A year in review: Our 38th AGM

13 October 2021

We recently held our 38th Annual General Meeting, looking over the challenges and achievements of the past year. Here's six highlights from the meeting.

A 20% growth of our online community. 16,000 queries by phone, email and live chat. 279,000 viewers watching our Facebook Live events led by nurses and health professionals. 1.8 million views of our COVID-19 hub.

2020 was a year like no other.

It presented us with the most difficult challenges we’ve ever faced as a charity. And contained some of our proudest achievements – all of which were discussed at Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s online AGM on 18 September attended by 275 members.

We also used the opportunity to demonstrate how we’re using the lessons of the past year to help us to continue weathering the coronavirus pandemic and steer the direction of the charity’s future plans and purpose.

1. Reviewing our strategy

We’re realigning our strategy to ensure we constantly reflect the needs of the Crohn’s and Colitis community.

Through it we want to improve the public’s understanding of Crohn’s and Colitis, drive world-class research into the diseases, support and empower people, provide high quality, sustainable clinical care, and ensure early and accurate diagnosis for all.

Over the next three years, via our revised strategy we want to:

  • Deliver impact underpinned by evidence
  • Increase public awareness
  • Decrease time to diagnosis and reduce pre-diagnosis A&E visits
  • Build new tools, such as structured patient education, that could be adopted by the NHS
  • Continue providing the peer-support networks established since the COVID-19 pandemic – including local networks and online communities

2. Shouting about your stories

Right now, an estimated 500,000 people in the UK are living with Crohn’s or Colitis, but overall public knowledge and understanding of the conditions is low. That’s why we want to shout about your stories louder than ever before.

We’re making it our aim to become even better at being experts on your lived experience, so that we can work to push change that benefits the Crohn’s and Colitis community.

Crohn’s & Colitis UK needs to do much more to understand the diversity of people’s experiences, so we’re hoping to build a better evidence base of your experiences of Crohn’s and Colitis to inform our evidence-gathering and promote positive changes.

3. Upskilling IBD nurses

We’ve been working alongside our IBD nurse specialists with their continuing professional development. Many of them have expressed an interest in learning more about providing advice lines, so Crohn’s & Colitis UK has been running training courses to help our nurses deliver their clinical expertise effectively via phone and other remote means.

4. Building a better website

Whether it’s via our online channels, publications or helpline, Crohn’s & Colitis UK is the go-to source of information for our community. To help improve ease of access to the information you need, we’re building a better, more user-friendly website.

5. Financial overview

The charity’s initial 2020 budget for income and expenditure was £7.4 million. But it became apparent by March 2020 that this wasn’t going to be possible. A subsequent budget forecast said Crohn’s & Colitis UK would generate £4.1 million of income and £4.6 million of expenditure – leaving a deficit of half a million. In actuality, the organisation generated £4.7 million of income, leaving a surplus of £600,000.

This achievement was the result of the hard work of Crohn’s & Colitis UK’s community, the generosity of our fundraisers and supporters, and diversifying the charity’s fundraising portfolio through online events.

6. Changing the charity’s registered name

AGM attendees voted in favour of the motion to change the registered name of the charity from Crohn’s and Colitis UK to our brand name, Crohn’s & Colitis UK, with Companies House, the Charity Commission and the Office for the Scottish Charity Regulator.

Watch the AGM here

If you would prefer to read what happened, please view our AGM video transcript or our transcript of Dr Ahmad's talk.

You can also access meeting minutes and a written round up of questions and answers from the day.