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Finance, children's services and Unrest film at AGM

November 16, 2017

People with M.E., their carers and professionals shared their views and experiences of the illness with staff, Trustees and volunteers at our 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and conference today.

The event, held at the office of Allen & Overy in London, began with our AGM. Chair of our Board of Trustees, Jonah Grunsell, confirmed that the appointment of new Trustees Andy Dougan and Ed Stephens, and continuing Trustees Jane Stacey and Chris Cundy, had been approved by Supporting Members.

Treasurer to the Board of Trustees, Philip Marsden, explained that Action for M.E. has achieved a sound underlying financial performance for the third year running, citing our 2016-2017 Trustee Report and Accounts. Our recorded total income was £681,687, down 33% on last year due to the inclusion of an exceptional legacy (and also the ending of our pilot employment support project). However, excluding the effects of legacies, all other income was in fact down only 2.1%.

We will continue to work hard, with the generosity of our supporters, to strengthen our financial position and achieve the levels of income needed to deliver the promises we make to people affected by M.E. This includes growing our income streams to increase the amount we can spend on supporting you, and we aim to raise £3 to £5 for every pound we spend on fundraising. During 2016 – 2017, we raised £3.75 for every £1 invested in fundraising.

Our Chief Executive, Sonya Chowdhury, shared highlights from our 2016 – 2017 annual report but also looked ahead to the future. 

Consulting on children’s services

The AGM was followed by our consultation on children’s services, which has been designed and led by children, young people, parents and professionals. They want to know how we can best design support services that reduce isolation, increase knowledge and awareness, and ensure equality of care for children with M.E. and their families.

Taking part in roundtable discussions as part of this consultation, delegates shared a wide range of views and experiences to help inform service development – and you can do the same.

If you are the parent of a child with M.E., a professional working with families affected by M.E., or a child or young person yourself, there is still time to share your views before the consultation closes.

You can get involved by taking part in one of four short surveys (please choose the survey that you feel is the best fit for you, rather than taking part in more than one).

The deadline for taking part in any of the above surveys is Wednesday 13 December. We will use the data gathered to develop services that best meet the needs of children and families

Unrest screening

To end the event, and as one of three UK charity partners for the film, we screened Jen Brea’s powerful, award-winning M.E. documentary, Unrest. It’s a tough film to watch for many, and delegates took the opportunity during the Q&A after the screening to share their reaction to seeing the impact of M.E. laid bare on screen.