The JOIN Annual General Meeting 2018 was hosted on 08 -10 June by our Italian member S.O.G.IT (Soccorso dell’Ordine di San Giovanni). Twenty-three delegates from St John enterprises across Europe met in the city of Lignano.

Chairman Johannes Bucher reported on the activities of the Board over the past twelve months, followed by comprehensive financial information by our Vice-Chairman, Christian Velten-Jameson. Mark Broughton was elected to the Board and will represent St John Ambulance England and The Islands in the coming year.

The JOIN working groups provided detailed information about their activities which encouraged discussion and clarification on a number of issues. Areas covered included the outcomes of the PR, Marketing & Communication Group (Dr Robert Brandstetter, Johanniter Austria) and discussions within the JOIN network regarding possible harmonisation of the members’ logos. The growing interest in teaching first aid at school was also outlined. The Brussels Office spoke about the revival of the Volunteering Group and outlined the success of the Volunteer Swap program this year.

Two granted projects resulting from a bilateral cooperation between JOIN members were presented by the International Cooperation incl. Fundraising Group (Stephan Beschle, Venerable Order of St John). 

The Head of the Clinical Group (Dr Ian Greaves, St John Ambulance) reported on the start of the drafting of JOIN European First Aid Standards. It is expected to complete the work before the next AGM in 2019. Concerning the Medical Students Exchange programme, a recorded presentation of the very first participant was shown. 

Harm-Bastian Harms (Head of unit International Projects & Cooperation, Johanniter Germany) gave an interesting insight into European Emergency response projects and invited the JOIN network to send teams to the next field exercises. The work of the Brussels Office was outlined by Joachim Berney, our General Manager providing detail of its routine activities while emphasising its focus on networking as well as EU funding opportunities.

On the second day, the delegates outlined the general activities of their charity over the past twelve months. Georg Aumayr (Johanniter Austria) provided information on the ongoing ‘My Active and Healthy Ageing’ project and indicated ways to involve JOIN members in international research projects.

Finally, after what was perceived by all delegates to be a successful AGM, a last tour de table provided the opportunity to offer feedback and suggestions for the future.

The AGM 2019 will be hosted by our Swiss member in Zurich on 10-12 May.