Chairman’s Annual Report For The Year Ending 31st December 2009
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this, the year 2010, Annual General Meeting and to present the reports and accounts for the year ended 31st December 2009.
In my report last year, I made reference to the difficult conditions existing throughout the economy and that like most businesses GEM Motoring Assist had been affected by the recession. Despite these conditions, we had still managed to attract an increased number of new members.
In 2009 whilst the economic climate improved a little, our marketing efforts were nothing short of outstanding with 10,441 new members joining GEM. This represents an amazing 31% increase over 2008 and is the best recruitment year for over a decade. These figures are a marvellous testimony both to our improved marketing efforts and to our continuing desire to offer our members a first class service.
Indeed, our service to members was again recognised in the 2009 Driver Power Survey organised by Auto Express magazine. Unfortunately we lost the ‘top spot’, which we gained in 2008, by just 0.3%, however, our runner-up place maintains our position as one of the best UK providers and also
gives us the added challenge to regain ‘pole position’ in 2010.
While on the subject of recruitment may I add a big thank you to all existing members, not only for your continuing loyal support in remaining members of GEM, but also for your efforts to encourage friends and relatives to join. This marketing initiative is a very cost effective way of attracting new members and I hope you will all re-double your efforts throughout 2010.
In terms of Road Safety it is worth remembering that in the year that GEM was originally formed as CVM i.e. 1932, over 6,600 people died as a result of road crashes. In 2008 this figure had fallen to a record low of 2,538.
However, this still means that, on average, more than six people die each and every day of the year as a result of road accidents and GEM will continue to do its very best to help reduce this unnecessary toll even further.
Returning again to the gloomy economic conditions it is very disappointing to note that despite our very best efforts to improve the annual raffle to gain funds for the GEM Road Safety Charity the net amount gained was far below that which we anticipated. In addition new strict rules imposed under the 2006 Gaming Act have made the organising of a national raffle very difficult for small organisations like GEM. We have, therefore, been forced to conclude that the annual raffle, which has been the financial mainstay of the GEM Charity for over 25 years, now has to cease. We are currently investigating other ways to raise the additional funds that are so vital to allow the GEM Charity to carry out its important work.
Many GEM members have assisted in this fund raising task by making small personal donations to the Charity. If you feel you are able to assist in
this way a donation form is included in every edition of Good Motoring magazine and is also available on the charity section of our website
www.motoringassist.com. Such donations also allow us to claim Gift Aid from H M Revenue & Customs thus increasing the sum given by 28p in every pound. If every GEM member donated just £1 to the Charity it would make a huge difference to the number of safety schemes it could support.
Despite the significant reduction in income the GEM Road Safety Charity was able to support the following good causes:
• Sponsorship of Road Safety Student of the Year
• Production and printing of Skid Advice leaflet
• Production and printing of Personal Safety booklets
• Production and printing of Reaction Timer cards
• Sponsorship of a Schools’ competition on the subject of Drug Driving
This last initiative has received considerable support from around the country with around ninety schools registering in 2009. Further
details can be viewed on www.getcluedup.info. GEM Motoring Assist continues to be consulted by various agencies on safety and motoring issues and
our membership of PACTS also provides the opportunity for us to make a valuable input to transport legislation.
Good Motoring magazine continues to be a very popular membership benefit and attracted a record number of entries to the many reader competitions offered. Editor James Luckhurst is always keen to hear from GEM members regarding Good Motoring, contact him by e-mail email@example.com.
We are aware that many members have little spare time to read every edition of Good Motoring and therefore, during 2009, we launched an on-line newsletter which contains some brief news and information on motoring and safety issues, as well as up to date offers available to GEM
members. We currently send the newsletter to around 22,000 GEM members. However, if you have not yet received a copy it is likely that this is due to the fact that we have no record of your e-mail address. If you would like to register for a free copy just send your e-mail address, name and membership number, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our annual accounts again show a healthy financial situation and I pay tribute to our Treasurer Sue Poulton for continuing to guide us safely through such difficult times. Copies of the accounts can be obtained by sending a stamped addressed A4 envelope marked ‘Accounts’ to our offices or by email@example.com.
I am grateful to all my colleagues on the Executive Council including our President Viscount Simon, who give up a considerable amount of personal time to ensure our ‘club’ is successful. Their help and guidance is greatly appreciated. We are delighted that Viscount Simon has agreed to continue to serve as President of GEM until at least 2013.
Finally I pay tribute to all GEM staff, which although only equates to 13, continue to do a magnificent job in developing and maintaining the organisation.
FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER
The Rt. Hon Viscount Simon
Sir Anthony Grant
Miss M E
D C Williams
Mrs S Poulton
Mrs P Tyrell-Dann
Mrs V Brindley
Independent Charity Trustee