Minutes of the Steering Committee on 6th December 2011




James Williams - Meeting Chairman

Jan Carter, Jason Chaffer, Lynn Garrad, Max Kirby, David McCausland, Benet Northcote, Antonia Packard, Tessa Packard, Jeremy Wilson, Tim Young.

Apologies: Steve Cheal, Lindsay Clay, Andrew Cowen, Stephen Day, Duncan Gibson, Tom Heasman, Kate Kynvin, Piers Mudd, Benet Northcote, Anish Patel, Daniela Barone Soares, Emma Watson-Mack.

1. Welcome

Jason Chaffer opened the meeting and welcomed everyone to Manchester Square Partners' offices. He reported that some changes to the running of the Steering Committee were being considered one of which was rotation of the Chairmanship at committee meetings: James Williams would therefore be chairing the meeting.

2. Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 7th September 2011 had previously been circulated and it was agreed that they should be signed by the Chairman.

Matters arising:

James Williams asked for an update on the suggested philanthropic evening. Antonia Packard reported that she was very keen to pursue the event, which she would be happy to arrange. Antonia Packard suggested that four young philanthropists could give presentations of what they had done, followed by a question and answer session and the idea would be to gather people together to raise their awareness and enthusiasm about interesting philanthropic activities already undertaken by people in the 25-35 age range. Tim Young noted that it would tie in with the Fellowship's endeavours to persuade Fellows to become involved with a particular charity. Jason Chaffer kindly offered Manchester Square Partners' offices as a venue, and it was agreed that November was historically a good month for holding events. Following discussion, it was agreed that Antonia Packard would consider the format and present a report to the March 2012 Committee Meeting.

An update was then requested on the new scheme at Marlborough College. Antonia Packard reported that the committee had been formed and the first event had taken place, with another fundraiser being held in the summer of 2012. The long term aim was that ex-pupils from other top schools would take up the idea. Tessa Packard noted that the school had its own plans to raise £50 million and it would be difficult to persuade them to match fund what was raised.

3. Charities Team

Charities Evenings Follow Up: It was agreed that the two recent Charities Evenings in London and Warrington had been very successful. James Williams thanked Tom Heasman for the video of the London Charities Evening which he had prepared for the website. Tim Young noted that the feedback from the charities had been really positive. Many young Rank Fellows had attended both events, with the Warrington evening attended by Fellows from a vast geographical area.

Charities evenings would be run in a cycle in future, with a regional event held in alternate years: i.e. South West, London, North West, London, etc. Max Kirby noted that the occasion was a big social event for the Fellowship, so it would be important to ensure an event was held in London in years when the Charities Evening was held in the regions.

There was considerable discussion regarding the London Charities Evening and possible ways of improving the experience to enable Fellows and guests to talk to as many charities as possible. One suggestion was that a short statement should be made about a particular achievement of each charity during the speeches, or for someone to make a quick introduction of each charity. However, it was acknowledged that people tend to switch off if speeches are too long. Another suggestion was for five Fellows to oversee three charities each during the evening and bring people to talk to them.

Jason Chaffer noted that this was the annual gathering of the Fellowship, which generated remarkable goodwill and a great sense of 'family.' 120 Fellows attended the London event, representing a fourfold increase in five years.

Individual connections with charities: Tim Young offered his thanks to Steering Committee members who had signed up to this initiative and reported that it was hoped this would be a catalyst to the wider Fellowship, particularly for young Fellows leaving school having completed CAP placements.

NW Initiative: Merseyside Youth Support Trust (MYST): Tim Young reported on this ambitious project being put together in the North West, led by Rank Fellow, Lee Evans. He noted that the RFL Board would be considering MYST's grant application at its meeting on 7th December. James Williams commended the way the North West Fellows were working together on this project.

4. Communications Team

Newsletter: David McCausland reported that the recently produced Newsletter would be the last in the 'old' format and that in the New Year the next Newsletter would reflect the style of the new website.

Updating contact details: David McCausland noted that contact details were constantly updated by Jan Carter and Tim Young, which had considerably reduced the number of bouncebacks.

Website: Max Kirby highlighted that the new website would be launched in February, and expressed his gratitude for the hard work put into the re-design by Steve Wilson of Moore Wilson. Max thanked the committee for the very constructive feedback received on the new website, particularly Tessa Packard for creative aesthetic input, as well as Lindsay Clay and Tom Heasman. It was hoped that the new website would be easier to administer and use from a technical perspective.

Christmas e-card: David McCausland tabled the Fellowship Christmas e-card and thanked Tessa Packard for kindly agreeing to design it.

5. Mentoring Team

Leadership Day follow up: Jason Chaffer reported on the very successful leadership day held at Paddington Arts in September. The format for the day has been adapted over time and whereas initially the award holders were 'spoken to' for most of the day, they now have more time to talk to each other and share experience. The feedback this year was very good. Jeremy Wilson noted that, compared to two years previously, he had found the Fellows more engaged and prepared to speak out individually.

25-35 event in March 2012: As an event in March had been successful in the past, it had been decided to hold a mentoring evening at the same time of year and, once again, Jason Chaffer had kindly offered the use of Manchester Square Partners' offices. Lindsay Clay, Duncan Gibson and Jason Chaffer had spoken at the last evening and Tessa Packard commented that the subjects had been incredibly useful and the speakers inspiring. However, it was felt that the schedule had been a bit rushed and more time could be allocated. Following discussion, James Williams suggested that the same themes should be covered in 2012; if the same people were attending the subjects should be covered in more depth, but if it were a different group then they could be covered at the same level as previously, with more time allowed for each theme.

6. Regional Developments & Overseas Links

South West possibilities: James Williams reported that the Charities Evening in 2012 would be held at Prior Park College, who were keen to host the South West Charities Evening again. Tim Young commented that he was working with an ex Headmaster in the region in an attempt to push forward a South West Steering Committee.

Fundacao Estudar: David McCausland noted that a social evening for Fundacao alumni based in London was being planned for the New Year, probably in the City of London and that London-based Rank Fellows would also be able to join this gathering. James Williams reported that a date would be identified and circulated by email. Tim Young suggested that Preto, the top Brazilian restaurant in London, might be considered as a venue.

7. AOB

The meeting broke up at 6.30 pm and drinks and canapes were served in the Manchester Square Partners' Boardroom.

8. Dates of Future meetings:

  • Wednesday 7th March 2012 at 6.30 p.m. at 12 Warwick Square
  • Wednesday 13th June 2013 at 6.30 p.m. at Warwick Square
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