Conference update - important
It is with sad hearts that this blog comes to you. At the meeting of the CG/trustees on Saturday, we took the decision to cancel this year's conference. It's not a decision we made lightly.
The decision was made because our numbers for booking this year were much lower than in previous years, and had we gone ahead with the conference with the projected number of people we have, we would incur a massive financial loss. As trustees of a charity, we have a legal responsibility not to be irresponsible with the money that BAPCA holds, and we felt that we could not justify the amount of money that it would have cost for the conference to go ahead.
I'm sure that some of you will be very sad about this, as are we. I (LJ) was looking forward to joining the larger BAPCA (and otherwise person-centered) community again for the weekend and seeing those I don't otherwise get to see, and many of the trustees feel the same way. Others of you may be worried that this is the end for BAPCA.
We don't feel this is the end for BAPCA. Or, at least, we hope this is not the end for BAPCA. We (all - trustees, BAPCA members, interested non-members) have been saying for a while that BAPCA needs to change. We have been hoping to start this process by changing our constitution. This will write in (amongst other things) a dynamically changing trustee membership - one of the comments raised in the past is that it is the same people doing the same things. With the new constitution this *cannot* happen - we have written in maximum terms that will ensure a turnover of people. There are other changes as well, and members have again recently been invited to look over the constitution document and give comments.
On a practical level, we are moving to new things also. We held an encounter day in Coventry in February, which was much enjoyed by those who came. We worked hard to make this accessible in terms of practicalities - the venue is a mile from the train station, has a hearing loop and a Stannah stair lift/wheelchair at the top, and financially - we ran a number of bursaries, including travel for both members and non-members. We are hoping to book another date for the end of September also - please keep your ears to the ground.
There will also be another encounter day organised more towards Birmingham - dates yet to be finalised there, and we would welcome anyone who wanted to suggest a suitable venue (contact email@example.com.
We ALSO hope that this won't be the last of our conferences. At the AGM we hope to look at these things, and it is clear that we need some re-thinks. It might be that the conference format needs to change, or the pricing format needs to change (or both). It might be that there are completely different changes that need to happen, and we are open to hearing them all.
Right now, we would like BAPCA to continue. We need your help. If you want to stand to be on the CG/trustees, you need to be a member, and the commitment is one skype meeting a month of two hours, and one all-day meeting once a quarter. If you can't travel, it is possible to skype in for some/all of it, so you needn't miss out that way. Other than that, the commitment depends on the jobs that you want to take on. The more you take on, the more you'll be doing, but you needn't be overwhelmed by trustee duties. You are also welcome to join us as an observer prior to becoming a trustee if you wanted to have a feel of what it's like before you made a formal decision.
Failing that, come to the AGM/EGM where your views about all of this can be heard.
LJ on behalf of the trustees