This is the last time that I’ll write something here as President (even if lately I haven’t been writing as often as I’d like). At next week’s AGM, a number of people will step down from Committee. I’d like to thank Steve Austin, Jo Fink, Emily Shrosbree, Rebecca Day and Richard Lardner for their efforts over the past year and beyond. Everyone on the 2015/16 committee deserves thanks for their dedication to making this club dynamic and strong, and for the time and energy they have devoted to this goal. I’d particularly like to thank Katy Glenie, Illona Keenan and Megan Sety for the support they’ve given me in managing some difficult issues, during what has been a very busy year in my professional life.
I really encourage you to come along to our AGM next Wednesday 13 April (doors open at 7pm, AGM starts at 7.30pm), and to read the annual report and audited financials. The AGM is also where we elect the incoming committee. At the moment, I understand that we have nominations for all roles apart from Social Convenor. It’s really important that we fill this role relatively soon, so please consider if you or someone else you know might be just the person for the job. Thanks to everyone who has put themselves forward for nomination: it’s great to see some new faces prepared to step up and help out.
Being on the committee is just one way you can give back. When I joined the club, it seemed like there was lots of things going on in the background that just happened. I know now all the effort that goes in to make sure that trips are planned, organised, well-lead, safe, and transported. We’ve always had the ethos that anyone regularly going on trips should do something to give back, and that’s a message the outgoing committee is keen to again emphasise. This is especially important because of the large influx of new members that we are currently experiencing. The club works really well when everyone gives a little bit, whether that’s leading trips, being on the door or gear room, cleaning the van, helping with instruction, doing a club night talk, helping with the lodge, or being on committee. We are all volunteers.
One of the things that the committee has recently agreed is a bullying policy. This sits alongside our existing sexual harassment policy and helps define unacceptable behaviour and its consequences. The club has a zero tolerance policy for bullying, whatever form it takes, including aggressive emails. This policy will provide helpful guidance to anyone concerned about or needing to respond to bullying incidents.
The committee has also recently removed the door charge from club nights. This is because of our focus on making sure the club is appealing to new members and that Wednesday nights are welcoming. As a result of this decision, we will be implementing tighter controls around expenditure related to club nights (and also trip planning and new members nights), so that these costs are reduced. The door money covered only 1/3 of the hall hire cost. Committee will consider increasing subs if necessary as part of the next cycle.
I want to thank everyone I’ve served with during my time on committee – it’s been challenging, satisfying, stressful, energising and uplifting, sometimes all at the same time! We are so lucky in the people that we have giving time to make sure our club remains healthy and strong. Our willingness to innovate and the ease with which we integrate new people into our structure and leadership are the envy of other clubs. They are also the reason that we maintain a much younger profile and an ambitious programme of weekend tramps. Let’s keep challenging ourselves so that we live up to both the word and spirit of our club’s primary objective: “to encourage and facilitate walking, climbing, mountaineering, and skiing”. All the best to the incoming committee as they work towards this goal.