General Meeting Onwards
Votes cast 2099 – 88.4% For; 10.2 AGAINST; 1.4% SPOILED/ABSTAINED
The meeting took place on 4th March 2021. Voting closed at 5pm on 12th March 2021. Since then, we have been working hard in the background, taking the initial steps towards restructuring the Guild to create an organisation that has the best chance of success in the future.
Many feared that the majority of branches would be lost. Experience suggests just the opposite. It is early days but the indications are that the majority of branches will continue as Independent Stitch Groups (ISGs); reasons to be confident that the all-important communities, so highly valued by members, will continue and flourish.
It was always our intention to support ISGs in whatever ways we could, primarily through our forthcoming groups community hub to be built into the new Guild website due to be launched in the next three months. However, in addition, we have invited ISGs to become affiliated to the Guild.
- Are welcome to take up this offer without charge. The scheme will run for 12-months to enable all parties to assess its value before renewing affiliations in 2022.
- Can take advantage of the insurance policies negotiated on their behalf for an initial 12-month period starting 1st May 2021.
- The Standard policy is based on the previous Guild branch insurance but, to keep premiums as low as possible, exhibitions and residential events will attract a separate premium that can be built into the costings for these projects. Affiliated ISG’s will not be asked to pay the Standard premium for 2021/22. The premium for exhibitions is £30.00 per event; for residential events the premium is £40.00.
- Can book Guild Folios for one month without charge. The Guild will pay for the delivery of the folio, but the group will be expected to cover the cost of its return. Failure to return a folio by the agreed date may attract a late fee. Non-affiliated stitch groups will be asked to pay £30.00 per month for each booking plus the return postage/courier cost.
- Can take part in the group-benefit subscriptions scheme for Stitch Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Will have their own group promotional and gallery space on the new Guild website
- Will be welcome to take advantage of help and advice available from the Guild in relation to the on-line presence and marketing of participating ISGs.
Decisions to become an ISG
- We are aware of the time it is taking some branches to reach a decision on becoming an ISG and/or being able to open a bank account. We had originally requested that, if at all possible, branches could advise us of their decision by end April. This may not have been possible but we do ask branches to give us an indication of their intentions (if not confirmed decisions). A position of ‘don’t know yet’ is acceptable, but we need to be aware you are still engaged in discussions. Please let us know your intentions by completing the ‘Becoming an ISG form’ and emailing this back to email@example.com by the 21st of May.
- If you have not yet been able to open a bank account, let us know that you are working to do so.
Grants to ISG’s…
- As the guild agreed to cover speaker, tutor and branch expenses it was not going to be possible to calculate the grant amount until mid-May at the earliest. There has been an unexpected high level of claims from branches and overall the sum of money involved is much higher than anticipated. We are dealing with all claims as quickly as we can.
The Guild is continuing to sponsor and support Regional activities, and – to that end – are currently undertaking a review of the existing Regions. This Review is being led by current Regional Officers and is considering a number of issues:
- The size and number of Regions
- Structures of and requirements for Regional committees
- Public facing activities (including fundraising for the Guild)
- Provision of support to and co-ordination between Affiliated ISGs
- Potential for support to Young Embroiderers
- Opportunities to co-ordinate Regional events and activities
- Revision of ‘Council’ arrangements
Other Work in Progress
- Recruitment of additional Trustees to the Board
- Recruitment of volunteers
- Development of the new website and underlying administration systems
- Documenting and processing new additions to the Collection
- Working with Bucks County to identify ways of increasing access to the Collection post-lock down
- Commissioning the digitisation of ‘Embroidery’ and making it available to members
- Providing support to Guild Graduates and Scholars
- Creating new e-books for members (Members’ Challenge 20/21, and ‘Thank you NHS’ are on their way.
- Adding content to ThreadIT
- Processing branch claims, clarifying financial reserves, and setting future budgets