Richard Homewood (Chair), Christine Boulton-Lane, Nola McSweeney, Edwin Rew, Bill Evans, Ray Keene, Cllr Nigel Sinden, Diane Reed, Janet Jarvis, Roger Mitchell, Eve Martin, Liz MacKay, James Bacon, John Geater, Tanya Kavanagh, Sue Furness (minutes).
Apologies for Absence
Robin Gray, Lynn White, Derek Tomblin & Jacqui Lockwood.
Minutes of OGM of 20th May and Matters arising
Minutes were agreed and any matters arising would be covered by the agenda.
Ray outlined the Treasurer’s Report. There had been membership fees (£50) paid by the London group and donations including money raised at the BBQ at the White’s house. Total funds £27477.10. Ray confirmed the Gold account (£14770.10) is purely for the Health Centre. (further details under ‘Health’)
Roger reported that the IPC meeting had been held earlier today. This was the last meeting of the year and the children judged their poetry. The IPC meetings are seen as an important way to keep the links strong. An article had appeared in the Hastings Observer reporting the IPC children meeting with the Mayor about the twin sign.
The Sierra Leone football tournament had been a great success, with St Mary Star of the Sea sweeping the board.
It was agreed that Theresa Bennett should be thanked for her organisation of the event. Roger to contact Ken Barne to source a gift up to £25 for Theresa along with a letter of thanks.
OVPA are now twinned with Maynard School in Kossoh Town. Mandy Hinxman is moving from Little Ridge to All Saints. The link will be managed by another member of staff at Little Ridge. St Leonards Academy – Roger is to meet Jenny Jones regarding who will continue the link there as Lewis has been promoted and Melinda is now a full time mother.
There will be no teacher exchanges next year due to the Ebola crisis although it may be possible for others.
At least 5 schools have equipment for the container. Roger will try again to contact Richard White for a date for schools to move their boxes to St Pauls.
Communication with Francis has improved and he has been meeting with his link teachers. It is very difficult for them – morale is very low.
James Bacon thanked Roger for his recent talk at Blacklands.
Christine briefly outlined the Health report (attached) from their meeting on 22nd June. She drew attention to the fact that Melanie Bray was no longer part of the Link and thanked her for her contribution.
The Health committee had met again yesterday and decided that although most of their ‘wish list’ could be purchased here, some things would be better to be purchased in Sierra Leone. After Ebola, it is like starting from scratch and a real opportunity for us to do something. John Geater stated that more than 80 health workers in SL had been lost to Ebola and there was a reluctance to train to work in the health sector. Any child mortality gains over the last 10 years had been wiped out.
A discussion took place on committed funds from the Gold account and whether monies to be spent could be increased.
It was agreed that money to be spent by the Health committee in the UK could be increased from £2,500 to £3,500.
It was agreed that money to be spent in SL could be increased from £2,500 to £3,500. (Proposed by ER and seconded by JG).
Other funds committed from the Gold account – £1000 towards container cost and £3,500 for rewiring, leaving £3270.
It was agreed that photos were the best way of confirming what equipment had been purchased for the Health Centre from funds sent to SL .
Ray Keene stated he had received a letter about policies and procedures re payments to other counties. RH said we needed to be conscious that money going abroad is scrutinised by the authorities in connection with their counter-terrorism activity.
Liz mentioned the problems of IT equipment sent out being stolen. – Nigel will talk to IT dept at HBC re advice for security attachments.
RH reported that he and Link colleagues had met with the Rotary club. The cost of a full solar power installation for the Health Centre would be £17-18K and there was a worry about the capability to maintain the system and maintenance costs. The logical conclusion would be to concentrate on rewiring so it is safe, use mains electricity and sorting out the generator as a back up for essential equipment. Rotary Club are focused on raising money for this.
RH has asked for quote on a small scale emergency lighting system run by solar energy (waiting for reply).
Outstanding electricity bills have now been paid so the Health Centre has power.
Fundraising & Future Events
The Rotary club dance had been very successful. Unsure as to how much money was raised.
Musical Quiz – 18th September
This will be held at St Pauls – the committee were urged to support it.
31st October – this needs to be promoted. RH handed out flyers and poster. Need to encourage people outside the group to buy a table – an opportunity to introduce new people. Lynn is leading the organisation and the sub group will meet on 29th July. Raffle prizes needed!
Orange Quiz Sheets
Nola would like someone else to take over the orange quiz sheets (or at least help!). RH asked everyone to think about it.
JG suggested carol singing.
JB suggested a float for the Hastings Carnival for 2016.
Christine said she would like to host a garden party.
Nola suggested another quiz next year, maybe in the autumn.
Draft Link Strategy (Click here to read it in full or to download)
RH spoke about the impact of Ebola on schools. Education is the key to creating a sustainable future – we must help them help themselves. He outlined the draft link strategy which focused on four three key strands, education, creating employment and business opportunities, health and communication – Christine had input into the health aspect and Roger into the education side. RW and SF were also going to comment on the education side. Yvonne would be helping with consultation with the Hastings community in SL. We need to know and understand their priorities. He stressed that if the link is to go on successfully, evolve and grow it needs a clear strategy which it can promote and publicise. RH asked all members to read through and give feedback at the next meeting but a vision for the future is essential if we are to continue to attract donations and potentially corporate sponsorship from local businesses such as Hastings Direct and/or Link Signs.
JG spoke of the need to have a ‘contract’ with SL – discuss their needs with them and create a partnership.
ER asked whether the Headman had been consulted. It was agreed that it would be really helpful if we could engage in a dialogue with him.
RH said Yvonne and Yvette were working on exchanging ideas with SL – may be through Cecil Coker, Sam French and others in the first instance .
Christine talked about raising the profile of the link and the town twinning. JB suggested a presentation at the Hastings Chamber of Commerce or other events.
RH and JB to meet to discuss how communication channels can be exploited and marketing opportunities.
Any Other Business
13th September, usual venue.
RM to contact RW re storage.
RH will contact the council re storage unit.
RH to also contact Yvonne re lead time.
Date of Next Meeting
Wednesday 16th September at 18.05 in the Town Hall.
HSLFL HEALTH CENTRE SUB COMMITTEE
NOTES OF MEETING HELD ON 22nd JUNE, 2015
- We again considered the list of equipment needed for the Health Centre, comparing the prices of items both in Sierra Leone and UK. We have agreed to purchase items including sphygmomanometers, stacking chairs and beds/mattresses. Liz and Chris will lead on this and request reimbursement from our Treasurer (initially up to £1,000 each). We have agreed that we will make purchases by the end of July in the hope that the Container will be arranged soon after that date. It was hoped that some money would be sent at that time to enable the purchase of some equipment that would be better sourced in SL and that we would be able to assist with the purchase of the remaining items when the next visit is made.
- Consideration was given to the section of the draft Strategy for the Link concerning Health. It was agreed that members of the sub-Committee would consider it and report back at the next meeting. An initial statement was that we should be asking the Staff at the Health Centre what assistance they would want from us and that it might be that concentration on Child Health including a dedicated ward for the treatment of babies/children might be the way forward.
- Disappointment was raised about the news that the ultrasound equipment had not been able to be used because of the unstable electrical voltage and Christine was asked to ascertain whether either a surge protector, dedicated small generator or an invertor would assist in enabling the use of this lifesaving equipment.
- Melanie Bray announced that she would no longer be a part of the Link although was happy to attend fund raisers. Christine thanked her for all the work that she had done for us and said she would be welcome to come to our meetings as and when she wished.
- It was agreed that we would meet again on TUESDAY, 14TH JULY at 11.00am at Glenwood.
NOTES OF MEETING HELD ON 14th JULY, 2015
This was an interim meeting primarily to discuss the purchases that were being made for the Health Centre.
- A number of items from the list of equipment required had been purchased and a number of items given free of charge, including such items as 2 laptop computers, 2 desktop computers and 25 chairs from the Conquest Hospital. It was felt that we needed to know when the container would be going as we would experience difficulty in storing items that had been given or purchased. The team felt that some items would be better purchased in Sierra Leone and would therefore wish that money would be available for this and a request was made for further funds to be made available for purchases prior to collection for shipment and it was hoped that the Trustees would agree to set a figure for both these requests.
- It was suggested that smoke damaged items might be available from the Hospice and an approach to the Hospice could prove fruitful.
- John Geater brought to our attention the recent report in the Lancet Global Health and stated that it was more important than ever before that in the aftermath of Ebola we should be helping the Hastings Health Centre in every way possible.
- It was agreed that we would meet again on MONDAY, 17TH August at 9.30am at Glenwood, SUBJECT TO CONFIRMATION.