AGM and Open Meetings

FTM’s annual general meetings are held in London (we know, we know) and include open meetings with outside speakers. Previous speakers have included Frank Field MP and Jay Belsky.

The 2010 AGM and open meeting will be on Monday 15th November, 10.30 for 11am at The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London N7.

Click here for a recording of 2009’s presentation from Sue Palmer, author of ‘Toxic Childhood’ – as pictured above. Younger members were further back with their young children.

Sue Palmer at the 2009 Open Meeting
Sue Palmer at the 2009 Open Meeting

4 Responses to “AGM and Open Meetings”

  1. Julie Knowles Says:

    Hi, I’ve been a member of FTM for a few years now. I’m a relatively young mum with two small children, my eldest child is just about to start school and my youngest is under 2yrs. I have only ever managed to attend one AGM as childcare is a real problem for me. I know you say it’s OK to bring along small children but the AGM I did attend (Jay Belsky and Oliver James were the speakers) really didn’t cater well for children.

    This organisation is for full-time mothers and yet by holding your meetings during the day and during the week makes it nigh on impossible for a lot of us to attend. Would it be possible for the meetings to take place at night or on the weekend? Is this something that anybody else is concerned about?

    Many thanks.

  2. Anna Lines Says:

    Dear Julia,

    You would have really enjoyed this last AGM. We had a comfortable large room with a carpet, toys and space to play at the back. Tea and coffee were aiting at the venue, so that took some of the burden off us. The speaker had a microphone and thus the inevitable babble from the back did not interfere in any way with the presentation. I’m afraid that the matter you raise will always be a Gordian knot. We get people who come in from other parts of the country and they would find it hard to get home if a meeting were held in the evening. Hold the meeting on a Saturday and you will find that rooms become more expensive to hire and speakers do not necessarily want to come. Hold the meeting in another part of the country and the turnout would be very low and speakers would be less inclined to accept an invitation. We had quite a lot of young children there, but quite a few did leave after lunch and did not stay for the formal AGM afterwards (which did not last all that long).
    You say that we ” do not really cater well for children”. Please bear in mind that our personal and financial resources are limited. Any toys, books and other play material needs to be brought in from committee members’ homes. At St. James’s Crypt we also used to bring in, between us, biscuits, cakes, tea, coffee and milk, possibly a present for the speaker, spare Newsletters and leaflets, a makeshift display board and papers to be displayed….. And some would come in with their overnight luggage as well. Julia, by next year your eldest child will be settled in school and there will only be the little one to negotiate public transport with. And, given suffcient notice, is there no way that you could persuade Daddy to take a day off if you really find the prospect of bringing children too daunting?

    As you can see, it is now possible to listen to Sue Palmer via the website and there will also be a report on her presentation in the next Newsletter.
    I very much hope that you will make it next year.

  3. Julie Knowles Says:

    Thank you for your considered response, I very much appreciate it. I do understand the limitations the organisation has to work within and that money is tight, and the job that you do is of great importance. I’m thankful to FTMs for doing all it can to advocate for the rights of children and full-time parents. Ultimately, I think this is the most important thing.

    It would be great if more full-time mothers could attend the AGM, but it may be that the reality of putting the needs of our young children first means that we have to opt out for the first few years.

    Luckily, as I’m used to travelling around the city it is not something that is daunting for me, but the practicalities of bringing small children along to the AGM, nap times, changing facilities, keeping them occupied, make it less than straightforward. It’s really difficult to look after a young child/children (with the hope of keeping them relatively quiet and in one spot, and don’t mention tantrums!) and also try to concentrate and participate in the AGM. Most children I know would still need constant parental attention even if there were toys at the back of the room. Also working around pre-school and school times means it may not be possible to attend at all. This is what I meant about ‘catering’ for children.

    It is a shame that the two things aren’t more compatible.

    Access to the Crypt was a nightmare for pushchairs. Now you’ve changed the venue I’m sure this is much improved. So thank you.

    My partner is a great advocate of FTMs and with his professional hat on is able to spread the message of the importance of full-time parental care for children in the home. This year it was impossible for him to take the time off work in order to take over childcare, hopefully next year it will be possible.

    I hope to see you all next year, Julie.

  4. Joan Woolard Says:

    Members may be heartened to know that my objections to a local planning application for change of use from restaurant to a day nursery have not yet completely failed, as was at first feared. Based on my research since 1993 the whole day nursery movement is a scam to acquire the most taxes from working mums and nurseries. It has no basis in proper research, as was confirmed to me by a group of Institute of Education expert advisers to HMG in 2001. Alas they care more about their careers than the welfare of innocent babies or they would have remonstrated with the government when The National Childcare Strategy was introduced. Be that as it may, bear in mind that journalists and all media people have a vested interest in childcare so you will never hear the truth from them. At the same time they all admit to guilt over leaving kids with strangers. And then spoil them accordingly!

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