AGM 2022 News
Our AGM was held at the Riverside Club on Thursday 13th October and it was really lovely to be able to meet up in person with so many volunteers once again. The actual business part of the meeting was quite brief but gave us plenty of time to enjoy the wine and cheese afterwards.
Linda Roberts, Town Clerk from Melksham Town council spoke to thank Link for the valuable service that we provide for so many residents in the town and surrounding villages.
The opportunity was taken to say a fond farewell to Heather Newman who has stepped down as Secretary after six years. Heather has really worked hard to ensure we have up to date policies and procedures in place that all charities have to have. She was also responsible for establishing the tradition of a quarterly Newsletter for you all. Also stepping down from their roles were Danny Holland and Philip Toop. They too were thanked for their contributions to the smooth running of Link.
Katherine Mills has joined us as the new Secretary, Liz Rowley as Vice Chairman and Phil Davis as Assistant Treasurer. Ron Walby and Ian Argyll were elected as Joint Auditors.
Running a charity like Link is really like running a small business now and so we are very grateful to everyone who takes on any extra responsibilities. The current Committee is:
Link says goodbye to long serving Heather at AGM
We are always seeking new recruits for both driving and to co-ordinate so if you know of anyone who might be interested then please encourage them and pass on our telephone number or direct them to our website
www.Melkshamlink.com OR 07979 129052
If you think you know a place where we can advertise then also please let Liz or Dee know.
NO MORE FREE TRIPS
It has been agreed at the last committee meeting to withdraw our policy of offering free trips to some clients. Existing clients who have benefitted from the free trips will be informed and new clients will not be offered this benefit. As we work on a donation system then we now should expect every client to make a donation towards their journey. It is fully appreciated that some clients making frequent trips may experience some financial hardship but no donation is too small. Therefore please ensure that all clients are given the opportunity to make their donation via the brown envelope.
WEBSITE – www.melkshamlink.com
Our website is up and running and Ian Argyll has recently agreed to become the Webmaster. On the menu bar there is a section called Volunteer Area which is a secure section with information just for volunteers. You will need to follow the instructions to sign up if you haven’t done so before.
Clicking on the Volunteers section will take you to the dashboard pictured. There you can access useful information and can download the new expenses form. As from this month it will also contain the minutes of the committee meetings so everyone can see what has been discussed and what decisions taken. The section on hospital information is currently being revised to add more detail on parking and access.
AVAILABILTY AND EXPENSES
PLEASE ensure that you let Co-ordinators know your availability well in advance, ideally on a Monday for the following week. Co-ordinating really is a tricky task and it is very helpful if they do not have to phone drivers to ask for their availability information.
New expenses sheets can be downloaded from the website. PLEASE ensure you add up all the columns and complete the form as fully as possible. They can be handed in at anytime before the first Tuesday of the month when expenses are paid out. Please drop off your forms and donations with either Richard Clark at 56 Bath Road Atworth SN12 8JY or Phil Davis, 71 Dunch Lane Melksham SN12 8DX. All stationery can be collected from them too.
(Coordinators and Treasurers would be really grateful for your help).
PARKING AT RUH
The parking arrangements have changed recently and this has caused some issues. The Chairs of all the Link groups in Wiltshire discussed this, at length, with the Head of Parking at the RUH during their recent Zoom meeting.
Parking is always tight at the hospital but we now have 25 dedicated parking spaces for Link drivers. All the carparks, including the drop off zone, are now monitored by parking attendants not ANPR cameras. The drop off zone is no longer time limited although the expectation is you drop and go. If you have to park for longer – for example if you have to escort your client to a department then let the parking office know. The parking office is adjacent to main reception desk. Likewise if you have an issue with parking go and tell them. If your client has a disabled badge you can park in main carpark and scan their card on the parking machines to gain a free exit.
The situation isn’t ideal from our point of view and Link Chairs will continue to liaise with the parking Manager. If all else fails then park in main carpark, pay the fee and claim it back on your expenses sheet.
Please remember it is your responsibility to check for parking restrictions wherever you take a client. We do not always get free parking so if you do pay then keep you receipt or ticket and claim it back. Let’s try to avoid parking fines !!
The drivers handbook and (soon) the website give you some guidance on parking but things change!
END OF A BUSY YEAR
In the last year Melksham Link Drivers made 1,555 journeys, clocking 47660 miles. Thank you to everybody who made this happen. You really do make a difference.
Merry Christmas and Very Happy 2023!