Hello everyone,

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas and managed some rest and relaxation time. What a year we have had at AIM. I wanted to provide all our Members with a round up of 2019 as we enter 2020, and our plans for this exciting new year.

2019 – how was it for us?

For me, it was a year of really bedding in at AIM, working closely with the superb team in their roles of underwriting, marketing, claims, finance and industry, and getting out and about across the length and breadth of the UK meeting you, the Members.  I have travelled as far north as Inverness; as far west as St David’s; as far east as Frinton on Sea; and down to Poole and Southampton in the south. I have also managed to try some activities so can now add indoor climbing, caving, SUP, high ropes, night hiking on the Illuminator walk and axe throwing to my repertoire!  I am very much looking forward to continuing these journeys and visits this year (see below). Thank you so much to everyone I have met with for your hospitality and enthusiasm for AIM.

In addition, we have promoted AIM and the benefits of mutuality at a variety of events across the UK attending the ABC conference in Sheffield, Wild Scotland at Dunkeld, The CLOtC day in Blackpool, the AHOEC/SAPOE conference in Largs, the Vertex Industry Day in Bournemouth and the National Coasteering Charter Symposium on Anglesey.  These have provided us with the opportunity to present on AIM, promote best standards for safety and risk management, advising on how to use near misses as a lessons learned tool and what to do in the event of an incident and a claim. We have been delighted to have been able to use these opportunities to meet up with current Members as well as attracting new prospects, from a variety of sectors across the adventure activity industry.

Membership Committee

We set up a Working Group within the Membership Committee, looking specifically at providing Members with an easily accessible and easy to use accident reporting system.  Thank you to everyone who expressed an interest in assisting with this and to all those who were able to make the meeting at Mendip. The project is underway and we will update all Members with progress, hopefully in the first few months of this year.  Do let us know if you would like more information or wish to be involved.  

Member Events

We enjoyed an exciting Member event at Lord’s cricket ground in March which was well attended and provide a good networking opportunity.  Thank you to all those who came and for your feedback. The next event and AGM is in the information below. I know that it is not always possible for you to attend the main Member event in March and so this year we introduced having more localised Member events.  We held the first one in Okehampton which provided the opportunity for Members in certain regions to come together, discuss hot topics and network. Thank you to all who attended this event.   

The Board

We were shocked and saddened at the sudden loss of one of our Directors, Glyn MacAulay who sadly died in September.  He worked tirelessly on AIM, with superb attention to detail and brought insight and financial acumen to the Board. He will be greatly missed by us all.  But we welcomed David Eddins as a new Director at the March AGM. David is taking the lead on the Working Group (see above).

Other Mutual news

The Membership continued to grow as reached 857 Members as at the end of the year.  Internally, we have listened to your needs and have provided some new products to meet those, being the PA and Travel scheme as well as continuing with the Motor Scheme.  The information is on our website but please do let me know if you would like any more details on these, or if you would like us to visit you to discuss your cover or how else AIM can assist your business.  We are here to help! You may have seen the Member survey which sent out recently. I would really appreciate your assistance in completing this so we can ensure that we are providing the service and products you want.  Thank you.

We also continue to work closely with Pharos and AIM Members can access their 24/7 emergency crisis assistance for a greatly reduced fee.  Please let me know if you would like more information on this. It’s a service that I highly recommend.  

The year ahead – 2020 vision

This year looks like being as busy as 2019 with some great opportunities for AIM and you as Members.  We hope to increase the membership but our focus is on ensuring that you are provided with the best possible service and appropriate covers.  We continue to listen to your requests and act upon them, so if you would like us to visit you or want to discuss any changes to your business, or products which would assist you, please just contact us.  

The Membership Committee’s Working Group will progress the Accident Reporting system and we hope to be able to provide an update on this in the first part of the year.  

Several Members have asked me to provide bespoke in house training for their staff on accident prevention, the critical importance of documentation and what to do should the worst occur.  I love meeting our members so am delighted to be able to assist in this way. The training can be tailored to your business needs, with a seminar style introduction followed by workshops in which staff work through set scenarios which they might encounter in their daily work.  Please do let me know if this is something which would benefit your organisation and we can fix up a date.

One suggestion from the Okehampton event was to publish a scenario on the AIM website which Members could access and use to stress test their normal and emergency operating procedures.  You will be pleased to hear that this is in hand and we hope to roll this out in the next month.  

We will hold our main Member event in March with the AIM AGM.  It would be super to see as many of our Members as possible. More details to follow under separate cover.  We will also continue to hold the more localised events to support Members who cannot always attend the main event in March.  This year we are looking at Member meet ups in the Lake District, Wales and Scotland. More details to follow.

We remain here to help and to listen to your requests, requirements and suggestions.  This is your Mutual! Please do let us know how we can assist you. Wishing you all a very happy, successful, safe and prosperous 2020 from all the AIM team.