On Friday 15th September we held our 46th Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Stockport Baptist Church. This was a great success and some have even hailed it as our ‘best AGM yet’.
Prior to the formal business of the AGM we had a number of presentations. Collin McCabe (General Manager) explained that “Quite often people who access our services or people, organisations and community groups we work with only see a small aspect of what we do.
We decided to explain and display all the fantastic work that Stockport and District Mind carry out so people can see how we endeavour to make a positive difference to individuals, community groups and organisations within Stockport. This comes in addition to the influence we have on larger communities across the borough of Manchester and beyond.”
Three people who receive support from our Carers Support Service and one person supported by our Link Worker service (Stockport Mental Health Alliance) gave emotive and heartfelt testimonies of the support they have received from us, leaving many of us in tears.
One of our volunteers also explained how she became a volunteer, and how rewarding volunteering has been for her.
Two staff members spoke about their roles within the organisation, including their motivation for joining the team and describing their current responsibilities.
We give huge thanks and congratulations to everyone who stood up in front of the audience to explain how our charity has made such a positive difference in their lives.
Some videos/written transcripts will be available from the speakers soon, watch this space!
One of the main messages from these speeches was that we’re more than just a service – we’re empowering people to connect with their community, to find peer support from each other, and we play a significant role in Stockport in this regard.
The other main message was how our approach is very focused on the whole individual. We ‘get to know people’, in order to look at all aspects of how they want to and can improve their lives. The fact that there is no time constraint on this means that the people accessing the service are not under any pressure and the support evolves around the person – a true person-centred response.
Discussions followed and attendees were invited to approach staff at the display boards which showcased some of the services/projects/groups we offer.
The AGM started at 12.15pm. As well as the minutes from the 2016 AGM being approved, our accountants being reappointed and a new trustee being confirmed, our Chairperson Shirley Williams gave an overview of the 2016/17 year.
She explained that we’ve steadily built on our stabilisation from last year. We achieved our priority of returning to a 5 day service, we’ve now self-funded a Community Advocate position, and extended our work supporting carers of people with mental health difficulties in Stockport.
We’ve also delivered more mental health awareness training to local organisations, improved staff conditions at our Dove House office, and achieved the National Mind Quality Mark.
We’ve continued our work with the University of Manchester around research, increased our social media presence, and improved communications.
Shirley stressed that the volunteers we have are wonderful and without them we wouldn’t exist as an organisation.
Students and trainees are also a great asset as they bring diversity and new ideas to support our aim to be an organisation that learns from others.
We’re continuing to work with partners such as Stockport Progress and Recovery Centre (SPARC), Pennine Care NHS Trust, The Prevention Alliance (TPA), the Wellbeing and Independence Network (WIN), other Local Minds, National Mind and many more.
General Manager Collin McCabe said a few words on the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) funded consultation with young people to hear their ideas on how those with mental health difficulties could be supported. This project was delivered in partnership with children and family-focused local partner organisations Kids and SAVY. We wait to hear about next steps following the collation of feedback on the consultation.
John Kendrick, Treasurer, presented our financial accounts for 2016/17 and also displayed a slide showing how our organisation has lost contracted funding over the past 5 years. We remain a financially well-managed organisation and we have improved our reserves, and have ambitions to continue to improve and extend what we do – we’re just not too sure where the money is going to come from!
In closing, Shirley expressed optimism for the future of Stockport Mind, in spite of the high risk funding issues. She explained that a lot of listening and attending meetings about Greater Manchester Health and Social Care developments are going on and was hopeful that we can, in partnership with the other Greater Manchester Minds, be part of funded service developments.
She thanked her fellow trustees for their expertise and support, in addition to everyone else already mentioned, before thanking all for coming to the meeting.
The AGM was followed by a buffet lunch, expertly organised and prepared by our great staff and volunteer team. The goodies included 50 exquisite cupcakes baked by the daughter of one of our trustees (again) so thanks to her.
Bet you wish you’d come now – see you next year!