Monday, 22 November 2010

Volunteers meeting in Liverpool (22/11/10)

Last Friday we held a special volunteers meeting in Liverpool with
Rodney (Chair) and myself. 25 volunteers, from a range of Areas and
Groups, attended.

The format was similar as the other meetings, with an introduction to
the business plan followed by free-ranging questions and discussion.

Here are some (but not all) of the issues discussed:

Affiliated Clubs - some strong opinions that more could be done to
entice members of affiliated clubs to ALSO be members of the Ramblers
(because of our safeguarding and campaigning work). The example of
the British Mountaineering Council was used, where affiliated clubs
pay per member. It is clear that in different Areas, there are
different relationships with their affiliated clubs. In Shropshire,
for example, affilated clubs help with footpath inspections.

Newly retired people - It was suggested that we contact major
employers, such as British Airways, about communicating with their
staff approaching retirement, about joining the Ramblers.

Electronic communications - some people were unhappy about only
receiving electronic communications, whilst others were okay with
this. It was pointed out that it can lead to higher costs at the Area
and Group level, if they then print out material. Moving to electronic
communications saved about £120,000 per year.

Membership recruitment - the £1 direct debit offer last May proved
helpful in recruiting new members in Chorley and Liverpool (we won't
know until next year whether they will renew). We probably won't
repeat the same offer again any time soon, but we hope to do other
promotions. People said these should be planned with as much notice as
possible. In Chorley, a Group which is growing, face to face contact
was very effective. The group has strong links with local health
walks. Chorley also organises 'scrambles' walks for children and

Advice for walk leaders - we discussed the advice which is given to
walk leaders. It was suggested we need to be clearer about the
difference between examples of good practice and 'requirements'.
Requirements are few and far between, but there is a lot of advice
available, based on what different groups already do. Each group (and
walk) is different.

Tom Franklin

Ramblers - at the heart of walking for 75 years
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The Ramblers' Association is a registered charity (England & Wales no 1093577, Scotland no SC039799) and a company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales (no 4458492). Registered office: 2nd floor, Camelford House, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London SE1 7TW.
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