Firstly, I’d like to say how honoured I am to be taking the Chair of Accessible Retail.
On behalf of all of the Board I’d like to thank Tim Haynes for his contribution as Chairman and for his long term service to Accessible Retail over many years.
I would like to thank, also, David Marsden for becoming our Deputy Chairman, Mary Davidson and Daniel Berrevoets for continuing as Treasurer and Company Secretary respectively and all the other members of the Board. All of them give their time and expertise generously to help ensure that AR provides the best possible benefits to its members and I appreciate their continued support and guidance.
In our research and lobbying efforts, which are incredibly important to AR, we continue to strive to make AR a forum for serious discussion and debate about the issues affecting our sector. My thanks to all of you who were able to attend our recent CPD seminar which provided an in depth view on some of the key issues affecting our market.
Will McKee will be providing updates on our lobbying and research activities both on the web-site and also at our Annual Conference in October which we shall again be holding at the Royal Institution.
Our professional development and networking events continue to attract strong support from members and we will be providing a continuing strong programme into the future.
Thanks to your generosity, in 2015, AR presented its 53nd Sunshine Coach to the Variety Club. It is an incredible achievement which has helped to open up many opportunities for disadvantaged young people to enjoy happier and fuller lives. This is in addition to the other charitable activities that our members undertake throughout the year and which your Board is pleased to support.
Overall, our organisation goes from strength to strength and I am particularly pleased to see the next generation coming through due to the efforts of YAR.
Finally I would like to express my thanks on behalf of all of the Board to you all for your continued support of AR. Our longevity, success and the breadth of our activities is a testament to the commitment and hard work of all members of our sector.
I look forward to seeing many of you at an AR event in the near future.
Jo Lord, July 2016