Minutes of the Steering Committee on 7 September 2011




Present: Jason Chaffer - Chairman

Jan Carter, Lynn Garrad, Duncan Gibson, Piers Mudd, Antonia Packard, Tessa Packard, David McCausland, Janet Pickering, Daniela Barone Soares, Emma Watson-Mack, Tim Young.

Apologies: Steve Cheal, Lindsay Clay, Andrew Cowen, Stephen Day, Tom Heasman, Max Kirby, Kate Kynvin, Benet Northcote, Anish Patel, James Williams, Jeremy Wilson.

1. Welcome

Jason Chaffer opened the meeting and welcomed and introduced Janet Pickering, the retired Head of one of the schools in the Leadership Scheme, who had very kindly agreed to become involved with the North West Steering Committee and had been involved in arranging the first regional get-together. Janet Pickering replied that she had not needed much persuasion to become an honorary Fellow and that it was a great pleasure to attend the meeting.

Jason Chaffer reported that Simon Turner had regrettably tendered his resignation from the Committee due to family and professional commitments, although he would remain interested and active in the Fellowship. The Chairman extended the Committee's appreciation and gratitude to Simon Turner for his contribution, both to the work of the Committee and to the Fellowship overall.

2. Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 1st June 2011 had previously been circulated and it was agreed that they should be signed by the Chairman.

3. Communications Team

Website Plans and Newsletter: David McCausland reported on a very productive Comms Team meeting to progress the website redesign, held on 8th August. A 'dummy' website had been developed, which had now gone live, and members of the Committee were encouraged to review and comment on the content and design. David McCausland extended his thanks to Steve Wilson of Moore Wilson for his invaluable input regarding the development of the site and preparation of the 'concepts'. It was noted that the Comms Team's preferred option was Concept 1.

Tessa Packard tabled concept pages for the proposed 16-25 age group section of the revamped website, which had been produced by Max Kirby in collaboration with Tessa Packard and Tom Heasman. The section would be tailored to appeal to younger Fellows, and would be designed to be interactive, enabling them to post messages and communicate with one another. However, it would not detract from the corporate image of the full website and the final image would depend upon the overall design of the website. Tim Young commented that if the younger fellows were engaged by this section of the site, then they would continue to actively use the site post-25.

Following wide-ranging discussion, David McCausland noted that the new concepts would be sent to the school Fellows for input, following which a Communications Team meeting would be held and a report presented to the December Committee meeting. Jason Chaffer congratulated the team for all their hard work and achievements so far, but requested clarification on whether there would be any data protection issues that might arise, potential costs of the technology required to offer interactive services and whether there might be legal implications if strict monitoring procedures were not in place.

Newsletter: David McCausland reported that following problems with the emailed July Newsletter, discussions continued with Moore Wilson to ensure that errors did not occur in future.

4. Charities Team

Individual connections with charities: Jason Chaffer reported that input would be requested from Fellows as to which charities they supported personally. Members of the committee were being canvassed in the first place, and the school Fellows would be questioned at the Leadership Day on 16th September.

London Charities Evening, 2nd November 2011, Inner Temple Hall: Tim Young noted that the invitations had been sent out. Fifteen charities would be attending, and Tim Young commented that it had been agreed not to invite too many charities, as feedback indicated that they prefer to have the opportunity to speak to as many people as possible. It was also important to have a broad cross-section of charities represented.

However, it was agreed that if any Rank Fellow would like to put forward a charity for consideration, details should be passed to Tim Young. Tim added that, from experience, smaller charities benefitted more from the event as they appreciated the opportunity to share common experience. Daniela Barone Soares expressed interest in nominating one or two charities supported by Impetus Trust, and Jan Carter undertook to provide her with a list of the charities attending.

Tim Young asked Fellows to pass on the names of people they think might be added to the guest list, such as philanthropists, to broaden attendance.

In closing the discussion, Tim Young noted that the Tim Parry Jonathan Ball Foundation for Peace in Warrington, who will be attending the Charities Evening, are also hosting an event at the House of Lords earlier that day, which they have said anyone would be welcome to attend.

North West Charities Initiatives: Janet Pickering outlined the work of the London Youth Support Trust (LYST) and reported that it was hoped to replicate this work on Merseyside with the formation of MYST, in an area where there are pockets of appalling deprivation. Lee Evans had identified possible premises in an old Victorian School, which could provide perfect premises for small business units. Rent negotiations were underway, in addition to seeking funding for the project. An application is being submitted to the Charity Commission to obtain charitable status. It was hoped that at some stage in the future RFL would help with funding in some way, as it had in the past with LYST. Daniela Barone Soares commented that as LYST is supported by Impetus Trust, it might be possible for Impetus to look at potential support for MYST in the future, which was warmly received.

The North West Steering Group will be holding a Charities Evening at the Foundation for Peace in Warrington on 18th November. Janet Pickering would discuss procedures for the event with Jan Carter.

5. Mentoring Team

Leadership Day, 15th September 2011: Tim Young reported that plans for the day were well advanced. Jason Chaffer noted that over the years the feedback from the school Fellows was that they prefer to be engaged and to have an opportunity to talk to each other, rather than being 'talked at'. A report on the day would be given to the December meeting. Jason Chaffer thanked everyone involved in the organisation of the day and those giving the presentations, including Jeremy Wilson and Piers Mudd.

25-35 event in March 2012: Tim Young reported that it was intended to hold another Mentoring Evening at Manchester Square Partnership's offices, aimed at Fellows aged 25 to 35. The previous Mentoring Evening covered entrepreneurship, career branding and financial planning, which were very well received. Duncan Gibson commented that two Fellows had built on what they took away from the event and Emma Watson-Mack suggested that they should be invited to present to the next mentoring evening.

6. Regional Developments & Overseas Links

North West Steering Group: Tim Young commented that BBC Manchester had shown interest in publicising the work of the Fellowship, together with the wider work of the Foundation.

Janet Pickering reported on a successful Hog Roast hosted by the NW Steering Group in July, a report of which was being written for the website by Simon Walker. It was noted that while the region covers a large area, the NW Steering Group would continue to try and get people together. Tim Young highlighted the enthusiasm of the region's younger Fellows, who have attended Fellowship events all over the country.

Jason Chaffer congratulated the NW Steering Group on its amazing work and noted that its success was encouraging the Fellowship to try and replicate this success in the South West. Tim Young commented that the North West initiative was successful because of the people who ran it, and it was important to identify similar people if a South West group was to succeed.

Fundacao Estudar: David McCausland noted continued contact from Fundacao Estudar alumni and added that the Fellowship had access to the 'brightest and the best' in Brazil. Daniela Barone Soares' commented that their breakfast sessions attract high profile speakers and highlighted that careers appeared to be booming.

7. AOB

Philanthropy Evening: Antonia Packard suggested that in addition to a Mentoring Evening it would be worthwhile holding an event where Fellows who have started up impressive philanthropic ventures (such as Lee Evans??) could share their experience. This was agreed to be a very good idea.

Marlborough College: Antonia Packard reported on a scheme she had set up at the school with her sister, Tessa, whereby young ex-Marlburians donate a small amount of money to sponsor a place at the school. She added that they would be happy to contact Marlborough Fellows to try and interest them in the scheme and Tim Young agreed to provide a list of ex-Fellows at Marlborough.

December Committee meeting: Jason Chaffer announced that the meeting to be held on 6th December would take place at Manchester Square Partnership's offices in London and might start a little earlier than 6.30 p.m. as it is intended to invite everyone who has ever served on the Fellowship Committee to join the present Committee for a seasonal libation.

The meeting broke up at 7.50 pm and supper was served in the Boardroom.

8. Dates of Future meetings:

Tuesday 6th December 2011, and
Wednesday 7th March 2012.

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