Programme for week commencing 13th September, 2012

Normally this week is our open meeting where we ask members to update everyone about the projects the eClub is undertaking and what community service you may be doing as a Rotarian, but not necessarily as an eClub activity. Please do continue to post these updates this week. President Tim would like to also have a few words about the eClub’s progress.

Dear eClub Members,

The eClub has made a lot of progress over the past months since our Charter in February 2012, it is quite surprising what is happening and I thank everyone for their efforts. However I’m aware that in July 2013, we need to be in a position where we can continue to grow, Rachel will become our new President and I want to ensure systems and groups are working to ensure Rachel can take over without too much worry, only that of leading the eClub.

We also must remember that we are one of the first eClubs in the UK that has gone for the hybrid model (e.g. no international membership and an ability to have physical meetings) and we are still learning how this works. Some members will never meet in a physical situation and we therefore must work harder at building relationships and doing activities that don’t need us to get together. However this must not prevent us from trying out different things, if it works great, if it flops we know that wasn’t the right direction.

To this end it is really important we endeavour to get the Action Groups working, plus consider if we’ve got them organised correctly to meet the functional working needs of the eClub. So perhaps you could consider this week:-

  • Which Action Group are you in?
  • Who is your coordinator?
  • Who are the other members?
  • How well do you know the coordinator and other members?

Using whatever means you choose could you perhaps start getting to know just the members of your Action Group, emails, the website, Facebook, telephone . Perhaps you could discuss the best way for the Action Group to meet, perhaps a page on the website where a discussion takes place, or how about using Skype, or there are even free webinar facilities if looked into, whichever way you choose it needs to provide access for all, so for example a physical meeting needs to include those who can’t do physical meetings.

If you have other ideas about how the Action Groups could be formed to allow more participation by all members please comment here, some out-of-the-box thinking might create another solution.

If up to Christmas as well as continuing our activities we could concentrate on getting the Action Groups functioning, building our relationships with each other, our progress would be really enhanced in preparation for July 2013.

The other thing I want all our members to be aware of is that we as an eClub are going to help other Districts in RIBI get eClubs off the ground. I don’t think we appreciate how successful we’ve been in such a short period of time. Instead of other Districts having to invent the wheel several different ways, it makes sense that we help in their learning and getting them started. When Rotary first launched some 100 years ago, it was Clubs spreading out from the USA that initiated and helped new Clubs to develop in other countries. While we were in Canada we heard how the Halifax Rotary Club had assisted the starting of new Clubs in Australia and New Zealand over 90 years ago. I will keep you up-to-date as to how this is progressing and how online we might help.

I look forward to reading your posts and comments on this week’s programme.



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0 thoughts on “Open Meeting Plus

  1. Rachel-A says:

    Couple of thoughts on the action groups.

    As they are closed groups it is quite hard to get the cross flow of information and ideas, for example I am part of the membership group but there is a really strong link with PR and mentors, but I can’t see any of those discussions unless I join the group. Not a problem to do this but it does make life more difficult to have a good awareness of what is important, what other groups are thinking etc.

    I know that each member joins a particular group so they get involved in the club right from the start, this is great but requires people to participate…do we need an opt out for those who don’t want to be involved in action groups? It goes without saying that a willing volunteer is worth ten times more than a pressed man. As a lead for one of the groups it is really hard to know if no response to an email or idea/ post is because members have no comment or just don’t want to be involved.

    And finally with my tongue firmly in my cheek, a quick look at the groups shows there is an eclub council group which last met 7 months ago and contains no posts. We must lead from the front if we expect others to follow.

    • Tim Mason says:

      I have now opened all the Groups to be public, however I’m not sure this will make much difference, but let’s try, the need first and foremost is to get to know and have a relationship with members in the groups, I believe this will make a great deal of difference, as you will know what ideas/skills they have and can offer in the group. I wonder if a Group Meeting on the eClub Blog would be better than in the prescribed place on the website, this could happen once a month if required.

      As President this year I have opted to combine the Council Meeting with the Business Meeting, many traditional Clubs are also using this method. I feel this is working really well and we are getting members who want to engage in the decisions doing so, of course next year when you are President you may decide you want to have Council Meetings. Myself and Janice have already suggested that it might be a good idea for the Club Officers to meet physically and we were asked to wait until after the holiday period. I do think it would be helpful for planning purposes.

      Finally the Mentoring scheme has been a complete flop, this will need to be thought out again. Myself and Janice do our best, but we do need to offer mentors and possibly now some people are now more involved, they’d be willing to be mentors to new people, this would help with the relationship building. I leave this up to you Rachel and your Action Group.

  2. Katharine says:

    Yes I agree, the challenge is to get people to meet face to face and when they know each other will feel more comfortable about working together and communicating in different ways.

    • Mary Nettle says:

      Look forward to seeing you there, I replied about meeting at RAF Canteen for 1.00 elsewhere but have began to loose the plot…..

      • Mary Nettle says:

        Replying to myself now but it would be a good idea of who we should look for. I know people have responded on Facebook but maybe they should do it here as well to encourage others? My brother and siater may come and a friend bring your laptops and show what an eclub can do. I am sure the National Trust must have a wireless connection??? Does anyone know how to upload photos instantly on to our website via a smart phone for example?

  3. Mary Nettle says:

    I have said something but not sure it is in the right place , have a look and see if you can find it on our eclub communication journey

  4. Yzanne Martin Hallett says:

    Hello All
    I think as a group Service Projects are doing well, others may think differently! We set out our plans (which have been modified slightly) back in May and I think I can safely say we’re all active in something….if not now the very shortly. Thank you to you all for your efforts so far, lets keep up the momentum. Progress is always posted on this site and we will be meeting again on 20th October (if not before) for our shoe box filling day.
    I have to say I am one of the guilty ones of not picking up the phone, I tend to communicate through the keyboard on this site, text or e-mail. Having been off line a lot in the holidays, I found it hard and time consuming enough keeping up to date on here without building relations on the phone as well, plus lots of meetings – if not careful a traditional club would require less time (if not more monetary) commitment and be more attractive to be a member of.

    Anyway – where are SGP up to – what have we achieved?
    For those who are new to the club please see our original post in May to see out aims for the year in full and how we plan to achieve them. We need ALL members to be involved to make this successful A summary of where we are at is below:

    To develop and run one International Project

    Purchase two Shelter Boxes in 2012/13.
    Dave, Yzanne and Jan all helped at Avebury Rocks and a donation is awaited from the organising Rotary clubs. Accounts should be finalised in November and we will be able to report then. We have already got £300 from the Duck race funds (which Debbie co-ordinated the sale of, helped by many others) for this fund, so hopefully soon we should be able to purchase our first box.

    Polio Pigs – End Polio Now
    Debbie has these available for us all to collect our coins in – please let her know if you would like one.

    Fill 40 Shoe Boxes for Christmas.
    We were going to buy 100 of these and store them (due to cost benefits) but yesterday I collected 50 boxes and they are waiting for your donations to fill them. As per my previous pleas – if you can’t be with us on filing day, or don’t know what to buy, please send us a monetary donation and Debbie and I will buy the bits needed. Filling day is on 20 October and all are welcome.

    Mobile phone collection
    Thanks to Daves continued hard work and donations from the odd one or two of the rest of us, the first amount being raised from this is £65. This is an easy fundraiser, please collect old mobiles from anyone and everyone, companies, friends etc and we can sell them on.

    To develop and run one national project
    Rachel is in the process of organising a Virtual Balloon Race for us with all funds (bar 10% to Foundation) going to British Heart Foundation. Balloons will be sold at £2.50 a time and can be bought by anyone and everyone, so when we launch it please sell, sell, sell! This is a great way of fundraising on line in an environmentally friendly way, whilst supporting a superb charity.

    We will also continue to support BHF where we can at events. I know Dave has assisted already with marshalling and it is a commitment of the club for us all to do so, if and when we are able. Rachel will keep us informed of how and when our services would be useful.

    To support the Cafe & Shop project with Swindon Special Needs School
    Once again Dave has been key to this project, working with Lorna and the school. Please see Daves posts regarding this project and progress made. The District Governor is keen to show it off to the RIBI President when he visits him in February – Tim will keep us posted I am sure.

    District Technology Tournament.
    We have the venue, thanks to Lorna – now we need your support – please let me know if you can help – and how – it won’t be long before we have to knock this idea on the head if people don’t step forward to offer assistance in planning.

    Christmas collections
    We’d like to encourage all members to offer their help to their local club with these events – an extra pair of hands makes a big difference, so get in touch and see what you can do to help. It is much better that we work with local clubs than to apply for a licence to shake our own tins and reduce a local clubs opportunity to collect. Equally it means we get to see how other clubs work, and we have the benefit of not having to travel cross District to do achieve the same thing. Please let us know who you are collecting with, when and for which charity! I shall be in Marlborough High Street working with Marlborough Rotary Club shaking a tin on Christmas Eve, charity TBC.

    Mock interviews
    Another way to work with your local club. Find out when they carry out their mock interviews for school leavers and see if you can help out. Again keep us posted on where and when you’ll be doing this. Between us we could help numerous youngsters across the District.

    Best wishes

    • Tim Mason says:

      Yzanne who are the others who think differently? In my commentary I acknowledge that the eClub is doing very well and I thank everyone for their efforts. However unlike a traditional Rotary Club we don’t have the chance to meet face to face, so my suggestions were to use what best works for each individual. If the keyboard is best for you, that is great, however we need to still build relationships, yes and it will be very different to how traditional Clubs do it, I for instance feel I have a really good relationship with Rachel Davis, which has mainly been done through our facebook and tweets.
      Yes there has been a lot of meetings, but as we always stress these are optional, this is an eClub and online commitment is all that is required, in that respect we need to think how we do different projects that doesn’t really need a physical presence e.g. the Virtual Balloon Race or collecting Baby Clothes that can be collected up. I’m also considering whether we could organise an online shop to encourage more Fair Trading e.g. Pants for Poverty.
      Indeed the Service Projects Action Group is leading on a number of exciting projects, but then as an eClub we all need to encourage each other, it is really important that we get all members feeling the buzz you are communicating in your post and as a comparatively new Club that will take more effort than a Club that has been operating some 10 years plus. These are early days and we need to build relationships so that everyone feels involved and part of Rotary, many of our members are new to both Rotary and doing things online, so extra effort is required while we build the team.

      • Yzanne Martin Hallett says:

        I didn’t mean others necessarily do think differently, just that they might – it wasn’t aimed at anyone, but a suggestion that if others might have ideas they’d like to put forward in how we can work better then to do so.

  5. Janice Mason says:

    To me the Action Groups have always been far more than just groups that do things or arrange things, I believe they should be developed as friendship groups that happen arrange certain things together (the doing of something is a tool by which you can work together to get to know each other). It is not just the Coordinator’s role to reach out to those in their group, it is the whole group’s responsbility to get to know each other and develop what they want to do, and if you notice there is someone in your group not in contact then they are the members you need to reach out to and make them feel noticed. If you yourself do not feel you are being involved in your Action Group just contact one other member (not necessarily the coordinator) and get to know them. By building friendships and getting to know each other you will work better together. I feel like I am preaching, but this is really essential to how the eClub will work, at the moment I am very aware of members that only Tim and myself are in contact with. Please particularly make a real effort to welcome to your group the provisional members.
    Who is put into what group initially is not set in stone, rather than opt out I think it is more important that members are supported to understand what the groups are first and then have the option to say where they would feel most comfortable to begin with. As time goes on and the eClub develops, it will be important to review the Action Group structure and align it to the format that best engages our members, for example, they could be organised by area or by preferred method of contacting.
    I worry still from reading the above comments,that there is still a strong emphasis on meeting face to face, which means that those that are able to do this are the most engaged. I feel very strongly that we need to develop what our Action Groups choose to work at and how they communicate with each other to be far more in keeping with being an eClub with members in far flung places with different personal commitments. Let’s be really innovative and think out of the box – the balloon race and an online shop I find really exciting and different – more of this sort of thing please:-)

  6. Mary Nettle says:

    I think we could use Facebook events page to give up to date information. I am impressed by the ‘Service’ Action Group – I do not really understand these Rotary titles, it seems to be about fund-raising so why not call it that? Lots of things are described some with dates and no venue some with no date and no venue and saying it may be cancelled due to lack of interest. In the e world we need constant reminders so if it has been posted before do not assume we know about it. Copy & paste the information if it is still current. Repetition is a good thing in my view. What does everyone else think?

  7. Yzanne Martin Hallett says:

    Thanks for your feedback Mary – we do copy and paste a fair bit and ask for help…all these things have their own page as well as us put reminders on here. We are getting to the stage with the tech comp where we will have to cancel as time is marching on and we are not making the progress we would have liked. Whilst we are a group we need whole club involvement.
    The next event is shoe box filling – 20 October at Debbies house…all are welcome to join us.

    • Tim Mason says:

      Perhaps the tech competition was a bit too ambitious in our first year, but even if we decide to postpone it. I was talking to Conrad today about how he may help and he has two young people who also might help. Plus we have an idea around getting a company interested, I will pursue this with Conrad.

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