On the 19th of May, 32 people gathered at The Field in New Cross to attend the first annual general meeting of our Community Benefit Society (CBS) and a Community Land Trust (CLT)!
Once we decided to become a non-charitable Community Benefit Society at #9 SL CASH General Meeting (GM) in December 2018, it took a fair amount of work through the model rules to understand their current and future implications (thanks Marie!). It was a learning curve for all of us but we collectively managed to not only digest the legalese but also to draft nine amendments to the rules. At the #12 GM we adopted the document and approved incorporating via Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) with The Field (thank you!) as our HQ.
Next, in tune with advancing other important strands of CASH's activity, we proceeded to formalising the process and set the date for our AGM in May! Many thanks to Community Land Trust Network, Community Led Housing Hub and Wrigleys Solicitors for their support and expertise. We are also grateful to Sanford and Nettleton co-ops for financial support at this stage.
Welcome a beautiful spring evening! The spirit of the AGM was spellbinding, people coming from various walks of life, wanting to pursue the change they want to see, together. We received seven applications to join the board, all of them were approved by consent, Leonie was appointed as chair, Abigail as treasurer and Szczepan as secretary. We smoothly went to approve the membership policy, re-established our working groups and, without further ado, started filling the membership forms!
As the last, but not least, part of the AGM, we swirled around The Field, writing on the conspicuously prepared (Nice one, Richard!) A1 sheets. The topics, distributed around the room were:
'What we do have',
'What do we need',
'Things to do (now)',
'Things to do (soon)',
'Things to do (later)' and
'Questions to answer (sooner/later)'.
These have become The CASH Scrolls. It was a great collective dance!
Thanks to this exercise, a refreshing picture of what we are, and what we are capable of, emerged. The intersection of community engagement driven by good will and passion with structured and critical determination, underwritten by a flurry of relevant skills and experience, demonstrated we came together to deliver. We realised that the journey will be challenging and we need to cultivate our listening and learning attitudes. We acknowledged the necessity to broaden our spectrum of alliances in an organic but dedicated way. We drafted the next steps for CASH as well as dreams for the future. We also asked a lot of questions, amongst them 'How can we engage with the wider community' and 'how to pool resources'... Now we just need to make it all happen!
Onto the deep waters
CASH so far has been a glimmer of hope for members of local community who wanted to constructively engage with the housing crisis by creating truly affordable housing and inclusive spaces for work and play. We have now moved to the next stage when we look at delivering our first project. The foundations of our beacon have been laid and are solid, but there is a lot of learning ahead of us. Thankfully, our members are just as kind as they are versatile and insatiably curious. Let's keep co-operating!
Also big thanks to Faiza, Sandra and Michal who audiovisually documented the meeting, which resulted in a video brilliantly edited by Hannah! You can watch it on our home page
You can find the minutes from the meeting as well as notes from the scrolls in our public repository