The JOIN Annual General Meeting 2022 from 20th to 22nd May was hosted by our Cypriot member. Twenty-six delegates from St John enterprises across Europe met in the city of Larnaca to discuss a broad spectrum of topics.

From left to right First row: Eva Pelgen (JOIN Office), Melanija Grundšteina (Latvia), Lidwien van der Reep (The Netherlands), Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque (Most Venerable Order of St John), Floor van Dedem (Johanniter Orde), Prof Graziella Kainich (Italy), Anne-Marie Clive (England), Nancy Kestler (Germany), Panos Koutourousis (Cyprus). Second row: Joachim Berney (JOIN Office), Dr Ahmad Maali (Jerusalem), David Dahdal (Jerusalem), Dr Michael Frendo (Malta), Dr Ingo von Voß (Johanniterorden), Andrew Grech (St John Malta). Third row: Johannes Bucher (Austria), Frederik Ahlefeldt-Laurvig (Denmark), Christian Velten-Jameson (France), Eric von Troil (Finland), László Porcsalmy (Hungary), Mark Broughton (JOIN Chairman, England), Thomas Vorwerk (Switzerland), Stephan Beschle (Most Venerable Order of St John), Panos Constantidines (Cyprus). Not in the picture: Dr Robert Brandstetter (Austria).

The first day began with our Chairman, Mark Broughton, outlining the activities of the Board and the network over the past twelve months. He highlighted the COVID-19 response and the humanitarian aid for Ukraine provided by all JOIN members.

Our Vice-Chairman, Christian Velten-Jameson, then provided comprehensive financial information. The delegates unanimously approved the co-optation of Christian Meyer-Landrut to the JOIN Board.

This was followed by presentations of the working groups providing more detailed information about their activities which encouraged discussion and planning on several issues. The Head of the PR, Marketing & Communication Working Group (Dr Robert Brandstetter, Johanniter Austria) asked the delegates to approve the revised version of the ‘Guidelines and Basic Documents for Public Relations of Johanniter International’. Delegates welcomed the restart of the Volunteer Swap program presented by the Volunteering & Youth Working Group (chaired by Nancy Kestler, Johanniter Germany) and committed to broadening its offers and spectrum of volunteers.

On behalf of the Clinical Working Group, JOIN Chairman Mark Broughton reported on the publication of ‘First Aid for 5 to 7 year old’ along with ‘Guidance for teachers and instructors’. These documents are freely available to the public in a dozen languages, while the JOIN European First Aid Guidelines have been now published in seventeen different languages. Finally, the JOIN Office reported on the activities of the Fundraising Working Group and highlighted the cooperation in the field of knowledge exchanges and grant management.

On the second day, the delegates gave an overview of the general activities of their respective charities over the past twelve months. 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 EU funding opportunities. Eva Pelgen (JOIN Office) presented JOIN’s ongoing EU-funded research project called MED1stMR.

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 coming years.

The AGM 2023 will take place in Brussels from 19th to 21st May.