Best attended Branch AGM and Lunch ever
Welcoming Chris James, MNDA Director of External Affairs and 44 others, Dave Vale, gave his report for the past year as acting branch chairman. He reiterated the branch priority of commitment to providing support and care for people with MND and their families in Oxfordshire. Family and Friends support meetings are well established in Abingdon and Banbury and provide a friendly and informative forum for meeting others with experience of MND. Contact is maintained between meetings by four valuable trained Association Visitors (2 newly trained this year) and the branch contact who deals with all kinds of enquires. Our loyal volunteers are much appreciated at all our meetings and events and we have welcomed two new ones this year, Russ Spivey to the committee and Dory Rutherford as a support group volunteer. Supporters and donors make a huge contribution to the branch activities which included another successful fundraising Branch Walk in spite of dreadful weather. Considerable sponsorship efforts increased the amount raised to £5,361 this year. This means that the branch can provide various grants to help with the increased costs and effects often experienced by those living with MND. In addition the branch’s meetings and support activities are made possible.
Treasurer, Mike Beaumont noted an increase in income this year which funded £9,180 on care and support and transfers to national office of £10,404 which contributes to research, care, support and campaigning. Donations of all kinds with gift aid, where possible, and tribute funds were always much appreciated. The branch’s fundraising activities accounted for 46% of income during the past year.
Dave and Mike Beaumont who will be leaving the committee were thanked by Lesley, branch secretary for their valuable contributions over the years and she encouraged people to join the Association which provides such a powerful voice for those with MND.
After a splendid lunch Chris James gave a talk about the teams he directs which includes the Policy and Campaigning team who help to promote the perception of MND and decision making with health and social care organisations and professionals, politicians and the public in general. It has had considerable impact in influencing government through the All Party Parliamentary Group on MND and Parliamentary receptions. They organise local campaigns too as decisions increasingly become based at a local level. 86 councils have now signed up to the MND Charter. It helps to mobilise the 3,000 people who write to their MPs as part of the Campaign network which he urged us to join.
The Communications team deal with media enquiries and media stories around people with MND and related issues. The VIP and special events team build relationships with those that can help such as Jeremy Vine and other celebrities and organisations. Other special events are held such as those that involve our hard working, royal patron, Princess Anne. The Conference team work with the research team to organise the international MND symposium as well as various conferences for MND members. Projects and Publications have a team too while the Digital team are currently launching the new website and manage the powerful voice the MNDA has on social media. Many of those listening to Chris’s talk learned much they were unaware of in this aspect of the Association. He concluded by speaking about marking the 40th anniversary this year of the date it was founded. On an optimistic note he said that there are 87 branches now and research into this complex disease is progressing more positively than ever before. “We all work together to make a difference” were his final words.
and after the AGM…
Many thanks to these people who are willing to fill the roles needed to run our successful branch .They are very welcome and a great asset to our volunteer team.
New Branch Chairman Russ Spivey
Many thanks to these people who are willing to fill the roles needed to run our successful branch .They are very welcome and a great asset to our volunteer team. New Branch Chairman Russ Spivey Voluntary fundraising through doing what I love – sports, running, obstacle courses, FUN group activities and events – was already central to my life when, in 2014, my good friend of 38 years was diagnosed with MND. From that point on my efforts became focused on helping people affected by MND and raising money for the MNDA. I have had previous experience of chairing a committee through my 12 years on the board of governors at my children’s secondary school; and my role as a manufacturing engineer for Rolls Royce Aerospace involves much work around harnessing the power of teams. I am honoured to serve as Chair on the Oxfordshire Branch of the MNDA, and.I look forward to bringing my experience, enthusiasm and passion for this cause to work alongside this dedicated inspiring team.
New Branch Treasurer
New Branch treasurer Roger Payne is a retired electronics engineer who has volunteered to be treasurer of the Oxford Branch as a thank you for the help given by the Association to his late wife. A voluntary treasurer of a UK registered charity dedicated to peace-making Roger has also been involved in a local community centre and had an interest in youth development. Badminton is his main sporting activity and is now beginning to enjoy gardening.
Association Visitor Jackie Reeves, retired speech and language therapist has returned to this role in the branch after a number of years to share her valuable knowledge and experience again to support people with MND. A keen walker herself, she began the successful branch walks in 2008 as a former committee member.