Newsletter from the Chair: October 2022
During July we held our first ever Redditch Coffee morning and were delighted with both the venue and the outcome. We will certainly go back to the Ecumenical Church again and build Redditch Coffee mornings into future meeting schedules. We also held the celebratory afternoon tea for Mary Cotterill, Andrew Stubbs and Ian Cash, stalwarts of Birmingham IA and its committee for many years and who sadly passed away during the Covid Pandemic period. Guest attendance was by invitation only, and we were pleased that a number of Mary Cotterill’s former nursing colleagues from Heartlands and Good Hope Hospitals attended as well as former patient members of Birmingham IA and close friends. Those attending were invited to reflect on their memories of each of the three former members, and several took the opportunity to share amusing anecdotes of memories that they had of them.
In August I was lucky enough to join the party of members visiting the Moseley and Kings Heath Shed for the first time and saw the various glass, mosaic and woodwork that goes on there. There were nine Birmingham IA members present plus three partners, wives or husbands. A very interesting morning and the work was being led by three of their members, two of whom are Ileostomists who have now joined Birmingham IA. One member who has joined the Shed is already proud of work that he has produced: we have asked for pictures for social media!
In early September we held a Sutton Coldfield coffee morning at the United Reformed Church with a record attendance of 25, including two members attending for the first time and two others we had met at July Coloplast event who became members on the day. Healthwatch also attended and members completed their health service questionnaires. Half of those attending stayed on to lunch which was served for us in the Cedar Hall where the meeting had taken place.
I have also visited the Clayton Hotel on behalf of National IA as a possible Pouch Information Day venue and even enquired about it for a City Centre Coffee morning in future. I have also visited Priory Rooms in Bull Street, enquired about the BMI in Margaret Street and Exchange on Broad Street which I am hoping to visit this week ahead of our committee meeting. We do not as yet have a new venue for the City Centre meetings following the closure of the Carrs Lane Centre but hope to have one sorted in next few days.
I was invited to the Zoom meeting held by National IA to outline the new IA Strategic Plan to member organisations, the meeting taking place on Tuesday 27th September. IA have clearly worked very hard in putting this plan together and deserve credit for doing so. Admirable commitments include increasing staffing in National Office so that phones get answered more regularly with someone whose role includes working more closely with local Associations, improving presence at events held around the country, more support for Young IA and improving Fund raising. A copy of the IA Strategic Plan Presentation is being circulated to members so please feel free to ask me any questions that you might have.
I have ordered, collected and presented a President Pendant to our new President Melissa Cunha when supporting her clinic at the QE on Thursday 29th September Maggie and I attended her clinic on that day.
I have also ordered the agreed Otto Ostomy Model we are buying for Sandwell hospital, following my visit there with Andy earlier in the summer. We should have delivery of the model during November and once it arrives will organise a presentation to the SCN staff.
Finally on Saturday 1st October I attended the Solihull Coffee morning at Solihull Methodist Church. Very grateful for the strong Committee presence on the day, especially at the start of the day when we discovered that the room was double booked and full of sleeping bags and mattresses! There were twenty-three attendees including three new members.