General Meeting 2021

Outcome of the Vote By Members

2099 votes cast

88.4%  For

10.2% Against

1.4% Spoiled/Abstained

Includes all votes received up to 5pm, 12th March

Votes counted and verified by Knox Cropper LLP

Dear Members,

Thank you for taking part in such numbers. We are under no illusion that this will have been a difficult decision for many. We hope the vote is an indication of the continued support for the Embroiderers’ Guild and the associated independent stitch groups as we all navigate our way through to a sustainable future.

We will be meeting next week to consider the outcome of the vote prior to setting out a roadmap for the immediate future.

 - Trustees

Link to the General Meeting Video

810 members notified us of their intention to join the meeting. 982 actually attended. Over 4000 people accessed this website this morning and it went off-line but only for a few minutes. Please see the live link below and its associated passcode. To view the video of the meeting click on the button below and enter the passcode when asked. If you copy and paste the passcode please make sure you only highlight the code and none of  the space on either side.


Passcode: fs?Cq6&U


The trustees have received a number of supportive messages following the meeting. These are much appreciated.

"In a recent meeting we discovered that many of us had met or had contact with at least one Trustee in the past. We had seen how hard they work for the Guild, how they care for the future of the Guild. We feel some of the attitudes and opinions voiced by some members of the Guild are totally uncalled for, and we felt the Trustees we have met or had dealings with will look for the best for The Guild to take it forward into the changed future. We hope to be able to support you and work with the changed Guild in the coming months and years."

- Members of Airedale Branch

"I also would like to thank the trustees for all their hard work on our behalf, much of which is unseen.  I know that some of the trustees have taken holiday from their paid work to attend the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate each day to stand on the Embroiderers Guild Stand to meet and answer questions from members of the public."

- Ticia L

" I just wanted to thank you and your colleagues for all the hard work you have put in, over a long time now, to try to find a way for the Guild to continue. The meeting was good, but it became clear from some of the questions that quite a lot of people regarded the Guild as not much more than sewing groups with the occasional show or exhibition, disregarding, or not being aware of the charitable aims and purpose for which it was formed. I hope this has now become clear and they will still want to be members. When I joined in 1984 it seemed a privilege, but things were very different then, and most of life is very different now. even in non-Covid times.
So, thank you so much, to you and all the Trustees and Volunteers for your hard work and I wish you success in your plan to continue the Embroiderers Guild. Long may it flourish!" 
- Anne D

Trustee Penny Hill - Stitchery Stories with Susan Weeks

Susan Weeks chats with Penny Hill around the issues facing the Embroiderers Guild and the General Meeting to be held on 4th March 2021.

Susan and Penny discuss:

  • The role of the trustees
  • The origins and history of the guild
  • The crisis resulting from falling membership and closing branches
  • The drastic proposals to save the Guild & the collection
  • What will happen to the Branches going forward
  • Looking forward


"Thank you Penny for your interview with Stitchery Stories. This makes the Guilds position very clear. I hope everyone gets a chance to hear this before the meeting."

Ruth C


2019/20 have not yet been consolidated and finalised by the auditors.

Q & A

Alternative Solutions

Yes. They sought to minimise the branch closures. Minimising branch closures did not realise enough money and left a workload and associated costs that were not sustainable.

Banking and Finance

We are simply putting all expenditure on hold at a point in time – no funds have been moved out of any accounts. In order to clearly establish the overall current financial of the Guild we need to halt all expenditure at a given point in time as advised by the auditors. We appreciate that this is difficult. The timing of any sudden interruption of a normal process is bound to cause concern and some anger.

Branch Issues


The trustees currently look after the Collection with the help of Guild volunteers and Bucks County Museum conservation specialists. This will continue if the trustees’ proposals are implemented.

General Meeting

Yes. Ultimately, the trustees may be Guild member volunteers but, as trustees, they are accountable for taking the action necessary in the best interests of the charity.

The trustees want to present the situation to members, hear their views on their proposals and, hopefully, gain their support for what is a very difficult situation with no attractive solutions.

If the trustees feel that there is insufficient support they will have to consider that calling in a liquidator as the only other course of action.

Management of the Guild

Quite simply, across all sources of income, HO has experienced either significant or total losses of income in the last 5 years. It has responded with making c.£100,000 in savings to date and will be reducing its costs by a further £150,000 in the next 12 months. An addition, HO has had to invest in the future of the Guild. It also has to pay further costs which did not exist a few years ago (such as software licencing costs).

COVID 19 accelerated these declining factors. Over 1500 members did not renew their subscriptions in recent months. This is unprecedented in the history of the Guild and no one saw the pandemic coming.

Member Questions

Yes, the project for 2021/22 will be published in the near future. Look out for details on TIME.


The current regional structure does not work. It needs to be redesigned. This will happen later this year. We expect to be seeking volunteers to work together to provide regional events. We also be seeking volunteers to form the Council and continue its work, in particular, providing feedback and ideas to enhance the experience of members in the regions.


Experience includes Chairing Oxford branch three times, also Secretary and Programme Secretary. Amanda served as Regional Secretary on two occasions. Amanda has also taken responsibility for the recent Guild projects (Capability Brown, Page 17, 100 Hearts and Home).

Voting Outcomes

The trustees have already considered all the possible options other than put the Guild into the hands of a liquidator. In the event of the resolution being voted down the trustees would have to assess again what is in the best interests of the charity and its primary beneficiary… stitch and textile art. This may be to proceed with the solution put to the members albeit with the support of a minority of the members who voted. They would also further consider the pros and cons of calling in a liquidator.


Any future groups for young people would be the entire responsibility of the host independent stitch group.

Do you have a question that is not listed above?

If you have a question that has not been answered in the Q&A above you can contact Head Office and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

When we receive additional questions we will update the Q & A accordingly.