SBS Annual General Meeting 2023: A Night of Reflection and ProgressWednesday, November 1st, 2023
The Swiss Benevolent Society’s (SBS) Annual General Meeting (AGM) is always a special occasion. It’s a time for the SBS community to come together, reflect on the past year’s achievements. The AGM held on the 5th October 2023 was no exception, as we gathered to discuss important matters, recognise dedicated individuals, and share insights into our journey.
SBS Chairman, Mrs. Suzanne Egloff, shared an overview of the Annual Report for 2022. The report outlined our endeavours to support the well-being of Swiss Nationals in the UK, especially during challenging times. The focus was on enhancing mental and financial resilience, promoting social perseverance, and ensuring physical endurance.
In 2022 we celebrated the return of in-person events. These included Trustee meetings, Swiss National Day, the SBS Kyoto Garden tour, and the SBS Annual Tea Party Birthday Celebration.
SBS Internal Strengthening
The SBS team devoted more time than ever to administrative, line-management, and supervision activities, all aimed at supporting our objectives. Key efforts included strengthening internal operations, launching a new CRM platform, automating administrative tasks, and improving human resources.
In a bid to enhance service delivery, we introduced new data systems and client categorization models, resulting in informative graphs in the Annual Report. These measures were undertaken to serve our clients better.
SBS Welfare Office’s Services
SBS’s commitment to the welfare of Swiss Nationals was evident in the services provided in 2022. We maintained our focus on preventing the loss of livelihood, improving well-being, community outreach, and supporting the Swiss community in obtaining EU Settled Status.
The Annual Report featured graphical representations of our work, showcasing our interactions with service users, financial aid distribution, and the Pilot Student Grant scheme’s progress.
SBS is taking Steps Forward
During the Annual General Meeting of 2023, we not only celebrated our past achievements but also looked to the future with optimism. One of the key highlights approved at the AGM, was the proposal for a change in our Articles of Association, a pivotal move that ensures the effective and smooth running of our charity with a fully functioning Board of Trustees. We’re thrilled to share that this proposal received resounding support from our members, underlining their commitment to our cause. The approved change to Articles of the Charity, and upon completion, will communicate this to registered bodies and SBS members to maintain its commitment to transparency and adherence to the charity standards.
Additionally, we were delighted to welcome three new members to our charity, further strengthening our community and expanding the reach of our mission. It’s these collective efforts, shared goals, and the contributions that fuel our passion to serve the Swiss community in the UK.
Acknowledging Dedication and Service for the SBS
In her opening words, Chairman Suzanne Egloff acknowledged the significant transitions within the SBS team. We bid farewell to our former Welfare Officer, Petra Kehr Cocks and Interim Welfare Officer Heidi Holenweg. Their experience and insights were invaluable in the support of the Swiss community in the UK. We also marked changes in our Board of Trustees and bid farewell to Mr. David Killian Beck, Mrs. Jeannette Crosier, and Mrs. Suzanne Blundell, who resigned from their positions. Chairman Suzanne Egloff, Treasurer Federico Sassolli de Bianchi, and Trustee Marc Peter have been re-elected, bringing their dedication and expertise to continue guiding SBS in its mission.
The AGM was also an occasion to recognise individuals who have made significant contributions to our charity. We’d like to extend our gratitude to Mrs. Margrit Lyster for stepping in as a Proxy Delegate for the members who couldn’t attend in person. With 61 active members and a goal to find more members for the charity, we value the active participation and support of our community.
Chairman Suzanne Egloff furthermore conveyed in the name of SBS a heartfelt gratitude to Jeannette Crosier present at the AGM, a dedicated member and former Trustee of 14 years. Jeannette’s unwavering commitment was integral to our success.
In return, Jeannette Crosier expressed her appreciation for her time working with the SBS team, highlighting Suzanne Egloff’s professionalism and personal support. She concluded her address by presenting Chairman Suzanne Egloff with a bouquet of flowers, symbolising the mutual respect and camaraderie that defines SBS.
Gratitude and Optimism for SBS’s Future
As we draw the curtains on our Annual General Meeting 2023, we couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride and optimism. We would like to thank the Swiss Embassy, our Patron Ambassador Markus Leitner, and Embassy Representative Mr. Laurent Vuillemez. Their unwavering support and generosity in providing the delightful aperitif truly enhanced the evening and allowed us to celebrate together in style. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership and working closely with the Embassy to further enrich the lives of Swiss Nationals in the UK. This evening wouldn’t have been as memorable without their contributions, and we sincerely thank them for their involvement and contributions.
The AGM 2023 was a memorable event, highlighting our achievements, recognising dedicated individuals, and fuelling our passion to serve the Swiss community in the UK. With renewed spirits and a shared sense of purpose, we move forward, committed to our mission of providing invaluable assistance and enhancing the lives of Swiss Nationals in the UK. We can’t wait to see what the next year holds for the Swiss Benevolent Society, as we continue to serve our community with dedication and passion.