The pandemic was still with us for a good part of the period and hampered many of our networking events. However, we did manage to help a few members with claiming various grants. In a difficult period, we did lose some members but also gained others, so the number of members has remained about the same. I should advise all members that their membership covers all employees in their organisation, who can all join in our events and use the member’s discount. The membership fee will remain at £40 for 2023/2024.
Simon Double resigned his position as his business was taking up much more of his time and we would thanks him for the splendid work he did. Charlie Hicks CEO of EiC Insurance and Sophie Charalambous Executive Assistant of EIC have taken over running our events. I should also personally thank Sophie as she is also running the Chamber’s social media.
Charlie and Sophie have some new ideas for events. We will have breakfast meetings, lunch meetings, and now once a month a Friday lunch networking meeting at a local pub, we are starting up our Pop Ups and there will be an annual barbecue Everyone will receive notice of the events as they occur.
This finally took place at Berkhamsted Cricket Club and Kitchener’s Fields on two days of the August Bank Holiday 2022. We had a series of shows, including armed combat, long bow, cross bow, a ferret display, magicians, jesters, axe throwing and a battlefield for children. There were also about 30 stalls, including medieval ice cream and beer tents. Some 2200 people attended over both days, and came from many places outside Dacorum, including visitors from the USA. We could have done with another 400 attendees. The Festival has made a small surplus which we have kept as seed corn money for an event in 2024, yet to be decided
There were some changes in the committee over the period. After years of service as treasurer Shirley Hall resigned and Bianca Permal also of Haines Watts has taken her place and continues to monitor and advise us on financial affairs. Simon Double, Fraser
Wilcox, Ian Reay and Toby Trigg resigned from the committee nd we would like to thank them and Shirley, for their service. However Andrew Merrifield and Charlie Hicks have joined. The current committee is Peter Elsworth. Susan Dobinson, John Gerry, Charlie Hicks, Pat Daley, Andrew Merrifield Richard Thompson, Garrick Stevens and Nigel Taylor.
The Berkhamsted Hub
We made an application for a grant from Dacorum Council towards a project to develop an events hub initially for Berkhamsted and then the surrounding area. The application was successful, thanks to assistance from Fraser Wilcox. John Gerry took charge of the project, and we used as developers, one of our members Indigo Tree. The system is running, and organisations are using it to publicise their events, there is no charge, and it is available to the general public. I would like to thank John and his team for the work they put into designing and managing the implementation of the project.
The Chamber is respected in the Town, and we do serve on various committees. Obviously 2023 will be a difficult year economically and may affect some businesses. Although we do not have the money to support local businesses, we do have knowledge of grants or soft loans, that may be available to assist in trading successfully in the year. We do know that the street markets are bringing in footfall from outside of the area, and if this can be enhanced it will have a positive effect on local traders. Yet, we are open to any ideas to increase business for all members. I would finally point out that Berkhamsted is an old and historic town and perhaps we should all consider that in our approach to selling the Town in the future. If you have any ideas, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Pete Elsworth – Chairman