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Screenshot of Andi with headphones on and trans flag in background presenting at the AGM. There is a cat asleep behind them
November 9, 2020
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Back on the 21st April 2018 Chrysalis began our own transition, building on the strong foundations of those who had gone before and moving from a small, family led organisation to a robust, professional charity with ambitions for the world stage, on the 26th January 2019 the membership voted to make us a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with a brand new constitution and on Saturday 7th November 2020 it was my great pleasure to take part in our annual general meeting, celebrating our achievements and showcasing the incredible charity we are to our volunteers, group members and supporters.

Graphic looking back at year 1 and forward to Year 3, image year 1 group of volunteers and new trustees stood outside Unity 12 building after AGM, year 2 image all @ChrysalisGIM social media tags on RHS and view of Bournemouth Pier on LHS, year 3 shows the Progress Pride flag
Looking at our achievements, then and now

Steph’s trustees report reminded us this has been a challenging few years, not least with the turbulent political seas we have all been sailing these last three years, the damp squib of reform of the Gender Recognition Act and anti-trans rhetoric has challenged the lives of those we support and the service we provide that much more critical. Thank you Steph, with you at the helm we have indeed sailed a clear path.

Jon in his final treasurer’s report celebrated those incredible steps we have made in funding, from securing the Tudor Trust grant that made everything possible back in 2018 to the £280k funding from the National Lottery Community Fund which took us from “cautiously optimistic” to “financially secure” in 2019. Jon leaves us in a strong financial position with clear accounting and budgeting procedures and the knowledge to inform our next steps, broadening our funding base and cautioning the incoming board to diversify our funding streams. It is thanks to you Jon that we are able to do any of this.

Next I was up, it’s such a pleasure to only have positive news to share. Each AGM has been different, each has brought it’s own challenges and this one was no different. Our first Virtual AGM and our first use of the Live Production aspect of Teams. Thanks to Maximillian for all your backstage work

two monitors and printed notes below. LH screen shows Chrysalis accounts backstage view, rh screen shows voting form
Backstage at the AGM

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for! Here’s the stats to make you smile

Period to March 31st 2020

Volunteer value average £4,700 per month (that’s the equivalent of two full time members of staff)

56% increase in counselling sessions delivered (on average 27 sessions per month)

128% increase in people attending our groups (meaning that people were coming and they were staying, attending every week and we were at capacity with waiting lists at many of the groups)

Chrysalis was operating solely in psychical locations in Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Southampton, Fareham and Portsmouth and our support groups and counselling sessions ran twice a month.

But it wasn’t enough to show you the year that was, we needed to recognise the seven months that have been between now and then, if only to recognise that we should have had this AGM back in April 2020!

The year that is

From the 1st April to the 31st October 2020 Chrysalis hasn’t just survived we have turned back the tide.

Our volunteers are now donating the equivalent of £9300 each month

We are delivering 80 counselling sessions a month

Our online groups go from strength to strength with an average attendance of 67 per month

and last, but most definitely not least, we introduced a whole new support strand and are now delivering an average of 107 one-to-one support hours a month

I can’t help but be constantly humbled by the dedication of everyone involved in Chrysalis.

The next order of business

It was probably the shortest AGM I have ever attended but we covered so much ground. After my talk I handed over to Sheila who did a wonderful job of thanking our volunteers and highlighting those who have gone above and beyond over the last year. It is sad to see Sheila go but I know she’ll continue her involvement as a volunteer in one way or another.

After that it was agreed in principle to change our subscription model, getting rid of the admin fee and making it easier for people to support each other with a bit of Pay it Forward as well as recognising that we offer different support to different people.

I also made a commitment to the group members who attended, that next years order of business will most definitely include involving them in the decision making of their charity, allowing members as well as volunteers to vote at the AGM. Watch this space for more details.

And finally

Onto the appointment of the new board of trustees. It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to our new board:

I am so very excited about the future, if you were to ask me to name one aspect of this job I love it would be that every time we achieve something, every task complete, is another step forward. I love being able to affect the future, to have ambition and to have the best team around me to deliver on it.

Helena the tortoiseshell cat sitting on wooden floorboards looking at the camera plaintively
Helena wondering when it’s her turn to sit on the desk chair, she thinks I’ve been working too long on my reports!
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