The Guild’s Action Plan Review will be presented to the Annual General Meeting on Saturday. It’s hoped that many members will be present but not all will be able to join us.
I thank members for supporting Officers with the Action Plan and thereby enabling us to take a more flexible approach. I have appreciated it very much and wish to keep my part of the bargain by presenting this review; I strongly believe in transparency and accountability to members. I do hope this will encourage even more engagement leading to positive outcomes.
The Review is linked here and included in full below for your information; I hope you find it helpful.
Looking forward to the next twelve months, it would be my wish and suggestion to see the following items included in our actions:
- A budget review by the Executive Committee in November, using part-year figures, to include consideration of a positive policy regarding payment of expenses for Officers, maybe Tutors, in order that we might be prepared and in a good position to encourage members to volunteer with confidence and, if they wished to do so, claim expenses.
- Consideration being given to the setting up of a Young Ringers’ Fund.
- A volunteer coming forward to act as a Young Ringers’ coordinator, hopefully resulting in an increased number of our young members meeting together frequently to give them more benefits from ringing and social activities.
- A volunteer coming forward to serve on the Striking Competitions Committee with Greg Jordan and Peter Niblett and for all ringers to encourage increased enthusiasm and participation in the Striking Contests.
The Full Review:
- Action Plan review agreed at the 2015 A.G.M – Period 5th July 2015 – 2nd July 2016
Section 1 – Ongoing work
- a) Four events have taken place:
- Linda Garton, R.W.N.Y.C. organiser, gave a presentation and personal insight into this very popular annual contest. She highlighted a number of benefits of the striking competitions including the fun and team-building leading up to the day itself. ‘Though there was a low attendance, those present enjoyed the event and said it would prove helpful in inspiring young ringers. Linda kindly made a donation of £50 (her expenses refunded effectively) and asked if The Guild would consider applying it to a
Young Ringers fund.
- Firsts Fortnight – ‘though it was not an actual coming-to-meet-together event, it proved very popular and was reported as being very successful. It certainly seemed to inspire many members of all experience levels. It was very evident that many ringers and other groups from across the country were watching the event’s progress and were commenting on its obvious success, especially on Social Media.
- Two Inter-Tower Striking Contests (the competition rules were amended to encourage more entries) and, on the same day, two open towers and a skittles and lunch informal social occasion. Basingstoke District was able to give its support at the competitions’ venues and The Master undertook the open towers and social event. All seemed to be enjoyed and appreciated by those attending indicated by a good number of entries from local towers – especially for the 6-bell contest – and, the social side, by those travelling the greatest distance.
- Guild A.G.M Day 2nd July 2016. Open towers, Inter-District Striking Competition, Ploughman’s Lunch, Church Service, Association of Ringing Teachers information hub, informal showcase of Centenary of end of World War 1 project, Annual General Meeting and light refreshments.
- b) We have aimed to continue to encourage Districts to be independent of central control and to be Ringing hubs and cross border co-operation continues to be evident and encouraged. Guild support by way of the new website has been reported as working well.
- c) The inventory of Guild resources has not yet been completed. Some items are listed on the website.
It is work in progress.
- d) The Secretary and Communications Team, in particular, have ensured that we are a real presence in the ringing and non-ringing communities. As a result there were three entrants in the
Association of Ringing Teachers – “Sarah Beacham Memorial Trust” – awards; all did well and Brighstone won an award. The prize is likely to be a sum of money.
The Master has continued to be pro-active in working with the two Dioceses building up some even stronger and very meaningful links. With the Central Council Visit in May, it gave us an amazing opportunity to showcase ringing in the Portsmouth Diocese, in particular. The Diocesan P.R. resource was very much used for our benefit; it took responsibility for the drafting and issue of a Press Release, focusing very much on local ringing and ringers. In this context, Bishop Christopher, at the Central Council reception, made the informal comment to The Master “It’s good we’re on the map!”
- e) The Guild has been encouraging Young Ringers and their local leaders, generally. Specifically, the Guild has made a financial contribution of £440 towards the costs of travel for two separate Striking Contests. The first ever South East England Young Ringers’ Competition in Epsom Common, Surrey – a joint team was entered from Guernsey and The Isle of Wight – and the R.W.N.Y.C. being held on 2nd July will see a band comprising ringers from the Christchurch and Southampton area working with the Isle of Wight.
It is hoped and anticipated that these two events will encourage even more young ringers and their supporters, from across our wide area, to enjoy more ringing and social events.
Committees are seeing young ringers coming forward to serve, for example Belfry Stewardship and Striking Competitions.
- f) The Executive Committee and Officers have reviewed Administration taking into account members’ feedback and availability of resources. The amount of volunteer help being offered has an impact, so prioritising tasks has been needed. Generally, we have been more successful in recruiting help for specific tasks rather than members being willing to stand for a specific period in formal posts.
A focus group has been formed, to be chaired by the Guild Report Editor to consider the content, format and production costs of the Annual Report.
Since it was announced that The Ringing World National Youth Contest was to be held on the first Saturday in July, for the foreseeable future, the decision was made to bring forward our Annual General Meeting by two weeks; this was to send out a strong signal of commitment to our younger members and should avoid the National 12-bell contest. The general meeting will fall close to the anniversary date of the formation of our Guild.
- g) We have been sending out the message, at A.D.M.s and in written form, imploring members to engage further, especially by using the website.
Section 2 – Key Projects for 2015-18
- a) Communications: The new website was developed and launched. Taking into account the technical experience and personnel available and listening to the advice of the Communications Team, it was decided to make the development and launch of the new website the priority action.
A data base of members is considered to be a priority still as is an overall review of how information is circulated to members, including more newsletters, in addition to the website.
- b) Education: an Action Plan budget of £1,200 was earmarked.
No District came forward to apply for the £500 (maximum) “District initiative” element ‘though one District has made its intention known that it will very likely apply in the year 2016-17.
The Education Committee has not applied this year for the financial benefit of £200. It will review in the Autumn as hall hire is increasing generally and the benefit of lower student numbers on some courses is apparent.
Especially, in the light of the above, The Master has used discretion with The Teacher Training element of the £500 approximate budget. 3 out of 8 Districts have applied for this support this year.
£180 has been allocated in the following way: 9 students have claimed and will be paid £20 each.
- c) Belfry Stewardship: the new committee has been formed and has begun to review items to be
It has been considering the completion of the Bell Stock Survey, especially as the records had been found to be very useful at Ropley after the serious fire.
- d) Recruitment and Retention: we’ve aimed to promote the application of good publicity and striving for excellent training, hand in hand, to improve the prospects of recruitment and retention. Financial incentives are available within the Action Plan for Training Tutor courses.
In addition, a focus group has been established recently; the initial purpose has been to investigate and introduce if necessary, the possibility of teaching schools within our Guild. The group is financially and administratively separate from other Guild committees. It will act harmoniously with them, of course. The group will report to the Executive Committee later in 2016 and might require some funding.
Section 3 – Future Events
- a) Hosting of the Central Council Annual 2016 Conference and to provide the material for the Ringing World calendar. All of this went very well indeed. A number of members produced excellent photographs for the beautiful calendars. Christine Hill did a magnificent job – she’d accepted full and overall responsibility; she chaired the local organising committee, kept everyone motivated and on target. Extra volunteers (including a ringer from Sussex who knew “W and P” via Social Media) gave their time over the actual weekend of the conference and main events, including at many open towers. All volunteers were very committed, reliable and much appreciated.
Bishop Christopher attended the formal dinner and wrote to thank The Master and included
“I know that making all the arrangements for the weekend gathering would have involved substantial work. You and your colleagues deserve all the thanks you will have received from giving everyone such a good experience of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight along with many church towers. I add my thanks for all that you have done to enhance the profile and reputation of the Diocese of Portsmouth.
It has been a pleasure for us in the diocese to work alongside you and your team to our mutual benefit.”
- b) Hosting the Association of Ringing Teachers Annual Conference 2017.
The venue has been booked for the two days in Basingstoke. It is anticipated that a small group of volunteers will carry out the necessary local organisation of this event, much less in size than the Central Council’s conference visit.
- c) Event to mark the centenary of the end of World War 1 and to record commemorative ringing.
Two volunteers have taken on this project with much enthusiasm and commitment. An opportunity to include ringing in our towers from 1914, to honour and remember personnel killed during the conflict, has been recognised and grasped. Third parties have recognised with us the potential benefit of this project to portray a positive image of our ringing community. It might well assist with our recruitment efforts.
This project will report to the Executive Committee later in 2016 and is likely to require funding, some from the Guild and it’s anticipated that an application will be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
- d) Recruitment Drive and Retention of Ringers.
Together with the new focus group looking at the possibility of Ringing Schools and its liaison with local leaders, the use of good publicity and promotional material should dovetail well with a view to a recruitment drive.