Minutes of the Steering Committee on 8 December 2010







Present:                      Jason Chaffer - Chairman


Jan Carter, Lindsey Clay, Lynn Garrad, Tom Heasman, David McCausland, Benet Northcote, Antonia Packard, Tessa Packard, Simon Turner, James Williams, Tim Young


Apologies:                  Andrew Cowen, Stephen Day, Noomane Fehri, Duncan Gibson, Tom Heasman,  Max Kirby, Kate Kynvin, Anish Patel, Daniela Barone Soares, Emma Watson-Mack, Jeremy Wilson


1.       Welcome


Jason Chaffer opened the meeting by extending a warm welcome to new committee member, Tom Heasman, and thanking him for all the hard work he had been putting into contacting Fellows and updating the Fellowship database.


2.       Minutes


The Minutes of the meeting held on 8th September 2010 had previously been circulated and it was agreed that they should be signed by the Chairman.


3.         Business Plan for 2010 and Draft Business Plan for 2011:


Jason Chaffer requested input into the business plan from committee members and asked to be advised if there were any omissions. It was agreed that the report highlighted the considerable amount of work undertaken over the past year. Tessa Packard commented that the Careers Development Evening really stood out as a memorable event and suggested that more should be held next year.


Tim Young reported that it had been a particularly successful year in terms of engaging younger Fellows and it was agreed that this would be included in the Record of Activity. It was also agreed that a 'snapshot of the year' would be extracted from the plan and put on the website for Fellows' information.  


4.         Communications Team


Fellowship Review: Tim Young reported that Mrs. Fox, Chairman of the Foundation, had written a welcome for the publication. In addition: the following would be included:

  • Jason Chaffer; foreword
  • Mark Davies, Rank Trustee; a tribute to Mr Fred Packard
  • Alexa Garner; Prior Park Charities evening
  • Profiles of school leadership award holders and a piece on CAP placements
  • Steve Cheal; work of the Rank Youth team
  • Caroline Broadhurst: Community Care
  • David Sanderson; special projects and prisons work.


Tim Young asked anyone else who was interested in contributing an article to let him know and Jason Chaffer would welcome suggestions for his foreword. The Review goes to all 1300 Fellows and the heads of all schools involved in the award scheme.


It was suggested that Geoffrey Pelham-Lane might contribute something about his experience of sponsoring people into work placements, and the career ladder.  Alternatively, Ed Berry could write about gaining work experience and then a permanent job through the Fellowship.


Telephone contact with Fellows and follow-up to 18th November party: David McCausland thanked Tom Heasman for all his work in contacting Fellows to update the database. Tom Heasman reported that as well as updating contact details, he also reminded people of the invitation to the Charities Evening at Prior Park College. It was an effective way of getting people there and received very positive feedback.


From his conversations with Fellows, Tom noted that most of them would be happy to offer something back but that some do not feel they have much to offer from a career or work experience point of view. He suggested that consideration be given to thinking of a way of getting them involved. Lindsey Clay felt that the fellowship's mission might be slightly intimidating as if Fellows have not achieved the top of their career ambitions they might not feel able to contribute.


Tom is looking at costs for a Rank Fellowship 'app' which would have a news feed, events page, updates, photographs and information. However, this could be quite expensive at approximately $1,000 a year.


Everyone agreed that the get-together on 18th November had been a very successful evening, with a great mix of people, and truly represented the spirit of the fellowship. Jason Chaffer commented that he would like as many charities as possible to attend next year.


Newsletter/Website/Christmas Card: David McCausland reported that there is a new template and format for the newsletter, which will be put together by the communications team in future. He reported that a lot of activity had been planned for the website in 2011, which Tim Young and Max Kirby have been reviewing. Again, comments and suggestions were welcomed from committee members. David thanked Tessa Packard for designing the Christmas card to be sent to all Fellows.


Alumni Relationship Group: Jason Chaffer reported that Tim Young had identified a group of organisations who are seeking to keep in contact with and engage their alumni. The group plans to meet every six months to discuss the hurdles of communicating and pool knowledge of best practice. Three members of the group are schools, while the others are Trusts. Tim Young highlighted that the Ogden Trust, which has similarities with the Fellowship, were so interested in Rank's placements (CAP) model that they have set up their own initiative. The alumni relationship development manager from Rugby School had also stressed the importance of giving alumni access to 'gatekeepers.'


5.         Charities Team


Before discussing the Fellowship membership's activities, Antonia Packard was asked to report on her own recent fundraising event. Antonia explained that she had set up a charity to help victims of domestic abuse in the UK, currently operating in Newcastle and Slough. The charity pays for trained specialist advisers to help victims. The first fundraising event had been held that week at the Wallace Collection and had raised in excess of £120,000. The committee acknowledged this tremendous achievement.


West Country Charities Evening: James Williams commented that he had found the evening hugely inspirational. Ten charities from around Rank's network were present, and about 75 people attended. Particularly noted was the attendance of a good number of school Heads, who are invaluable to the network. Jason Chaffer thought there had been a tremendous 'buzz' to the evening and this first event in the South West had been very well supported.


For the London Charities Evening in 2011, Jason Chaffer recommended extending the invitations to ensure the room in Middle Temple is filled with charities and guests. Invitations should be sent to all the school heads and parents as well as Fellows. This was unanimously supported by the committee.


Workshops Programme for 2011: Jason Chaffer thanked everyone for their continued contribution to the workshops.


19th January 2011: Legal workshop: Tim Young will ask the charities what they would like to get out of this meeting, so their needs can be addressed.


Marketing Workshop: 26th January 2011 at Thinkbox: Lindsey Clay asked if a more advanced marketing workshop should be held this time, bringing in more outside experts and narrowing the topic. It was agreed that Tim Young would send out details immediately to get a sense of the requirement as to what the demand would be for a beginners or more advanced course.


Jason Chaffer added that new ideas are always welcome. The formation of the North West group would make events easier to organise in the region, as will the creation of a South West group. He added that this really was the true meaning of the 'Pebble in the pond' metaphor and that the logistics of organising events outside of the South East had been very difficult.


Individual Charity Initiatives: Antonia Packard's charitable work had already been reported; Max Kirby has also raised funds for the Peter Wake Trust through his Pyrenees bike ride.


Jason Chaffer advised the meeting that the Trustees of the Rank Foundation have concerns about the charities they have been involved with for many years, given the central and local government cuts, and the possibility of emergency funding has been put in place to help them in case of difficulty. He compared Rank to a venture capitalist: they go in, bring in other investors, help the organisation to grow and then remove themselves when the organisation is stable.


Benet Northcote added that charities are also changing their working relationships with other charities and suggested that the workshops might provide an opportunity to discuss options of working together. Simon Turner offered to cover Trustee duties in the legal workshop, if required. Tim Young will talk to Steve Cheal of Rank about whether YARN will be running workshops on how to work together in difficult times. Tim highlighted Westminster House, where a leadership award holder from Sedbergh School undertook a very successful CAP placement. She discovered that Westminster House could not run the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme and lobbied successfully to secure the agreement of Sedbergh to facilitate this for Westminster House's Duke of Edinburgh Awards students.


6.         Mentoring Team


Mentoring Evening, March 2011:  Lindsey Clay reported that Thinkbox's offices were available to host the event on: 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30 March 2011. Tim Young suggested Monday 21st March might suit the school Fellows.


Work experience: It was noted that the number of requests for work experience are quite modest. Tessa Packard questioned if this was because it was not being promoted sufficiently, if it is not 'open' enough or if people are too embarrassed to ask or lack the confidence to do so. Jason Chaffer stated that it was part of his address and emphasised at every Rank Leadership Day.


It was felt that contacting Fellows at university could obtain the best response. Tim Young's email regarding the mentoring evening should contain a reminder to students that we are happy to try and find work placements for them. Tim Young also agreed to try and drop in on students at university for an informal discussion. Tessa Packard suggested some positive quotations about previous mentoring evenings should be put on the website and people should be referred to these through the invitation. She additionally recommended asking someone who has had a work placement and someone who offered one to write about their experience and this should be added to the website.


7.         Regional Developments & Overseas Links


Fundacao Estudar:  David McCausland reported that The Fellowship had featured in one of Fundacao Estudar's newsletters for the first time, where there was a brief mention of the Get Together on 18th November. Daniela Barone Soares had previously commented that the organisation was not outward-looking, but this is beginning to change.


8.         AOB


There was no other business to report.


The Chairman closed the meeting by thanking everyone for their hard work on behalf of the Fellowship over the past year, which he noted had been a fantastic year. He added that he would particularly like to thank Jan Carter and Lynn Garrad for all they had done.


The meeting broke up at 7.35 pm and supper was served in the Boardroom.


9.         Dates of Future meetings:


            Wednesday 2nd March

            Wednesday 1st June

            Wednesday 7th September, and

            Tuesday 6th December 2011.

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