SAIF AGM “moving, educational and inspiring”

words: Claire Day, SAIF

The SAIF 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Banquet Weekend at the Five Lakes Hotel, Colchester, started with the Friday Associates and Past Presidents and Officers Lunch, where some 75 guests were welcomed by President Alun Tucker and his partner Cathy Scott.

The afternoon speakers were former footballer Clarke Carlisle along with his wife, Carrie, who spoke about his illness and her experiences. It was very emotional and inspirational. More information about Clarke, dual diagnosis and his Foundation for Dual Diagnosis can be found here.

This was followed by a presentation from Angela Kidd, who introduced herself as the new DWP Social Fund Policy Lead and provided further insight into funeral expense payments.

Friday evening was ‘dinner at your own leisure’ where those who were staying could catch up with colleagues, friends or utilise the facilities of Five Lakes. There was also a drinks reception for the SAIF Executive Committee and SAIFCharter Executive Committee.

Annual General Meeting

Saturday was the working side of the weekend, with more than 150 members attending the AGM.

It began with an introduction from the Chief Executive Terry Tennens, with National President Alun Tucker welcoming the guests. Incoming President Jim Auld then offered a minute’s silence in memory of all those who had passed during the year.

Alun Tucker gave an overview of his chosen charity Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), with approximately £135,000 raised so far for Team Eva, and thanked SAIF members for their contribution. There was also the mention of the new Scottish Cremation Form Regulations.

Terry Tennens provided further information regarding the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) statement that was emailed to members on 28 March. He also made a statement about the ‘freedom charter’ emails that had recently been circulated regarding the SAIFCharter constitution review, and expressly made it clear that the SAIF Executive Committee disassociated itself from these emails, which were not authorised by the SAIF Business Centre, neither was the use of the logo and accompanying documents.

The accounts for the year end 31 December 2018 were also proposed and seconded and formally adopted.

As most of the reports were included in the AGM booklet that was sent out to members with the notice and election form, there were no additional presentations for the following:

  • Quality Assurance
  • IFC College
  • Standards
  • SAIFSupport/SAIF Care
  • SAIFInsure
  • Membershiptandards

Mark Binnersley introduced the new SAIF microsite which is designed as a portal for the public and provides key information and signposting on the different areas of arranging a funeral for the consumer.

Paul Allcock provided some additional information to his Government report reminding members that from 1 April, there will be new medical examiners, but this was being launched in hospitals in England and Wales on a sporadic basis, with some hospitals not deploying medical examiners until a later phase, therefore members need to be aware of what protocols are applied in their region.

There was a brief video from Ross Hickton regarding NextGen, with the meeting of the NextGen group scheduled for the afternoon.

Mark Woollard and Richard Edwards both stood down from their roles as SAIF National Executive Committee Members, with Jo Parker becoming the 2nd Vice President. Elected to the National Executive Committee was David Gresty, Liam Roberts and Paul Sillett, which was verified by the SAIF Treasurer, John Helps.

Jim Auld, Incoming President, gave his welcoming speech advising that his chosen charity during his year in office will be Breast Cancer Care UK.

The meeting came to an end with all the Fellows accompanying Jeremy West on the stage while he presented Richard Edwards with a Fellows medal for his 25 years’ dedication to the independent funeral profession.

The meeting formally closed at 10.35am and following the AGM there was the SAIFCharter Forum and its EGM.

The afternoon was then kept free to those wishing to explore the surrounding areas of Colchester and Maldon or to utilise the Five Lake Hotel’s facilities.

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