Join | Donate | Volunteer:


Become part of a 5,000+ community which believes that speaking and listening skills are central to personal fulfilment and cultural understanding

Become a member


One-off or regular donations are vital to our work, helping us ensure that young people everywhere have the oracy skills they need to thrive

Support our work


We’re hugely grateful to those who volunteer their time in helping to organise and run ESU programmes and competitions. Find out how you could help


‘We rely on the generous support of our members, donors and volunteers to ensure we can reach those children who need our help most’

Home > News and views > Annual General Meeting 2023 & Election results

Annual General Meeting 2023 & Election results

Our Annual General Meeting is one of the most important events in the calendar. It is an essential part of our governance arrangements, allowing us to celebrate our people and our achievements, review the Annual Report, and set out our plans for the next year.

Our Chair, Miles Young, spoke about the challenges of the pandemic and how the ESU made use of technology so that we could continue to deliver our education programmes and competitions. The 2022/23 period was the first full year since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted and we saw our staffing levels return to a position that allowed the ESU to resume in-person member and education activities.

Speaking about the future, Miles reinforced the importance of oracy in everything we do as an organisation. Research shows that people want to develop their skills throughout their lives and so, over the next year and beyond, we plan to extend our education offer to the informal and non-school sectors, providing access to a range of online and in-person opportunities including professional development, personal development and networking. Miles also highlighted the significance of the ESU membership which brings like-minded people together through local and national events. We plan to revitalise our regional presence, enhance our national events programme and offer members access to our lifelong-learning opportunities.

The outgoing Treasurer, Sarah Harding, presented the Annual Report and accounts. We celebrated a clean audit with no qualifications which was testament to the hard work of the management. Sarah explained that income was up by £238k, and the total expenditure was £2,046k, which included the staff increases, growth in educational activity and the reopening of Dartmouth House. The net movement was a cash inflow of £997k increase from the previous year, and cash flows were positive. Sarah updated members that we have placed £750k into a fixed deposit account with Coutts to take advantage of an interest rate offer, and that the ESU will be implementing a new Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) solution in April.

During the Annual General Meeting we announced the results of the ESU trustee election. This year we received an unprecedented level of interest with six nominations for two deputy chair roles and 33 nominations for 10 trustee positions. Unfortunately two nominees withdrew from the election.

We distributed voting instructions to 1,959 active paying members. We received and resolved queries from eight members, and five votes were voided.

The results, in alphabetical order, are as follows:

Deputy Chair – Richard Humphreys

Deputy Chair – Rebecca Preen

Trustee – Nick Archer

Trustee – Rebecca Darko

Trustee – David Hatchett

Trustee – Simon Kearey

Trustee – Francesca King

Trustee – Laurence Mutkin (2nd term)

Trustee – Stephen Purcell (2nd term)

Trustee – Coral Sebag-Montefiore

Trustee – Jane Setter

Trustee – Sophia Taylor

Congratulations to the newly elected board of trustees, and a big thank you to all those who stood for election. Thanks also to members for taking the time to vote. If you have any feedback or questions on the election process, feel free to contact

The AGM concluded with a Q&A session with members. This year, questions were focused on the membership subscription rates for 2024 and in particular our commitment to maintain the £30 rate for existing over 65 members.

The full minutes will be available in due course.



Share Page