Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the eighteenth AGM of the BEEP Fund Ltd. The Fund, as with previous years, continues to provide an excellent and worthwhile service thanks to the generosity and support of local people.
As can be seen from our Treasurers Report, the income from members of the public continues to amaze us in the size and amount of donations such that our accounts remain in an extremely healthy position, although there has been a slight overall gradual reduction in total funds, which is being addressed by extra fundraising efforts discussed below in line with our rebranding initiatives. A huge thanks to Andrew Benson for his advice & help, and for keeping our accounts in such an organised state.
During this last year, the BEEP vehicle has continued to provide reliable & worthwhile service with no major problems. However, at a recent meeting the BEEP Committee it has been decided that we will look to selling the car because it doesn’t get used as much these days due to the fact that we all tend to drive to incidents in our own vehicles and this is giving rise to extra expense.
This year we are very fortunate to have two new Trustees to join us, Matt House & Vinny Romano, both extremely experienced paramedics working for North west Ambulance Service. We are absolutely delighted that they have joined us & really value their input & support. However, we are sad to hear that Tony Reed will be standing down as Trustee at this AGM & would like to thank him most sincerely for all his input over the many years he has been part of the BEEP Fund.
Also this year we have two new Doctor members of the BEEP Fund who have recently joined us, Dr. Doug Davies from Kendal & Dr. Andy McAlea from Lazonby, & we would like to welcome them to the Fund. This is really good news because this puts a Doctor presence in the South of the county & another doctor more centrally. It also brings the total number of Doctors to thirteen at the moment. However, at the time of writing only four of these are actively responding to incidents. It is my intention that during the next year hopefully all or at least most of the other nine Doctors will start actively responding as well. This would be a really positive step forward. In order to try to achieve this goal, we have developed a new BEEP Doctors Contract which states clearly that each Doctor will aim to respond to a minimum of on average one call-out per month.
As part of our new direction, we have developed a new set of PPE (personal protective equipment), which look really professional but are also very much more useful & practical than the original green ones we’ve had for many years. Many thanks to John Ferris for organising this. The new web site at www.beepfund.org.uk, is looking very good indeed, with links to what we are about, new photos & stories as well as details about how people can donate. We’ve also improved massively on the social media front with much more information going out on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. Thanks very much indeed to Lisa Jackson for organising all this as well as the other publicity & fundraising developments that have taken place this year. These have included more attendances at local shows including Skelton Show, Penrith Show, Cockermouth Show & May Day in Penrith as well as collecting in the entrance to M&S. Very many thanks indeed to Maureen & John Shorter for their part in organising these events. We also now have a new logo & information leaflets plus state of the art publicity banners etc. The plan in 2020 would hopefully be to continue to attend more of these events as well as maybe others further afield, such as in Kendal/Whitehaven/Maryport, and also maybe even hold a gala dinner.
We are in the process of developing a “Friends of BEEP” group, which will be made up of a collection of members of the public who have offered to help us with fundraising activities. This will hopefully ease the burden of fundraising on the existing members of the Committee who are doing this.
The final piece if the jigsaw with regards our new direction is that we are planning to invite a local celebrity to become our new Patron. Hopefully this will give the BEEP Fund more impact, prestige, credibility & importance locally.
The link to NWAS through BASICS NW is still very much in place through the NWAS HART/MERIT Team, though the structure of BASICS NW is changing. This provides a very useful way of interacting with NWAS. There are new developments concerning improving the appraisal/accreditation processes along with mentorship for newer members & regular Mandatory Training.
Finally, my most sincere thanks go to all the BEEP Fund Doctors, the BEEP Fund Trustees, the members of the BEEP Fund Committee & especially to all the local members of the public who have supported the BEEP Fund either financially or in other ways over the last year.
Dr. Theo Weston, MBE
2nd December 2019