|Date||31st October 2021|
|Time||13:00 – 15:00|
|Aileen Hamdan||chair, instructor||AH|
1 Apologies received
2 Welcome and introduction
New format of quarterly board meetings which are open to students continues to be piloted. Meeting divided to 2 parts: Formal and informal. Formal is minuted and includes discussion and decision-making. Informal is usually not minuted and focused on discussion only.
3 Acceptance of Minutes from last meeting
Minutes passed with no questions.
4 Updates from Action Points / Matters Arising
4.1 AH to meet Tary (Deyin Taijiquan Institute) and to update at the next meeting regarding discounts for Dao Lu for health qigong Instructor
Meeting held after the Taster Course to discuss tuition discounts and instalment payment plan for Dao Lu instructors and interested students. BHQA Board will discuss possibilities and get back to Dao Lu. Dao Lu will seek external funding for instructors and interested senior/long-standing students to help with tuition fees.
4.2 SS to check the status of our booking with Timber Lodge
A new company has taken over the facility, initially booked for 2020 World Tai Chi Day celebration, which did not happen due to Covid lockdown. We will try to claim back the deposit paid at the time of booking the Timber Lodge, approx £180.
Action Point: SS to continue follow up with new management. Suggestion to link with Pat Cutler who sits in a committee of the Olympic Board, to find a way to get a response from the management company.
4.3 Getting indoor venues for autumn/winter practice
4.3.1 Action point: AH to contact St Mary’s Welcome Centre – Room too small, we won’t proceed with this.
4.3.2 Action point: AF to contact Leyton Sixth Form College (LSFC): Thanks to Ann, we will get a discounted rate of £15/hr for one class (Thursday class) and free use of the Dance Hall for Tuesday class.
4.3.3 Action point: to contact Harmony Hall: Charge is £75/hour. We won’t proceed with this.
4.3.4 Action point: AH to contact Walthamstow School For Girls (WSFG): Contact made, no response, to date. Cost of hire too high for our budget. We won’t proceed with this.4.3.5 Action: All to continue to look for suitable indoor venues.
4.4 Website and IT
4.4.1 CB to continue developing the Dao Lu App (particularly at-session register), update the website for the summer programme, make the concessions policy more prominent on the website.
4.4.2 Continue to consider having Marwin (Karolina’s husband) take over CB’s work during this current period of illness – CB to follow up. CB currently continues to do routine work on the website. Consider Marwin (or a volunteer) to take on some of the IT-related work to lessen CB’s load.
4.4.3 Meanwhile, all are encouraged to mention the concessions policy when talking about membership to potential new students.
5 Business matters
5.1 Instructors’ Fees
Review and increase instructors’ fees for Dao Lu regular weekly community classes (see appendix). This proposal refers to AW, AH, JM and IB payments for community classes (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday classes) for both physical or Zoom-based classes. This does not cover contract work, which contributes 15% of Dao Lu income, and where instructor fees are set higher.
Instructors were consulted and the proposal for a staged increase has been agreed with them. This will raise instructor fees to £30/hour by Oct 2023. This rate is still below current market rates for instructors who are loyal to Dao Lu.
Clarified that the proposal comes from the Board, and not from AH.
6.1 Qigong for Health
Feedback and challenges regarding Yi Jin Jing Qigong course – to be discussed in the second part (see below)
6.2 Proposal: Open a weekly Health Qigong class at the end of the 3 Qigong courses funded by Sport England, ie, to begin after February 2022, subject to demand from participants and number of new recruits from the project participants and beyond.
Proposal generally received positively, but a number of issues to address were identified:
Getting qualified instructors (market rate is £8/student/hr/class), fee payment model (straight payment, donation model, bulk payment upfront, etc), number of paying students for a financially viable class (ie, the class covers all its costs and is not subsidised by Dao Lu core funds, if not contributing to Dao Lu income). We need to consider affordability and investigate what the business model for the class could be.
Action: requires further discussion on next steps
No events raised for agenda.
8.1 Autumn/winter programme/training schedule
Proposal: Outline of proposed changes to take place (see latest class timetable on Dao Lu website)
Action: Website will be updated
Friday class will move to Lloyd Park Community Centre. Any overspill, if wet, will be managed by using the covered area. If cold but dry, we will still use the Community Centre, charged at @£20/hour
Shifting Joe’s Stretches from Tuesday to Wednesday 7-8 pm on Zoom, starting 2nd week Nov.
Aaron is reportedly changing his Wednesday class to Friday, same time. This needs confirmation
8.2 Monitor impact of changes
Agreed/passed – the Board will monitor impact of changes in venue on attendance levels.
8.3 Cost of space hire
Noted, Dao Lu has lowered the cost of space hire because of not using green space, which is charged at £25/hr. With all indoor venues we will use, we will spend about £82/week for hall hire for this period.
9.1 Report from the Treasurer.
Proposal: acceptance of the treasurer’s report
The ‘Grant income’ needs to be identified clearly as Grant Income, not as ‘Class fees’ or ‘Services’.
Action: The report will be changed – make clear grant income, etc. and will be discussed again at the next Board meeting before agreement.
10 Media and communication
Discussed in the second part of the meeting.
11 Any other business
No other business
Next meeting date
30th January 2022, 12.30pm
The meeting was followed by an informal discussion (non-minuted)
Formal meeting ended at 2.15pm.
Part 2 – Informal meeting
1. Feedback on round 1 of Health Qigong course, Yi Jin Jing
General feedback on quality of course is good, well-organised, quality of teaching is high.The time and date are good. There was expectation of more information on TCM to be shared.
Action: BC to give feedback to Meiling to provide more TCM info.
Attendance: 49 online registration + 7 attendees who just turned up. Attendance trend is going down: 35, 33, 29, 24. Of those attending, 26 people are Dao Lu students.
Consider for next projects, introducing a ‘deposit’ to get people to commit to attendance? However, this may work against funding criteria. Based on other experiences, including Dao Lu’s people signing up but not attending or not attending all classes is par for the course.
Last session there will be a mini-celebration: Kung Fu Fan demo ℅ Meiling and AH, 1st form TC demo ℅ students.
2. Ready to open for Round 2 of Shaolin Ba Duan Jin
Registration for 2nd Qigong course is now open for testing, just a few tweaks. It will formally open on 1st November. Plan B – Aaron is willing to participate in the contingency plan (to cover for SBrowne if he is late or unable to turn up).
Action: Could AH ask the other instructors to be part of the contingency plan?
3. DBS checks and Enhanced Certificates
Dao Lu has a policy that all its instructors must have DBS Enhanced Certificates that is kept updated. This should also apply to external instructors that we invite to teach, such as the Qigong instructors for the SE project. At present, we know both instructors of Qigong course 1 and 2 do not have DBS Certificates.
Should Board Directors have a minimum volunteer enhanced DBS as a matter of policy, so that, eg they are able to cover for any last minute visits to external projects where this is a requirement? Not all Board Directors have active DBS.
Action: Board to to explore/review Dao Lu Board members and volunteers having DBS and being part of the Update Service.
4. Dao Lu community involvement – ideas for a tender for High Street ADVENTure on 4th December, 4-11pm
Action: Email Aileen with any ideas. Activity has to be eye-catching so our project stands out.
5. Dao Lu Contract work
Feel Good Round 2 with Peabody Trust at Paradox Centre: 45 minute Tai Chi class ℅ Joe
Action: SS will submit Joe’s DBS and Insurance as required by Peabody Trust
Tai Chi for staff wellbeing in Town Hall, ℅ Aileen – hybrid delivery model, which is new for Dao Lu; Tai Chi for older people in a day centre, Ooma, in Enfield ℅ Itricia
6. Media & communications
This was deferred to next Board meeting due to lack of time.
- What do we need to do to invigorate our social media accounts – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc?
- Can we have a ‘Student Resources’ section on the website?
- One student did not know the venue change for Sunday classes?
- On attendance at classes in new venues, for Thursday and Sunday classes, perhaps when Aaron is back, it will make a difference to attendance
- Monthly study group theory session – this is lacking now, need more of it. Continue to need space to do more reflection and learning on Tai Chi/Qigong theory. Meiling might be able to join one of the sessions and give us more info on this?
- Action: SS to think how to tap into our new partners (eg, BHQA).
- Tai Chi, 2nd form appears to be neglected?
- Ewa – Peabody Trust requires Joe’s insurance and DBS, ℅ Sankofa to submit.
Proposal: Review instructors payment for Dao Lu regular weekly and community classes
Background: We have not reviewed this in the past 6 years. We intended to review this a while ago but with Covid-19 situation, this was delayed. Currently we pay £20 hourly rate for Dao Lu regular weekly community classes. In the market, the rate is minimum £30.
In comparison and for information, we pay £40-£70 hourly rate for Dao Lu contract work.
We are proposing to review this as a matter of urgency and have an incremental plan in place to increase this £20 hourly rate, taking into consideration travel time and increase of living cost in general, subject to monitoring and strength of Dao Lu finance.
January to June 2022: £22.50
July to December 2022: £25.00
January to September 2023: £27.50
From October 2023: £30.00 *
* We will be celebrating Dao Lu’s 10th birthday in October 2023. It would be good to work towards this market rate by then, subject to the affordability test.