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Annual General Meeting 2019: How it Went

21 Mar 2019 Article Image

Earlier this week we held our Annual General Meeting at Langstane Housing Association’s offices in Aberdeen. The event was very well attended, and it was good to see supporters coming along to find out more about how their donations and gifts assist the women, children and young people we support.

Our Chair, Sally Cooper, kicked off the event by talking of the far-reaching consequences of domestic abuse and the huge number of incidents that remain unreported and entirely under the radar.  She spoke of the role of organisations such as ours, and of society, in changing perceptions and culture to ensure every woman lives a life free from fear.

She then went on to talk about the work of Grampian Women’s Aid over the last twelve months, the challenges and achievements, and in particular:

  • Adjusting our service provision to ensure a timely and person-centred approach to emergency refuge admissions
  • Increasing sustained tenancies where women are securing and maintaining tenancies on properties to help them to rebuild their lives
  • Our involvement and contribution at national level with development and implementation of training on the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) 2018 legislation and coercive control.
  • Increasing attendance of partner agencies at GWA training courses held during 2018
  • An increase in social media presence and a much- accessed website
  • Strengthening links with Aberdeen University student bodies
  • Our first “away day” for the children and young people we support, visiting Blair Drummond Safari Park

After a presentation by the Treasure of our financial accounts and appointment of our auditors, we were delighted to re-elect six directors to the Board.  Our board will continue to work closely together to ensure we consistently provide a high quality, specialist service to women, children and young people.

It was then on to the highlight of the evening – our speakers. This year, representatives from the Aberdeen Law Project, each Law students at the University of Aberdeen, gave an interesting and enlightening talk on “Corroboration” and the implementation, from a legal perspective, of the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) legislation.  Our manager followed up the session by talking about the practical implementation of the bill and the challenges and opportunities it brings.  The audience very much enjoyed the discussion and had lots of questions for the panel.

Before bringing the AGM to a close, the Chair thanked Alison Hay, who is stepping down as GWA Manager, for her valued contribution over the years and welcomed her to her new role in the organisation. As Business Development Lead, Alison will be working to secure future funding and sustainability for the organisation. The new manager, Aileen Forbes, was introduced and warmly welcomed. Aileen joins the organisation on Monday 8th April 2019.

Aileen and all the team at Grampian Women’s Aid’s focus in the coming months will be on: ongoing delivery, development and improvement of our services: securing future funding for the organisation; continued growth of our Children’s and Young People’s service; rolling out training in the new Domestic Abuse (Scotland) legislation and understanding coercive control; and working towards an equitable and fair society where no women, child or young person lives in fear.

Thank you to everyone who came along, and we look forward to seeing you again next year!