All Change at the Chamber

Annemarie Thurgood – Outgoing President

1. The AGM date has changed!

In the June issue of Ciren Scene we said how much we were looking forward to starting our ‘in person’ meetings following the government’s planned announcement to unlock the country on 21st June and then we could get away from zooming all the time!

The date for the AGM was all set for July 14th at 6.00pm at Stratton House Hotel. Sadly, the government has delayed the reopening and our AGM has now changed to July 21st at 6.00pm!

Please put it in your diary.

2. We are about to change President.

In line with the Chamber’s constitution, we elect a new President every two years.  Annemarie Thurgood has now completed not only her official two years as President, but an extra year before that, after stepping up to replace the previous President who unexpectedly stood down shortly after being re-elected in 2018.

Annemarie has brought incredible energy and purpose to the Chamber with a combination of her forward thinking and extensive business skills.

She has taken ‘multitasking’ to a new level by managing her business, her young family, and the Chamber all together. That’s a huge achievement. Thank you for everything she has done – here are a few highlights.

So, this is the last chance we will get to publicly say thank her for all that she has done for the Chamber and our members.

3. The changing format for our Business Awards. 

Because of Covid 19 last year we couldn’t hold our Annual Business Awards in person. They had been planned to take place at Ingleside with a great fancy dress theme in their marquee. It was not to be and so despite Covid 19 with many businesses in lockdown, we set about getting over 50 companies to enter, created some new categories, kept hold of all our sponsors and with the skills and expertise of the Barn Theatre technical team, put the whole thing together virtually online. It was a huge success!

4. A changing approach to lobbying.

The Chamber has always prided itself on its networking meetings and we can all share experiences of how we have forged new partnerships and got new business via the Chamber! But the last 18 months has been very different because we broke new ground with the way we have started to lobby the local authorities on matters close to the Town’s business heart, such as car parking charge increases, the support for business and cashless car parking meters. In short, we now have a voice in the business life of the town which will give businesses another reason to join the Chamber!

5. A change to membership benefits. 

Annemarie charged Joint Vice President Adam Vines with spearheading the working group to look at enhancing member benefits and reviewing our membership fees. There are some exciting plans which are being introduced shortly.

6. Changing networking meetings to Zoom.

Despite Covid 19 we have held regular networking meetings using Zoom and have even restarted our ‘Early Riser’ virtual breakfast meetings which you can attend from the comfort of your own home whilst sitting in your pyjamas – there’s only one catch, you have to cook your own breakfast! None of these networking meetings would have happened without the admin skills of our ‘nearly new’ Chamber Secretary, Sarah Somers.

7. Changing residents’ shopping habits.

Lastly, perhaps the biggest Chamber achievement during lockdown has been the creation and launch of the My Cirencester card with 1200 residents registered and 36 businesses uploaded with their offers, the card is really starting to take off and getting people to reengage with the town. 

If you want a card, contact Sarah who is the card administrator on 07842 081589 or email info@cirencesterchamber.org.uk

If you are a business and want to make an offer, go to www.mycirencester.co.uk
and if you are a business keen to develop and to network, contact Sarah on the above contact numbers. 

8. A changing of the guard.

Joint Vice Presidents Adam Vines and David Fowles will be stepping down at the AGM too, having served their time but will remain in the committee working hard in different roles for us. Thank you to them both.

Treasurer Howard Smith and Secretary Sarah Chambers are continuing in their roles. Interestingly, Sarah took up her position early last March, and because of Covid, has yet to attend a meeting in person in her official capacity. She can’t wait!

Many thanks to them and to the other committee members who have all served diligently this year; Howard Burr, Fran Coulter, Hannah Hockley, Hilary Norris-Evans, Jan Sparrow and Aidan Stevens

Now we can look forward to building on our outgoing President’s achievement and welcome our new President and the two new Vice Presidents and an exciting next 12 months to come.

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