What a wonderful evening ALDAG’s AGM was and such a credit to the Trustees, helpers and members.
92 people attended, which Pam, the Chairman, thinks is a record and is a testament to the success of the organisation.
After a message of support from the Rector Richard Jones, we learnt about the various fundraising events which have led to a very healthy financial position. The Quiz evening, Village Day, Sponsored Walk and Tyrrells Wood Golf Day all played a big part in this stability.
David, the Treasurer, received a big thankyou for his attention to detail and for being “a safe pair of hands”.
Pam spoke about some of the main highlights and concerns of the past year. The new website had a very positive impact and has brought in new members and contacts with outside agencies. Attention had been paid to the new legislation on the handling of data. The Cookery Masterclasses during the summer gave an opportunity for the Café ALDAG team to try something different. The plans for an ALDAG charity shop to give more employment opportunities were progressing and she hoped that by the time of next year’s AGM it would all be up and running.
We saw some impressive slides illustrating the work of the members involved with the gardening group and showing how the allotment had been transformed by their hard work into a productive plot, supplying vegetables for sale and for the ALDAG Cafe.
A highlight for the Café team was serving the community with nearly 500 pancakes on Shrove Tuesday – a real team effort, and obviously popular. The Café, under Fiona’s management continues to provide a real service to Ashtead, as well as developing all kinds of skills for the team members.
Small group holidays are well supported and a new social club for the Teens and Twenties age group was developing well and would be holding fortnightly meetings.
As we heard about all ALDAG’s activities, what came over very clearly to all of us at the meeting was how much all the members valued the opportunities to meet up with old friends and to build new friendships.
The lively atmosphere of the Conquerors Club was shown vividly on video and all the members and leaders came up on the stage to tell us what they had been doing over the year. There were lots of thank yous but, sadly, also some goodbyes and thank yous to Peter Speller and four of his longer serving Conquerors leaders. Peter was awarded and ALDAG Oscar and we were introduced to Sofia Welsby who would be replacing Peter and working as the new Social Clubs Leader.
We were impressed with all the hard work, love and devotion given to ALDAG by so many people – too many to list individually, but all deserving of enormous thanks.
The focus for the year to come will be on employment and furthering social opportunities and also on celebration – 2018 is the 20th anniversary of the founding of ALDAG and the 10th anniversary of Café ALDAG.
Thank you ALDAG members for showing us so clearly what a friendly and positive group you are.