we don’t always see that picture on Facebook, but the AGM bring it all together. More importantly, it’s a great way of finding out what the year ahead holds.
This is where Trustees are elected
East Lancashire Scouts is a registered charity in the UK and so it has a Board of Trustees who are the volunteers that run the charity. These include the County Commissioner, a Chair, the County Secretary and of course the Treasurer to name just a few.
Of course, decisions are taken on everything from financial investments to events and our campsite so it’s important that we have elected and nominated Trustees who can advise on all of the different aspects of discussions. This is where you can elect the people that you think would be the best asset to the team.
You get an unfair advantage on information
Over the last few years we’ve had some pretty inspirational keynote speakers at our AGM from two times World Para-triathlon Champion, Steve Judge to the Chief Executive of The Scout Association, Matt Hyde.This year we’re excited to be joined by newly appointed Deputy UK Chief Commissioner, Kester Sharpe.
Kester has been part of the UK Chief Commissioner’s Team since 2010. She was previously UK Commissioner for Adult Support, and, in this role, was responsible for the development of adult support, including training, appointments and national active support units.
Kester has been involved in Scouting for over 20 years and has held a variety of roles, from Cub and Scout leader to Group Scout Leader. She is currently an Assistant Group Scout Leader and a group and district executive committee member, training advisor and member of the district appointments advisory committee.
Kester is passionate about the difference volunteering can make, particularly to the lives of young people via the benefits of non-formal education. Her husband and daughter are also both active members. Outside of Scouting, Kester works for her local education authority within primary schools.
You can meet and question the Trustees
Once our new Trustees are elected (although some will stay the same), being at the AGM gives you a great opportunity to talk to them about potential changes you’d like to see, ask questions about local Scouting or even advise them on how you can make Scouting across East Lancashire even better!
One of the tasks at the AGM is for the County Scout Council to approve the Finances of the Charity. By this time the finances have already been prepared and approved by the Trustees but it’s important that the Trustees answer any concerns you have about the finances and controls of the charity.
You can meet like minded volunteers
Lots of different people will be at our AGM from District Commissioners and Youth Commissioners to the people that support the development, growth and programme locally as well as Leaders volunteering for different Groups around the County – if nothing else it might open your eyes to the great opportunities that are available to you.
Your voice matters – we want to hear from you!
We love Scouting and it’s volunteers! The more of you who come, the bigger the voice. We always want to hear your views and find out how we can support you in other ways.
There’s free food and drink at the AGM!
Yes – you read that correctly! But it comes with a catch – you have to tell us you’re coming and play your part in the AGM (you can’t just turn up for the free food!).
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you RSVP to our AGM which is on the 28th June 2017 at 7pm at Bowley.