The Chairman’s Annual Report For The Year Ended December 2007
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this the year 2008 Annual General Meeting and to present the reports and accounts for the year ended 31st December 2007.
2007 was a very special year for GEM as it marked the 75th Anniversary of our formation back in 1932. To have survived and prospered for so many years is a great testimony to all those who have been associated with the organisation throughout the period and we were especially delighted to receive a letter of congratulations from our past President HRH the Duke of Edinburgh.
In 1932 a staggering 6,667 people were killed on Britain’s roads. By 2006 (figures for 2007 are not yet released) this figure had fallen to 3,172. How much of this reduction has been due to the Road Safety work of GEM is of course impossible to gauge. However, we have been very proud of the part we have played in helping to prevent death, injury and suffering as a result of road crashes.
Despite these significant achievements deaths and injuries on the road continue to be one of the greatest epidemics of our time with around 700 people killed or injured each and every day.
Attracting members to support us in our Road Safety efforts is becoming increasingly difficult and during 2007 we enrolled 4,300 members. We are aiming for a substantial increase in this figure during 2008 following a review of our marketing activities.
The vast majority of our supporters are attracted by the breakdown services that we operate. As we develop these products and the methods of promoting them we hope that our membership will grow. We have also recently enhanced GEM membership by adding Accident Management Service as a free benefit to all members. This outstanding scheme provides members with a complete management and legal service should they be involved in a road crash and allows the expensive legal expenses policy, which is offered with most motor insurances to be rejected.
Marketing is a very costly exercise and so we are grateful to the many hundreds of members who assist us by recommending friends and relatives as potential GEM members. We will shortly be revising our ‘member get member’ initiative with even greater rewards for those who are able to help us in this way.
Internet technology continues to be our most successful recruiting tool and we will, in the next few weeks, be launching a new style website at www.motoringassist.com not only to encourage more visitors to join us but to be able to offer more motoring and Road Safety information.
Our efforts in the field of Road Safety during 2007 have again, been extensive and despite a reduction of income into the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity (primarily due to a significant reduction in the sale of annual draw tickets) an amount of £17,574 has been spent on worthwhile schemes. Some of the projects supported are detailed below:
Sponsoring Angmering School in West Sussex re Road Safety drama event.
Sponsorship of Motorcycling event in conjunction with Essex Air Ambulance.
Production and printing of an information leaflet on the subject of safer motorcycling.
Sponsorship of Road Safety Student of the Year.
Production and printing of Personal Safety booklets.
Production and printing of Road Sign Test Sheets. Support for ‘Pass Plus Cymru’ a project to encourage young drivers in Wales to extend driving lessons
beyond the test.
Sponsorship of Road Safety event for disabled drivers in Essex.
As I mentioned earlier these Road Safety initiatives have been achieved despite a reduction in support for our annual draw. Although we will be organising a draw in 2008 we have also commenced some additional fundraising initiatives including gaining permission to register for Gift Aid from HM Revenue and Customs and encouraging members to include a small donation to the Charity when renewing membership/insurance policies. If you are able to support the Charity, even by a small donation, please contact the Chief Executive David Williams.
GEM Motoring Assist continues to be consulted by various agencies on safety and motoring issues which, together with our membership of
PACTS, provide the opportunity for us to make a valuable input to transport legislation.
Good Motoring magazine continues to be a very popular membership benefit and we are encouraged that the feedback we receive from members remains very positive. Editor James Luckhurst continues to develop improvements both to the magazine and the articles and offers included and always welcomes letters and feedback from members. One of his improvements is the high quality of prizes now on offer for reader competitions and we look forward to developing these initiatives further in 2008. Publication dates for the magazine in 2008 have been adjusted to allow a new Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter publishing schedule to be introduced in 2009. Contact James via our offices or by e-mail to email@example.com.
The management of GEM continues to be overseen by our Executive Council and I am grateful to all my colleagues on the Council including our President Viscount Simon, who give up a considerable amount of personal time to ensure ‘our club’ is successful. The help and guidance given by the Council is greatly appreciated.
I am also pleased to welcome Kevin Fitzpatrick as the new Independent Trustee of the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity. Kevin, a former senior police officer, brings to the organisation a considerable depth of knowledge of Road Safety and traffic law enforcement matters and in particular offers extensive experience in the area of motorcycle riding.
Finally I pay tribute to all GEM staff, which although numbers only 13 members continues to do a magnificent job in developing and maintaining the organisation.
NB. Copies of the annual accounts are available by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org