Welcome to the family of SAIF

June 24, 2014   //   No Comments

As you may have seen from the new member’s page in the last edition of SAIFInsight, we have had a large number of new members joining us and I would like to welcome you all.

A question that comes up regularly is why join SAIF? That’s almost like what have the Romans ever done for us? Well, apart from the obvious benefits of membership, SAIF Charter, SAIFInsure etc, there are those that are not so obvious.

Family!  Being part of a group who are there to help and advise. I found this a great comfort recently. We, at Woollard & Kent, were challenged by a family who felt that one of our policies were not as robust as it could have been. We have been assessed by the SAIF quality assurance inspectors and all is well, but this family were not happy. As a small company I’m not able to discuss this with partners/directors, as there is, like with many of you, ONLY ME! I was demoralized. So, I called Alun at SAIF, and after a chat, the situation was put into perspective and I was much clearer as to the issue. Alun guided me through the problem and what we had done. Although we hadn’t done anything wrong, we can look at doing thingss differently, as there is always room for improvement. I’m pleased to say the problem has been resolved, everyone is happy and we have tweaked our practices.

If I didn’t have SAIF to turn to, this would have got me down and, as many of our members are smaller companies like me, it’s reassuring that SAIF is there for help, advice or just a chat. Remember, the SAIF Business Centre is always open.

Now about those Romans….

This month has been another busy time. I was pleased to be asked to represent SAIF at the Gordon Kee Golf Challenge Cup, and as a non golfer, put my caddying skills to the test and in the process raised £1500 for my charity, Crisis. I would like to thank everyone present for making me feel so welcome and for your donations. As for the Cup, it’s back in SAIF hands!

On the 17th May, I attended the NAFD Banquet and Installation of Officers at the Midland Hotel, Manchester. Simon and Jane organised a wonderful banquet with a great band, who played throughout the evening without a break as they were having fun too. On Sunday morning I was pleased to welcome Paul Cuthell as their new President.

It was also my first Executive meeting as President, which seemed to have a bit more pressure than previous meetings, but the members of the Executive were very supportive. I really enjoyed the experience even if it was a bit light hearted in places, with Alun and myself sometimes appearing to look like the two Ronnies!

That evening, I attended the Cambridge, Norfolk & Suffolk regional meeting at the Rutland Arms in Newmarket, and in the first week of June the East Midlands meeting at Anstey. Both were well attended and again I’m pleased to say that we raised record amounts for Crisis at the meetings. Thank you.

Bee SAIF!!

Good and bad news this month. As you may recall, last month I was hoping for three new queens in my hives, but on a recent inspection I found the hives to be all but empty. There was no sign of a queen or brood and only a few hundred bees, not enough to sustain a colony. This is a puzzle as I’m not sure what has happened. The queen could have failed, died or the colony could just have collapsed for many different reasons. With a bit of luck and hard work I may be able to save some of the bees.


At my other sites, things are going really well. My bees swarmed! But were soon collected and placed into a new hive and now both hives have laying Queen, lots of Brood and bees and making Honey!

Bee SAIF has also been successful in the recruitment of new members who are thinking about taking up beekeeping, again similar to the SAIF Business Centre, chatting to someone with a different background and more experience can provide a wealth of knowledge and information to enable you to make the right decisions.

I hope to see you at one of our future Regional Meetings. And you might get the chance to see the two Ronnies show!

Mark Woollard, SAIF National President

(Source of Two Ronnies photograph: BBC)