Date: 8 May 2022
Time: 12.30 – 2.30 pm
Chair: Sankofa Small
Minutes: Belinda Calaguas
Colin Bootle, Board Director
Aileen Hamdan, Board Chair, Lead Instructor
Jason Monero, Board Director
Eileen Monero, Student
Catherine Furlong, Student
Anne Faal, Student
Zuby Skinner, Student, left at 1:12 pm
Itricia Byers, Instructor, left at 1:12 pm
Louise Holloway, Student
Sankofa Small, Board Director
Belinda Calaguas, Board Director
- Accept minutes from last meeting – accepted: Zuby and Aileen proposed and seconded
- Matters arising from minutes of last meeting
2.1 Investigation on new Qigong classes and proposed funds – to be discussed under training
2.2. Bel to report on Business Planning Work – tackle in informal part
2.3. Re Venue for winter for Sunday class only. This remains an action point. Forest Community Theatre Hall was too far for some students, even if the price of hall hire was right. Lost some new students, when we transferred from Lloyd Park.
2.4. Aileen to inform people about Mailchimp – done
2.5. Aileen to follow up Fellowship Sq Community funding: a proposal was submitted on 30th April by Aileen (for max of £2,000) for delivery from mid-June – August. Proposal will be circulated to the board. Outcome will be known by 30th May.
2.6. L&Q project at Walthamstow Stadium – reported in Projects section below
2.7. On U3A – Bel reported this depended on U3A members wanting tai chi/qigong sessions – they meet monthly, and a U3A member leading the class. Bel to explore with Ann C whether she wants to take this up on a volunteer model.
2.8. Make it Happen arts funding proposal – unsuccessful. Sankofa to follow up feedback from Council. Raise the question of feedback at the Community Network meetings (ie, with Amber Harris).
2.9. Aileen contacting Leyton Sixth Form College marketing & promotion – Aileen to follow up with the contact in relation to staff joining the Tues and Thurs classes and whether we could use the college as an ongoing venue.
3.1 Business Planning Work Group – Bel reported on overall design of process of business planning, including gathering information from students and founders and other similar organisations.
Suggestion: important to do especially for 10th anniversary – create a foundation for travelling forward, look into how we engage younger students, diverse age ranges, financial sustainability, etc.
4.1 Tai Chi for Life, report from Itricia & Sankofa:
Statistics: 38 people initially registered, 16 are adults with learning disabilities. On a weekly basis, between 15-20 people turn up including 4-5 carers. About 10 students have been consistently attending every week (running 5 weeks now).
Thanks to volunteers supporting on Fridays, we’re all learning how to work with persons with disabilities (PWDs) and their distractions. It’s going really well. First 10 weeks is just about looking at people’s ability – looking at who’s committed, having fun; using body movement to see what people can do. Everything is organic. We go slow and allow more time for students to feel the movements. Dao Lu students who support – they’re assisting where needed, and we really need the volunteers to come along to assist because the students are very diverse, in terms of abilities. Project Manager is Sankofa, with Itricia as lead instructor. Lasts 1 year. Hopefully afterwards, some of the students will join Dao Lu.
4.2 Deyin Instructor Course: Itricia and Sankofa are doing 1 each Qigong Instructor courses, with the Deyin Taijiquan Institute, with some support from Dao Lu. Part of the courses is a module on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its application to Qigong.
Itricia is doing 6 Healing Sounds – using Qi and movement to heal different organs of the body. “Big learning for me, makes me really want to learn more. Can see the importance of doing TCM, especially when working with PWDs. Thankful to DL for helping me along this journey. I wish to continue to keep learning and to gain confidence. More people of colour joining tai chi and qigong.”
4.3 L&Q project at Walthamstow Stadium. L&Q are a housing developer. This started when a residents’ representative responded to a FB post from Colin complaining about the cost of space. Project launch date is 28th May, weekly tai chi session behind the Stadium (outdoor), every Saturday most likely – but still to explore with tenants.
For parents and children – in the memorial park in Chingford, in response to L&Q, we might have a summer camp. First phase up to beginning of Sept., then 2nd phase will be indoor – probably at Peter May sports centre or elsewhere. Funding is targeted at residents within 1 mile of that L&Q area. We could hopefully use this model for other housing sites.
L&Q funding is unlike Sport England or Council funding. They fund projects for specific constituencies and locations. They struggle to find people to give the money to. All we have to do is to match their objectives.
Action: Dao Lu need to keep eyes open for these types of funders.
4.4 Kew Gardens project: Seasonal project, ongoing. They launched community engagement week in May and announced there will still be tai chi provision, which they want to run for 8 weeks from June. The work at Kew Gardens + on Zoom – the tai chi workshops were most popular that we had to limit the number for 2 workshops, 30 people each, with 4 volunteers: Ming, Jin Jie, Syeda and Omar. Maybe next year (2023), we can have a London-wide WTCD there, link up with the Kew Garden community engagement arm.
Action: On the issue of the infringement of copyright with photo of Kew Gardens on our website – Aileen will provide further feedback, meanwhile, Colin has sought opinions and there appears to be little risk in doing nothing, apart from taking down picture from website. See below under 9.1.
4.5 Waltham Forest Council staff Tai Chi project: started 3 weeks ago, every Thursday, Tai Chi session at Fellowship Sq. Majority of staff join on Zoom, only 3-4 people attend at Fellowship Square. But zoom connections are dodgy, so LA will provide a booster. Project will last 10 weeks until July.
4.6 Paradox Community Centre: This is ongoing, with Joe as the lead instructor supported by Sankofa doing warm up. People with learning disabilities attend. Before, 13 come along, now 7 attend. Mix of male and female. Peabody are very happy with the feedback of people who attend. Running up to Nov this year.
- Board update
5.1 Colin standing down from the Board: Colin will leave the Board as of today. He will continue to work on Dao Lu’s website. Back in 2013, Aileen asked the students in the Senior Tai Chi Corner if they wanted to join the Board, when asked by the Council to form an organisation. Colin responded, with his skills. The Board thanks Colin for all his work and services to the Board and Dao Lu over the years.
Action: There will be a future face to face event to say goodbye and celebrate Colin’s contributions to Dao Lu.
Colin responded: I should have started cutting back a year ago due to my health. It’s the right time, with 3 new board members who have settled well and are running things smoothly. I’ll do the things I need to do, but want others to have the chance. We also need to grow the Board. It is a learning opportunity for people – how to handle a website, use MailChimp, etc. Thank you everyone for the 9 years. And I invite others to join the Board. It also looks good on your CV as well to be director of a CIC.
5.2 Board development: Need to increase the number of Directors on the Board – we need skills in the Board, including in communications and marketing. Important to understand who else in the Board and among students has what skills; also need for upskilling of current Board members and volunteers.
Is anyone interested to join the Board from among the students/volunteers?
Action: Need to clarify what Board skills we need for our future Board development.
6.1 Feedback on WTCD – 24 and 30 April (30 April with Deyin Taijiquan Institute)
24 April, Fellowship Square: Generally, lucky with weather, participation was good. Council promised but did not promote the event. Main issue was the poor sound system/competing with the fountains. We tried various things to address audio problem. Microphone came very late. For future events, we need to have our own equipment and not rely on others (ie, the Council).
Promotions of event initially tasked to Jason and Colin, then handed over to Aileen. Audience much better compared to other events in the Square, we picked up onlookers as the event unfolded.
Question whether Dao Lu made as much effort with people who were there – making them aware who we were and how to contact us. We had flyers. There is a residents’ news email that goes around – need to make sure they put it in the news.
Aileen reported she booked the Square for 29th April 2023 to celebrate WTCD next year.
30 April, Nagrecha Hall. Deyin did not promote Dao Lu. Deyin promoted to Chinese community, but they did not acknowledge the Dao Lu contribution.
We posted on Walthamstow Life, also promoted via Stella Creasey’s newsletter. A month’s notice should be adequate.
6.2 Mile-Long Street Party – Bel sent a proposal to Artillery for Dao Lu to run some tai chi sessions at the street party to celebrate Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in July.
Action: Await results.
7.1 Proposal re Deyin training and new Qigong course: After our initial approach, Deyin/BHQA are proposing to do a tai chi form or Health qigong form, fee-based. Cost would be travel + instructor fee (£50/hour), likely to be around £5 – £10/session per student, depending on number of students. For Dao Lu students, this will be additional to current monthly fees. Deyin will produce a syllabus for us. Course could be face to face or online/Zoom class, which could be inside a hall (if this is the case, no travel cost for instructor, but there will be cost of hall hire).
Tai Chi form: it would be interesting to learn Yang style tai chi
• It would be good to collaborate, as we did with Marianne. Partnering with different organisations, learning from different masters and different styles. Any learning is a benefit for the students.
• Re current Dao Lu students paying extra – depends on how it’s structured, how long the course is, lots of other factors need to be considered. Would prefer it to be face to face rather than online.
• Even if we don’t do the full course, it’s helping with our understanding.
On the new Qigong course – it will be free to DL students, but members of the public have to pay £7/class – back to YJJ and WQX at Forest Community Hall, Saturdays 12.30 – 1.30 pm.
Question: What happens after several weeks of the programme, and how many weeks is the programme going to be?
Action: Sankofa to follow up with Dao Lu – how many students want to do this. Sankofa to continue liaison with Deyin.
- Finance (postponed for later Board meeting, since the Treasurer was not present)
- Media and communication
9.1 Photo with licensing problem (Kew Garden photo): Colin scrolled through all the photos and has taken down 2-3 that are not Dao Lu’s.
9.2 Website and other volunteers needed to take on Colin’s other responsibilities: Need volunteers to take up some of the work on the website for their own learning. Colin to continue doing website and emails (Mailchimp) until others are trained to do this. Colin also responsible for safeguarding and DBS. Need someone to take up these roles. Someone to take over monitoring what’s on the website and ensuring that everyone is up to date with their DBS. Colin also looks after Companies House, annual £13 fee + update our details. We’ve changed our official address, etc.
Action: At next Board meeting, focus on what needs to be done re the gap Colin will leave for the Board and divide up tasks.
Date for next meeting – 10th Sept or 11th Sept.
Informal part: Deferred for lack of time:
Student survey/feedback on development needs
Pelly Court feedback
(Proposal) to increase student fees and annual student fees
Study Group/Theory group