The Essex Intergroup (EIG) is currently comprised of sixty one individual groups. A large percentage of whom send their group General Service Representative (GSR) to the quarterly meetings held in Chelmsford where the AA business of Essex is discussed. All AA groups in EIG are encouraged to pass the AA message to anyone attending, especially to the newcomer with a desire to stop drinking. All meetings exist to help the alcoholic into recovery- providing literature, arranging guest speakers, suggesting sponsorship and emphasising the suggestions contained in the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
With the growth of AA in Great Britain, General Service Office had for some time been fostering the information of new Intergroups by re-grouping within the the existing framework. This led to significant changes in the London area and one result of this was that the groups south of the Thames united to form a new Intergroup in October 1973. The groups in the area north of the Thames were members of either the old London Intergroup or East Anglia Intergroup, the latter covering a vast area making communication between groups difficult to say the least. the time seemed right for change north of the Thames.
In April 1974, IainI of Grays/Tilbury and AndyD of Harlow invited group secretaries to sound out the feelings of their group and if favourable, to attend an exploratory meeting on 19th May, 1974, to discuss the setting up of a proposed "North Thames Intergroup".
The Group representatives at that meeting agreed that the formation of such an Intergroup was in line with General Service Office recommendations and that this move would contribute towards greater effectiveness in reaching the still suffering alcoholic. A draft Constitution and aims and Objectives were drawn up and the Intergroup was "off the ground".
The first General meeting was held on 31st July, 1974 at Chelmsford, this being the most central point in the Intergroup area. the Constitution and Aims and Objectives were adopted by unanimous agreement and officers elected.
In the two years which have elapsed since then the number of member / affiliated groups has increased from 11 to 21, the increase being made up partly of new groups and partly of existing groups which have joined the Intergroup since its inception.
It is still a very young Intergroup but during its short existence has helped considerably to increase unity and co-operation between groups. Specifically, in addition to sponsoring a successful Mini-Convention and a Public Meeting, it has achieved co-operation with the Post Office to the extent that the authorities have agreed to include the telephone number of the London Region telephone Service in the local area directories---these previously being restricted to local numbers only.
Perhaps most important, it is a means whereby groups can exchange ideas and experience. after all, do we not all learn from each other an in so learning stay sober and help others to achieve sobriety? ...
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