Today is the day we handover to Master Elect PME Jack Broadley and Mistress-to-be Carol, so Mistress Angie and I have been reflecting on the last 363 days, and our tremendous pride in the progress that the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners has made in that time.
In my Installation speech at Mansion House on 29 April last year, I said that it would be ‘our’ year, and that the focus would be on driving the Company forward in communications, membership, and above all, education. I am so delighted to be able to report that all of this has proven to be true!
The Court has clothed 17 new Liverymen, 1 Honorary Liveryman, and welcomed 8 new Freemen to the Company. In addition, we have a further 9 candidates who have been interviewed and awaiting Admission as Freemen. We are also examining new strata of memberships that will pathway those interested individuals toward Freemen while strengthening our associations (e.g., from our military affiliations).
It has also been agreed to continue to part-fund the professional communications initiative which, under the direction of Senior Warden Elect Darren Marston and the Membership & Communications Committee, has resulted in a much improved website, social media, online booking facilities for events, more frequent communications to members, and this blog. But, more importantly, more of our members re-engaged with their Company. Going forward our communications focus will be more externally facing with the objective of raising greater awareness about the Company and its educational and charitable objectives and encouraging other like-minded individuals to join us.
Master Elect PME Jack Broadley successfully introduced an education course for all our members to improve their understanding of the history, protocols, and etiquette of City of London, the Livery community as well as our Company. To date, some 25 members have completed this stimulating and enjoyable course.
The Court has endorsed the merger of the Chartered Practitioners working party with the Education Committee, under the leadership of Junior Warden Elect PME Barrie Torbett, and is looking forward to the launch of new professional standards for the cleaning industry within the space of a few short years.
A key part of the Environmental Cleaners’ work is our charity and this year that our Charitable Trust’s assets under management passed the £1m barrier for the first time, which is fantastic.
As for it being ‘our’ year, the Mistress and I have had the pleasure of attending 33 City and Livery events together and representing our Company amongst the wider Livery movement, many of whom were not entirely sure what our membership did (they know now)! We have also welcomed 18 visiting Masters and 7 Mistresses to the Installation, Court lunches and the Ladies Banquet, celebrated our 30th birthday, presented the Lord Mayor and other guests with a Womble, made the first ever Mistress’s Awards for outstanding contributions by women associated with the Company to communications, education, governance and inter-livery relations, and held an auction in aid of St Peter and St James Hospice in Lewes for a mention in a crime novel.
We have also represented Environmental Cleaners separately. I have attended 41 different events on my own and 12 with the Clerk, in addition to all of our own Company meetings and lunches. The Mistress has attended a dozen networking and educational events run by other mistresses and consorts, as well as organising her own, extremely successful afternoon, which raised around £1,200 for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal and the Charitable Trust.
Sadly, having put her exceptional organisational skills into action to arrange a tour of the impressive purpose-built environmentally-friendly Nomura building, followed by a champagne tea (of course – her friends don’t call her ‘Champangie’ for nothing!), she was herself unable to attend, having fallen and broken her leg in the garden a week prior. It is testament to our partnership that she was happy for me to represent her, although the fact that she also asked the First Lady of the Information Technologists Company to step in and ensure that everyone was introduced to everyone and that the Civic party of Lady Mayoress (also the Junior Warden of the Information Technologists) and Shrieval Consorts were attended to probably also says a lot more!
I am extremely proud of the teamwork undertaken and the foundations laid within the Company this year, and look forward to offering my full support to Master Jack Broadley and his Officers in continuing the momentum throughout his year.
Finally, on behalf of Mistress Angie, and me thank you for all your support and friendship during our year.
Master of the Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners