Council of Management
21 July 2020
As a result of the Coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic the Council of Management has not been able to meet in person this year. Meetings scheduled for April and May had to be cancelled due to lockdown. However, throughout this time the Council has remained engaged with the activities of the charity and has been able to exercise its governance role remotely.
On 21 July the Council of Management held a business meeting by video conference for the first time.
Normally the trustees’ annual report and annual accounts are approved by the Council in April. This year that approval had to be postponed until July in order for the auditors to fully satisfy themselves about the impact of the Coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic on the charity’s finances going forward.
The additional tests demanded by the unique circumstances have been passed and this allowed the trustees’ annual report and annual accounts for 2019 to be approved by the Council. These reports will now be circulated to the members of the charity and presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 29 September. They will show that Epilepsy Action enjoyed another very successful year – having contact with more than 2 million people and spending more than 3.7 million pounds.
The Council considered the financial performance of the charity in the first six months of 2020 and looked at future projections of performance until the end of the year. They were pleased to note that despite the inevitable impact of the pandemic on income, especially income from fundraising events, the finances of the charity remained robust. It was felt that no major adjustments were required at this time to plans for the remainder of the year.
Not more than every other year the Council can recognise an outstanding personal contribution to improving the lives of people with epilepsy by awarding the Association’s Lord Hastings Award. This year the Council unanimously decided to make the award to Beth Irwin, an epilepsy specialist nurse with more than 30 years experience working in Northern Ireland.
The Council also made some changes to the membership of its Scientific Awards Panel. This is the group of experts who advise Council on its research grants. Dr Catrin Tudur-Smith and Dr Helen McEwan have stepped down after completing their maximum term. Nigel Bennett has been appointed as a new member.