What a turn out of members for this years AGM it was great to see so many of you there and interested to know where the Business Club is and where we foresee it going! We held the AGM at The Northern Echo Arena where we were very warmly welcomed by the staff, and although it was a very warm evening we are pleased to say the air conditioning worked and they even brought fans in for us to ensure we didn’t over-heat!
We started off the AGM with a warm welcome from our Managing Director and Chair, Sharon Hutchinson, a lady who, if you haven’t had the joy of meeting her is one of the most enthusiastic members of the club and who always goes the extra mile to ensure the club is a success and is always striving to make it better for the members!
Then came the one and only Mr Jeff Fitzpatrick, Finance & Membership Director, to update us on, well, finance and memberships!!! We now have 109 members within the club and we are looking to increase that to 200 members over the next few months. There are various business sectors still to be covered within the club such as the retail sector, so please feel free to use up your free visit for a business you think could benefit from joining us and bring them along to the next meeting. Jeff advised that due to us becoming a Ltd company the end of year changed and the final accounts will be disclosed at the end of August, all members will be supplied with a copy of the accounts. As you may be aware we now have a Platinum Membership available with many fantastic added extras which is beginning to gain some interest, if you would like to be supplied with more information on this then please contact Jeff and he will be happy to help.
Next up was our Marketing Director, Jayson Gurney who, to his embarrassment, Sharon thanked individually for all of his hard work since stepping down from Chair and taking a role which he enjoys much more within the club. Jayson advised there was going to be a lot more happening with social media etc as he is building a team for the Marketing so he doesn’t have to try and do everything himself. This will make it easier to be more focused and ensure we are gaining recognition for the club in as many places we can, BUT even with a team we still do need your help so we are asking, if you are at an event or you know there is one coming up such as Darlington Business Week or Small Business Saturday please support us by posting before the event or tagging yourself at the event that way we will gain even more reach!
We will also shortly be sending out surveys to see what you, our members, want from the club, have a think, what more can we do for you? what would you like to see more of? what would you like to see less of?. Please keep an eye on your inbox as these will be coming out to you soon!
Finally we had the honour of hearing from Pat who looks after our Charity of the Year, the NHS MRI Scanner Appeal. This appeal is to pay for one of the largest and most costly piece of equipment to be installed into the Darlington Memorial Hospital. This machine can be imperative in helping to identify many illnesses including cancer at the early stages and can give patients hope for a better chance for survival. There is no funding within the NHS for the MRI so Pat and her team rely solely on donations and fundraising. The cost for this includes having to pay to take the roof off the hospital, lower the machine down 5 floors, install the data into the machine, train the staff and taking the old machine away. Darlington Business Club have raised an amazing £415.23 up to now making the total raised £700,000 but we still need to raise £300,000 before December! Keep an eye out for our planned fundraising events and please do get involved.
We will be looking for a charity to sponsor next year so please do send in your nominations to Sharon as early as possible.
As always a massive thank you to each and every one of our members and visitors, as, without you we wouldn’t be able to achieve the great things we have this year! Here’s to the next 12 months!