1st Hassocks Scout Group
Present: Alec Gaskin (District Representative), Janet Slaughter (District Representative), various leaders, Young People from the group, parents and carers (approx. 60 in total).
Apologies: Holly Pattenden – District, Vernon Cowdell – District, Brian Spencer – AGSL, Michell Binks, Debbie Dillon, Philip Richardson (all Hassocks Executive Members)
Welcome and apologies
The Chair welcomed all to the meeting and outlined the agenda for the evening. The Chair also listed apologies received, noted above.
Minutes from the last AGM (5 June 2018)
Proposed Bill Whitehead, Seconded Miranda Pocock – Agreed
Chair’s Report (Michael Buss)
The Chair reported another successful Scouting year for all sections and gave particular thanks to all volunteers – uniformed leaders, assistants and helpers – who gave so much over the last year making the point that without their support, the Group would not be as successful. Bill Whitehead, Group Scout Leader (GSL), was also congratulated on his team and the varied Scouting programme that they offer all sections. The Chair also gave personal thanks to Brian Spencer, who as Asst GSL, Quartermaster and HQ maintenance manager, kept the Group’s assets in first class order and other committee members who worked ‘in the background’ to keep the Group running.
Although the Fundraising Committee has been disbanded, the Group will continue its activities of the Christmas postal service, bag packing at Budgens and other section ideas to raise some funds.
The Chair also made the meeting aware that this Group is one of the largest in the District, with currently over 150 young people Scouting in Hassocks and a waiting list that reaches until June 2025 as some names are added days after birth. This popularity reflects the quality of Scouting in Hassocks which comes from a quality leadership team. New Leaders and helpers are always being sought however, for satisfying and fun roles.
An update on the cladding situation from the HQ building was given, stating that a contractor was appointed in early September and so the works will be actioned late October/early November (Autumn Half-term plus a week). The cladding would help to protect the building against inclement weather, but also make it more energy efficient and so reduce running costs. Once completed, this would only leave the interior decoration of the HQ building to be completed.
Treasurer’s Report (Beverley Whitehead)
The Group bank balance is in a healthy state, at approx. £35,000, including a surplus of £6,000 from the last financial year and the reserve that is legally required to be kept, for one year’s running costs, of £12,000.
Beverley pointed out that a reserve 0f £13,000 has been set aside from this amount for the Cladding Project
As there is no Fundraising Committee now, each section will do its own fundraising and manage its own account from activities ie:
Cubs – Christmas Card deliveries
Scouts – sponsored events
Hall hire income – this has decreased due to a regular tenant giving up their weekly contract and it was reiterated that we all needed to use the hall more and advertise that it was available for use.
Gift Aid – all were reminded that this is a very important income stream, which did not cost the signatory anything additional to their contribution and should be signed up for regarding parental subscription payments and it is a personal responsibility to action. 80% of parents from Group young people have signed up for it, but it is the GSL’s ambition that this is 100% so that a maximum claim could be requested from HMRC.
GSL report (Bill Whitehead)
Bill also thanked the leaders, young leaders and others who volunteered and supported the Section, reminding the attendees that Jane, Gavin and Jenny have left this year, but Adam and Dan have come on board and Teri has re-joined the group of helpers. But more are always required.
Bill re-iterated how important is was for parents to be involved either in uniform, with training given for the roles or on the Executive Committee, acting as a critical friend to the Committee or as a fundraiser for the Group.
OSM (on-line Scout Manager) – this is the default tool now for the Group and it is used for communicating programmes, keeping records and collecting subs, but it needs to be kept up to date with current contact information. All parents were asked to check that information on OSM was correct.
Bill Whitehead gave reports for:
Lisa Sendall, Scout Leader Pathfinders, gave the report for the Scouts (see attached)
Election of officers and other Executive members
Chair – Michael Buss nominated, seconded and agreed
Treasurer – Beverley Whitehead nominated, seconded and agreed
Secretary – Jeanne Brooker nominated, seconded and agreed
Leaders opting into Executive – Paul Twaites and Holly Pattenden, agreed
Parent Reps and other volunteers – Miranda Pocock, Debbie Dillon, Philip Richardson, Tony Chaitlow and Michelle Binks, agreed
AOB and questions
There was an earnest plea from Miranda Pocock for more current Group young people’s parents to volunteer either regularly at the weekly sessions or by being on the Executive. She pointed out that a number of those on the Committee didn’t even have young people still in the Group at all. This comment was noted.
Gift Aid – clarification given to how to sign up for this.
District Representative (Alec Gaskin, VP of District)
Alec gave a short encouraging speech of his observation of the Hassocks Group and how well it was doing and wished the Group even more success in the future.
Presentation – GSL award
Scout of the Year was won by Sam Barclay
Everyone was thanked again for attending by the Chair and the meeting closed at 19.30