Malcolm Hulatt


Kathleen Harris


Summary of the Annual General Meeting, held at 2.45 pm
on Sat 23rd June 2018 at Ashenground Community Centre

The Annual General Meeting of Yews Talking News took place on Sat 23rd June at Ashenground Community Centre was attended by 23 volunteers and listeners. 

Each of the committee officers presented an Annual Report, starting with Editor Kathleen Harris. Kath advised that the recording teams had been running smoothly and with few changes in personnel. Chris Rigby Smith left team B and Bryan Cornish has been filling in until a permanent replacement is found. Don Walker and Richard Ware are two new replacement reserve readers. Reading is one of the more popular jobs in YTN and we get a steady trickle of volunteers. Kath filters the volunteers according to the commitment they can make. She expressed her thanks to all the reading teams for their continuing support and to the engineers who edit out “the occasional gaffs”. Kath concluded by reminding listeners that she welcomes feedback on the recordings to ensure the quality of service. 

Chief Engineer, Jeff Harris, reported that the year was without serious issues. There has been the occasional problem in the duplication process as we transition between different capacity memory sticks.  In this regard we seem to be losing some memory sticks which are gradually being updated and replaced. However, all sticks are checked before despatch so hopefully the listeners should not receive a faulty one. Our apologies if one slips through the net! Jeff advised that engineer Owen Travis was now on a 5 week rota, replacing each of the regular engineers in turn. Jeff extended his thanks to Owen and the other engineers for their continued support.

Treasurer Peter Chaston, reported a cash position of 32,645 as at 31stt December 2017 and a small profit of 40 for the year. This was mostly due to no major equipment purchases, although there will be some expenditure this year as we replace missing memory sticks. There was also enhanced fund raising and our thanks go to Hall and Woodhouse Ltd, a brewery, who donated 300 to us from their community charity budget. We also received money from personal donations and from our annual quiz night. Fixed costs remain broadly the same as prior year being 1365 rental of the studio. The financial position of the charity is currently good.

Summing up, Chairman Malcolm Hulatt commented that 2018 had been relatively trouble free. Listener numbers fluctuated and were around 85-90 but with several nursing homes on the mailing list we reach a wider audience. Social services remained the primary source of new referrals. Malcom mentioned that the committee had implemented a new data privacy policy to help ensure compliance with new data privacy legislation and listeners have been informed of our action through the talking news. In conclusion Malcom echoed Kath and Jeff in thanking all the volunteers and the committee for their hard work during the year.

The current Committee members were then re-elected for a further year, with Lynne Adams being formally elected to the committee, having been drafted in after the last AGM.

Under other Business 3 points were raised:
•    Robin Russell asked if we knew how many people listened to us on-line. We were aware of 4 listeners in the past but had no up to date information and no real way of tracking numbers.
•    It was noted that Sainsbury’s had three nominated charities in a shortlist to receive funding from their local charity budget. The Yews was one of those charities and customers could vote for it by dropping counters in a box at the store. Would YTN benefit from that?  Malcolm Hulatt advised that it related specifically to the YEWS community centre and not YTN specifically. However, YTN would benefit indirectly, as a profitable and viable YEWS would help ensure that YTN could have continued use of the studio and at an affordable rent. He urged everyone to cast a vote for the Yews if they shop at Sainsburys.
•    John Burke reported that he recently met Mr U Patel of Dolphin Optometrists, who advised that it was possible to buy glasses that would scan papers or books and translate the written word to speech and relay it to the reader via an earpiece.  Listener Ralph Parr expanded on this by saying it was done via a small camera photographing the text before processing it. The product is called OCCAM but at 3000 it may not be for everyone. It is unlikely to be a threat to YTN in the short term.

The meeting was followed by a strawberries-and-cream tea served by committee members and volunteers. Everyone was well entertained by the excellent 5 strong vocal group “No Strings Attached”. As the name suggests they had no musical accompaniment and produced a very unique sound.  With a wide repertoire from folk songs to Coldplay via the Beatles there was something for everyone. It was a very enjoyable event.


Peter Chaston

Image(s) by Melvyn Walmsley, Fresh Air Photography: