Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Annual General Meeting – 13th February 2013 – Notes

Approximately 23 branch members met at Cherry Garden School.

Committee apologies

  • Mariette
Reports from the 2012 committee

  • Dave, Kim, Lars and Brett presented their reports. Lars also summarised Mariette’s.
Club accounts

  • Lars distributed a written summary of the club accounts for 2012. The closing balance was £3,834.
  • It was noted that BSAC fees are increasing in 2013.
  • Lars advised that the current monthly club fees (unchanged for 2 years) are under review. If the club’s outgoings are increased by Fusion, we will unfortunately have to consider an increase.

  • Concern was expressed that members’ email addresses were not visible in messages sent by the committee. It was felt that it would be useful to see all email addresses, so members can see who is receiving information, can keep up-to-date regarding the club’s membership, and can use email addresses to organise lifts etc.
  • The committee explained that approximately 18 months ago it was decided not to give out or display members’ email addresses in committee messages, for data protection reasons and to avoid unwanted reply-to-all messages.
  • Various potential solutions were discussed. One suggestion was to set up an email address that any member can use to send a message to all members, without members’ email addresses being revealed.
  • It was agreed that the new committee review communication arrangements, and put forward proposals/solutions to members.

  • Various housekeeping changes to the current constitution were proposed.
  • There was some discussion about what was included in the current constitution, so it was agreed to post the constitution on the club website.
  • It was also agreed that the changes proposed would be sent to all members along with a copy of the constitution, and if no objections were made then the changes would be implemented.
Training Officer’s Report – including Website

  • What we did in 2012
    • Thanks to all the instructors and members who have helped out with training both in and around the pool and on dives throughout the season.
    • Lots of lectures and practical sessions got done, although there still seems to be a few people that don’t turn up and don’t let anyone know. This is obviously very frustrating especially for pool work where an instructor has had to prep and bring all their kit down. Please be mindful of that.
    • We’ve worked quite hard this year on recording our dives, both on the logs and as an overall record for the year and so I can tell you that we have managed to dive as a club to depths equal to the Titanic 3 times. Unfortunately we haven’t managed to make it all the way back yet and we have a lot of Deco to do but it’s still pretty impressive.
    • We also tried recording air consumption but that was slightly more problematic as that is one thing we as a club aren’t so good at recording but with the growth of our trainees we will be able to get Assistant Dive marshal’s involved taking the records. This would then be useful for us all to see how our air consumption decreases over the year and give us some benchmarks for our individual training.
    • We didn’t attend many SDC’s this year. Mainly it was the Dive Leaders doing their Practical Rescue Management and O2 Admin. However, we are planning on running some of these internally and getting to the stage when we can run more.
  • How I see us going forward in 2013
    • Increasing the number of Assistant Training officers seconded to help out with training. This will hopefully mean that all grades will be getting assistance and encouragement to progress.
    • Victor has already taken over the administration of the Training Records Sheet which he will update and with the new Training Officer work to include Instructors filling in lectures and practical’s they have given. Just a reminder that not only is the record a great resource for the Training Team to see who needs what but also acts as a backup in case people lose their qualification books.
    • We’ve created an Instructors resource folder in Dropbox so all active instructors can get hold of the latest Visual Aids, Teaching Notes and literature for lessons. This also means that we’re all singing from the same song sheet which can be quite difficult to keep up with as things do change rapidly within the BSAC training regime.
    • We’ve already got a volunteer to take the Lifesaver SDC in April and we’ll also be running the DrySuit course again around the same time so that those who need it can attend.
    • We have talked about and should implement the running of a Rescue Skills refresher for any and all members who intend diving this year. We are lucky enough not to use these skills regularly so the importance of practice is increased.
  • Web Site, Blog and Social Media
    • The website is currently looking ok, some updates to do after the AGM but generally we’re looking good. The one comment that we do get is that our website is more current than a lot of sites which to be honest is more good luck than anything else. With that in mind I’m in the process of coercing a couple of people in the club into helping out with content, trip reports, photos and articles to keep it fresh and as other sets of eyes checking things out. I’m also going to create a video gallery as we’ve had a few good videos before but never enough to create a whole page. Following the Litterpick, Bjorn’s Flick and a massive upsurge in people with video capable cameras I think this is going to change so I’ll get on with that. Thanks to Joe, Pat, Paddy and Bjorn for the footage we have so far which we’ll now showcase. However, that does not mean that everyone else can abdicate responsibility. If you see something that you think is wrong, could be improved, needs including, then let us know.
    • I’ve also spoken to Simon at SCUBA and said that we’re getting better at writing articles for the blog so he’s going to keep looking at it and if he sees anything he can use then he’ll ask us for it. To that end if you have an article you want to write for the blog then send it over, with pictures. Must be relevant to the sport but can be about a piece of kit, a trip, a course, a get the point.
    • We now have a Dropbox for members that you have all been invited to. For those amongst you who like the Len Deighton spy books you’ll have an idea what this is but basically it’s an online storage box for things that we all have access to and can add to. Currently this has Critters, Dive Magazines, Dive Sites (wrecks, locations, and accommodation), Photos (in albums), and a Photography Skills folder with some useful tips and hints on taking pics. The beauty of this is also that you can install Dropbox onto your own computer and it will synchronise with the online version every time you connect so you always have the latest information. The system can also be used for anything you want to store and share, not just this but the Bermondsey Members Folder is just for our stuff. If you get stuck or need help then ask. Thanks to Andy for starting the Dropbox revolution back in 2011 with the Lundy Photos and Kim for starting the Club folder.
    • Facebook, we have a Facebook group page which we are using quite a bit to share pics and useful snippets on. If you aren’t currently a members then just ask to join. I am also in the process of setting up a Google+ group page for the same reason. We can share our info across all these platforms with just a click which means potentially we’re increasing our internet footprint which could help with membership. I am also looking at a couple of Club websites which just ask you to fill in your details and where people can search their area for things to do and find us.
    • So overall we’re keeping up with the technology but this is only possible because you all contribute.
    • Trying to do it all by yourself is a full time job and no one person has that kind of time.
Dive calendar

  • Thanks to the work of several members, there is an extensive list of dives planned this year.
  • There was confusion regarding the colour-coding of the dive list, and which dives would/wouldn’t be subsidised by the club. Brett to clarify this on the club website.
Instructor development scheme

  • Brett explained that there is currently a scheme in place for all members wishing to take the Instructor Foundation Course (IFC) whereby the club would subsidise half the cost of the course.
  • Brett also proposed that any member taking advantage of this offer should run 10 lectures and 10 practical sessions to qualify for the subsidy. This would be recorded on a card in the member’s qualification book.
Election of committee

  • The following members were elected: Chairperson – Clive, Diving Officer – Brett, Treasurer – Lars, Equipment Officer – Ross, Training Officer – Lee, Secretary – Victor. Teresa agreed to be Welfare Officer again.
  • Co-opted positions (such as assistant Training Officers) to be discussed at the first committee meeting.

  • The outgoing committee were thanked for their work over the last year.

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