2008 Annual General Meeting held in Derby on 4th April following the NNEF All Day Meeting.
Helen welcomed everybody to the meeting and attendees introduced themselves. There was a mix of Planning Group members and new members.
- The NNEF Account
Chris Hooker (Director of Finance and Resources at DrugScope) is the current NNEF treasurer and manages the account that the NNEF holds with Lloyds Bank. However, Chris is standing down from this role due to other commitments at DrugScope. It was agreed that the NNEF should appoint a new treasurer from within the Planning Group. It was also agreed that the NNEF would maintain an independent account (which is used predominantly for the annual meetings). It was suggested that Helen, the new treasurer, and the secretariat at DrugScope should all be signatories on the account.
ACTION: Helen to change the address and signatories on the NNEF account to reflect the current situation.
- Nominations and Elections
It was agreed to have a team of four Chairs and Deputy Chairs in order to reflect the division of labour within the NNEF. The following individuals were voted into the following NNEF positions:
Attendees were presented with the latest financial information (attached), courtesy of the treasurer, Chris Hooker. There is very little account activity in between NNEF meetings, and the figures do not reflect the income and outgoings from today’s meeting.
- NNEF Secretariat
Currently, DrugScope provides secretarial support for the NNEF – a role that was previously performed by Petra Maxwell, who has now left the organisation. Unfortunately, since Petra left, the amount of time that DrugScope have been able to spend on these secretarial duties has been limited due to significant structural changes and other demands.
Recently, DrugScope have recruited a Membership Development Officer – Carlita McKnight – who will be line managed by Martin Barnes (Chief Executive at DrugScope), and is due to start this month. Carlita will undertake the following secretarial tasks for the NNEF:
- Updating and maintaining the NNEF membership database (including an initial ‘clean’ of the database and the additional new members from today’s meeting)
- Being the primary point of contact for enquiries about the NNEF (including membership)
- Writing minutes for Planning Group meetings (where necessary) and the AGM
- Distributing and co-ordinating invitations and registrations for NNEF meetings
ACTION: Helen and Pauline will write to DrugScope on behalf of the NNEF to thank them – and especially Chris Hooker – for their continued support and assistance. It was noted that, without the support of DrugScope, the NNEF would have ceased to function.
- Planning Group
In addition to the elected positions (above), there is also need for a small, non-elected Planning Group to support the NNEF. The roles of this group are outlined in the attached document. In October, Helen contacted the existing Planning Group through the closed Yahoo Group to try and establish who the active Planning Group members were.
ACTION: Helen to contact existing Planning Group members again to establish those who can play an active role, and to add those who have expressed an interest in becoming Planning Group members.
The following individuals have expressed interest in remaining on, or joining the planning group:
Martin Chandler*, Susan Waldron*, Terry Shields*, Andrew Preston*, Vicky Fenwick* Alison Hughes, Jim Kearne, Raychel Peters, Richard Humphrey, Cat Dare, Lidia Woods
* = existing planning group member
NB This list is not inclusive of elected officers, who are listed separately in item 3 of these minutes.
- Service User Involvement
Although there has always been service user representation at the NNEF events – and the NNEF remains a practitioner-focused forum – there is a need to encourage more service users to attend the meetings and engage with the NNEF. This is not reflected in the NNEF Terms of Reference. Such engagement could be enabled by promoting the NNEF meetings better among service users (such as using the Alliance discussion group), and providing support for travel where possible and necessary.
ACTION: NNEF to incorporate the following line into the Terms of Reference:
The NNEF is also committed to engaging with those who use needle exchange services – through encouraging and supporting (where possible) their participation in meetings and discussions, and through partnerships with service user groups.
- Next Meeting
In the Terms of Reference, the NNEF are committed to two meetings each year. It was suggested that this could be achieved by holding one free, all-day meeting (like the one today) each spring, and then a fringe meeting in the autumn during the National Conference on Injecting Drug Use (NCIDU). It was emphasised that NNEF meetings must remain complementary to – and not in competition with – existing conferences. This could be achieved by ensuring that the NNEF events remain as one-day meetings rather than conferences per se – which will provide the added value of increased accessibility. Therefore, the next NNEF meeting will be a fringe meeting at the 2008 NCIDU (in London in October).
ACTION: Planning Group to start organising the next NNEF meeting in the summer.
For spring 2009, Martin Chandler has explored the possibility of hosting an all-day meeting at Liverpool John Moore University. Potentially, the venue and catering costs would be covered by the University, as well as accommodation for those who need to come up the night before.
ACTION: Martin to explore this further and seek a date in the University’s Easter break but, ideally, not in the Easter school holidays.
- Any Other Business
Helen thanked the attendees for staying on for the AGM.
You can download a copy of these minutes in Microsoft Word format.