2019 has been another busy year and my 3 years as your Chairman have flown by!
We have had a wonderful programme and been treated to many wonderful demonstrations, finishing the year with our Open Meeting in November with Margaret Rumens.
Many of you have attended the excellent Area Members Daysin Claire Hall where we are treated to a National Speaker in the morning and a National Demonstrator in the afternoon. We are very lucky in Sussex having these days organised for us. Any member can attend so if it’s something you would like to go to in 2020 just ask a member of the Committee. There are often seats in cars!
We had a great day out to the Nationalsat theBusiness Design Centre in Islington on 9th August.This show was part of NAFAS Diamond Celebrationsand being collected, and taken there and back by coach, all organised by Michelle King our Events secretary was a bonus! It was great to see some of our members win prizes! Dr Christina, Gaenor and Claire Bryant.
Another outing took us to the Sussex Prairie Gardens for an early evening visit. We had a talk by the owner and then wandered around to see all the plants and grasses. We were also very lucky with the weather. Many bought plants and had tea and cake to sustain the walking around!
I have attended Chairmans Forum Officersdays’ meetings with other members of the committee. These days are for the officers of the clubs, chairman, Secretaries, Treasurers and Programme secretaries. We meet for coffee and cake and its good to hear what problems and solutions other clubs in Sussex have, especially how they try to get new members. Minutes are kept and sent out to all following the meetings.
Warnham members were involved in St Mary’s Church Flower Festival. Sonia led a team which had a large placement beside the alter.
Warnham was involved in Horsham Districts Year of Culture and my thanks to Jean Plaskett and Gaenor Circus who designed the displays that were in the Capital foyer for a few days. We were very grateful to the Sussex Area for giving us a bursary and to Nicholsons Autioneers for their generous donation towards the flowers. A number of ladies have turned up at meetings with a flyer they collected in the foyer beside the designs. Members of the committee handed out roses to people visiting the Capital as part of the NAFAS “Take me Home” for National Flower Arranging Day.
The Tea Rota has worked very well with everyone sharing the task of serving tea and coffee at our monthly meetings. Thank you to everyone who put their names on the 2019 rota. It is going around again this evening as there are a few dates for 2020 that need to be completed.
Changes are a foot, last year it was Data protection, this year it is membermojo. This is a simple club online membership software package and we have taken out a 60 day free trial which will end before Christmas when we plan to go live. Firstly, when it goes live it will cut down the amount of admin that goes on behind the scenes. Janet Sharp and I have spent many hours setting this up and we now have a complete and secure member’s database and another group of non-members who like to be kept informed via the Newsletter and with Data Protection, this is very important. We have built this so we know that we have signed Data Protection forms for every member, who has the Flower Arranger and in the future, can add who is going to Area days or on outings. We get a lot of emails from National HQ and Area that need to be sent out to members and in the past that is dependent on Wenda being 1. in the country and 2. not being snowed under with other commitments. This way the Chairman can email the information out when it arrives, to you the members via the membermojo lists and the newsletter would come the same way. Those of you not on email will still receive the newsletter at club meetings.
The immediate benefits of membermojo are a reduction in workload for a number of the committee members and do away with the need to maintain multiple paper copies of relevant information. This will bring us up to date with today’s methods of communication. We are already receiving a number of enquiries about membership and events through our website. Nafas, and Area already use social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as a means of sharing and showing what we do, and this may be a way of getting new members in the future. I find if I want to stay in contact with my children or grandchildren I need to use social media! There is therefore a need for the club to move in this direction if we are to attract new and younger members. These people will find a computerised membership system attractive.
For individual members, you will be able to enter membermojo by using your email address and your own password. You will only be able see your own information and update it as necessary. If you use BACS as a payment method can pay for Subs, FA or any Members Days or outings through the website. If you pay by cheque or cash at a club meeting, Wenda as membership secretary will be able to add that your subs, member’s day or other event has been paid.
The Chairman and membership secretary will act as administrators of the system and are the only ones who can see the whole database. This system is very sophisticated and over time we will be able to extend the way we use it and gain further efficiency benefits.
I have to say a huge Thank You to my committee, Sonia our Treasurer, Pamela for preparing agendas and taking minutes, Wenda for keeping the Members list up to date, Ilona for booking and organising the demonstrators, Michelle for arranging our outings and selling tickets for the Open meeting, Pam and Pamela for organising and “womaning” the sales table, Gloria our competition secretary and chief raffle ticket seller, Lorna who helps me edit and keep the Website up to date and Alex, who gets your FA ordered and delivered. She also designs the open meeting tickets, flyers and prints them. So without this amazing group of ladies your club would not run, it’s a great team and one I have been very proud to be chairman of. It remains for me to thank you, to you our members who without your support Warnham Flower Club would not be the thriving club it is today. I hope it continues for many years! Joyce Skeet.