Chairman’s Blog – October 2020
Number 63 is slowly, cautiously and positively emerging from lockdown.
The past 28 weeks have been surreal not just for Number 63, its shareholders but also for civil society globally.
Except for the Manager, all staff were furloughed.
Currently the Manager is on duty and two members of staff are flexi furloughed, all other staff remain furloughed.
Throughout lockdown many challenges have been addressed in order to nurture, develop and enhance the fabric of the building and sustain the business, which has been without an income since lockdown.
The ensuites in rooms 101,102 and 104 have been refurbished. This has included the removal of the small bore “macerator” toilet and the installation of a toilet connected to the main drain and the inclusion of the wash hand basin within the ensuite of room 101.
Director Barbara Diamant, Maintenance Consultant Derek Jeffery and a skilled team lead by craftsman Radek, have managed the project (see photographs below)
Covid-19 has been and is challenging us all individually and the business of Number 63 is no exception. Protocols to protect staff, tradesmen and guests have been devised and designed.
The protocols are all based on factual evidence, best practice and Government regulations and recommendations.
All persons, for example, entering the building are temperature tested, using a digital thermometer and all readings are recorded.
All documentation is available on the Covid-19 page of the Number 63 Website. Carwen Wynne -Howells, Board Administrator & recently co-opted as a Director, led this work.
As a consequence of lock-down the Board engaged an accredited cleaning contractor to undertake a certified deep clean of the building. I trust that such diligence reassures the shareholders of the Board’s commitment for the safety of the building, guests, visitors and staff?
In addition, there has been a need to review working practice in order to be compliant with robust good practice. To facilitate the development of this review and as recommended by Director Angela Elkholy, a consultant Eamonn Cole has been engaged to mentor, guide and direct the Manager. Eamonn is well qualified in this field and is a Fellow of the Hotel and Catering Industry Institute.
Director of Finance Kay Linnell has contributed tirelessly to the financial challenges of the business.
Those of you in business with moral, ethical and financial responsibilities will concur that these are challenging times for any business, the furloughing scheme has supported and assisted businesses, but not without its stresses.
The cash flow of the business has suffered and in order that the re-generation of Number 63 is aided and supported a discount scheme will be launched to attract a variety of guests including, shareholderswho return to Number 63, or to introduce others such as young, vibrant professionals to use the facilities available and for example:-
Accommodation charges to be announced soon will attract more clients.
All rooms and facilities occupied will be sanitised after every use.
The 2021 Annual General Meeting of Number 63 (Soroptimist) Limited will be conducted virtually on Saturday 23rd January 2021.
This should not faze shareholders given the number of Clubs, Regions, Federation Management Board, Programme Action Groups and the Federation Annual Conference which are being hosted virtually.
The Board is grateful to Director of Governance Giselle Davies for her advice that by undertaking a virtual Annual General Meeting the Societies Rule Book is neither breached nor compromised.
The organisation, administration and management of a virtual Annual General Meeting offers opportunities and challenges to two key persons Director and Board Administrative Officer Carwen Wynne-Howells and Share Registrar Alison Cramer, to whom I offer my sincere appreciation and that of the Board’s for their input and time commitment.
Director of Finance Kay Linnell has ably facilitated for the Board the appointment of a Human Resource Consultant Liz Kiernan, an Information Technology Specialist and Civil Engineer Monie Patti and a Fire and Health and Safety Specialist Nigel Robinson.
Already their professional input has been enlightening, all are appropriately qualified and indemnified.
In my opinion the appointment of the Consultants should demonstrate to the Shareholders the Board’s professional commitment and responsibility for the survival of Number 63.
During this time there have been onerous moments for the Board, the Manager and the Consultants.
As Chairman I must highlight and express my concerns and anxieties, there is a shortfall in the number of Directors, skills are required and urgently needed in the following specialist areas: –
a. Communications and the use of all social media platforms, web-site development and maintenance. Whilst advising and recommending to the Board new and innovative communication mediums.
b. Marketing innovation and platforms to promote and sustain the visibility of Number 63.
c. Expertise of the Hospitality sector.
d. A Board Administrative Officer is required to replace Director Carwen Wynne-Howells.
If any shareholder is interested in becoming a Director please apply, the details are on the website with the Annual General Meeting papers.
The closing date is 29h October 2020.
I thank you in advance for your interest.
Administrator Pat Dale of the 500 Club has continued tirelessly to manage the fund, thank you Pat. Ladies please encourage members to join the 500 Club details can be found on the 500 Club page on Number 63’s web-site.
Finally, on a note which the Board believe the shareholders may enjoy please purchase online www.number63.co.uk a bottle, or two, of Number 63 GIN so that even with social distancing you can enjoy a gin and tonic and toast the safe keeping of family, friends and colleagues whilst supporting Number 63.
Stay safe, take care best wishes Ann
Number 63 (Soroptimist) Limited