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BICSc Northern Ireland Branch AGM Minutes

Minutes of the BICSc Northern Ireland Branch AGM

Wednesday 29th March 2017 – Crumlin Road Gaol – 10:15am


In Attendance:

Colm McGrath, Mervyn Perry, Darrin McCartney, Miranda Endersen, Gail Lockhart, Kathleen Skillen, Eilish Doherty, William Carey, Alastair Brown, Colin Prentice, Heather Bishop, Gareth Lester, David Drayner, Philip Blakley, Anne Abraham, Louise McGowan, Keith Halliday.



Gary Keenan, Michael Henderson, John Geraghty, Cathy Heatherington, Anne Magill,

(proposed that we accept by Colm McGrath, seconded by William Carey)



Meeting opened at 10:30 with the branch chair welcoming all to the AGM and mentioned that he was delighted by the encouraging turnout.


Minutes of previous AGM

The secretary proceeded by reading out the minutes from the 2016 AGM. It was agreed by all that attended the previous AGM that these were a true reflection of the meeting and as such it was proposed by Colm McGrath that they be accepted and this was seconded by Keith Halliday.


Chairman’s Report…

First and Foremost I would like to thank all the members of our regional committee, they have continued to support & promote the British Institute of Cleaning Science and in doing so have upheld the professionalism of the Institute.

My official two year tenure as BICSc Chairman of the NI branch is to be ratified at this meeting today, however due to the previous Chairman John Geraghty stepping down last year due to work commitments’ I was promoted from my Vice Chair position into Chairman for the interim period 2016/2017, Keith Halliday was elected as my Vice Chair

Priority was immediately given to the organising the “Annual BICSc NI Branch Cleaning Operative of the Year for 2016” which was running into its 14th Year

Along with Mervyn Perry a plan was hatched in moving forward with getting the word out and with a strategic approach to ensure we were able to maximise the entrants for the awards

Many thanks to Nigel McGowan of Consumable Products for correlating the large amount of entries for each category

Thanks also to the Judging Panel (some actually judged two categories)

A special word of appreciation of our long-standing key sponsors;


2016 Category winners;

  • Education Liam McLornan Queens University
  • Retail Martina McAleer Robinsons
  • Manufacturing Natalie Jamison Noonans
  • Health Sandra McFarlane Belfast Trust
  • Office Paul Gleed Aramark
  • Hospitality & Leisure Demi Louise Fee Crumlin Road Gaol

Overall winner Sandra McFarlane Belfast trust

The BICSc NI Region Cleaning Operative of the year event was held in the Iconic Belfast City Hall on the 12th September 2016

The turnout was amazing with extra seats & Hospitality requested on the day

The City of Belfast Lord Mayor Alderman Brian Kingston opened the ceremony in the company of BICSc National Chair Denise Hanson & BICSc CEO Stan Atkins

We were very privileged as this was the first time that the Belfast Lord Mayor stayed on throughout the proceedings taking plenty of time for photo opportunities and a chat

Excellent PR was evident following on from the very successful event with photos, information/winners distributed through various media routes, Ulster Tatler/Cleaning Matters Website/Business Eye/BICSc website


We have had an extremely busy year during which we were very proud to host the Inaugural BICSC Roadshow which was held in Belfast Crumlin Road Gaol Visitors centre.

There was a fantastic attendance at the event which also incorporated an Exhibition of BICSc Partners

This was a great opportunity for networking & BICSc received fantastic feedback from the event

The event was headed up by Tracy Rinalda BICSc Commercial Director & her team, Denise Hanson National Chair was also in attendance along with guest speakers

BICSc has organised another Roadshow for 2017 which will be held on the 21st November at the Tullyglass House Hotel Ballymena


Northern Ireland currently has a number of BICSc Licensed ATOs (Accredited Training Organisations)

290 BICSc LTPs (Licence To Practise) & 217 BICSc Core Skills certificates have been awarded in NI throughout these nominated centres


In my capacity of BICSc NI Branch Chairman I have been involved in a number of events since April 2016 to date

  • EMPOYABILITY SOUTH COMMITTEE (This is a scheme that put learners through training, BICSc, H&S, Manual Handling, Food Safety, Team Leader, Word Host) Placements are then derived)
  • Hydebank College (Seminar discussing developing Skills, to increase employability when their sentence has finished)
  • Windsor Park “Pat Jennings Suite” Employability South Awards Ceremony
  • Knockbracken BICSc Awards Ceremony (BICSC NI BRANCH Secretary Mervyn Perry also in attendance)
  • BIFM Annual Conference Croke Park Dublin (Invited by Wilton Farrelly BIFM Chairman)
  • Presentation to Belfast Central Training students on BICSc & Education in partnership with NISG (Northern Ireland Safety Group)


It must also be noted that recent attendances at our BICSc NI Branch meetings which were held in Crumlin Road Gaol Conference centre and the “George Best Suite” in the National Stadium Windsor Park (thanks to Anne Magill of Sodexo who hosted this meeting) has been fantastic

Let’s keep driving it on..


Thanks to everyone who has supported me in my first year in office

A special word of thanks to BICSC NI BRANCH Treasurer & Secretary Mervyn Perry who has done stern working behind the scenes in making things tick since April 2016


Secretary’s Report

2016 has been a very positive year for our branch in which we continue to have committed members with a desire to promote BICSc on a local level.

We have been experiencing an increase in attendance at our recent committee meetings, this is welcomed and thus the meetings have been very positive & constructive, this is encouraging for the future of our branch.

Recent development of the National Web page has been completed resulting in what we believe is a more informative and enjoyable experience and continued development across the social media spectrum is starting to heighten our exposure which in turn will create more profile within our industry.

The N.I. branch is very proud of our renowned Cleaning Operative of the Year Awards which held its 15th annual awards ceremony in the Belfast City hall last September.

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all those who have actively assisted in supporting our branch and myself over the past year and I trust that the BICSc N.I. branch will continue to flourish in the future.


Treasurer’s Report

The current financial position of our branch is sound and all monies have been accounted for as directed and independently inspected by our auditors appointed by BICSc board of directors. To give you a bit of back up your income for 2016 was £1250, and your total expenses were £1506.85.  (none of this includes VAT). This leaves the region with a balance of £359.45.

We operate as a not for profit organisation and as such are accounts reflect a minimum excess to facilitate same. Our main revenue source is generated by the sponsorship of the “Northern Ireland Cleaning Operative of The Year Awards” and we are continually grateful for the support that the following companies afford our branch…

Bunzl McLaughlin

Carey Cleaning machines

Consumable Products Limited

Kimberly Clark

Zenith Hygiene Group

All sponsorship monies for the 2016 Cleaning Awards have been collected and we can report that the branch has no debts occurring.


Matters Arising

There were no matters arising.


Election of Officers

Colm McGrath declared all offices as vacant and invited Kate Skillen to take the chair to preside over the elections. The following officers were proposed as follows…


Chairman – Colm McGrath…proposed by Kate Skillen & 2nd by Philip Blakley

Vice Chair -Keith Halliday…proposed by Colm McGrath &2nd by Eilish Doherty

Secretary – Mervyn Perry…Proposed by Colm McGrath & 2nd by Heather Bishop

Treasurer – Mervyn Perry… Proposed by Colm McGrath & 2nd by Heather Bishop

Public relations – Michael Henderson MBE proposed by C. McGrath 2nd E. Doherty


After no further nominations, Kate Skillen then invited Colm McGrath to take up his post as Chair at the front of the room.

The Chairman thanked all for the confidence shown towards him and he continued the meeting with the launch of the “THE 2017 N.I. Cleaning Operative of the Year Awards”

The Chairman was delighted to inform the meeting that all necessary arrangements had been made to facilitate our much-anticipated COOTY awards.

Colm stated how successful these awards have become and that this was proven by the fact that, the seating arrangements at the City Hall ceremony had to be increased to accommodate the number of attendees.

The application forms had been made available to all at the meeting to take away and electronic forms could be accessed on line.

Colm stressed how important it was to “widen the net” and encourage as many entries as possible from across all sectors of our industry to help make this year’s awards an outstanding success for the Northern Ireland Branch.


There being no further business the meeting was closed.


Mervyn Perry MBICSc | Secretary, N. Ireland Branch|Telephone 07967580944

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