Firstly, I’d like to say how pleased and indeed honoured I am to be taking the Chair of Accessible Retail.
On behalf of all of the Board I’d like to thank Jo Lord for her contribution as Chairman and for her service to Accessible Retail.
I would like to thank, also, Daniel Berrevoets for his contribution as Company Secretary 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.
Research and lobbying 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. I aim to continue to support AR through our work with other trade and professional bodies and by responding to consultations on behalf of our members on some of the key issues affecting our market. Our professional development and networking events continue to attract strong support from members and we will be providing a continuing strong program of events into the future.
Thank you also for all your generosity, in 2016, AR was extremely pleased to be able to presented its 55th Sunshine Coach to the Variety Club as well as providing additional support for specialist equipment and wheelchairs for three other young adults. It is an incredible achievement which has helped to open up many opportunities for disadvantaged young people to enjoy happier and fuller lives. Of course another key achievement has been the support we have provided to charities through the 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.
Andrew Hetherton, October 2017