We always try to keep strictly to 15 minutes maximum for the AGM so I won't dilly dally.

Many thanks to all the carers for their donations over the last year, we really appreciate your helping Oakley Friends so we can continue helping others.

Also many thanks to all the committee for their help over last year, they all do an excellent job in making Oakley Friends run smoothly and it's a joy to be chairman with such a lovely team, and of course not forgetting Marguerite and Liz, Jen's two helpers in the tea room, many thanks ladies.

Sadly we have lost two committee members since Christmas, Judy James has retired after at least 10 years of service to Oakley Friends, her knowledge was vast as she cared for her husband with dementia for many years.

Ann Cole joined us just over a year ago who was a big help but has decided to move to Essex to be nearer loved ones. Thankfully Heather Smith has joined the committee so a very big welcome, many thanks Heather for joining the team.

The two previous courses I hope continued to give our carers as much information as possible from our speakers. The feedback forms were very positive and we value your comments so many thanks. Also, what a joy to meet so many lovely people in the groups.

The Autumn Course was rather unusual, the hall was having a lot of alterations and totally renovated, the meetings were therefore held in the church next door, I think carers found it quite amusing as we had to use the pews on several occasions, it was suggested I talk from the pulpit but that wasn't going to happen as I couldn't see over the top.

The Cream Tea last year was enjoyed by 58 carers and their loved ones and with the Landgirls entertaining us it was a lovely afternoon.

Also the Christmas party was excellent with 53 attending. We were entertained by two lovely ladies called Aphrodites and I've never seen so many carers up dancing with there loved ones before, and really enjoying themselves, it was such a pleasure to watch.

Thanks to Jen for organising these two events and all her hard work.

All in all it's been a good year and the appreciation you have shown makes it all worth while.

I sincerely hope the coming years will be equally successful and it goes without saying that every Carer we can help makes it a job worth doing.

Many thanks to you all.

Judy Barnes.