Minutes: May AGM

Wells Angels WI | May AGM
Monday 9th May 2016

Note of Meeting

Chair: Hanna Sorrell (President)

HS welcomed all members to our first AGM. This month we were also joined by Sarah Sudlow and Lynne Hetherington from The Neville WI.

HS reminded the group that notes of our meeting are now available on the members area of our website www.wellsangelswi.com also on HALO.

The ‘Secretary’s Table’ is a new addition to our meetings. Here members can find all of the printed material that has been circulated from the local and national WI head offices. Those members that haven’t already claimed their voucher/membership card books, can find them here. Further details of WI competitions and national campaigns can also be found here. Sarah Bridger and Louise Bennett can help with any questions on material here.


Wine Club. Angela Cosgrove introduced the newest of the Wells Angels subgroups. AC will host a tasting (usually at the Black Pig) once or twice a month. Wines will be available from TW outlets, and any requests for wines/themes for tastings, please let AC know. Meetings will usually be priced at £15/head. AC reminded the group of the importance of RSVP-ing and once committed to going, please do so. There are big cost implications for no-shows. Each meeting will include tasting notes, and food platters.

Book Group. The next book group will be discussing ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, on 25th May, 7.30pm at St John’s Yard. The book is available in Tunbridge Wells library.

Knitting and Crochet Group. The next meeting will take place on 29th May, 7.30pm, at the Royal Wells Hotel. Meet in the foyer. The group is very informal, and all crafts welcome.

NEW Allotment Group. Anne Wagstaff announced plans to take on a WA allotment. A plot at Hawkenbury allotments, Halls Hole Road, of 10 rods (quite large) has been chosen. The plot will cost around £35/year. With the cost of rotivating, membership, mesh and plants/seeds, it is estimated that those wishing to be involved will have an initial outlay of £22 (+£3.50 for keys to plot). Please contact Donna Sheppard or Lila Dowie about this group, for further information/expressions of interest.

NEW Writing Group. Jules Mortimore explained that the Times of TW are still interested to feature a monthly column by the WA. There is also potential for a WA blog on our website. Therefore, anyone interested in writing for WA on a variety of issues beyond meetings eg work, children, WI etc, please email or contact via HALO.

NEW ‘Conversation Club (working title). JM proposed a new subgroup for members to meet in an informal setting for discussions on a variety of issues. The proposal is to meet monthly to discuss a particular topic. Likely to be in a private area of a pub, and allow women to have a safe space for this discussion. Anybody interested in taking part should message Jules/contact via HALO.

Hanna, reminded everyone that anyone is welcome to take forward new subgroups. If you have an idea, please let us know.

Special Events.

Lavender Farm trip. AC is organising a WA trip to Hadlow lavender farm. This is scheduled for 17th July at 1.30pm. It will include a private tour of the lavender fields/farm and tea/coffee/biscuits. AC has negotiated a WI discount, so the tour will cost £4. It will need to be accessed by car (not public transport), so please let AC know via HALO, if interested. Car pools and potentially food to be arranged in due course. Friends and family of WA welcome. Max tour capacity is 40.

HALO. Most information is shared via HALO as well as the website. Anyone not currently on HALO, please speak to Kate Sims.

Merchandise. The first WA merchandise is currently in production. This will be tote bags with a new logo. Hopefully available to buy at the next meeting.

Membership Survey. WA has now been running for 6 months. It would be really helpful for committee to get feedback on what is being done well/less well and general input/ideas from members. Look out for an online survey, going out before June meeting.

Suggestions Box. There will also be a suggestions box at all forthcoming meetings. Members can post anonymous or named suggestions/feedback.

Housekeeping. HS reminded the group how hard the committee are currently working to make this group great. Please could all members try and be as active as possible at meetings regarding set up (chairs/tables/refreshments), and lend a hand at the end of meeting with the same things. Also, disposing of rubbish etc.

Bye-Laws. As part of the AGM, WIs are required to review their bye-Laws. WA bye-laws were agreed in October 2015:

  • 100 members
  • Meetings on 2nd Monday of each month
  • Venue for the majority of meetings: King Charles Martyr Church Hall

WA agreed to keep the above bye-laws.

In addition to the above, HS proposed a new bursary scheme. Bursary schemes are successfully run by a number of other WIs. WAs bursary would take a proposed sum of £300 from subs and merchandise/wine/event sales, to be awarded in an annual scheme. Members could apply for some or all of the money to learn a new skill, which would then be fed back/presented to the group at a later meeting (within a year of being awarded the bursary). Awards could be made to individuals or groups, and members should investigate the courses they wish to apply for, and include all details in their application. Members voted in support of a bursary scheme, in which the committee would shortlist applications, and the whole group would vote on applications. If committee members wish to apply for a bursary, they would not be involved in the short listing process. HS will draft a proposed outline of the bursary scheme, to be agreed at the June meeting.

Sarah Sudlow reminded the group that the WIs, Denman College has many courses available, and provide transport there and back for a special Kent weekend, once a year.

Resolutions. Each year the WI adopt a national campaign on one or two topics. This year the proposed campaigns were shortlisted to: ‘Appropriate care in hospitals for people with dementia’ & ‘Avoid food waste, address food poverty’. WA voted to support both campaigns. Our delegate attending the national conference in Brighton, will be instructed to support both resolutions on our behalf.

Presentation of the Financial Statement. Marion Sales (Treasurer) presented the financial statement, and all members agreed to adopt it.

Presentation of the Annual Report. Sarah Bridger (Secretary) presented the annual report, and all members agreed to adopt it.

New Committee Member. Following a secret ballot for a new committee member (with responsibility for special events), HS welcomed Lila Dowie to the committee.

Election of President. Hanna Sorrell was re-elected as president.


FGM talk. Anna Wharton invited members to a talk on FGM at Rose Hill School on 16th May, 7.30pm. The event is being run by TW Women’s Equality party and costs £5 for non-members of the party. Tickets available from https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/cut-one-womans-fight-against-fgm-in-britain or speak to Anna Wharton. All welcome.

Singing evening. Sarah Sudlow gave details of a singing evening at The Neville WI, on 14th July. This will be at 7.30pm at St Mark’s Church Hall. £3.50, to include tea/coffee and cake (possibly wine).


HS closed the AGM, with a reminder that our next meeting will be 7.45pm on 13th June. Details tbc.