Report for AGM November 11th 2016


It is now two years since our professional association, Intermediaries for Justice, went live and we are holding our second AGM. We would like to report on the activities that have already taken place and most importantly what we plan for the future.

Membership
We currently have a total of 144 members of whom 121 are intermediaries and 23 are associates drawn from many different professions. There are in the region of 29 more in the process of joining. Many new intermediaries trained last year and we are delighted that they have joined too.

Committee
There are nine committee members who are Claire Ainscow, Catherine Chamberlain, Rachel Ineson, Jan Jones (Hon Chair), Richard Lambert (Hon Treasurer), Nicola Lewis, Catherine O’Neill, Tina Pereira (Hon Secretary) and Lesley Shipgood.

Conference – Joined up Justice – 12 March 2016
In March of this year we held a successful conference entitled Joined up Justice – Developments in Partnership Working within the Justice System at Stafford University. Some excellent keynote speakers and other members of the Justice System gave their time to be involved. Particular thanks are due to Fiona Simpson, David Wright and Gill Darvill for organising this event.

Website
Until March Gill Darvill and webmaster David Wright kept our website up to date, with information about events, news, book reviews, research articles, resources and much more. Gill has retired as an intermediary and from the committee and David is now no longer the webmaster. We would like to thank them both very much for their hard work over the last three or four years since the idea of the association was conceived.
We very much welcome any new material which you think would be interesting to our members. Please contact editor@intermediaries-for-justice.org. .

List of intermediaries working with defendants
The list of intermediaries who work with defendants went live in March 2015. The enquiries from solicitors and lawyers subsequently steadily increased. However, it looks as if the recommendations in the Criminal Practice Directions 2015 have had an impact on the number of referrals received through IfJ and therefore at the moment there are fewer referrals.
There will be a slight change in the application process to do with the defendants and family court lists. The way in which applications to be put on the list of intermediaries who work with defendants will be changed to simplify the system. The changes will be minor and self explanatory and will be found on the website in due course.

Charging for attendance at seminars and conferences
We would like to continue to provide relevant speakers of high standard at all training events, as well as accessible venues. We have been fortunate to receive a donation from Lady Henrietta for a second year and we are grateful to her for her support. However as donations cannot cover all costs, it has been necessary to charge attendees a minimal attendance fee for the November 2016 seminar.

Newsletter

We have produced two newsletters and plan to send them out every three months. We can keep the membership up to date with our news. We would welcome any items of news you think would be of interest to the wider membership. You can send it to info@intermediaries-for-justice.org

Media
Intermediaries Jo Parton and Nicola Lewis from the Intermediaries for Justice Media team introduced Intermediaries to Woman’s Hour listeners. A summary can be found on the IfJ website on the News page dated 29 May 2016. One or two members who were on the first media panel have left the intermediary scheme. We would like to develop this area and hope that we may be able to find more volunteers.

The Future

The Consititution and Charitable status

a. IfJ has begun the application process in relation to attaining charitable status. The Charity Commission requires IfJ to comply with several requirements as part of this process, including amending the Consitution. The Charity Commmission states that charities are set up for a charitable process, non profit making and independent. We are hopeful that being estabilised as a charity will be attractive to future donors.
b. Fees and Conditions of Membership
To comply with the Charity Commissions requirements and our new Constitution we will be changing the conditions of associate members who after joining will continue to have a reduced fee at conferences and seminars but in future no voting rights.

IfJ Conference 2017

In May 2017 we will be hosting our second conference. A number of topics are being considered. If members have suggestions that perhaps they would let us know.

Training
A number of training days are being planned starting in early 2017. They will focus on specific topics and be for groups of about 12.

News, Events and Library
Apart from our newsletter, there are regular updates of news and events on our website but we would very much like there to be more. We have a member’s forum which is still in its infancy, but we would like to encourage more debate on this.
Those members who have looked at the library pages will have seen comprehensive lists of research articles, papers and references and resources. Again we would like more contributions particularly in our Comments section. Our website editor at editor@intermediaries-for-justice.org is always pleased to receive contributions.

Fundraising
We have been very grateful for donations from Henrietta St George. These have enabled us to fund some very useful resources and to provide our first two conferences and seminars free to members.
However, we would like to think about other ways of raising funds. If anyone knows of other potential sponsors or has any fundraising suggestions, please get in touch with us.

In conclusion
Many thanks go to all of the committee for the amount of time they have spent on various IfJ projects which they are fitting in around all their other work. We would like to thank David Wright and Gill Darvill again for their copious hard work over the past few years.
We would particularly like to thank Henrietta St George, Sharon Richardson and Joyce Plotnikoff. Sharon has been working on resources which will be available on the website. She has also organised this year’s seminar on Putting Trauma Theory in to Practice, with Catherine O’Neill which will take place after the AGM on 11th November. Joyce with her extensive knowledge of and links to the Justice System has been alerting the committee to various initiatives taking place in the Justice System with which members of the committee are now involved.

Jan Jones – Chair
Tina Pereira – Secretary