news from John Rostill - NHS Retirement Fellowship

National Health Service Retirement
Fellowship information from the
Director, John Rostill OBE,
to members
Reg Charity No 287936
PATRON: Ken Jarrold CBE
March 2015
Many of you may already know that, after 16 years in post, Martin Davis is resigning after
the AGM in July and we are in the process of advertising for a new Honorary Treasurer.
Maggie Havergal, the Development Officer in Scotland has also tendered her resignation
for family reasons and we wish both Martin and Maggie well for the future (information
about both vacancies is on the website).
We have three new trustees, George Kempton has been elected to the new South West
Region, Jack Yan has taken over from Frank Pyke in South East Thames and Denise
Maidwell has been elected as regional representative for the north east following the
resignation of Mavis Wilkinson Hamilton.
Planning the way forward for the Fellowship
I wrote in November about the strategy that the trustees of the Fellowship are drawing up
to make the charity more efficient and effective. A lot of work has been undertaken
concerning the governance of the Fellowship that has culminated in a consensus that the
Fellowship requires a new constitution to be fit for purpose. A draft first constitution was
presented to National Council in February and, naturally, there was a great deal of debate.
Any constitution has to be written in a form that will be acceptable to, and meet the
requirements of the Charity Commission and we will be taking legal advice on the exact
wording before it is presented to the AGM for approval in July. A copy of the new national
constitution will be sent to branches in advance of the AGM. As the wording has to
conform to the requirements of the charity commission and is a legal document, we will be
sending an accompanying paper to explain the changes in understandable English!
Fellowship Finances
You may know that the NHS in England reduced our grant for 2014/15 by 25%. The
Welsh government also reduced their grant, and for this year they are asking for a lot of
information about how the money is spent before agreeing to release the full amount. In
Scotland, a three year grant was agreed; we are now approaching the final year and we
will be starting to negotiate with the government very shortly. Every funding body has
demanded that the Fellowship finds ways of becoming more self–sufficient and they have
identified that our national subscription is extremely low in comparison to other
organisations. The trustees have agreed, in principle, that an increase is necessary and a
proposal will be sent to branches in advance of the AGM.
In order to address the shortfall between the income received and the expenditure
incurred, a number of savings have already been made and the Honorary Treasurer and I
NHS Retirement Fellowship Forston Clinic Charminster Dorchester Dorset DT2 9TB
Tel: 01305 361317
[email protected]
will be drawing up a budget for 2015/16 that will make further savings but will need to draw
on our reserves to balance the budget.
The annual conference which attracts 300 or so members has always been heavily
subsidised by the Fellowship The trustees will be considering whether it is possible to
continue to subsidise the event in future years and will be making a proposal to the AGM
Joint activities with the Civil Service Retirement Fellowship
For a few years, we have been meeting with the Chief Executive of the Civil Service
Retirement Fellowship and a few of her colleagues to discuss ways that we can work
together. The Book Club, the Photography Group and the Golf Tour are all activities that
we organise jointly for our members. Vic Griffiths is now working with the CSRF, putting
branches from each organisation in touch with each other where they could benefit from
occasional joint activities. As an example, branches often report to the Regional
Representatives that they have difficulty filling a coach for an outing which makes the
event too expensive to run. By offering seats to the CSRF local branch, the cost of the
event is significantly reduced and, by taking turns to organise the events, the workload is
reduced. A branch may have a number of members interested in the theatre, walking or
cinema etc. – shared organisation of these events can benefit both branches. If you have
a branch of the CSRF in your locality and would be interested in getting together
occasionally, contact Vic Griffiths by telephone: 01708 228911 or by email:
[email protected]
We are now producing the Fellowship newsletter in-house thanks to our editor, Andrew
Moss and to Sherry Smith. Please support them by sending information of interest to
Sherry for publication. Many of you have contacted her at Central Office saying that they
are willing to receive their newsletter by email and this will save the Fellowship
considerable cost.
The Pensions Agency will not be sending out recruitment flyers this year and regional
representatives are looking at ways to support branches with local recruitment initiatives.
Suggestions from postal and branch members about how we can inform retirees about the
Fellowship and encourage them to join are always welcome, please email or write to me at
central office.
Fellowship Award to NHS Trust
In Wales, the Aneurin Bevan Health Board has been given an award for their exceptional
and continuing support to the Fellowship. Branches in England who receive similar support
from their local NHS Trust are invited to nominate them for an award. I have already
received three nominations from English branches; please send further nominations to me
at central office.
NHS Retirement Fellowship Forston Clinic Charminster Dorchester Dorset DT2 9TB
Tel: 01305 361317
[email protected]
Keep Me Posted
A few years ago, concerns were raised by our members about businesses who are
increasingly restricting how they communicate with their customers. Many of our members
do not use a computer and everyone has a right to choose how they receive bills and
statements from banks and other financial service companies, utility companies, and other
service providers. This issue affects everyone, but independent research reveals that the
people who often have the greatest need for paper statements and bills are the older
generation, those who are disabled, and those who lack access to the internet or lack
basic digital skills. The NHS Retirement Fellowship has signed up to the “keep me posted"
campaign on behalf of the members.
Although 124 members are signed up to the lottery that is administered by St Anne’s
Hospice, 24 members have already won prizes, two of whom have scooped the top prize
of £2,000. The National Council have agreed to give more publicity to this and new flyers
have been ordered so speak to Sherry at central office if you would like some, or download
the application form from our website. It is understood that some branches would prefer to
support their local hospice, but for those who don’t, I urge branches to give publicity the St
Anne’s lottery.
Email addresses
I have heard reports from Regional Representatives that members are worried that email
addresses of our members will be given or sold to other organisations. Please reassure
your members that not only would we never do this, but any information that we hold on
members is covered by the data protection act and we are therefore legally bound not to
share this information.
Annual Conference, July 2015
I hope that many of you will be attending our conference at the Queens Hotel in Leeds
from Friday 3 July to Monday 6 July. The hotel is adjacent to the railway station, is central
for shops and restaurants and has excellent facilities. This year the conference theme will
focus on the future of the NHS Retirement Fellowship and we are looking forward to some
interesting debate. I hope that as many of you as possible will come and have your say
about how you see our future.
Interest groups and holidays
The latest book, “One Night in Winter” by Simon Sebag Montefiore has been sent to Book
Club members; membership and books are free to members and if you would like to join,
speak to David Tickner on 020 8691 7411 or email him at [email protected]
The Photography Group competition on the theme of Travel was won by Suzanne Veal
from the Suffolk West branch. Congratulations to her and to the members who submitted
some marvellous prints; entries can be seen on-line from a link on the website. The theme
for the current competition is “Fitness and Fun” and entries close on 31 May 2015. A visit
NHS Retirement Fellowship Forston Clinic Charminster Dorchester Dorset DT2 9TB
Tel: 01305 361317
[email protected]
to the Natural History Museum is planned for Tuesday 19th May to see the Wildlife
Photographer of the Year Competition. Details from Anthea Graham on 01520 722951 or
by email: [email protected]
The 4th Seniors Golf Tour at St. Pierre Golf and Country Club is scheduled for Tuesday
8 September 2015. Contact John Toman, Tournament Director on 01291 620345 /
mobile: 07768 406233 or by email: [email protected]
You can find out details of holidays and short breaks in 2015 from the website or you
can contact Della Holidays on 01934 420318 or email [email protected]
Malta is the destination for this year’s autumn holiday.
I send my best wishes to all your members
John Rostill
NHS Retirement Fellowship Forston Clinic Charminster Dorchester Dorset DT2 9TB
Tel: 01305 361317
[email protected]