AGM Meeting Minutes
The Norfolk Reading Project
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting
held on Sunday 2nd July 2017
47 Hargham Road,
Anne Thorley (Chair)
Apologies for absence
AT welcomed everyone to the AGM.
- 1. Apologies for absence –received from Sue Drake, Sarah Seymour, Alison Gilmour, Lesley Penniket, Belinda Berwick, Elaine Simpson..
- 2. Chair’s Report – please see attached.
The Chair drew specific attention to the following issues:
- • AT gave specific thanks to the Millennium Library staff for their support. She drew attention to the fact that there is currently a display covering an entire wall, highlighting TNRP and its work; a number of volunteer enquiries have already been recruited as a result of this display.
- • AT also thanked The Norfolk Integrated Education Advisory Services whose support has been constant. The majority of school enquiries come via the NIEAS and their promotion of our work. AT reported that we now always advise schools that the quickest way to gain TNRP support within the school is to harness/recruit their own volunteers who are then trained by TNRP. Successful examples of this approach include schools in Wells and Gt Yarmouth which identified their own volunteer network who then received training from TNRP and are now providing support to the pupils within these schools.
- • Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) status: AT reported that this change in status would enable TNRP to make best use of its funds e.g. reclaiming tax and making applications for specific grants available only to organisations holding a charitable status. AT reported that the submission has been made and we await the legal change.
- • Fundraising
- AT reported that the two recent tennis tournaments had raised approx. £1000 for TNRP. These funds should be added to the totals shown on the Treasurer’s Report. Thanks were noted to both tennis clubs for their valued support.
- Jarrolds donation – AT also offered thanks to Jarrolds for the donation of £500 worth of printing; this donation in kind has enabled TNRP to produce training materials and is much appreciated.
• Support in Secondary Schools – AT drew attention to the fact that a number of secondary schools have asked for support as pupils are arriving with poor reading skills. She announced that, with regret, we do not currently have the facility to offer such support. It is hoped that, with time and primary support, pupils arriving will no longer be needing this support. In discussion, it was agreed that some effort would be made to recruit volunteers in the area generating several requests (Gt Yarmouth) but the prime focus will remain on primary schools.
- 3. Treasurer’s Report: please find attached the Treasurer’s Report.
The attendees were directed to note the healthy balance sheet. AT reminded the AGM that there would always be the need to continue fundraising as this allowed for further training. There are currently no other forms of income though it is hoped that applications for other funds/bursaries can be made once CIO status is granted.
- 4. Election of Committee Members:
Chair: Anne Thorley was re-elected (Proposed SW, Seconded SA)
Vice-Chair: Angela Jones was re-elected (Proposed AT, Seconded SW)
Treasurer: Sue Drake was re-elected (Proposed SW, Seconded AT)
Secretary: Sally Watson was re-elected (Proposed AJ, Seconded SA)
Committee Members: Elaine Simpson has volunteered to join the Committee.
AT encouraged any member to stand for Committee Membership and indeed for Committee posts; a greater number of committee members allows for a wider representation of views across volunteers but also enables the sharing down of tasks more effectively.
AJ specifically requested any member to come forward who would be happy and able to take on the Social Media/networking role; TNRP needs to keep a flow of information going out to volunteers, schools and potential supporters of the project and there is currently no-one to fill this role.
- 5. AOB:
5.1 AT reported that Heart Education Trust has recently contacted TNRP with an urgent request for support. It indicated that a higher than average percentage of their pupil cohort has SEN status; it was agreed that this Trust should be prioritised for volunteers when possible.
5.2 “Volunteer through Work Scheme” – AT is currently in discussion with a firm of solicitors who may be able to offer volunteers for training and session in school. She is currently discussing how this might work and underlining the level of commitment expected. Experience has shown that volunteers should always be required to offer a minimum of support through 1 school term (approx. 8-10 sessions) though ideally a scheme of this sort would offer at least 1 full academic year of support sessions (Sept through to early July).
5.3 UEA BA students – it was noted last year that it might be possible to use BA students as a form of reading support. AT reported that this potential had fallen through whist the scheme was being set up because the Lead Contact at the UEA had moved on and no-one had replaced them. AT reported that she remained hopeful that UEA would become a source of volunteers in the future, for example perhaps as people retired
5.4 DBS Checks – discussion took place over the funding of these checks. AT reported that TNRP prefers to pay for the checks so that we can confirm that each volunteer is already in possession of one when directed towards any school. This enables the volunteers to get into schools swiftly.
5.5 Introduction of Volunteers into Schools:
Some discussion ensued about how volunteers worked within their respective schools. It is clear that some schools take a central approach and class teachers are well-prepared, expecting volunteers and knowing about their role whilst other volunteers find that they are leading the experience themselves.
After some exchange of ideas, it was agreed that:
- • it would be an excellent idea to have a lead volunteer identified for each school (central point of communication between volunteers and staff)
- • that a letter would be written which explains the role of volunteers to staff (this would go to the Lead School Contact with a request that each class teacher receive a copy). This letter would also include positive comments from other school and their comments on how to make the system work best for staff, volunteers, pupils and parents – e.g. “Getting the Most from Your Volunteers” including suggestions on reading records, book scheme progressions etc
- • a poster be developed for the staff room which explains the role of volunteers and upon which the names of the specific school volunteers could be listed
- • what are parents told of the project? It was agreed that it would be a good idea for parents to be informed of the project and the work of the volunteers, which might also, as a benefit, prompt a greater focus on reading with the children. AT agreed to include within the letter to schools on how the system works the suggestion that a letter be sent to parents explaining the scheme and reinforcing the benefit of reading at home.
5.6 Reading Record Sheet: since all volunteers are working to different school records/none/their own design, it was greed that designing an “ideal” record (an example of which could be included on the school “Getting the Most from Your Volunteers” pack) as a suggestion for use/prompt for the school.
5.7 Communication with Volunteers - AJ and AT requested that volunteers email in to the Committee any questions or suggestions they have at any time via the website contact system
AT closed the meeting with thanks to Sarah Anthony for hosting the AGM once again and to all TNRP volunteers and donors for their continued support.
She wished everyone a good break over the summer holidays and looks forward to many more reading support sessions over the next school year.