The BMC AGM 2016: Welcoming in the new and saying goodbye

Posted by Peter Burnside on 22/04/2016
Emma Flaherty was delighted to be voted in as the new BMC vice president.

We’re back from the BMC AGM 2016 and we can officially say it was a resounding success. This year over 100 BMC members gathered at YHA Castleton in the Peak District to welcome in a new vice president, participate in the charity auction, and to celebrate all things to do with the outdoors.

Rehan Siddiqui, BMC president, showed his dedication to ensuring the success of the BMC's 2016 AGM by bravely turning up to chair the event only four days after having a major hip operation. 

One of the highlights of the AGM was the voting in of our new vice president Emma Flaherty on Saturday 16 April. Congratulations Emma, we look forward to working with you over the coming years.

Emma brings to the BMC a diverse range of skills and experiences. Her current roles include being the Partnership Development Manager for a team of PE teachers and the PE and School Sport Manager for the Local Authority in Sheffield. In addition, Emma is one of the directors of the Women's Climbing Symposium during her spare time. 

Speaking about her plans during her term, Emma said: "At a time when it seems to me increasingly important that climbers and hill walkers have a strong and respected body behind their interests, I am looking forward to combining my skills and experience from across my work and climbing backgrounds to do my best to contribute to the great work that the BMC does."

Aside from work, Emma is an avid traveler and climber (and a pretty nifty one too having led up to E4 on trad and bouldered at font 8a), and her two passions have taken her on many adventures around the world. 


Emma tackles a steep roof problem on her travels. 

We’d also like to give our biggest thanks to our outgoing vice president Mina Leslie-Wujastyk for her excellent and important contributions to the BMC over the last two years.

READ: The minutes of the BMC AGM 2016

Discussion and debate

Early risers at the AGM took part in the Q&A session with discussion and debate on a wide range of topics chosen from the floor. This included:

  • Progress made by the BMC Women’s Development Group, established last year to promote female participation more effectively and to address barriers to participation;
  • Governance of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) and the roles of the IFSC and the UIAA (International Climbing & Mountaineering Federation) as world governing/representative bodies;
  • BMC insurance, including the increasing costs of US travel insurance cover and the pros and cons of promoting civil liability cover to indoor climbers; and
  • The success of the BMC Mend Our Mountains campaign in raising funds for footpath repair and raising awareness of the issue, and suggestions for following up the campaign.

READ: The minutes from the Q&A session

After the AGM, more than 40 members from 30 clubs attended the Clubs & Huts Seminar on Saturday afternoon. 

Presentations and discussions included insurance support, photo archiving opportunities, supporting members, and hut booking systems, with the Q&A session raising issues that were discussed at length.

READ: The review of our Clubs & Huts seminar

The BMC's charity auction raises £3,832

Saturday's evening entertainment consisted of a free buffet, late bar, and a lively auction compered by Jim Kelly. Members dug deep at the auction and generously contributed to Climbers against Cancer and the BMC’s Mend Our Mountains campaign.

We'd like to thank everyone who helped make the auction a success with their extremely generous donations. Huge thanks go to Frank Bennett of Lyon Equipment, Tom Hutton, Cotswold Outdoor, Paul Craven of Eclipse Climbing, Martin Atkinson of Wild Country, Ben Moon, Eric Jones, Nick Bullock, Joe Brown, Mountain Equipment, Malc Baxter, and James McHaffie.

Special mention goes to Eric Jones whose signed Everest postcards raised more than £1,500!


Jim Kelly extracting a ludicrous amount of money at the charity auction. Photo: Jim Krawiecki.

George Band Award

Celebrating the vital contribution of BMC volunteers, the George Band Award for ‘Exceptional Voluntary Contribution to Mountaineering’ was presented to Ben Lyon. Ben was recognised for his significant role in the BMC’s Technical Committee over many years.

We’ll open nominations for the 2017 award in November/December.


Ben Lyon receiving the George Band Award from BMC president Rehan Siddiqui. Photo: Jim Krawiecki.

Active membership

The hillwalkers were out in force on Saturday and Sunday as the skies brightened enabling members to explore the hills and crags of the Peak District before heading home. 

Thank you to all BMC members who came along and made it such an enjoyable and productive weekend. Plans are taking shape for next year’s AGM at Plas y Brenin.  


JOIN THE BMC: 5 reasons hill walkers should join the BMC

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WATCH: What does the BMC do for hill walkers?

GET THE KNOWLEDGE: BMC resources for hill walkers

  • Hill Walking Essentials DVD: Follow Fredelina and Ben as they learn essential skills and techniques for the British mountains. Buy it in the BMC shop.

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