AGM Summary Narrative
Annual General Meeting – 21st January 2021
In January 2021, Cymru Older People’s Alliance held our first digital AGM on Zoom! Despite the challenges posed by holding our AGM on Zoom, it was an efficient and productive meeting, and we were able to welcome a number of our Forum Representatives as well as observers who have worked with us over the last year.
COPA invited Rachael Nicholson from Hourglass Cymru to speak in her capacity of Director of Hourglass Cymru and Director of Performance & Partnerships at Hourglass UK. Hourglass is a specialist charity committed to preventing abuse against older people. Although it is a very difficult topic, Rachael’s presentation was powerful and energising. Talking about abuse is not pleasant but it is necessary. Rachael spoke about the stereotypes that impact on our ability to properly identify and research the abuse of older people, the barriers to finding help, and the impact of lockdown and Covid-19. If you want to find out more about Hourglass, check their website: https://wearehourglass.org/. Their helpline number is 0808 808 8141. COPA are very appreciative to Rachael and Hourglass for all their work in this area, and for shining a light on this topic.
Our Chair, Steve Milsom, presented the Annual Report, which you can find on our website here (Annual Reports – Cymru Older People’s Alliance (copacharity.com)) Steve was pleased to report that COPA has made a good deal of progress, facilitated by the close working relationship between Trustees and Forum Representatives. Some of our key successes include our work on the Covid-19 survey of older people with Age Cymru and the other national organisations (See Age Cymru Report) , our influencing document ahead of the Welsh Senedd/Parliament elections: welsh senedd/parliament elections 2021 and our evaluation of Forums in Wales: Report on Engagement with Forums
Our Treasurer, Gaynor Davies, presented the COPA accounts. The general picture is that COPA is in a healthy financial state. Spending from March 2020 has been severely impacted by the pandemic, but Trustees have discussed this at the monthly Board Meeting, using a Risk Register to effectively manage risks. Members agreed to adopt the accounts for 2019-20 and that they should be published in accordance with Charity Commission requirements.
Members of COPA were given the opportunity to discuss and ratify the appointments of Andrew Hinchliff and Steve Milsom. Andrew is an Older People’s Champion from Conwy and was appointed in January 2020 for an initial period of three years. Steve is the current Chair of COPA and Vice Chair of Caerphilly 50+ Forum and was re-appointed for a second period of three years in October 2020. The Forum Representatives ratified these appointments. We’re all very pleased to be able to continue to work with Andrew and Steve!
Forum Representatives were asked to consider one Resolution and three Motions for debate. Owing to the limitations of Zoom and the time pressures, we were not able to have as lively a debate as we might have hoped for, but members were still allowed to have their say.
Members agreed to amend COPA’s constitution. The Board feels it would allow us to work more effectively, and to work better with forums. Forum Representatives had already been consulted in a previous meeting, and by writing. The summary of the COPA constitution can be found here: Summary Constitution. There is a link on that page to the full constitution.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on older people who should continue to be given a priority in responses to it and in recovery from it. All Members agreed this motion, and COPA will continue to fight for the needs and voices older people to be considered in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The position of 50+ Forums in Wales is variable and their future uncertain. The COPA Paper gives the recommendations and actions set out by COPA (December 2020) and provides a basis for reform and revitalisation of Forums. All Forum Representatives agreed the motion, which is an endorsement of COPA’s work to engage the Welsh Government in the future of forums.
Climate Change is an important matter for older people, and we should adopt the COPA position paper on this issue. This position paper was proposed at the last AGM and has been circulated in advance of the meeting. You can also find it on our website HERE. Forum Representatives agreed the motion. Steve urged Voting Members/Forum Representatives to use the energy from this discussion to take this action forward with forums and push to make changes.