I’m looking forward to our annual general meeting on 5 November as a chance to share our successes, address challenges, reflect on the previous year and to also look ahead and share our vision for the next 12 months. But this isn’t about BACP's Board of Governors and staff colleagues. It’s about you, our members. The AGM is another opportunity for you to get involved in the running of BACP. You can ask any questions, give us your feedback and vote on those topics that you’re most passionate about.

With the uncertainty around COVID-19, we were cautious when planning the AGM and it was right to decide on holding a hybrid virtual event this year. Last year’s virtual AGM brought many positives. For one, it was easier for more members to attend online than in person. We know that it’s increased accessibility, with more than 900 members attending last year online on the day, compared to just over 200 attending the event in Salford or online the previous year.

Of course, I’ll miss that we won’t be seeing each other face to face. There’s not the same spontaneity, conversation and atmosphere online although the buzz generated from discussions in the chat room is certainly a bonus.

While members watching the event will be spread across the country, most of us involved on the day will be at BACP House in Leicestershire, including all the Governors.

It will be very different chairing from the mock film studio in BACP HQ, compared to being at home on the sofa, where I chaired last year’s event. The important thing is delivering a great AGM, whether we’re all together in a venue or gathering online.

And that includes introducing you to our newest Governor, who will take up their role on the day after being voted in by members and welcoming them to the team.

The BACP events and governance teams have been working hard to ensure everything runs smoothly. Aside from the official AGM business we also have some inspiring speakers lined up for the event.

This summer, we were pleased to welcome a new Head of Governance and Risk, Tolu Aluko. Tolu has a wealth of experience in governance and law and has worked in the private, public and charity sectors - she joins BACP at a critical time of change within the organisation.

There’s no denying it’s been a challenging year for the Board but my Board colleagues and I remain committed to delivering on our purpose. Work has already begun on crafting a new strategy and there’s been some notable developments to the scope of our delegated committees which have been under review since February. 

As well as voting in a new Governor over the summer, members also showed their support for motions and resolutions proposed by other members.

I know there was disappointment that some resolutions didn’t meet the support threshold required to progress to AGM voting. After every AGM cycle we review what worked well and what didn’t, and we’ll be doing that again this year so that we can continue to improve the processes for members.

We’re always exploring different ways of engaging with members. Our listening workshops are one of the new ways we connected with you this year and they've been a huge success so far, thanks to your engagement.

Whether you’ll be joining the AGM from your office in Ormskirk, your home in Hartlepool or your sofa in Swindon, I look forward to welcoming you on 5 November.

All the best,


Views expressed in this article are the views of the writer and not necessarily the views of BACP. Publication does not imply endorsement of the writer’s views. Reasonable care has been taken to avoid errors but no liability will be accepted for any errors that may occur.