Last night, 6th October 2020, Citizens Advice Broxtowe held its first ever virtual Annual General Meeting at which over 40 people were in attendance. Representatives were present from VCSE partners, elected representatives, staff and volunteers as well as members of the public.
The Chairman, Martin wakeling welcomed all to the meeting and outlined the performance of the organisation during a financial year that ended in a pandemic and national lock-down.
Financially it was a good year for Citizens Advice Broxtowe with an increase in turnover, delivering more projects and helping a record number of people. In undertaking these activities partnerships were strengthened. Greater collaboration with neighbouring Citizens Advice services was undertaken to increase efficiency, quality and increase capacity to help more people.
Martin went on to explain how well the organisation had responded to the lockdown, shifting operations to remote working so that it could continue to help people when they needed help and how Citizens Advice Broxtowe were one of the first Citizens Advice services to reopen for face to face appointments in a safe and managed way.
Martin continued to explain that: “The “new normal” for Citizens Advice will be a blend of ‘phone and on-line advice, and a limited, carefully protected amount of face-to-face support. As the economic and social effects of COVID unfold the need for advice and support will be greater than ever.”
This was Martin’s final year as chair after four years that had seen the organisation grow from strength to strength. In accepting his nomination, the incoming Chair Simon Lagoe paid tribute to Martin for skilfully guiding the organisation through some challenging times along with Chief Executive Sally Bestwick.
Simon has been a trustee for over three years and currently chair of the risk sub-committee playing a vital role in ensuring a safe continuation of the service during the pandemic. Simon, now retired, has a long association with Broxtowe through his former business interests. It was wonderful to see the positive comments congratulating Simon on his appointment and thanking Martin for a job well done.
In addition to the formal business Cllr Janet Patrick, the Mayor of Broxtowe gave her address. Janet highlighted why she had chosen Citizens Advice Broxtowe as her Charity of the year. Janet has a long association with the organisation going back to the 1970’s. She has served as a volunteer advice worker and trustee as well has holding numerous fundraising events for the charity.
Janet explained: “This year my chosen charity is the CAB and I would ask you all to give generously, for Citizens Advice changes lives. During the pandemic times are hard and will get harder. Last year 8,300 people used its services.”
Janet went on to thank the volunteers for the excellent work they do and how they are central to keeping the service going. You can watch Janet’s video below.