2021 Annual General Meeting held on 2nd December at 19:00. This meeting was held via Zoom due to the Covid pandemic lockdowns.
Philippe Bonnet (Chair), Jamie Bridge, Nigel Brunsdon, Louise Evans, Peter Furlong, Tim-Jake Gluckman, Vanessa Hanson, Shoba Ram, Grenville Seager, Monique Tomlinson, Helen Wilks, Nick Wilson, Thomas Wright
Welcome and Roll Call:
Philippe Bonnet (Chair) welcomed the participants and outlined the agenda for the meeting.
Approval of the minutes of the last AGM (7th December 2020):
The 2020 AGM Minutes were approved. Several of the actions or points raised in December 2020 will be discussed in today’s meeting, and others (mystery shopper, online training) have not progressed due to a lack of capacity. But Jamie Bridge summarised some of the other follow-ups:
Presentation of the NNEF accounts and finances
Helen Wilks (Treasurer) presented a summary of the NNEF accounts. In the past 12 months, there has been no income received and just one payment made – for the new website. The account balance is currently £2,003.77 – meaning that the reserves have been reduced gradually over the last few years. Although not a problem in the short-term, it remains a modest reserve (sufficient to fully-fund one annual meeting) while we have not held a physical event since 2019. In terms of planning an event in 2022, it was agreed to revisit the situation and appetite after the winter – around March / April next year. There are other events being planned (DDN / HIT) which could be useful too. There was also a proposal to approach sponsors for the NNEF website in order to cover the ongoing hosting and maintenance costs in the absence of other income.
Action: Nigel Brunsdon to draft short proposal for this website sponsorship.
Election of NNEF Officers: Chair(s) / Deputy Chair(s) / Treasurer(s)
All four serving officers expressed an interest to continue in their roles, to which there was no objection raised. At the same time, the door remains open for new volunteers and fresh perspectives. Tim-Jake Gluckman expressed a desire to fulfil a new, non-executive role such as ‘creative officer’ – it was suggested that this should be considered based on the work and tasks to be completed. For each group in which NNEF is represented (such as the PHE Network), we already assign a Planning Group member to be the focal point. Release coordinates a group related to drug markets intelligence, which NNEF could ask to be part of.
Action: Tim-Jake Gluckman to draft short proposal for a new position that can be created.
Selection of the NNEF Planning Group
There are currently 20 names listed on https://nnef.org.uk/planning-group/ as being part of the Planning Group, yet only 14 people are on the new NNEF Planning Group e-list. An invitation was extended to everyone else on the call to join the Group. Capacity and commitment remains a major challenge for the NNEF.
Action: Jamie Bridge to check who is missing from the e-list.
Action: Philippe Bonnet to contact all Planning Group members to ensure they want to continue.
Discussion on NNEF activities and priorities
NNEF has been invited by the Faculty of Public Health to co-sign a new letter calling for supervised overdose prevention centres to be adopted in the UK, and it was agreed to do this.
Action: Philippe Bonnet to confirm our signatory to the letter.
Re: data collection on the number needle and syringe programmes in England, this remains a current gap in the knowledge base. The Planning Group discussed this in August, and one suggestion was to contact the major suppliers for anonymised customer data by postcode. However, subsequent discussions have shown that this would not work – especially as some suppliers have personal customers in their databases as well as programmes. Given that the need for these data remains imperative, the new suggestion is to approach sponsors with a proposal to properly fund the necessary desk research – triangulating data from local authority websites, the major service providers, etc. The possibility of formal Freedom of Information requests was also highlighted, and can be built into the plans as a first step. The data collection would only need to cover England (as per the NNEF’s mandate), as such data already exist in Scotland, Wales and NI.
Action: Jamie Bridge to develop a proposal for discussion, before sharing with potential sponsors and other interested parties (PHE etc).
Any other business from NNEF members
None were raised.
Meeting closed at 20:15.