A rainy Monday evening in March didn’t dampen the spirits of the 30 employee-owners from across our practice locations, who gathered together at the delightful Pengelly Farm Barn on the outskirts of Trispen near Truro, for a Shareholder Meeting.

After some catching up over tea, coffee and biscuits, our Managing Director Jonathan Bouwer-Davies welcomed everyone and outlined the purpose of the evening. We played a short film from our Chair of the Board, dentist Mark Johnstone, who couldn’t be with us in person that evening and then Jonathan introduced our first guest speaker, Katie Skea, partner at our accountants Francis Clark.

Katie gave us an excellent explanation about our financial accounts, what they tell us and what to look for as shareholders in the business. She also talked us through the annual audit process and what an auditor looks for in a healthcare business such as ours to achieve a clean bill of health.

Jonathan then focused on our Articles of Association and the recent changes made to these in support of our certification as a B Corporation and following discussion at both our Shareholder Impact Board (SIB) and Smile Together Board relating to clarity around director and elected representative responsibilities.  Via a film link, Sonya Bassett, corporate & commercial partner with law firm Spencer West who has been advising the Smile Together Board, very helpfully outlined what the changes mean in practice and why they are important.

Sally Phillips, Chair of SIB (and as such our Non-Executive Employee Shareholders Director), then reiterated the value of employee-owners engaging in events such as this and the importance of voting, accompanied by Nick Wills, our Head of IT & IG who also leads our B Corp certification process. Nick reinforced the importance of this resolution being passed so that we can proceed with our B Corp recertification process later this year.

Sally and the attending elected SIB representatives handed out ‘Proud to be EO’ badges to everyone, following the launch of this logo mark at the national EOA conference that we attended in Liverpool last year.

This insightful Shareholder Meeting culminated in the showing of our inspirational impact film and a final donation of £20,000 to Children’s Hospice SW who have been our charity of the year since 2022. We’d kept this a surprise from Amanda Masters, our key contact at the charity, and her gratitude for our fundraising achievements, donating in excess of £25,000 over that two year period, was profound. As our employee-owners now choose their new charity of the year, we in effect handed over CHSW to Francis Clark who had literally just chosen them as their new charity beneficiary!

We finished off with a delicious buffet and open bar, everyone leaving at around 9pm to splosh their way home. Some shareholders who couldn’t join us in person did so via a live Teams link instead, and we filmed proceedings so others could catch up afterwards.

Shortly afterwards the resolution was successfully passed with our updated Articles of Association posted on Companies House and B Corp recertification process kicked off.

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