The Society has now completed many of its objectives and goals which were outlined in detail at the AGM in November 2020 18 months ago. Over the last two years the committee has worked very well as a team to achieve these goals.
As many of you know our primary goal was to preserve the assets of the Society for future generations. I am pleased to say that the Society is now in a much more sustainable position. This was achieved during our first 18 months in office. The building in Mt Eden is now rented and provides a good income for the Society. This income means that the Society can be more effective now in our purpose going forward which is to promote homeopathy to the general public of New Zealand.
We are also a more efficient and streamlined organisation. In a large part that is thanks to Janine our secretary and to Paulette our Treasurer they have really made a big difference to our systems and streamlining things which makes a big difference to us volunteers.
The bookshop has now been at Naturo Pharm in Rotorua for 18 months. As a group of volunteers running a business this has proved a highly successful move. One of our goals was to reduce the value of our book stock, which was very high and unsustainable for our small organisation. In 2018 we held over $41K worth of books in stock. We have worked very hard over the last two years to reduce that through sales and trying to buy sensibly and we now hold $24K stock value. About $9K of those titles turn over regularly as they are in demand from students, homeopaths, and the public. The other ones are a backlog, but we are working on that.
Another goal which has been achieved this year is this beautiful Reference library and conference room here at Naturo Pharm. It’s been a huge job to create new shelving, move the books from Mount Eden and make sure everything is catalogued correctly. A big thank you to Morris Tuffery who has led this and his helpers for his work in organising the books. We can now really be confident that this valuable and historic library is secure, dry, and well cared for. I just hope people come and do some research and use this room for meetings here in the future. Morris is retiring from the committee this year but will continue to help with the library which I am really grateful for.
Our membership is also much stronger. Two years ago, we set ourselves the goal of getting 200 members in the coming 2 years and we said 2000 members in 10 years. We now have 220 paid up members and the subscription income has more than doubled from a couple of years ago, so I am really thrilled about this. There is strength in numbers and our newest goal has been to start to represent the 10’s of 1000’s of people who use homeopathy in NZ but are not affiliated with any homeopathic organisation. This goal will continue to be a big part of our strategy going forward. It is important that we reach people at a grassroots level.
Our excellent electronic newsletter for members will be rebranded in the next addition or maybe we are going back to the future because we have revived the historically significant name Homeopathica is going to be eHomeopathica and we would like to increase its scope further. eHomeopathica has the potential to reach a much wider audience and we need new ideas of how to achieve this.
Our social media team led by Crystal continues successful campaigns to raise awareness of homeopathy at a grassroots level. We have increased our followers on Facebook to nearly 2500 and we also have a presence on Instagram, with about 605 followers. We regularly promote our main book for the public which is Get Well Soon with a free Aconite from Naturo Pharm has been very successful in the last few months with over 100 books sold so far.
Not only does our social media presence raise awareness of homeopathy it also supports homeopaths to build their practices. We also support homœopaths in other ways to give talks, short courses, and presentations, in person or via zoom, about homœopathy. Recently, Wellington homeopaths taught 10 paramedics about homeopathy, and we the Society provided funding and books for all the participants. This is the kind of stuff we want to increase more and more. We are keen for our communities to become better informed about homeopathy and homeopaths are an important part of that role.
Members also have access to free homeopathy at home courses, all our historical archives of Homeopathicas and Newsletters, webinars that explain what homeopathy is plus great information about the various tools and phone app’s to help home users use homeopathy. New members get a free book when they join and we have had 27 brand new members since 1st April this year, it is very pleasing.
In order to reach more of the public who, need more information and better education about the scope of homeopathy we have created a new free eBook generously gifted to the Society by author Karen Johnson, which Janine Gawn has been instrumental in. People can sign up for it on our website. We anticipate this will increase our reach significantly and enable us to educate more members of the public who wish to find out more about homœopathy. Since going live a couple of months ago we have already had over 200 downloads. We hope that we can start to represent that whole body of homeopathic consumers.
We continue to collaborate closely with the NZCH and other stakeholders. We need to present a strong and unified front to both the government and the public to ensure that homœopathy continues to be a health option. This is an evolving process, but the concept of a virtual umbrella called Homeopathy NZ seems to be the way forward that we are working on. This will form part of our new strategic plan.
So, to the future! Over the next year the committee’s goal is to create a new strategic plan for the next 3-year period. We are in a very good financial position to really promote homeopathy and we want to make sure our funds are used wisely for the benefit of homeopathy. We already have many ideas. Some of these ideas have already been touched on – to represent a consumer voice for example, and to create a virtual umbrella that presents a united homeopathic front for our homeopathic organisations. We also need more new homeopaths with new energy and ideas to continue our work. So, a collaboration with the College seems a natural extension of our goals. For example, we have discussed a vision of charitable clinics that provide both an educational and clinical service to the public whilst also providing a training platform for new students is another way of achieving multiple goals for homeopathy. This plan will take time and energy and creativity to formulate. Please feel free to contribute and of course this new strategic plan will be brought to our members next year.
I would like to thank Naturo Pharm for all their support and help over the last year. We have Liesl here from Naturo Pharm. Liesl and her team do so much for us from posting out our books, donating remedies, helping us with the reference library shelving and installation and now hosting us tonight. It really is a remarkable contribution to homeopathy.
Finally, I would like to thank the committee for all their hard work, it really is a team effort. We communicate most days, mostly on bookshop issues! We could not have achieved what we have without the commitment and energy of everyone.