7th March 2019

Attending – Rod C, Diane W, Dick & Hazel L, John & Margaret I, Tim & Francis W. Norma Y, Angela D, Terry G, Brian L, Zib L.

Apologies: Sue C, Carolyn G.

Minutes of last meeting (7th Feb 2019)

Matters arising there were no matters arising

Treasurer’s Report (year ending Dec 31st 2018)  Tim distributed to all those attending a spreadsheet of income and expenditure.  After a brief discussion and clarification of some entries it was agreed that the report was a true reflection of the accounts.

Points noted include:

  • that we have a positive balance of £913.88 as at 31st December 2018
  • there will be an additional £250 to include from Dicks Quiz night in this current year
  • there will be an additional £500 (the Skipton award) in this current year
  • it was agreed that we make another £100 contribution to Mind in recognition of them giving us free use of the room.

Chairmen’s review of 2018

Dick started his review of the last year with the rhetorical question “did we (the group) make a difference”.  His answer was a resounding yes. In reflecting over the 26 years since the group was set up he thinks that it is now that the efforts have come to produce results.

Dick gave several examples of our influence ie on

  • the location of the Hemel Hub
  • the CQC recently asking for our written contribution aa well as telephoning Dianne for her individual views
  • the expansion of the “Involvement and Inclusion Team” (est 30 staff) at the HPFT. Emphasising that they have noticed us and listen to our views.

He went on to identify the panels and groups that he sits on at the HPFT, HCC and CIH and is still keen to do so after 27 years.  To finish – he thinks that there will be major changes ahead and compared what we do in this country with what goes on elsewhere identifying that we were being left behind.

Terry identified some of the groups that he sat on (some the same as Dick for the HPFT and CIH ) and he in addition he included the Contingency Planning Working Group for the HCC.

Rod C also identified how he also gets involved with Carer Training for CIH and provides a Carer’s voice at interviews of candidates for nursing training.

Election of officers Officers proposed seconded and voted in without challenge were:

  • Co-Chairman – Dick L
  • Co-Chairman – Terry G
  • Treasurer – Tim W
  • Refreshments – Angela D

The work of the New Leaf College Speaker Ann Raines

Unfortunately,  Ann couldn’t make the meeting so we moved straight to the next item.

Review of group’s aims, activities and message to convey in a promotional effort for new members

Terry introduced this subject making reference to the document he distributed together with the agenda entitled – Marketing of Caring For Carers in Dacorum.  This he recommended was a blueprint to consider in our decisions to promote the group to new members

The marketing outline identified 7 headings under which we should consider what we do as follows

  • What we offer to attract possible new members (should we consider more entertainment and less campaigning and include or exclude taking up individual member’s cases?)
  • The location and channels for our delivery of the offer (will the Mind Building be  enough?
  • The costs of membership or attending (including member’s time commitment and travel to venue)
  • How we communicate the offer (promotional material, word of mouth et al)
  • The New member’s experience (do they get what they wanted from what we currently offer)
  • The people skills required in the group to welcome and deliver the offer to new members
  • The actual steps required in reaching out to others to increase membership

Additionally, Terry went on to present recommendations for the group to consider for the design elements of a possible poster for the group to consider ie

Size                             Larger than A4 is likely unacceptable in Dr’s Surgery

Orientation               could be landscape (to be different from other posters that are usually portrait)

Colour scheme        Yellow and blue (as web site colours)

Logo                          Include the logo as on the web site and letterhead in blue or reverse out of blue

Text size                    poster will likely go on a notice board at GP’s Surgery and read at a relatively short distance

Type style                 Use a sans serif font such as Calibre for readability same as on our website

Writing style             Plain English simple and direct using the “Active Voice” (subject verb object) and not the “Passive Voice” (object verb subject).

Illustrations              use of photos of members to be considered only if it helps the message

Content not to contradict what we have on the website but can reword and to be based on 5 elements

An attention grabber eg

  • Did you know that you are not alone!
  • If you are supporting someone with a Mental Health issue, we do too

Qualifier ie those who can join eg only those who support someone with a MH condition

Why take any action (the benefits they will receive) eg

  • make new friends in a stigma free social environment
  • get a couple of hours respite and help de-stress
  • learn more about the complexities of MH services from expert guest speakers
  • hear the latest news about MH services in the area
  • share your experiences good or bad to benefit others
  • provide real feedback to MH service professionals, local politicians

Action to take eg

  • contact us (therefore we must include our contact details on the poster)
  • visit the web site for more information

(we must include caringforcarersindacorum.com on poster)

  • give it a try and attend a meeting (where and when we meet needs to be stated)

Third party endorsement (the Skipton award)

  • We are the proud winners of the 2018 Skipton award for a community based support group or words to that effect

Discussion began with Dick suggesting that we should first agree a target number of members before promoting the group in this manner.  Terry stated that whatever number is chosen, at this stage, it wouldn’t change his recommendations for the content of the poster.

Minimum discussion was held about the design and production of a possible leaflet or the content of articles in magazines or on radio.  No decisions were made about content or design and accordingly, the group agreed to set up a small working group of members to take the issue further.

Volunteer participants of the working group at the time of writing were Francis and Tim W, Dick and Hazel L, Rod C.

Any Other Business

There was no time to consider any other business as the group were ready for the drinks and nibbles kindly prepared by Hazel and Dick L.

Date of next meeting – 4th April 2019. Speaker Chris Lawrence Chair of the Trust