The 2nd Annual Public Meeting of Diabetes UK
(the operating name of The British Diabetic Association)
13 October 2007 Crowne Plaza Nottingham, Wollaton Street, Nottingham NG1 5RH
Present Professor Simon Howell Chair
Mr John Grumitt Vice-Chair
Mr Graham Spooner Treasurer
Mr Douglas Smallwood Chief Executive
Mr Bryan Hislop Head of Governance
About 110 members
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1. Welcome and announcements
The Chair, Professor Simon Howell, welcomed those present to the 2nd Annual Public
Meeting (APM) of Diabetes UK.
At the request of the Chair, those present stood for a moment’s silence in memory of
those supporters of the Charity who had died in the past year.
2. Exchange of messages
The customary exchange of messages was reported between the Charity and its Patron,
Her Majesty the Queen.
3. Apologies for absence
An apology for absence was received from Mrs Rosemary Thomas, Company Secretary.
4. Minutes of the 1st Annual Public Meeting
The minutes of the 1st APM, held on 14 October 2006 in Bristol, were approved as an
accurate record of the meeting and then signed by the Chair.
There were no matters arising from the minutes.
5. Chair’s Report: some highlights of 2006 and beyond
The Chair presented his report, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to these
The Chair expressed his gratitude to all those who had supported the work of the Charity
in the previous year.
6. Treasurer’s Financial Review of 2006
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The Treasurer, Mr Graham Spooner, presented his financial review of 2006, a copy of
which is attached as Appendix B to these minutes.
Mr Spooner regretted to report that a now former employee had through a series of
irregular BACS transfers defrauded the Charity of c.£300K. All relevant parties had been
informed, including the police, the Charity’s auditors and insurers, and the Charity
Commission. A firm of forensic accountants had been appointed to investigate the
circumstances of the fraud, and its report of five recommendations and a new system of
management controls had been implemented in full. He confirmed that the Board of
Trustees was determined to secure the successful prosecution of the suspect and to
recover the funds lost.
Mr Spooner expressed his gratitude to the Edinburgh and Grampian voluntary groups and
the Diabetes Foundation, each of which had made significant contributions to the Charity’s
7. Appointment of a Vice-President – Mr Richard Lane OBE
In recognition of his service to the Charity, as an advocate of its work on behalf of people
living with diabetes and as a member of the UK Advisory Council and Finance
Subcommittee, the Members present at the Annual General Meeting on 29 September
2007 had resolved to appoint Mr Richard Lane OBE as a Vice-President of the Charity.
Mr Lane expressed his gratitude to the Charity and re-affirmed his commitment to
securing for all people living with diabetes the benefits he had received from his
association with the Charity.
8. Chief Executive’s Report
The Chief Executive, Mr Douglas Smallwood, presented his report, a copy of which is
attached as Appendix C to these minutes.
Mr Smallwood invited comments from the floor:-
(a) Mr Douglas Robinson (Bournemouth) reported that a girl that had not been allowed to
join her local Brownie pack because she had diabetes. Mr Smallwood believed this
demonstrated the need for the Charity’s new advocacy service, which would in the
short-term develop and distribute generic advocacy packs and in the medium-term
introduce a personal advocacy service. He added that local advocacy would be
supplemented by national campaigns to promote the interests and needs of people
living with diabetes.
(b) Ms Caroline Kenyon (Nottingham) asked what the Charity was doing to ensure that
healthcare professionals (HCPs) were skilled to care for and to support people living
with diabetes. Mr Smallwood explained that the Charity was demanding quality
standards and training at a national level, whilst also using volunteers to identify and to
campaign against poor quality care at a local level.
(c) Mr Ashok Bhatt (Ipswich) asked what the Charity was doing to reach out to the
nation’s black, asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities. Mr Smallwood
explained that four Diverse Community Officers were being recruited to forge links
between the regional offices and their local communities and that increasingly more
information in non-English languages was being made available via the Charity’s
website; however, he recognised that more could be done.
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(d) Mr Peter Hodnett (Stourbridge) explained that prospective volunteers were reluctant to
send their sensitive personal documents to Macleod House for Criminal Records
Bureau (CRB) clearance. As a compromise, he suggested appointing CRB counter-
signatories in each of the Charity’s national and regional offices.
Mr Smallwood expressed his gratitude to the Charity’s volunteers and other supporters,
without whom it would be unable to deliver against its mission to improve the lives of
people with diabetes and to work towards a future without diabetes.
9. Close of Meeting
There being no further business, the APM was brought to a close.