AGM minutes – 29th March 2016

10th May 2016
 The 2016 Stempra AGM was held on Tuesday 29 March. Here are the minutes in full and a list of attendees. You can meet our new committee here.



1. Approve minutes from 2015 AGM

Minutes were approved by the general aye.


2. Update from Chair

So we’re here for another Stempra AGM, and for me this time it’s also rather sad as I’ve reached the end of my two year period. It’s been great, I have had the chance to work with the most amazing team and there has been a huge amount of change.

When I think of how much of a revamp there has been with:
Sallie, overhauling the payment and banking. The hours in bank queues and trying to get our heads around something that should be so simple yet somehow was incredibly painful. Finally though Sallie dragged us kicking and screaming from bank accounts that only worked by cheque to a fully online system with electronic banking and even a debit card! Expenses were suddenly sorted instantaneously and everything just worked.

Nicola, who completely changed the membership system. Now we have an all singing, all dancing system where people can go online, change their details, sign up to things and get easily notified about everything. I think that’s a major reason why our numbers have swelled from around 200 to 500 in the past two years.

Emma, who bashed her head repeatedly against the wall until we had a great website where we could share everything, tell people what we were up to and actually keep everything in one place. And through everything as Secretary Anna has cajoled, aided and assisted us in getting everything sorted . Of course as any member will tell you the most important thing about Stempra though is sharing knowledge, having great events or a thriving email discussion group. All the committee has come together to put on some amazing events, to keep the old favourites going and to try some new ideas like the Behind the Scenes at the Ri that Hayley organised.

Over the past year highlights have included, Social Media 2.0, a training workshop run by Rob and Jess that filled up in seconds and had rave reviews. We’ve had big debates on animal research and around 100 people turning up for the women in science event that Clare ran. We’ve had journalists, press officers, and policy bods on the panels and everyone has learned loads.

We’ve also had the Summer social and Christmas party as excuses to mingle and just have fun. Jenni, with help from our friends at Campus PR, pulled together a Manchester training event that had 40 people and journalists travelled across the country for it. And, most recently, we had our flagship Press Officer Training Day that was organised by Jay, though everyone took part and pulled together sessions on stats, social media, ethics, meeting journalists and even an excellent scenario exercise by Claire that was really enjoyed. We had nearly 100 people at that, many of whom will go on to become key Stempra members.

Breakfast meetings – Crisis comms, Growing a team, Conflicts of interest, Making a media strategy…

But I have decided Stempra would do better with new blood. It’s time for someone to come in with new ideas and ambitions and lots more energy!


3. Update from treasurer

SR updated the AGM on the accounts. Stempra has about £20,000 in various accounts. The AGM agreed in 2015 that there was no need to preserve that surplus and that Stempra should spend some of this money.

The accounts show that in 2015, Stempra ran a surplus of £900. Stempra will run a deficit for 2016, of around £4,500. This is mainly due to no external funding for the Press Officers Training day, which we ran from our own funds.

Membership numbers mean the income has swelled, but this has been offset by the regional meeting which cost a bit more.

The membership system does have a cost, and SR flagged an error in the accounts where this money was taken out twice – this will be corrected.


4. Approve accounts

Accounts approved by the general aye.


5. Appoint auditor for the next year

Peter Cooper, our former auditor has stood down. The meeting noted thanks for his services over the past years.

Simon Levey has been proposed for the auditor. This was approved by the general aye.


6. Voting for 2015-16 committee

The meeting ran voting on the following positions and the following were nominated.

  • Chair – Harry Dayantis
  • Treasurer – Sallie Robbins
  • Secretary – Shane Canning
  • Events – Trish Regis
  • Newsletter – Fareha Lasker
  • Web manager – This role will be filled by Hayley Burwell who is currently on the committee
  • Non-portfolio – Nicola Kane, Fiona Lethbridge, Elspeth Houlding


7. AOB

Hayley Burwell proposed a vote of thanks for the committee members standing down.

Edward Sykes noted congratulations for the new committee members and closed the AGM.


Alice Kay
Anna Perman
Ben Sawtel
Carmel Turner
Claire Hastings
Clare Ryan
Ed Sykes
Elspeth Houlding
Emma Knott
Fareha Lasker
Fiona Lethbridge
Harry Dayantis
Hayley Burwell
Jay Stone
Jenni Lacey
Jenny Gimpel
Jess Devonport
Nicola Kane
Rachel Argo
Sallie Robbins
Shane Canning
Sophie McCullough
Tom Bragg
Trish Regis


Date and Time: 7.00pm Tuesday 29th March 2016
Venue: The Albany, 240 Great Portland St, W1W 5QU

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