2021 Submitted Questions from Members
and Responses

HF Holidays Annual General Meeting

During and after the 2021 Annual General Meeting, members of HF Holidays were able to submit a question. All questions were subsequently reviewed and then posted here, along with a response from HF Holidays. There are three broad subject areas: Operational Matters, Membership Queries and Strategic Queries.

Operational Matters

1) Availability of double rooms for sole occupancy
I "attended" the AGM and listened with great interest to David Harrington's talk, which must have been very encouraging to all HF members. There was one sentence, though, that had me a bit worried: David said that there will be a drive towards full occupancy of rooms in all holidays this year. Does this mean that there will be no availability of double rooms for single occupancy? That rule would be hard for us solo travellers.

Response
Under normal circumstances we do not release twin rooms for single occupancy until 8 weeks before departure and only subject to availability. If a single is not available, the best thing to do is go on our waiting list. Sometimes the Yield team will review the waitlist and either upgrade an early booker to a double for sole use (complimentary) and release a single for sale to the waitlist. At other times we may be told to offer sole occupancy earlier than 8 weeks, but all depends on the availability.

HF Membership Queries

1) Interest rate
What will the Interest rate be for 2020?

Response
The interest rate which was determined by the Board in 2020 is 1.5%. There has been no determination by the Board since that point so, in accordance with Rule 10.3, this rate remains the current rate. The Rules approved by the FCA on 31.12.21 provide that interest shall be set in advance of the period for which it is intended to be paid. In view of this, 1.5% is the applicable rate until such time as the Board makes a new determination for a future period.

HF Strategic queries

1) Diversity
I think that there is work to be done on diversity/inclusion at HF - re the board, employees and customers - and probably members too.

Response
This is an area we will continue to work on. To date we have improved the diversity at HF Holidays through a number of ways including more female executives working for the Society at Senior Management Team than ever before. The values of our Society support this. Furthermore, our Board are also equally supported by a balance of Male and Female Directors. One of our strategic priorities is ‘Develop Our Next Generation’ and we are actively reaching out to various non white outdoor organisations. In addition, we are currently crafting a diversity and inclusion policy and reviewing our existing human resources policies to ensure this important subject is appropriately reflected.
Ahead of the 2021 Annual General Meeting, members of HF Holidays were invited to submit a question in writing for the Q and A session during the day. All questions were reviewed in advance and then posted here, along with a response from HF Holidays.

Annual Report

1) Question from Robert Bunn (Report labelling)
On page 9 of the Annual Report & Accounts at the top left hand side, there are 2 columns 2020 & 2019 representing 2 years figures. However this changes part way down to both columns being 2020. Surely the right hand column is still 2019 figures?

Response
We have reviewed and a revised version of the document with the right hand column now displaying the heading ‘2019’ has been updated on our website and is available to view here. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

Financial

1) Question from Peter Forrest (Bank loan)
Now that a bank loan has been secured, is HF now considering seeking further capital from its shareholding members? This would reducing borrowing needs. I fear that otherwise the cost of servicing and repaying the bank loan is far beyond HF's historic or likely future level of profitability. HF cannot afford to beggar itself, thereby putting at risk its rolling programme of continuous improvement which has underpinned much of the progress of recent years.

Response
In the short-term we are in a privileged position that the first year of the Government-backed Covid Business Interruption Loan is interest free. That, and our predicted cash flows given the present road-map out of lockdown, take the pressure off immediate concerns. You will appreciate that the Board’s priority was securing this Loan and the associated facilities with our new bank. You are correct that now the Board is working on a Strategy that will include seeking further support from its membership. Initial stages may take the traditional route because we always get great support from our loyal membership. We are then looking at more innovative options for the longer term.

HF Membership

1) Question from Kay Howell (Membership card)
Can you change the colour oif the Membership card please? I cannot read black on green.

Response
Due to the current lockdown we have suspended issuing Membership cards, and all our employees our currently working remotely from their homes. For the past year all new Members have been contacted with information about the membership via email only, and this will be reviewed as part of a wider Membership review in 2021.

HF Estate

1) Question from Angela Brassey (Buying a new country house)
Is HF at present in a strong enough financial situation to consider buying another property and if so, what sort of area had you in mind?

Response
The Society is currently focused on the re-opening of its country houses in May and to taking advantage of the present staycation demand. Looking to the future, the focus will be around the strategic core areas of product, performance and people. The pandemic has allowed for change within the Society and we have responded to many opportunities. The Society does have the option to purchase Peveril of the Peak, which is currently leased to the Society. The option to consider another HF house remains and once there is further stability will be discussed.

HF Holidays

1) Question from Micheline Deschreider (Holidays for people of limited mobility)
Would HF consider organizing activities for persons with limited mobility but eager to visit beautiful places and landscapes and to meet other HFers? For instance, persons with knee problems, arthritis, or other ailments making it difficult or impossible to climb up and down steps or rough terrain or within HF houses. I have had so many delightful stays with HF, in quite a number of places, and found those most enjoyable: easy walking and dancing, and visiting gardens and castle -, a fascinating 'Jane Austen' week was my last a few years ago.

Response We have a variety of holidays that would be suited to customers who would like a slower pace of holiday. These include our Gentle Walking, Mind & Body breaks, Photography holidays or perhaps our Heritage Tour; The Bloomsbury Group holiday to the South Downs.