STAPLEFORD TWINNING ASSOCIATION
Annual General Meeting
Tuesday November 22nd 2016, 7.45 for 8.00 pm
Jackie Bow’s, 3 Sternes Way, Stapleford CB22 5DA
1. Present: Louise Graham, Jackie Bow, Chris Bow, Wendy Heap, Jim Foreman, Kathleen Foreman, Jill Gardner, Kate Jessop, Jane Steadman, Mary Cooper, Tony Hore, Patrick Thouroude, Anand Pillai
Apologies for absence
Andrew Graham, Carol Chilton, Paul Chilton, Bryan and Carol Davies, Tony Smith, Jean Hore, Chris Bow, Tim Jessop
2. Minutes of the AGM held on 18th November 2015
Accepted as correct.
3. Matters arising
No matters arising.
4. Chairman’s Report
Every year seems to be a busy year for Twinning or perhaps it’s just that time to pass at an ever-increasing rate. The year started well with an excellent Progressive Supper in January masterminded by Tony Hore.
This year it was our turn to entertain our visitors from Villedômer for the Twinning Weekend, so there was plenty of work for the Stapleford Committee. The hard work paid off and the 28 French visitors, their hosts and other members took part in a French/English quiz compèred by Erica Dawes on the first evening. A delicious supper was provided by Jean Hore and her team of chefs. We had a very successful visit to Hampton Court and dinner at Madingley Hall, which our visitors enjoyed very much.
A small team of croupiers ran a casino for the Sawston Village College Leavers’ ball.
In the October half-term 8 French youngsters and 2 leaders from Villedômer visited us in Stapleford. It was a very successful few days due to the hard work of Jill Gardner to whom I am very much indebted. We had so few Stapleford youngsters able and/or interested in going to France either in the Summer or in half-term that there was no return visit. Of all that, more in Jill’s report.
After the very enjoyable Progressive Super earlier in the year, we planned to hold a Progressive lunch earlier this month. Unfortunately, we chose a day when most members were otherwise engaged, so this was postponed.
Earlier this month, some of the committee attended the Shelford Feast disbursement Evening and were delighted to receive a generous donation towards the Youth Visit.
Thoughts are being given to the Twinning Weekend which will take place 29 April – 1 May 2017. This will be our 38th year of Twinning, when it will be our turn to visit France.
Colin Jefferson does not wish to seek reelection to the committee, and he and Janet have decided not to renew their membership of the Association. In Colin’s absence, I should like to acknowledge his contribution hitherto, in particular his work on the website. May I extend my thanks to all the member of the small but extremely hardworking committee for all that has been achieved this year.
Vive le Jumelage!
Jackie thanked all the committee members for their continued hard work this year.
5. Treasurer’s Report and presentation of the 2015-2016 audited accounts
Copies of the Audited Accounts have been distributed this evening and additional copies are available here for those requiring them. We have made a slight loss this year as is expected in the years in which we host the May visit. Current balance (end of year amount) is £2187.42. We have also received a generous donation of £500 from the Shelford Feast, which is fantastic: but we must ensure that this money is used for the Youth Visit and not anything else, so needs to be ringfenced for that.
The setting up of the Standing Orders for Subscriptions and the 100 Club has not gone as smoothly as I would have liked. For the time being this will be on hold whilst I review the situation but our Bank Details for those wishing to pay online are shown on the Subscription reminder sent out with the AGM Papers. There are still some Standing Orders in place for the 100 Club with the Cambridge Building Society which need to be cancelled. I will be contacting those people concerned in due course.
The Accounts should be self explanatory but if anyone has any questions, I will endeavour to answer them. (Tony explained that the SUA is a contribution from the closure of the Umbrella Association, in reply to PT’s question. Also in reply to a question from PT, Tony explained that the plan is to keep both bank accounts for the time being, until/unless a better solution comes up. To KF’s question, TH agreed that the Feast payments should be shown as separate items, and that he would check to see that this was reflected in the accounts.)
100 Club draw:
October: no 16 Ollie Challis
November: no 10 Jean and Peter Green
6. Casino Manager’s Report
This Casino Report covers the period from December 2015 to November 2016 not the Association’s Financial Year.
This year we have held only one Casino which was for the Sawston Village College Leavers Ball in July 2016. This was once again a great success and enjoyed by all those who attended. Unfortunately the enquiry from the Bourn Golf Club for this year that I mentioned in last years report did not materialise. We do not have any future bookings but as I reported last year, it looks like Sawston Village College will become a regular one.
We do though need to have sufficient Croupiers available for when Casino bookings are accepted so if you know of anyone who might be interested in joining the existing team please let me know. At the moment it is the same people every time which is not ideal.
Various ideas for fundraising were discussed, especially about whether the main focus should be on raising funds from within the membership (ie: put the membership fee up) or within the community (ie: having fundraising events). The complications of showing a film to an audience was discussed: there is now a need to get a licence, which KF agreed to look in to and report back to the committee. There was no consensus about how to move forward but all agreed that new ways of raising/spending funds are needed.
7. Youth Report
A youth twinning exchange was originally pencilled in for August of this year, but despite many emails to possible families with children of the right age and letters to all Year 6 children at Stapleford Primary School, not enough families were available or interested in taking part, so plans were cancelled in the spring.
Following the decision to cancel the August exchange, discussions were held with some of the French adult twinners during their visit to Stapleford in May 2016. It was decided that we would attempt an exchange either during the October half term holiday (to avoid people’s main summer holidays) or during the next adult twinning weekend in May 2017, with children accompanying their families and having a separate programme of events.
In September, we had three families interested in taking part in an October exchange so planning emails were exchanged with Didier and Karine. The French group were also interested in taking part in an October exchange so we began to plan flights. However, one of the English families had to drop out for personal reasons, so the youth twinning organisers decided it wasn’t viable to go to France with so few children. As the French already had a viable group who could come, we decided to have the French here this year and that an English group will go to Villedômer in 2017.
So on Monday 24th October the first half of the French group arrived and the next day the others also arrived in Stapleford. We had two host families who had their own children, another host family who have grown-up children and two of the committee members hosted the French adults. Again, we had a distinct lack of families volunteering to host French children, so Jill Gardner had four of the French boys at her house.
It was a very enjoyable week which included a trip to London (with highlights being Camden Town and the M&M shop!), bowling, a two hour tennis coaching session at Shelford Tennis Club with ex-youth twinner, Sam Jacot: punting, swimming at Parkside Pools, a visit to King’s College and the inevitable trips round the English shops. Five Guys burgers and Nano Mexico were absolute favourite eating places and very different to anything in the Villedômer region. The final evening’s get-together was a bring-and-share supper at Jackie Bow’s house, with a friendly mix of ages and languages.
The young people were all impeccably behaved and there was much entente between the three English and the eight French teenagers. As usual they discovered joint interests as well as learning about each other’s lives and culture.
Looking to the future, it’s difficult to know whether we will find enough English families who might want to take part in a visit to France. It’s up to us now to decide whether to take the English teenagers with us during the adult visit in May, whether to try to organise a visit at another time during 2017 or whether the exchange is no longer viable due to lack of participants in the Stapleford area. Whilst it would be an incredible shame not to continue this long youth twinning tradition, it’s hugely difficult to create an interest when there isn’t one. With young people in England being able to give up French at age 14 now, there is less of a demand for them to participate in a twinning exchange, whereas all French teenagers study English up to age 16, resulting in continued demand to come here. Also, families are going away more often these days, leaving us fewer weeks in the year to do an exchange. Finally, there are many more school language trips than there used to be, further reducing the demand.
So we will see. We can be happy for now in the knowledge that the October exchange was a success! Thanks to everyone’s fantastic team work in hosting the French and assisting with food and activities. Special thanks go to the Jessops and the Milnes for hosting French teenagers and to the Davies and the Bows for hosting the adults.
Last, but not least, the youth twinning exchange has received two generous donations from Shelford Feast in return for hosting a ‘treasure map’ stall over the Shelford Feast weekend. These donations have been very much appreciated. They greatly contributed to the provision of activities during the recent twinning exchange and will help to support exchanges in the future.
(Note: the general feeling among those present was that the youngsters accompanying the adult visit in May next year is a good one.)
Generous thanks were expressed to Jill for all her hard work leading the team.
8. Election of new committee members
Tony Smith has been proposed by Tony Hore and seconded by Jackie Bow.
All current members would re-stand, apart from Colin Jefferson.
(Jim Foreman added that he did not wish to come back on the committee but would offer his help in any other ways that were deemed fit.)
April/May Visit: no flight from Stansted to Tours on Friday April 28th, but there is one to Poitiers, and the French are happy to collect from there. Current price is about £65. There si also a flight from stansted to tours on the Saturday morning. Coming back from Tours to Stansted on Monday 1st. Jackie would like confirmation of those who will go, and method of travel, soon: she will ask the membership too by email. If the youth came with us, we could maybe offer a contribution towards their flights.
Events to be organised for the coming year. led by:
January: progressive lunch/dinner? Jackie and Chris Bow
March: Jim and Kathleen Foreman
May: post-visit “jolly” and walk? Mary and Chris Cooper TBC
MC requested that the newsletter be reinstated so that those outside the committee can keep abreast of things: JB to ask Carol D
Kate J said how much she has enjoyed the contacts she has had in twinning so far, but noted that most of those present had been involved for a long time and wondered if we are managing to attract younger people too: and the answer is that we are not.
MC suggested that if Jill G could come to the youth club one Friday that might create some interest. Jill agreed.
● The Chairman should be notified in advance of the meeting of any item requiring a detailed response.
● Membership subscriptions due at or before the AGM:
£17.50 for one person per year
£30 for a family per year
Current members of the committee:
Jackie Bow (Chair), Louise Graham (Minutes Secretary), Tony Hore (Treasurer and Casino manager), Jill Gardner (Youth Co-ordinator), Carol Davies (Publicity), Anand Pillai (Membership Secretary), Patrick Thouroude (Youth Visit sub-committee), Colin Jefferson (Shelford Twinning Link: not standing for re-election)
NOMINATION FORM – ELECTION OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS
According to the constitution, the committee can consist of up to 12 members. A vote will be carried out during the evening, however, in the event of too few nominees elected to make up a maximum of 12, the nominated persons will be automatically elected. Nominations may be made at the AGM.
The following member of the Stapleford Twinning Association has agreed to be nominated for election to the committee.
Name of nominee…………………………………………………………………….
Please detach the form and return it to:
Jackie Bow, 3 Sternes Way, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5DA,
email Jackie.firstname.lastname@example.org ON OR BEFORE 22nd NOVEMBER 2016