If you have ever attended a RSM AGM, you will know what a friendly and welcoming atmosphere prevails at these meetings, so it's no wonder so many people turn up!
Over 120 members, invited guests, visitors and of course the Committee and Charity Manager (ie.Jo!) attended the 9th Rotherfield St Martin Annual General Meeting held on Monday 18th November 2013 at Rotherfield Village Hall. Jo Evans opened the Meeting in prayer and welcomed everyone.
The improvements wrought on members through social interaction and exercise have been marvellous to see. Exercise projects are so important, aiding in recovery from small to major ailments and give confidence and fitness to cope with everyday life. Day-care for some older and less able members is on offer, as is help for people living with dementia and their carers - RSM wants to promote dementia awareness throughout the village.
Of course regular activities are still going strong: Monday meetings: bridge: table tennis; knitting and nattering, Volunteer Drivers Service – its use ever expanding, and the many phone calls and visits received at the Drop-In Centre with queries, bookings, worries or just making contact.
The summer fair brought in funds but perhaps more importantly brings the village together for a joyous event. The charity shop, a great success, is blessed with its wonderful manager Sam, and her hard working band of volunteers going from strength to strength. RSM are determined to extend the care from Rotherfield St. Martin to provide or enable greater pre, during and post hospitalisation care. Andy reported, sadly, on those members who are no longer with us. They are all missed but RSM are glad to have been of some support, not to mention the joy their friendship gave to us all.
For all the wonderful help and efforts, Andy thanked the members, the volunteers, all those who have contributed financially last year whether individuals or organisations, and 3VA for their advice and support; the staff of Rotherfield St. Martin including Andy L-H regrettably leaving at Christmas, Helen the new Deputy Charity Manager, Sam the Charity Shop Manager; the Committee – including Thelma Goulding and Stephen Whitehead retiring this year ; the Trustees - and a warm welcome to new Trustee Teresa Lipson, much experienced in Adult Social Care; Patrons: Andrew Goodsell was welcomed; and all those organisations and their members around East Sussex who have given their help so unstintingly. Andy ended with the thought that Rotherfield St. Martin is a family.
John Westwood gave the Treasurer's Report outlining some income and expenditure, referring to the annual Accounts. The Charity Shop got off to a successful start, with thanks to the Rotherfield Trust who paid 50% of the rent for the first 6 months.
The major Grants in 2012/13 were the legacy from Bert Mitchell and others included those from Tudor Trust , Santander Charity, Rotherfield Parish Council, Crowborough Town Council and Wealden District Council. When you are making or updating your Wills, you might like to consider leaving a little something to RSM - every penny helps carry on good work in the community. The regular monthly, quarterly and annual donations through 'St Martin's Cloak' were most useful regular income. Various Activities, Outings & Visits broke even; Freedom Leisure Exercise Classes and Holiday at Home were costly, however, grants cover this deficit. Other costs included holding the Monday Meetings and the running costs for the "Bertmobile", and of course payroll and office expenses. Abbeyfield kindly continued to cover the rent for the Institute.
The year finished with 357 members - that's an income of £3,570 and all together the impressive sum of £35,767 was raised from self-generated income - or £46,367 including Gifts & Donations - well done to everybody.
The Treasurer outlined some problems encountered during the year as a result of which RSM are in the process of changing banks. Adoption of the 2012/2013 Accounts was proposed and approved nem con and the Auditors were re-appointed.
The Management Committee were elected en bloc unanimously by those present: Andy Miller, John Westwood, Daphne Bagshawe, Bernard Sparrow and Robin Kennedy had agreed to continue as Trustees. In addition, Teresa Lipsome from ESCC Adult Social Care was welcomed as a new Trustee. Andy Miller continues as Chairman and John Westwood as Treasurer. The Hon. Secretary's post was currently vacant. Hazel Thorne and Yvonne Kennedy, members of the Management Committee, were re-elected and joined by Sylvia Westwood and Ann Mortlock; also Margaret Farmer and Geoff White as Members' Representatives.
Next on the Agenda were "Refreshments" - delicious tea and RSM cakes as always!