WORCESTER MALVERN NATIONAL TRUST CENTRE
A Special General Meeting was held at 10.00 on Wednesday 9th September to consider the motion, “To dissolve the Worcester Malvern National Trust Centre”.
Members were circulated with notice for this Meeting in August 2020, together with paperwork to provide their proxy vote (Covid-19 banning large meetings).
The motion was carried by a total number of 277 votes for the Motion and two papers returned as “NO” but with no alternative plan attached.
The second Motion was for the Donations List formulated by the Donations Leader to be accepted. Votes for 250 and the Motion was therefore carried.
A few members had added suggestions for various other National Trust properties to be included. Whilst it was not pointed out in the Donations List, some properties had received considerable monies in recent years. For example, Croome had large sums paid over for works on Gates, Fireplaces and stone-walling material. With limited funds available for disposal it was felt that we should help those National Trust properties that may not benefit from the support of a local centre (Ledbury/Hereford Centre closed a couple of years ago. Croome still has The Friends of Croome). However, we are pleased to report that there are still funds from the Morgan Legacy available and the Donations Team is actively looking into how this could be best used. We will post any decisions taken on this on our Website, which will remain accessible until January 2021.
Of immediate concern to many members will be the normal standing order membership renewal fees for 2020/21.
MEMBERS ARE URGED TO CANCEL THEIR WMNT CENTRE STANDING ORDER AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY. WE WILL NOT HAVE THE MECHANISM IN PLACE TO RETURN ANY FEES PAID. WHERE FEES ARE RECEIVED, WE WILL TREAT THEM AS DONATIONS AND ADD THEM TO OUR FINAL BANK ACCOUNT TOTAL TO BE DISPOSED OF TO A LOCAL NATIONAL TRUST PROPERTY PROJECT AS WE WIND UP OUR BANK ACCOUNT.
We have some equipment that has been used to support Talks and poster stands for external shows. We intend to offer such equipment to other Centres and the two village halls that have supported us so well over the years.
There has been a number of requests for information about future Holidays. Of course, Clive has been in touch with many of you, but you can also see the latest information that Clive has produced on our website.
On completion of the many administrative tasks that will be necessary to formally close our Centre, we will make arrangements for all suitable records to be passed over to Worcester Records Office.
In summary, a sad day for all. Many people have contributed to the past and current operation of the Centre, none more so than your current Committee. As Chair, and on behalf of all of you, grateful thanks were expressed for their unstinting generosity of spirit, hard work and diligence.
This will be our last letter. Where possible we will add information to our Website until our subscription for this expires.
With Best Wishes
David Ebsworth, Chair
I wrote to you earlier this month about the dire future faced by your Centre without further committee volunteers to come forward and help with the running of our Agenda. We cannot operate without such a group of Leaders and would therefore be compelled to close.
To recap, we require a Chair, Vice-Chair, Trips Leader, Events Leader, Talks Organiser and a Web-Site manager. We would also need to extra members to assist with Trips and Events.
I am grateful to two members who have kindly considered and volunteered to Lead Trips and Events. But as you can see from the list, we are still woefully short of the required team.
With the existing Committee members who are still prepared to stand for election, we now have two more. However, at the very least, and by no means belittling the other positions required, we could continue if we could also find a Chair and a Talks Organiser as that would fulfill the NT Constitution requirements.
So, how about it? I have set out below the main tasks of both roles. Surely, someone reading this could step forward. Or know someone who will - for example I came in three years ago "from outside." the Centre.
Briefly, the Talks Organiser identifies Speakers (Lists available) and books, up to 18 months in advance. Talks venues are booked to match Speaker dates. Organiser usually checks that all is well prior to scheduled date and ensures Speaker has address details and confirms time and date.There are a couple of other linked duties but this is a quick resumee of the role.
The Chair is the Leader of the Committee. 5 meetings and one AGM are held throughout the year. The Chair usually attends Talks and introduces theSpeaker as well as any relevant notices, such as up-coming events, trips, holidays etc. The Chair oversees the Newsletter (2 a year) and monthly Mailchimp Newsletter. Chair generally acts as central contact and sounding board for all Committee Members. As above, there are a number of other minor duties. However, everyone "mucks in" at meetings and so on to share the workload. It is NOT hard work, and much is done from home.
WE HAVE SCHEDULED OUR NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING FOR THE 29TH JULY 2020. THIS IS A CRUNCH MEETING. EITHER WE HAVE A FULL TEAM OR WE DO NOT.
BECAUSE OF A NUMBER OF ORGANISATIONAL FACTORS WE MUST DECIDE YES OR NO ON THAT DAY
EVERYONE HAS UNTIL 28TH JULY 2020 TO RESPOND AND HOPEFULLY SAVE OUR CENTRE.
This message has been sent to all members either by E mail or surface mail.The future of the Centre is in your hands!
THE BEACON - It can be very lonely at the top.
I hope that this letter finds you well in these unprecedented times.
Businesses and Organizations, locally and nationally, have been forced to restructure or indeed close down in recent weeks. Some will not re-open. This brings both recognition and sadness that our way of life and culture, as we have known and enjoyed for so many years, will be impacted far beyond "Lockdown". Sadly, nothing is forever.
At our AGM last February, I announced that I would not be standing for re-election next year and we were short of a number of places on our committee (and that situation is now much worse). I further announced that without fresh volunteers the future of the Worcester Malvern NT Centre was in jeopardy. That cry for volunteers has been a consistent feature of meetings and Newsletters for many years, and has largely fallen on deaf ears or fallow ground.
That was before the current pandemic. Now, exacerbated by the stringent controls placed on all of us, and our daily lives, we have reached a critical stage, and, unless a considerable number of you come forward, we will be left with no alternative but to close.
We require volunteers to replace (at the very minimum) the Chair, Vice-Chair, Outings organiser, Social Events organiser, Website Manager. A number of helpers who give amazing support behind the scenes (organising coach trips, refreshments etc) are also stepping down after many years of service. Many of the current committee have served beyond the stipulated time of 5 years. Some are stepping down for private, family or health reasons.
Traditionally your committee plans and books a Calendar of Events well in advance of our Newsletter publications. The pandemic guidelines have forced us to cancel the rest of our 2020 programme. Your committee would normally by now have sketched in, and in many cases, booked events for 2021. Many of those bookings, (Speakers, Village Halls, Coach Operators) accept our bookings in good faith. However, without a complete team to run those events next year, we would need to cancel them. It would be irresponsible to make such bookings. So currently we do not have a programme for 2021.
SO WHAT NOW?
IN SHORT, WE DO NOT HAVE THE NECESSARY NUMBER OF COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO MEET THE NATIONAL TRUST CENTRE CONSTITUTION OR RUN OUR CENTRE FOR NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND.
ALL INTERESTED MEMBERS ARE INVITED (URGED) TO HELP RESOLVE THIS PROBLEM BY URGENTLY FINDING VOLUNTEERS TO FILL THE VACANT ROLES.
WE HAVE POSTPONED OUR NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING UNTIL THE END OF JULY TO ALLOW AT LEAST 4 CLEAR WEEKS FOR YOU TO RESPOND. YOUR RESPONSE WILL ASSIST THE COMMITTEE WITH THEIR DECISIONS ON WHAT TO DO NEXT. PLEASE RESPOND BEFORE THE 24TH JULY 2020.
I TRUST THAT THIS MESSAGE IS CLEAR. NO VOLUNTEERS - NO CENTRE.
Of course, this would be sad. Many have selflessly worked hard over the past 49 years for the benefit of membership. Much enjoyment, enlightenment and companionship has been shared. Should the Centre close, it will not be because of covid-19. All that has done has accelerated what has clearly been an ongoing dilemma for many, many years now - the lack of volunteers.
We are not expecting or seeking any more suggestions for events, trips, talks, holidays or general correspondence. Your current committee are disconsolate. We only wish to hear from those who are volunteering or know of someone who will.
THERE WILL BE NO FUTURE FOR OUR CENTRE UNLESS WE HAVE IMMEDIATE COMMITTEE SOLUTIONS
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