The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of The British Polio Fellowship took place recently in Glasgow, with the largest city in Scotland the perfect location for sharing experiences on living with Polio and Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) and the charity’s ambitious plans for its 75th Anniversary celebrations in 2014. The Fellowship AGM moves around the UK each year to allow the maximum number of regional members the opportunity to attend an AGM near them and the Scottish branch of the Fellowship did not disappoint, with a substantial number of members making the effort to take part.
The British Polio Fellowship AGM ran alongside an event to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Scottish Region including the holding of an Information Day to promote the work of the British Polio Fellowship Scottish Region.
“This AGM was great and as expected, our Scottish members did us proud,” said The British Polio Fellowship CEO, Ted Hill MBE. “We had a warm Scottish welcome and the attendance at this AGM was one of the best ever, as a record number of people came to hear us outline the charity’s vision for the next five years.”
A full agenda of events saw the charity’s Chief Executive and Treasurer outline the charity’s strategic approach to business over the last twelve months and how the Fellowship is continuing to support its members and those with Polio and PPS in increasingly choppy financial waters for the voluntary sector as a whole.
A number of keynote speakers delivered powerful statements, including Professor Gareth Williams outlining the history of Polio taken from his book, Paralysed with Fear (all delivered without notes!); while the Barbara Wood Citizenship Award was presented to Jean & Graham Cox for making a significant contribution to the wellbeing of those with Polio.
The Chairman’s keynote address was a highlight for many members. Ted Hill pointed out to the meeting that while 2012 had been very much a year of consolidation, this was necessary to lay the groundwork for a significant campaign in 2013 to mark the charity’s 75th Anniversary.
“There is no doubt we have made headway in achieving our aims,” added Ted. “With a five year plan and a new team committed to implementing it, we have the resources in place to deliver the best possible support not just for our members, but for all those people out there struggling with Polio and PPS. In many ways, these are forgotten conditions, but we are going to change this.”
The five year plan includes developing further links with the medical profession, raising the charity’s profile with the public, modernising communications and developing new fundraising streams to offer greater levels of support to members. With the launch of a new website, enhanced social media communication and new public relations team in place, the process has already begun, with a blaze of activity due to centre around the 75th Anniversary in 2014.
The charity secured many new celebrity supporters in 2012 and with their help, plans are on the drawing board for road shows and other exciting events, with several sporting partnerships waiting in the wings.
“Until Polio is eradicated worldwide our tasks are far from complete,” warned Ted. “For a condition stamped out in the UK, our 200 new members in 2012 and an overall membership of over 7,500 people would suggest it is far from the end of the story.”
The British Polio Fellowship is a charity dedicated to helping, supporting and empowering those in the UK living with the effects of Polio and PPS. It provides information, advocacy, welfare and support to enable its members to live full independent and integrated lives and works to develop worldwide alliances with other Polio and Post Polio groups for the mutual benefit of its members.
For more details on Fellowship, please contact The British Polio Fellowship on 0800 043 1935, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the new website at www.britishpolio.org.uk