The JOIN Annual General Meeting 2019 was hosted on 10-12 May by our Swiss member. Thirty-four delegates – a record for an AGM – from St John enterprises across Europe met in the city of Zurich to discuss a wide spectrum of topics.
The first day began with our Chairman, Johannes Bucher, outlining the activities of the Board and the network over the past twelve months, followed by comprehensive financial information by our Vice-Chairman, Christian Velten-Jameson. All delegates warmly approved the application of Johanniterhjaelpen Denmark to become a member of Johanniter International. The delegates also unanimously approved an amendment to the Article of Association creating the status of ‘Associated member’. This new tool is aimed to attract St John organisations which are currently not members of the JOIN network.
This was followed by presentations of the working groups providing more detailed information about their activities which encouraged discussion and clarification on several issues. The Head of the Clinical Group (Dr Ian Greaves, St John Ambulance) reported on the completion of the JOIN European First Aid Guidelines. This constitutes a major achievement as it is the first time that First Aid Standards are successfully drafted at European level. The Guidelines are expected to be translated in a dozen of languages and to be freely available to the public before the end of 2019.
The Head of the PR, Marketing & Communication Group (Dr Robert Brandstetter, Johanniter Austria) highlighted the cooperation within the JOIN network regarding campaigns, lobbying activities and harmonisation of the members’ logos. Areas covered included the outcomes of the Volunteering & Youth Group (Mark Farmer, St John Ambulance) and the remarkable development of the Volunteer Swap program in the last eighteen months. Furthermore, the delegates discussed the opportunity to create a Fundraising Group, and it was decided to explore steps to achieve this.
Nils Schröder (German Johanniter-Youth) presented the submitted project proposal on ‘First Aid in School’ that encompasses ten JOIN organisations committed to implementing training for first aiders in schools throughout Europe. This was followed by an interesting insight of Harm-Bastian Harms (Johanniter Germany) into European Emergency response projects. Eva Pelgen (JOIN Office) showed a draft video presenting Johanniter International and the work of its member organisations.
On the second day, the delegates outlined the general activities of their charity 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 networking as well as EU funding opportunities. Detailed presentations followed on JOIN’s ongoing EU-funded projects SecureHospitals, EUinAid and iProcureSecurity.
Finally, after what was perceived by all delegates to be a successful AGM, a last tour de table provide the opportunity to offer feedback and suggestions for the coming years.
Our current JOIN Chairman Johannes Bucher (Johanniter Austria) and Vice-Chairman Christian Velten-Jameson (Association des Oeuvres de Saint-Jean France) were re-elected for the next two years. The other Board members elected were Mark Broughton (St John Ambulance), Hubertus von Puttkamer (Johanniter Germany) and Lidwien van der Reep (Johanniter Nederland). Eric von Troil (Johanniter Finland) was thanked for the four years he dedicated as Board member.
The AGM 2020 will be hosted by St John Association and Brigade Cyprus on 15-17 May.