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Our constitution and Annual General Meeting

Photo: Our commitment to removing barriers

The National Deaf Children's Society is a registered charity and a company limited by guarantee. Like all registered charities, we have a written constitution which comprises a Memorandum and Articles of Association. These are supplemented by Regulations.

The Memorandum is a formal statement recording the names of the original subscribers when the charity was set up in its current form.

The Articles of Association set out what the charity is for – our purpose (called the ‘objects’) – and what we are allowed to do to achieve those objects. They also describe how we are run and our relationships with members and members’ groups. The Articles are regularly reviewed to make sure we can continue to meet our purpose, but they can only be changed with the agreement of our members, the Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. They were last updated in 2017.

The Regulations provide additional detail on membership, members’ groups (including Local Groups), Honorary Officers of the Trustee Board (chair, vice-chair, treasurer, deputy treasurer), and voting arrangements for the AGM. The Regulations are regularly reviewed and, if necessary, updated by our trustees at a Board meeting. They were last updated in 2018.

Cancellation of 2020 Annual General Meeting

As a membership organisation it’s very important that we’re accountable to our members for what we do and how we spend the money we raise. One of the main ways of doing this is through our Annual General Meeting (AGM). At the AGM we ask our members to approve our annual report and accounts, elect members to our Trustee Board and vote on other matters relating to us.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, our offices are closed and we have decided that it is not possible to hold the AGM safely this year. At a meeting on 5 October the Trustee Board formally voted to dispense with the AGM for 2020, as allowed by our Articles of Association. Nonetheless, we are still able to fulfil our duties to make sure that members are able to:

(i) have a say in the work we do, through our annual survey in February, through smaller surveys during the year on current issues, through our sound out network, by contacting our helpline, or by providing feedback at any of our services.

(ii) receive the report of directors and the annual accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 (due to be published early November 2020).

(iii) elect and re-elect members to the Trustee Board, as outlined below.

Trustee elections 2020

In mid-November, all members of the National Deaf Children’s Society who are eligible to vote will receive all the information they need to elect new Trustees and re-elect some of the existing trustees to the Board. This information will be sent out on our behalf by Civica who we have asked to run the elections for us.

There are no other matters that we need members to vote on this year.

Please note that voting is only open to full members of the Society. These are the parents/ carers of deaf children and young people aged 0-25yrs, and young deaf people aged 18-25yrs who have signed-up as members. Only full members with voting rights will receive communications from Civica about our AGM.

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