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Recent Minutes

WEST KENT INTERGROUP
MINUTES OF THE 174th ASSEMBLY


Date:   Friday 20th September 2019
Venue:   Maidstone Community Support Centre, 39-48 Marsham Street, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1HH        

Present:   
Barbara K     Chairperson   
Phil S            Secretary
Lynden S      Treasurer

GSRs
Brian Y        Aylesford
Nicholas V   Chatham Friday
Kim J           Cranbrook
Sarah McG  Ditton
Ann McQ    Goudhurst
Phil K          Gravesend Tuesday
Phil S           Gravesend Wednesday Lunchtime
Matt A         Isle of Sheppey Thursday
Catherine L Maidstone Monday
Nicky G      Maidstone Wednesday
Craig L       Maidstone Saturday
Valerie T     Marden
Jenny T       Newington
Barry B       Rochester Monday
Mike L        Sevenoaks Wednesday  
Eve I           Sittingbourne
Helen A      Tonbridge Monday Lunchtime
Steve R       Tonbridge Wednesday Evening
Cliff S         Tunbridge Wells Sunday                       
Jon P           Tunbridge Wells Monday
Emma C      Tunbridge Wells Thursday Step & Tradition
Phil S          Wainscott

Liaison Officers

Helen A       Archivist
Sarah M       Convention Convenor
Darren F      Electronic Communications Liaison Officer
Tony M        Employment Liaison Officer
Gina S          Prison Liaison Officer
Matt A         Public Information Liaison Officer             
Sarah P        Probation Liaison Officer
John G         Share/Literature Liaison Officer
Fiona G       Regional Representative
Dean W       Regional Representative
Ryan F         Regional Representative



Visitors
Shirley S     Rochester Monday / Newington

Barbara K, Chair, opened the meeting and made her opening remarks.

A moments silence was observed to remember the still suffering alcoholic.  

The Preamble was read by Gina S
The Traditions were read by Shirley S
The Aims & Structures were read by Fiona G

APOLOGIES

Dermot G  Telephone Liaison Officer
Martha K  Vice Chair
Dawn S  Health Liaison Officer
Oien B  Maidstone Tuesday & Friday lunchtimes
Helen S  Gillingham Thursday (Twydall)
Sean A  Tunbridge Wells Tuesday
Simon A  Goudhurst
Gavin A  GSR Rochester Saturday
Lucia M  Tunbridge Wells Friday (Ladies)
Daniel M  Tunbridge Wells Friday


QUORUM
Barbara K, Chair, checked that the assembly was quorate in order that the elections to go ahead, by which WKIG require a minimum of 20 voting members to be present.  A count was taken which numbered 37, confirming that this was achieved.

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING AND MATTERS ARISING:

Darren F (ECLO) explained to the assembly that this is software for the purpose of file sharing. There are other programmes available but he felt that these did not meet the service provided by Drop Box.  There were cheaper options but they were not as good as Drop Box. The cost for a low level business account, that should be sufficient for our needs would cost £10 per month on a rolling contract or £120 for a 12 month contract.
Initially there would be a steering group that would be able to post files that were suitable for Drop Box. The person then requiring access to view the document would be provided with a link via email. A vote was taken and the majority voted that the scheme be tried for a year and reviewed at the AGM.
Darren explained to the assembly that he currently sanitizes documents going onto the local website as they can contain members personal phone numbers.

CONFERENCE QUESTION REGARDING TRADITION 7 AT INTERGROUP

This item had been raised by Cliff S, after a brief discussion amongst those present Cliff??s proposal that we do not collect Tradition 7 at Intergroup This was seconded by Ryan F
Then a vote was taken by way of a show of hands and the result was :-
3 were against keeping Tradition 7
17 were in favour of keeping Tradition 7

The conscience of the group is that we continue with Tradition 7.


THEME FOR 2020 MINI CONVENTION

The following themes for the Mini Convention and the votes that each suggestion received are shown below

A Bridge to Normal Living     6 votes
Keep the Faith                         3 votes
Any Lengths                            4 votes
The Steps We Took                 10 votes
Progress Not Perfection          8 votes

The theme for next year's mini convention will be "The Steps We Took"


ELECTION OF OFFICERS & CURRENT VACANCIES:

Barbara explained to the group that Martha would be moving to Spain but as she will still have commitments locally she hopes to be able to continue with her Service Position as Vice Chair. So this vacancy was removed from the list. The current vacancies are as follows:-


ARMED SERVICES LIAISON OFFICER : See Chapter 2 P31 of The AA Service Handbook for GB 2018 for more details.  You can also contact Jamie P, ASLO for Northdown -  aservices.northdown@aamail.org Tel: 07771 827714 who will be happy to speak to anyone wishing to know more about this service position.  Mike C can also be contacted via the AA GB website

YOUNG PEOPLES?? LIAISON OFFICER : Please contact Helen Y, on the YPLO Sub Committee, to find out more about this position ?? Tel:07764 606036 helen.young@btinternet.com Also see Chapter 12, P73 of The AA Service Handbook for GB 2018

TELEPHONE LIAISON OFFICER : Please contact Dermot to find out more about the role telephones.westkent@aamail.org Tel: 07730 937675  More information can be found in The AA Service handbook for GB Chapter 10 P65  

GSRs are asked to please announce all the above vacancies regularly between now and the next assembly in September.  Please encourage group members to visit the next intergroup meeting in an effort to get more people into service at this level.  Please point out that new officers will be sponsored into these positions by the out-going Liaison Officer, or in the case of a long-standing vacancy, the relevant Regional Officer.  
  • NOMINATIONS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED FOR ALL THE ABOVE VACANCIES

  • Please contact the intergroup secretary for more information : Phil S Tel: 07939 102868  : Email:  secretary.westkent@aamail.org

  • At the back of these minutes you will find a vacancies table which GSRs are encouraged to print off and display at their group meetings (as the group sees fit).  It has been designed so that interested members can see at a glance what is involved in each service position.  



GSR REPORTS

Aylesford Sunday Evening

The meeting has a steady number of regular members as well as newcomers & visitors.
We continue to make donations to Intergroup & our service positions are covered.
Many Thanks
Brian Y GSR

Cranbrook Saturday Evening

Cranbrook Saturday Group, 8pm
Church House, St Dunstan's Church, Stone Street, Cranbrook, TN17 3HA
Duration 1hr 30mins
Speaker meeting - all meetings 'open'
Wheelchair access
Group attendance: 15-35
Self-supporting
Rent: £20 (winter months); £16.50 (summer months)
Service positions: all filled
Sponsorship/temporary sponsorship: announced at the beginning of each meeting
Whatsapp group
Newcomers: frequent and returning
CHIT system: operating
No current concerns from the group.
Kim J. GSR

Maidstone Monday Evening

Maidstone Monday 8pm St Faith??s, Station Road, Maidstone, ME14 1LH
  • Step and Tradition Meeting with a weekly chair
  • Duration 1hr 30mins
  • We are currently self-supporting
  • The meeting various in size between 10-22, with a mix of ages, genders and sobriety.
  • We welcome newcomers, offer phone numbers and support
Catherine L. GSR


Maidstone Wednesday Evening

The report for the above meeting is as follows:-

  • the meeting is well attended;
  • the meeting is fully self-supporting;
  • all service positions are filled; and
  • newcomers/visitors reported that they felt welcomed in a friendly and warm manner. However, there was an incident recently where a newcomer was told he wasn't allowed to share as he had been drinking and he left the meeting. A group conscience was called the following week and a safe place/no aggressive behaviour will now be read at the beginning of the meeting following agreement within the group.
Thank you!
Nicky GSR


Monday Night Marden

We are self-supporting with numbers increasing up to 16 or so members.

We have a new secretary and all the other current positions are filled. We had a conscience meeting recently too.

The pink form including all the new contact details will be submitted shortly.

Kind regards,
Valerie GSR

Rochester Saturday Morning

Rochester AA meeting is self-supporting has s healthy number and contributes to intergroup.

Gavin A GSR


Sevenoaks Wednesday Evening

Nothing to report for Sevenoaks Wednesday at Hollybush.
Regards
Mike M GSR


Sevenoaks Sunday Evening


St Mary Kippington Centre, Kippington Road, Sevenoaks TN13 2LL
Time: 20:00-21:30
  • Sevenoaks Sunday is an Open meeting
  • Wheelchair accessible with disabled facilities and a carpark to the rear
  • Average 20+ attendees a week ?? a healthy mix of old-timers and newcomers
  • Speaker meeting, starting with a 20??30-minute chair then open for sharing
  • All service positions filled (Secretary, Treasurer, GSR, Literature Secretary,
  • Chip Secretary, Teas & Coffees, Greeters).
  • We are self-supporting and make regular contributions to Intergroup.

Clare H - GSR

Sheppy Thursday

Sheppey Thursday 'Step And Tradition' meeting has a welcoming and intimate atmosphere, with plenty of home made cake, courtesy of Joan! We have a small fluctuating weekly attendance of between 5-10 people. We are fully self-supporting. For the first time in our short history, we now have all service positions filled. We make contributions to intergroup whenever possible.
Best wishes,
Matt A GSR

Sheppy Sunday Evening

We are a small group and average 6-8 members each week. Due to the difficulty in getting chairs we have decided to become a predominantly ??living sober? group, reading through living sober each week unless we can find a chair.
We are self-supporting and make modest but regular contributions to intergroup.
Our service positions are filled but we would still appreciate more support, especially with chairs.
YIF
Martha K
Vice Chair WKIG & GSR Sheppey Sunday

Tunbridge Wells Monday Lunchtime

Just to say there's nothing much to report from Tonbridge Monday lunchtime- all is going well

Helen A GSR


Tunbridge Wells Monday

Monday 7.30pm Tunbridge Wells.

We held a group conscience on the 16th on September and discussed the following.
  • Agreed with majority that we are upholding with the principles in tradition 5, also with recent safeguarding practices brought up at the last inter group.
  • Discussed and agreed that we should display the new Anonymity sign with a unanimous vote.
  • Discussed Matt A's (P. I. L. O) proposal of advertising in the West Kent area in Nov and Jan. I must add that this was a subject with various opinions and objections. Yet the group vote was in favour, by majority.

We created a new service position of greeter, which is yet to be filled.
Attendance between 10-22. We are fulling self-supporting and contributing regularly to intergroup.
  • All service positions are filled (apart from newly created greeter position).
  • On the second Monday of each month, our open meeting is a shared AA / Al-anon speaker meeting, which continues to help massively to those that attend.
  • We do have newcomers fairly regularly and they find the welcome and message given helpful, we have plenty returning to this or other meetings.
  • We announce temporary sponsorship and those willing to offer themselves as temporary sponsors at the start of each meeting.
  • Chit system in place and announced weekly

YIF
Jon P GSR

Tunbridge Wells Thursday Step & Tradition

Step and Tradition meeting using Twelve by Twelve Book - cover a Tradition according to the month, on the last Thursday of each month.
  • Attracting on average 15-20 people a week - a good mix of regulars and newcomers.
  • Temporary sponsorship is offered at each meeting.
  • Current Secretary due to be rotated out in the next month.  All other service positions are filled.
  • Group Conscience to be held on 26th September 2019.
  • Continue to send regular contributions to WKIG.

Emma.C GSR


Tunbridge Wells Sunday Night

The meeting is really well attended and has a consistent home group membership with a good mix of male and female members.  Several service positions are coming up in early October 2019 and we are having a group conscience meeting to vote new members in.  The group conscience meeting will also consider a) voting procedures for the most responsible service positions (Secretary, GSR, Treasurer) b) who can vote in a group conscience meeting - any member in the room or only home group members? c) should group conscience votes be on the basis of substantial unanimity?  The group has practices in relation to all these issues but the group conscience on these issues has not been checked at least for a while.

Cliff S GSR

Twydall Ladies Wednesday Meeting

Please accept my apologies as I shall be on holiday on the 20th September.  I have asked Shirley to read our report on my behalf.
Our numbers vary from week to week from sometimes as little as 4 members, other weeks there might be 10 +.  
We are still self-supporting managing to pay for the rent, refreshments etc.  
All the service positions are filled.
What we have found is that newer members are choosing our Meeting to share or actually do a chair for the very first time which is very encouraging.  
It is still a very friendly and the ??Sobriety Days/Weeks/Months and Years? are growing in strength.
Helen S GSR



Liaison Officers Reports

Employment Liaison Report

I am continuing to write to employers offering a talk and information about AA., as have had no positive replies. I am still an active member of the Public Information Group.
Tony M (ELO) 07590 464700

Health Liaison Report

Although I have been in the post since July I only got to meet with Andy H, the outgoing liaison officer this month. He had very little input as to what the position actually is and what the remit is. However, I have made myself known to Theresa N, the Regional HLO and look forward to meeting her at Region later this month.

I have tried to make contact with Kenwood House to introduce myself but as yet they have not returned my calls.

I have spoken to someone at Canada House, which is where the mental health team for Medway is based, and I am waiting to hear back from them as to who I can speak to about Alcoholics Anonymous.
Dawn S HLO

Public Information Report

A brief run-down of WKPI activity since our last assembly.
School talks are on hold now during the school holidays. However, I have 2 talks booked in November during alcohol awareness week at Oakwood Park in Maidstone. There is also 2 talks booked in with Skinner School In Tonbridge 31st Oct and 5th Dec.
If anyone is interested in attending a school talk, please let me have your details at the end of the assembly and we will arrange something for future talks.

We have now started holding talks at the Forward Trust in Sittingbourne. Helen has done a fantastic job spreading the AA message there. Georgie (our contact) has been most impressed with our work so far. If anyone can help Helen by sparing some time to do a little service, that would be most appreciated.
I have placed the order for the KM Media advert. Please find the details of the media package attached to this email. I have requested that the adverts run from 11th Nov to 17th 2019. And the second hit to run from 1st Jan until 7th 2020.
I will be attending a community open day on the 14th September at the Sittingbourne Methodist Church. Sarah has kindly secured a table for us to be able to hand out leaflets / posters / literature and speak to anyone interested in the AA message.
I have recently received a request from Colebrook Road Hostel in Tonbridge Wells, asking for AA to go in there and hold some talks. I have emailed the contact to find out more details but had no reply yet.
If you have any other questions, you or your group would like answered please do not hesitate to contact me.
Matt A
Public Information Liaison (West Kent Intergroup)
Telephone: 07596115802


Matt's letter to KM and response
Hi Jenny,

I hope you are well. Please find artwork attached for the AA promotion. We would like the ads to run from 11th Nov to 17th 2019. And the second hit to run from 1st Jan until 7th 2020. I will find out the billing information later today and then send over once I know. The preferred artwork would be the 'Spot the alcoholic'. If this is no good, then the blue poster would work. Give me shout if you have any questions.

Matt A PI 07596115802


Hello Matt
As promised, please see below revised package to promote your key messages in two hits in November & January:

PRESS
Approx size of supplied copy is our 8x4 (8cm high x 13.6cm wide)
North & West Kent Package:
Kent Messenger Series (Maidstone, Malling, Weald, Medway & County editions)
Gravesend & Dartford Messenger Series
Gravesend & Dartford Messenger Extra
Sittingbourne News Extra
Sheerness Times Guardian
2 x inserts

FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM
2 x targeted social media posts across the above press areas, using images and text with your key messages, across 7 days

Total package price £1100 plus VAT

Prison Liaison Report


All prison meetings and big book study at Rochester running well.

Rochester and Elmley are especially strong meetings. Rochester has over 20 men attending and numbers at Elmley have been increasing over 10 each week. Also access issues at Elmley much improved, Forward Trust are working hard to ensure meetings go ahead.

Thanks to all who do service every week, and again always looking for men and women to do chairs (daytime and evening meetings available) and also members to do regular prison service as people rotate out.

A member approached me enquiring about setting up a new meeting at Standford Hill on a Saturday which I explored with the prison but as we hold, the meeting in the Chapel the priest would need to attend to let us in, which is not possible as he is there Mon - Fri.

Gina S PLO

Regional representatives Report

The next Regional Meeting is on Sunday 22nd September at Burgess Hill, hence there is nothing to currently report.
Names

Share and Literature Liaison Report

I have drafted an article contribution myself and intend to send this to Share myself.  If members are interested in doing the same then please contact me for the guidance received from Region.
 
I have had some foreign language big books delivered.   The languages that I now hold are as follows:-
 
2No. Polish
1No. Arabic
1No. Gujarati
2No. Lithuanian
1No. Chinese
2No. Romanian
2No. Spanish
2No. Punjabi
2No. Nepali
2No. Russian
 
On average the books cost £10 each but because of bank charges the Punjabi books cost just under £20 each. However Intergroup agreed that we would subsidise the cost of the Punjabi books so that they also cost £10 to the newcomer.
To reduce the cost of postage to Intergroup it would make sense for members to ask their group literature secretary to enquire from GSO as to whether they have a copy of a particular language Big Book before they contact me.
PO Box 1, 10 Toft Green, York YO1 7NJ.
Tel. 01904 644026 (Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm - Friday 9am to 4.30pm)       
Email: gso@alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk
However if GSO do not have a copy I will send them the required book on receipt of a Cheque (for £10 per copy) made out to West Kent Intergroup. I will then order another copy from GSO.
Members can call me on 07774741933 or email on info@treeventures.co.uk to discuss whether I have a book in stock. I will also issue an up to date inventory in my report for each assembly.
If you have any questions, please give me a call.
 
John G
 
Share and Literature Liaison Officer
West Kent Intergroup
Email: info@treeventures.co.uk


Telephone Liaison Report


TLO report West Kent.
It's been a very busy time recently with the switch to digital going quite smoothly apart from being disconnected for 24hrs due to a billing issue which is now being resolved.
We are back giving a full 24hr service. The telephone Workshop was a great success and well attended. Would have liked to see more interest from new willing volunteers.
We are still looking for a new Telephone Liason Officer so that I can train them up before moving away. It is so important to the service that we fill this position! It won't work without One.
There are the following shifts that also need filling so that we can continue to help the new person desperate to find recovery.
They are currently being covered by existing responders who already do a great deal.

Friday (Alternate weeks) 08:00-1300

Saturday morning 08:30-13:00

Saturday overnight-Sunday morning
22:30-08:30

Sunday 13:00-1800
Dermot G TLO

KMFM Update - Matt A

This has been covered above in Matt's PI Report.

Chair's Report

As I don't have much to report this time, I would like to make a request to GSR,s regarding the WKIG Workshop on October 25th. The flyers are here, so please take them to your Groups, and encourage members to come along, Maybe newer members with their Sponsers, A lot of work goes into the organising of these workshops
so please announce it at every meeting,
I will be attending the South East Region workshops on Sunday, and would urge Liaison Officers to attend (circumstances permitting). these to are very encouraging an uplifting.
Barbara K Chair WKIG

Vice-Chair's Report

I would like to first address the issue of my relocation to Spain. I am semi-retiring and relocating my home base across the water. I am, however maintaining my business in Sheerness, on a smaller scale and this will mean that I am back and forth regularly for work in the UK. I would therefore like to give it my very best shot in honouring my commitment as VC. I should add that when I took the post on, I was not planning on this scale down. Should it become untenable, I will stand aside. Meanwhile, my commitment to the Intergroup remains as it has always been.

One of my responsibilities as VC is the organising of workshops and I'm delighted that we have received such positive feedback for the forthcoming workshop this month and have already agreed on a theme for the next. As a reminder, the workshop this month is on Friday 25 October, the theme "When the Bridge to Normal Living Becomes a Slippery Slope". The following workshop in the spring of 2020 will be to do with prison service, untitled as yet.

On to the October workshop then: we have speakers as well as time for questions from the floor and some role play. This went down really well last time. Please circulate the flyers in your groups and come along to support the workshop! Bring your sponsees perhaps.

Martha K Vice - Chair WKIG

Secretary's Report

Firstly, I would like to thank Shirley for the time that she has spent passing on the role of Secretary. After this evening we will see how much I took in. this report will be short as there has not been a great deal to do since taking over the position.
Hopefully everyone has received all of the emails and that those without computers have received all of the postal correspondence.
The next challenge will be getting the Aide Memoire and the minutes out on time without too many errors.
Phil S Secretary

Treasurer Liaison Report


Treasurer's Report 12th July to 20th September 2019
As my spreadsheet indicates as of 20th September, we now have £3,950.00 in available funds.
This accounts for the prudent reserve of £500.00, £500.00 ring-fenced for P.I events and £1100.00 put aside for the upcoming PI ads in the Kent Messenger.
We made a contribution of £3000 to region on the 12th July. I would like to propose to the group making a contribution of £2000 to region.

Unallocated contributions are as follows: -
  • 15/03/19 £100.00 (Cash Paid into TunbridgeWells branch of HSBC)
  • 03/05/19 £100.00 (Cash Paid into TunbridgeWells branch of HSBC)
  • 20/06/19 £100.00 (Cash Paid into TunbridgeWells branch of HSBC)
  • 20/06/19 £27.00 (Cash Paid into Tunbridge Wells branch of HSBC)

Please can GSRs pass on a copy of the treasury report to their group treasurer, so they can confirm intergroup has received their groups contributions. If you recognize any of the unallocated contributions as your group??s please let the intergroup treasurer know.
Generally group treasurers have been very good at keeping us up to date. Please could GSRs continue to inform the WKIG treasurer if they have made cash contributions by either sending in the paying-in receipt or a short note by email.

There has been an increase in payments by BACS. If treasurers wish to pay by BACS it is essential that they indicate which group the contribution is coming from and whether it is a normal contribution or gratitude week i.e. T/Wells Weds (am or pm) C (or GW for Gratitude Week).
I am in the process of changing the signatories on the WKIG bank account and hope to have Internet Banking set up before the next assembly, this will assist us with making routine payments for PI events, Workshops etc as more and more organisations are starting to refuse cheques.
All that remains is for me to ask Group Treasurers to continue the good work of letting us know which group their contributions are from and to keep them informed of any changes in
contact details.
Group contributions should be made to 'West Kent Intergroup'
West Kent Intergroup Bac's Details
Sort Code: 40-31-06.
Account No: 81135724

Lynden S Treasurer
Honeysuckle House
Merryboys Road
Cliffe Woods
ME3 7TP
Mobile: 07528655428
Email: treasurer.westkent@aamail.org

Any Other Business

Fiona G had raised whether it would be possible to have QR Codes added to our local Where To find. She brought along examples of the Brighton Area??s Where to Find and the Hastings & Rother Intergroup's Where to find. Darren F pointed out that the links used to you to "Google Maps" and not AA's mapping system. This would be researched. Darren

Gina S Prison Liaison Officer, sought the Assembly??s approval to purchase some National Where to Find directories. It was pointed out that these are not listed literature items. They need to be purchased direct through GSO as they contain members personal information. The group approved the purchase and this would come from the budget allocated to the Prison Liaison Officer.

Barbara K. Chair of the Intergroup sought approval to purchase AA diaries and Calendars, her initial request was for 10 of each and that she would purchase any that were not sold. Other members of the assembly then expressed an interest in having the items and it was a proposal from Barbara A that we purchase 20 of each, this was seconded by Shirley S. There was then a majority vote in favour of the purchase.   


Next Intergroup Assembly: Friday 22nd November 2019

Next Workshop "When the Bridge to Normal Living Becomes A Slippery Slope" Friday 25th October 2019 (flyer attached)