Sheila and Nick Plaister Julie Limbrick John and Kay Skingsley
Dawn and Paul Webster David Goss Isobel and Mike Canty
Tony Nelson Shirley Britton Gill and Ray Perkins
Tony Bound Erica Wren Tessa and Ray Harding
Maxine Hinks Rosie Holder Angela Thomas
Mary Ikin Tom Ikin Lamin Darboe
Peggy Barnard

Welcome by Acting Chairman Mrs. Sheila Plaister

The Acting Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and then reported on the activities of the Executive Committee over the past 12 months.

 The resignation of Francis Glynn, GETSuk founder and elected Chairman, in October 2009 had come as a great shock to all trustees but all were determined to carry on the work started by Francis.  Sheila reported that Francis is now running GTS Kololi which now has an excellent restaurant as well as accommodation.  The remaining trustees owed it to Francis to keep the charity moving forward as he would have wished and the Acting Chair thanked him for his past work for the charity. 

Sheila Plaister was appointed as Acting Chair in January.  All other trustees remained in post as elected at the AGM. Helen Touray was invited to become a trustee in January and was appointed in March.   

Tony Bond, Rosie Holder and Angela Thomas resigned as Advisors. 
Shirley Britton remained as fundraiser.

The trustees welcomed 5 new advisors:  
Angela Athey – to look after volunteer documentation and placement.
Maxine Hinks – newsletter editor
Tony Bound & Erica Wren – Sunrise project
Tony Nelson – Sunrise Project Director

The Acting Chair reminded members that all trustees and advisors were volunteers and that more help was needed. Specific roles which need to be filled are a membership secretary, fundraisers and fundraising ideas and help in the office in Gambia.  

The year had begun with the successful signing of the agreement with Castellan. We continue to support the projects funded by St Peters and Dumbarton. 

The major event of the year had been the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Bakoteh Village Development Committee on 15 June 2010 and the launch of the Sunrise Project.  GETSuk will take over the running of the site from 1 January 2011. The Acting Chair thanked Helen Touray and Tony Nelson for their help in making the project a reality. 

The existing Nursery School at Bakoteh will close in December 2010 and all children will transfer to Sunrise Centre. Staff at both schools have been given 6 month redundancy notices and all will be invited to apply for posts at the new Centre.  Fees of 1100D per term will be payable for all students but we will offer bursaries for children where necessary.

Dawn Webster and a team of volunteers are working on a curriculum for the new school.

Refurbishment and repair of toilets will be necessary before the school can open.  Future work will include the sinking of a borehole and the building of 6 classrooms to form a Lower Basic School.

A formal opening ceremony will be held in 2011 to which all members are invited.

The Acting Chair closed by reiterating the trustees’ thanks to Tony Nelson and gave her personal thanks to the trustees for their continued commitment and support.  Final thanks were given to the members for their continued support and generous donations as without this, nothing would happen.

1.   Apologies for absence

Francis Glynn, Ian and Joyce Turner, Ian and Jane Ward-Dutton, Ruth McMeechan and Ken Duesbery,

2.   Minutes of previous AGM held 22 August 2009

The minutes of the previous meeting were passed and signed by the Acting Chair.

3.   Nominations of Officers


A nomination for  Sheila Plaister had been received, was seconded by Erica Wren and carried.


A nomination for Julie Limbrick had been received, was seconded by Erica Wren and carried.


A nomination for Paul Webster had been received, was seconded by Kay Skingsley and carried.

4.   Elections to Executive Committee

A nomination for Mr. David Goss was seconded by Kay Skingsley and carried.

A nomination for Mrs. Dawn Webster was seconded by Rosie Holder and carried 

A nomination for Helen Touray was seconded by Tony Nelson and carried. 

5.   Trustee Annual Report and Accounts

The report and accounts were circulated.

Proposed by Nick Plaister and seconded by Tony Bound. The report was accepted. 

6.   Sponsorship Report

A brief report was given, as not much had changed since last year.  A newsletter celebrating the successes of students had been prepared and circulated. The excellent and reliable feedback from Gambia had continued but as a result, some students had lost their sponsorship due to the reporting of poor school reports and/or poor attendance back to sponsors. Sheila thanked all sponsors for their continuing support.

Report accepted.

7.   Castellan West African Trust Report 

David Goss reported that the CWATP and GETSuk had started working together in 2006 with the formal merger taking place in 2009. 
The first 2 students sponsored by CWATP had gone to the University of Gambia to study Political Science and Medicine. 
The biggest project ever undertaken was bringing a child from Bwiam village to the UK for plastic surgery at a cost of £12000. The child is now recovered and taking a full part in village life. The surgeon and anaesthetist who performed the operation will visit the village in the New Year to see the child.
A child with rickets who had been given medication by the charity was now able, after 6 months, to walk unaided for 250 metres.
The charity had undertaken various work in the village including building a chain link fence around the women’s garden and they now produce enough vegetables to take some to market to sell.
Future work will include work to prevent maternal mortality by providing a midwifery qualification.
When asked "what the thing most needed in your village ?" the BWIAM VDC asked CWATP to fund the purchase of a Milling Machine. This was in late 2008. The project has grown and this is now a major project involving a purpose built building, a diesel generator, 2 Milling Machines and deep freezers. The objective is to create jobs, save women from "pounding" rice, provide villagers with longer access to fish and shrimps and enable them to freeze these and sell to tourist hotels. Work is scheduled to begin December 2010.

CWATP is organising a members guided visit to Gambia and Bwiam Village in February 2011. All members were invited to visit Bwiam.

8.   Project Reports

·    St Peters Nursery School No report received

·    Fundraising Reports No report received

·    London Corner Nursery School No report received

·    Curriculum Dawn Webster explained that a new curriculum was being developed with set lessons.

She asked that members collect coloured plastic bottle tops which can be used for counting, sorting and colour recognition in the classrooms.

She reported that we are currently sponsoring one of our teachers at a course at Gambia Teaching Training College as a way of improving the qualifications of our teaching staff.

·    Bakoteh Nursery School/The Sunrise Centre Tony Nelson gave a presentation on the Sunrise Centre.

He explained that GETSuk will operate the centre on behalf of the local community. We will integrate our existing nursery at Bakoteh and then build more classrooms to make the school bigger.
The existing buildings were built by SOS and were handed over to the community to run in 2005. This has not proved to be successful and GETS were offered the opportunity to take over, or the centre would close.
80 skills students (aged 15-17) use the Centre with lessons in English, Maths, Cookery, Tie Dye and Sewing in 3 classrooms. 30 Nursery (aged 4-7) places currently exist in 2 classrooms.
The facility is also well used by the Community for meetings.
Following agreement with the Bakoteh Development Committee of an MOU to allow GETS to operate the centre, in June, Helen Touray has been appointed as Director of the centre and GETS will run the facility from 1st Jan 2011.  It will begin with 3 Skills Training Classes, for 80 young adults and 2 Nursery classes, with around 60 children.
Work between now and January will focus on repairs and maintenance to the centre and Helen will be shadowing the current Head of the centre to find out how it “ticks”. We will also be recruiting a complete new staffing team in Nov/Dec, with help from Tony Bound and Erica Wren.

9.   Questions and Comments.

Isobel Canty reported that she was tremendously impressed with the work which had been done over the last year and was thanked by the Chairman.   
Julie Limbrick paid tribute to Sheila Plaister for taking the lead as acting chairman


Meeting closed 1:45pm    

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