Minutes of the meeting held on the 2nd November 2011
Meeting started 2.03pm
Present: Nick Saunders; Jeanne and David Jones; Margaret and Colin Atkins; Becky Devereux; Juanita and David Turner. (ECDSA Member Angie Ellicott attended the meeting for a short period).
Apologies: Paul Farley; Mark Devereux and Steven Gazzard.
Minutes of the last meeting: Were read and after a few alterations to the numbers of members which should have read 61 and not 66 and the cost of the tickets which should be 1p each. It was then agreed to have them signed off as correct.
Matters arising: Disabled parking markings: Nick has had a meeting with (CP) and he has confirmed that the markings of the disabled places in the car park will be done together with the signs very soon.
Radar locks: Both Radar key locks have now been installed. A steward has a key for the one in the ground and the key for the toilet by the lift is to be kept behind the bar. It was felt that a steward should unlock the door allowing the fan to enter and he should return the key to the bar which will be the most effective way of ensuring that the key is not lost. Jeanne has thanked (DE) for his hard work in installing them for us.
Google documents: Nick is still working on the Google documents system and hopes to have us all linked up into the web site to enabled us to see all ECDSA documents. Nick has been getting advice and know how with reference to using the Google account through (DL). Nick has confirmed that he has sent a link to Jeanne so she can open the site, but there is a small problem and once this is ironed out, a link will be send to the other members of the committee.
South West Disabled Fans Experience Forum: Will take place on the 10th November at 1.30pm at the park. There will be twenty five delegates attending from seven different clubs.
Nick has organised a number of speakers to give us the benefit of their experiences of supporting disabled members of the community.
These include (JN) from Level Playing Fields (NADS), whose remit is to encourage clubs to set up disabled groups. Nick raised the point that we could pay her expenses as her organisation is a charity. Was suggested that we pay her train and taxi fares. Nick proposed that we did this; Jeanne seconded his proposal, all of the present committee agreed.
From the community side of the club (SW) has agreed to give an insight into his experiences of football training with disabled people of all ages.
(MC) from the club’s reception will be explaining how his input helps disabled fans by pointing them into the direction of facilities that the club, together with our association, have put in place to help ensure all disabled fans have a positive experience on visiting the club.
(CP) is hosting a question and answer session on his role as ground manager.
Nick has tried to contact the safety officer for the club but to date has not received a reply from him. Nick will raise this with the club as he’s not been in contact with our group as it is felt we need him to be on board with ECDSA.
(FF) has agreed that the club will supply the refreshments, all paid by herself. This was welcomed, plus her support of the Forum.
Evacuation chair: We all had a demonstration of the chair and good look at the chair. As (AG) was available we were able to have a picture taken with him and the committee as we formally handed the chairs over to the club. This photo, together with a report, will be featured on our website, as it will appear in the match day magazine, showing fans what we have spent the money from the bucket collection on.
ECFC Representative: Nick has spoken to (AG) and he is happy to become the clubs representative on our committee and can attend our meetings should there be any particular issues which needs the clubs input.
Fundraising Officer: Christmas Draw: Colin gave us a breakdown on how well the tickets are selling. Colin has been able to sell quite a number at the home games. He is also hoping to be able to sell a number at his local shop, which will increase the number sold. However he did make the point that it is not easy to sell tickets in this climate. We all need to try and sell as many as we are able too. Nick suggested about selling tickets outside the Grecian Centre at our Saturday home matches to help boost the amount sold, all agreed with this and Nick will start selling at the next home match.
With three home games left before the draw, it is hoped that we will sell £****.** worth of tickets.
Colin also hoped that other groups will be able to sell our tickets for us including the Ability Counts teams.
Financial Report: Margaret reported that we have £****.** in the bank at the present time. This impressive amount includes the monies from the sale of the raffle tickets and cost of prizes.
Membership report: Membership has been handed over to David Jones who will now be responsible for keeping membership records. As he works on the database for the club it will be easy for him to put the priority numbers on the cards for our new members. We currently have 61 paid up members.
Press officers report: David J will be writing a report about the evacuation chairs to go on the web site.
Sheffield United invited our clubs disabled fans to have hospitality when we played them last weekend and David J will also be writing a report together with the photos of the group which were taken when we were up there.
Website: Nick felt that he no longer needs to report the number of visitors to the website except for when we hit a memorable number. We do get a regular return of fans with a number of new visitors.
A.O.B: Sheffield United away: Nick and David J reported that our clubs disabled fans were invited by the disabled supporters group of Sheffield United to attend the game with them and to in some hospitality. This was well attended by our travelling disabled fans and was enjoyed by all. They made us very welcome and Jeanne had sent a card on behalf of us all to say thank you. Member (AE), who also went to Sheffield, reported that she was investigating ways that we can return their hospitality. As it’s the last game of the season all of our boxes are full so it is hoped that she will be able to book a disabled friendly room with kitchen very near to the ground to give them a buffet lunch before the game. Jeanne said that when she receives (JI) email (Sheffield United DSA Secretary) she will ask for possible numbers of disabled fans so we can organise their tickets.
Complaint vs. Rochdale: Nick reported that one of the Rochdale disabled fans had complained to the club because he was not able to sit with his own fans. It is disappointing, as the fan in question was made aware that we have 3 seats very close to the away fans for disabled fans to use. It has come to light that there were many other complaints from Rochdale fans after the match and it was felt that they were unhappy because they had been beaten.
Meeting dates: Margaret said that, owing to commitments, she is sometimes unable to attend meetings and asked if they could be held on the first Wednesday of each month to enable her to come. To facilitate this we will ensure that our meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month.
Red door at back of Flybe Stand: Colin raised the issue of stewards not allowing fans to use the red door at the back of the Flybe stand to gain access to the disabled toilets and lift. This action causes fans to go through executive boxes, which is not acceptable to the box’s guests as they pay for the private use of a box. Nick felt that the club will need to resolve this.
ECDSA Presentation: Nick gave us a private viewing of his presentation for the upcoming SWDFEF. It catalogues the journey of our group and what we have been able to provide for the benefit of disabled fans of our club, and to benefit fans who visit our club.
Jeanne thanked Nick for his hard work, which it had taken to put this presentation together.
Nick stated that this presentation can be used by us to show other groups or interested parties of what we do.
Meeting closed at 3.40pm
Date of next committee meeting: Wednesday 7th December, 2pm