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AGM minutes 2018

The Norfolk Reading Project

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting

held on Monday 21st May 2018


The Patteson Rooms

Newmarket Rd,





Anne Thorley (Chair)                                       Elaine Simpson                  Liz Tye

Sarah Seymour                                                 Kate Millington                Rachel Bond

Alison Gilmour                                                  Pam Ownsworth              Anne Williams

Sarah Anthony                                                  Angela Jones                      Ruth Ripman

Lesley Penniket                                                Jane Merrett                      Lorraine Hall      


Anne Thorley welcomed everyone to the AGM.

  1. 1.     Apologies for absence were received from Sally Watson, Sue Drake, Caroline Lowth, Roseanna Gouch …
  2. 2.     Minutes of the last meeting were approved. It was noted that a letter of introduction for volunteers to take into school entitled “Getting the Most from your Volunteers” had not yet been produced. There was further discussion of the format this should take later in the meeting.
  3. 3.     Chair’s Report

Anne gave heartfelt thanks to the enormous support from the Norfolk Library Service which not only gives us a fantastic location for our regular training sessions but which also promotes The Norfolk Reading Project in all Norfolk library branches with larger displays in the Millennium Library, Norwich, and in Gorleston, where we are trying to increase volunteering. This promotion continues to boost our volunteer numbers and raises our profile countywide. Anne extended our warmest possible thanks to Elaine Simpson, formerly of Norfolk Library Services, without whom this would not have been possible.

Anne celebrated our new status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) achieved on February 5th this year. This gives us a registered charity number which will enable us to claim gift aid on donations and access other areas of funding.

She also thanked Anita Vadhir of Vanilla for once again choosing us as their charity for 2018 and for putting on a series of charitable events for us.

Sincere thanks also went to Diane Bush and the East Anglia Tennis and Squash Club for again holding two charity tennis tournaments for us. These tournaments not only produce very welcome funds but also give us the opportunity to extend our search for volunteers across the county.

During the year TNRP has become involved with Waterstones’Books to Schools project. This scheme encourages customers to donate books to schools with a focus on rural and isolated schools where provision of library resources is sometimes difficult.

On Sunday 10th June TNRP is taking part in a celebration of volunteers in Norwich Cathedral entitled “Together we can make a difference”. Anne invited all Reading Project volunteers to come along and join the other community of volunteers also making a difference and changing lives.

Anne reported that thanks to the monthly training sessions, volunteer numbers had swelled to over 100 in over 20 schools, and, in addition, a number of current volunteers in schools had also attended the training.

She thanked everyone for their continued support.

  1. 4.     Treasurer’s Report Incoming treasurer Lesley Penniket presented the Income and Expenditure Account for the period 22ndJune 2017 to February 4th 2018 after which we became a CIO. Please see attached. The bank balance at 21 May 2018 stands at £4760.11.
  2. 5.     Election of New Committee Members

Chair: Anne Thorley was re-elected (proposed AG, seconded LP)

Vice-Chair: Alison Gilmour was elected (proposed AT, seconded AJ)

Treasurer: Lesley Penniket (proposed AT, seconded JM)

Secretary: Sally Watson was re-elected (proposed AT, seconded SS)

Anne appealed for more volunteers to consider becoming committee members.

  1. 6.     AOB

Anne pointed out that in the last two years we have made a surplus and we should maybe start spending some of our reserves. She said that research has shown that children who have a book of their own are 15 times more likely to read above the level expected for their age than their peers who don’t own a book. Maybe it was time to start giving books to schools – perhaps as rewards for effort at reading.


 There was a big discussion over whether this was money well spent. Jane Merrett suggested giving vouchers might be a better idea. Elaine Simpson suggested TNRP get involved in the World Book Day scheme and apply for vouchers which allow a child to claim a free book from a selection produced for World Book Day.

There was some discussion about poor communication between teachers and volunteers so the idea of a “Getting the Most from your Volunteers” letter and poster for the staff room explaining the role of volunteers was once again mooted and it was agreed this should be drafted. After the meeting, Rachel Bond offered to help with the wording.


Ruth Ripman suggested producing a list of local businesses to approach for funding and a sub-committee of four: LP, SA, RR and Anne Williams have agreed to tackle this task.


                Kate Millington asked if speech and language therapist Emma Cane could address one of our workshop sessions and Anne said she would try to organise this.


Anne thanked all volunteers and committee members for their hard work and support over the last year and the meeting concluded at about 8:50pm.