By Tim Fox

To further the professional standing and resilience of the East Anglian Psychotherapy Network, and acting on legal advice, it has become clear that we cannot simply remain a wholly informal society of like-minded colleagues. Like all such societies, we are answerable to outside governmental bodies, including HMRC, and are subject to regulations such as those that apply to Data Protection and Equal Opportunities. Whilst we are a non-profit-making organisation we still have to account for our income and outgoings and so on.

Most of all, if – as we all want - the EAPN to become an enduring body for future generations of psychotherapists, we need to secure that future with sound structures of governance and accountability consistent with modern expectations and requirements.

Thanks to an enormous amount of work by, in particular, Jane Polden, Susan Hall and Emma Went, an application is well under way for EAPN to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation recognised by the Charity Commission. This involves the preparation of a written Constitution that both protects all of our members and offers transparency and accountability with regard to how, as a body we function in an ethical and law-abiding way.

One requirement – which we on the Planning Group see as desirable – is that we hold an Annual General Meeting and this we propose to do in the Autumn as an adjunct to the likely Autumn Conference. This need not be a dry affair but will give us an opportunity to share with members how far we have come together and how much we look forward to your involvement in the journey ahead.