All about our Annual General Meeting

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What is an annual general meeting?

The AGM, as the name suggests, is a yearly gathering; important decisions shaping the direction of the charity can be made at the meeting. It is also a great opportunity for members to connect with the society and meet other members, The Vegan Society team and the Board of Directors.

letter cubes spelling AGM

"The main reason why I have attended AGMs  for the past 3 years or so is that I have either proposed, seconded or spoken in favour of a motion, together with the fact that they have been held online. It's important to attend The Vegan Society AGMs if the society is important to you." – Paul, member

History of our AGM

Back in the 1990s, the AGMs were held in central London.

"I remember when AGMs were well attended at Conway Hall in London – it’d be great to see them well attended again and [now they are] online it should encourage more to attend". – Patricia, member.

Back in the 1990s, the AGMs were held in central London. "I remember when AGMs were well attended at Conway Hall in London – it’d be great to see them well attended again and being online should encourage more to attend." Patricia, member.

In the years following this, the AGM was moved around the UK between London, Birmingham and other varied locations to make it as accessible as possible. With the changing landscape that the coronavirus pandemic brought, the AGM became an online event in 2020.

"I am a regularly voting member and have attended the AGM several times because it’s available through Zoom. It makes a very good impression on me that The Vegan Society has an AGM, strives to operate openly and calls on its members for votes that steer the society's direction. With Zoom, the AGM is even more inclusive. I couldn't feel as connected as I am to my vegan roots without the AGM." – Lee, member.

Who attends AGMs and who has the right to vote?

cube letters spelling voteThe Vegan Society is a membership organisation, and members play a vital role in the charity by selecting its Board of Trustees and voting on motions at the AGM that often determine the society’s direction, policy or governance.

You can expect the CEO, some members of staff and the current Council to be among the people attending. You can view their full profiles on our Council of Trustees page and read our Q&A blog with trustees. We always hope to see as many members as possible in attendance. The AGM is an opportunity for members to debate and vote on motions that will affect the future of the charity.

The meeting is open to full members, supporter members and anyone authorised to act as proxy. Voting is restricted to full members and duly appointed proxies.

'Members only' being written on typewriterProxy voting forms for this year's AGM will be distributed by post and email to members by election agents UK Engage in April. The forms include an explanation about how to appoint a proxy in case members do not attend. Those attending the meeting and entitled to vote will have been issued with a voting code by UK Engage by email or post and will be able to vote online through a link provided at the meeting.

If you want to get involved, the first step is to become a member of The Vegan Society. You can read more and sign up on our join pages. If you are already a member and want to learn more, you can read about previous AGMs in your Members' Area and email membership[at]vegansociety[dot]com for any more specific questions. 

What can you expect on the day?

The 2024 AGM will be held from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday 18 May online via Zoom.

You can expect a clear agenda and an up-to-date video about our recent work, plus this year a tribute to the late Benjamin Zephaniah. We welcome feedback and suggestions for future AGMS – email us at membership[at]vegansociety[dot]com.

Multi-coloured cards spelling feedbackWhat our members say

"I’ve been a member of The Vegan Society since the mid-1980s but had never attended an AGM until Covid drove an AGM online. A long journey and AGMs in other organisations being tedious affairs were huge disincentives. When I’ve joined TVS AGMs online, however, I have found the debates about motions put by Council, and by members, to be stimulating. I've felt able to contribute to those debates and possibly more so than in a physical meeting. The only thing that an online AGM lacks is opportunities for social interactions, but those interactions wouldn’t happen anyway for those who would be put off travelling to a physical AGM. Given the climate emergency, online AGMs are also avoiding the temptation for some to travel by car." – Rob, member

"I’ve seen how motions can make a difference like the recent vote on voting age. You find out what’s going on, and if you are a member you want to know where your money is going and that’s important. It’s a chance to talk and ask questions and listen to others’ questions. I would always encourage members to use their voice." – Patricia, member.

Hands in air waving flag with plant sign on

"I’ve been a member of the Vegan Society for many years. Over those years I’ve attended the AGMs in person when they were in London and more recent years attended online. By attending the AGM I get to meet the people running the organisation and feel that I am part of the organisation.

It would be great if more members would attend, as those attending not only get a chance to comment on the way the society is being run but also the opportunity to influence the future running of the society." – Brian, member.

 Steve Hamon, Vegan Society CEO, delivering a speech


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