Chairman’s report to the AGM

Held on 5th October 2011 at Challenge House, Bletchley

At the time of writing this report we are heading towards the end of another year of fundraising in and around Milton Keynes and a time to reflect on our achievements for the RNLI.

As a fundraising branch we were re-formed in May of 2010 to fill a void left by the previous committee. We had our inaugural meeting 26 th May at Eversholt Village Hall and since then we have almost always met at Challenge House in Bletchley courtesy of Mike McMahon our branch Secretary, not just free of charge but including some very welcome refreshments, so I extend my warm thanks to both Sarah and Mike for looking after us.

Now down to the reason we all do this thing called fundraising for the RNLI.

There have been many challenges over the past 17 months that through the dedication, time and resourcefulness of the committee and volunteers, supported by HQ East, we have managed to organise and raise an outstanding amount of funds. Our Treasurer Anne Parris will brief us all later this evening as to the current years’ results, but suffice to say we over achieved our agreed target for 2011, due largely to a superb effort by Alice and Pancho at  this year’s MK Beach event.

Over the last 17 months we have learned what works best for our branch in terms of collecting funds and as a result, what types of events or collections are likely to yield the best return on our time invested.

We have become a lot more organised, supplied with RNLI Merchandise and we are recognised, accepted and indeed welcomed by several local event organisers and a variety of premises where our collecting boxes are placed. In simple terms we have achieved a local status that, assuming we continue to nurture it will pay us dividends in future and ensure the RNLI benefits and continues to save lives at sea.

With further regard to the future and the prospects for our branch, the RNLI is currently undergoing some organisational change. The below is a response I received recently direct from East HQ: The RNLI (like most other charities) are looking at ways to make them more competitive and efficient in the current climate and most of the changes relate to internal working between RNLI departments to ensure better service for our volunteers.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that every change that the RNLI makes to its community fundraising service is designed and focused in improving the quality and efficiency of service to our fundraising branches and volunteer fundraisers. Any changes or improvements that the RNLI propose to make to the support that branches receive has been guided and influenced by feedback from our volunteer road shows and other consultation sessions with Branch and Guild members.

More information will be communicated at the roadshows so I would encourage you to attend to learn more about proposed changes. If you cannot make the roadshows do let me know and I will be sure to keep you and the branch up to date once the proposal has been finalised.

Mike McMahon will advise you further about changes that we can make to improve our operations at branch level.

Finally, actions like increasing our current volunteer headcount and associations with other likeminded organisations, such as the Navy Training Corps, I envisage, will further grow our overall branch effectiveness and our collected funds.

Could I finish by thanking my team i.e. my fellow officers and committee who have all worked so hard during the year, and indeed thanks to all members and volunteers who have helped and supported our branch.

Best wishes,

Kevin Faulkner
Chairman – RNLI Milton Keynes

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