All pictures by Dr Robert Brandstetter
A most successful and informative Annual General Meeting was hosted by Johanniter Finland in Helsinki on 20 and 21 May. Attended by thirty delegates from Europe including Cyprus and Jerusalem, a wide spectrum of topics provided an interesting and varied programme.
The first day began with our Chairman, Ian Mackenzie, outlining the general activities of the network over the past twelve months, followed by comprehensive financial information by our Vice-Chairman, Christian Velten-Jameson.
This was followed by the Heads of the working groups providing more detailed information about their activities which encouraged discussion and clarification on a number of issues. Areas covered included the outcomes of the PR, Marketing & Communication Group (Dr Robert Brandstetter, Johanniter Austria) and highlighted emergency PR support and the production of videos for public information. Julia Zeilinger (Johanniter Germany) spoke about the Youth Group meetings and youth events open to international participation. Volunteer Swap opportunities were presented by Adam Williams (St John Ambulance England). To encourage greater participation in inter-country cooperation in this area, it was agreed by all delegates that the introduction of a JOIN basic first aid standard would be of benefit. England will produce the proposed syllabus content for distribution to and eventual agreement by all prior to implementation by 2017.
In the absence of the Head of the Clinical Group, Lubumbe Van de Velde (JOIN Office) provided an update on recent areas of discussion.
An ‘international’ session then followed and focused on projects run by JOIN members. Kevin Orr (Most Venerable Order of St John), Head of International Cooperation incl. Fundraising Group, provided an update of its activities and Stephan Beschle (Johanniter Germany) outlined the worldwide projects of Johanniter International Assistance. Kevin and Stephan then together presented the ongoing Mother and Baby programme in various African countries.
Finally Tom Ogilvie-Graham (CEO of St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem) gave an interesting insight into the outstanding services provided to all in need in this very difficult area of unrest.
The work of the Brussels office was outlined by Joachim Berney, our General Manager providing detail of its routine activities while emphasising its focus on networking as well as EU funding opportunities.
Lubumbe and Georg Aumayr (JOIN Office) provided information on the ongoing SOCIALCARE project and Georg concluded by identifying potential research topics for JOIN members and indicated ways to involve them in international projects and the drafting of project proposals.
The next AGM is planned to take place in Berlin in early June 2017.