This panel discussion, recorded by ICQ Podcast Videos at the RSGB Conference 2019
and reproduced here by kind permission,
considers how Clubs might be strengthened by becoming 'Hubs' in a wider network
supported online, with interactive membership and more open gateways.

 

Discussion from the floor, or rather, from active engaged club members,
begins to grapple with the issues

Invitation Letter

The following invitation letter has been sent to Clubs in the Wessex area:

 

Hello!
 
We are emailing you as the designated contact for your Amateur Radio Club (see list appended below) to invite your club to join a new initiative to help reverse the decline in Amateur Radio participation in our area.   We wrote to Club Chairmen at the end of February, just before lockdown, to suggest a physical conference later this year to discuss the proposal,  but the Covid 19 pandemic put things on hold.
 
You will find a comprehensive description of the proposal on our website – www.wessexham.co.uk – together with all of the working group documents.  The guts of the proposal is that participating clubs in the Wessex area work together as hubs in a single online network for the Wessex area.  This way, we can share resources, ideas, field days, talks, projects,  and all the things that attract people to Amateur Radio, enabling us to reach a much wider audience than any single club, and to provide a much greater range of activities than is possible for any single club.  
 
We had a very positive response to the proposal from a number of clubs and individual Amateurs in our area.  So far, Taunton, Exeter, Glastonbury, Shirehampton, South Bristol, and Mid-Somerset clubs have all said they would like to take part.  And a number of individual Amateurs have also been active in promoting the concept. We have had several Zoom meetings to discuss the proposal, and two members have already started a Facebook group for the project.
 
Now that lockdown is easing, we are writing again to ask you if your Club would like to participate.
 
The pioneering work of Essexham.co.uk is one model for us, but if we are to go down this route, we want to ensure that it is supported by a majority of the clubs in the area and is serving our needs, rather than being run by an external body.  
 
What are we asking you to do?  
 
1. Read the proposal outlined on wessexham.co.uk and circulate it to your club members.
2. Hold a meeting with your club to ask them if they wish the club to take part.
3. If your club wishes to take part, appoint a member to represent your club on our working group.
4. Let us know the outcome of your discussions (either way - and the contact details of your representative if appointed) by emailing admin@wessexham.co.uk
 
It’s not much to ask, and we’re working hard to reverse the decline in Amateur Radio in our area by creating new forms of access for interested people.
 
With every good wish,
 
Richard Thomas G4JJP
Andy Jenner G7KNA
Tony Howel-Jones M0THJ
and other members of the working group
 
PS:  If your club has already decided to participate, this email is sent to you for information only.
 
 
Invitations sent to:
 
Bath and District AR
Blackmore Vale ARC
Bristol RSGB Group
North Bristol ARC
Christchurch ARC
Flight Refuelling ARC
Gordano ARG
Isle of Avalon RCA                Already Participating
Mid-Somerset ARC              Already Participating
Shirehampton ARC              Already Participating
South Bristol ARC                Already Participating
South Dorset RC
Taunton and District ARC      Already Participating
Thornbury & South Glous ARC
Weston-Super-Mare RS
Yeovil ARC