Once again we have made significant progress in training new teachers, recruitment and supporting the development of new ringers.This has been achieved despite the fact that in 2016 a great deal of time was spent developing new products and reviewing and updating many of our internal systems, web sites and documents to ensure they were fit to handle the increasing number of users. That review is almost complete and I am keen that we have a more outward facing focus over the next few years.
A few figures
There was a small increase in the number of new ringers registered to 600. However it is clear that this does not represent the full number of new ringers taught by ART trained teachers, as we know a good number of teachers fail to find the time to register their new recruits – a two minute job. The actual number trained is substantially more. This lack of registration means that new ringers are not given access to SmART Ringer with its technical information and videos which help inform and encourage new recruits, who also, when registered, receive invitations to join blogs, Facebook pages as well as our newsletter ‘Tower Talk’. This helps to introduce them to the wider ringing community.
345 achieved their ‘Learning the Ropes’ Level 1 certificate in 2016 but again some teachers do not award certificates despite their positive motivational effect - so again we know the actual figure is much higher. Structured learning schemes with goals and rewards are often expected by those taking up a new activity and normal in almost every other sphere.It is taking time to introduce this thinking into ringing. Nonetheless, the figures show almost one new ringer a day achieving Level 1.
270 delegates attended a Module 1 day course - about the same as in 2017. 120 attended a Module 2. The new Module 2F should allow these numbers to rise in 2017/8 but there is still a perception that you have to be a Tower Captain to attend a Module – that is not the case!
Our membership now totals about 400 which is a great achievement. That means 400 people who have attended a day course, taught and been accredited. 400 trained, active teachers who have had appropriate checks, insurance and are ready to teach again! Very many more have attended the day courses and are either in the process of accreditation or are content to use some of the new ideas and skills without completing the course.
As ART has expanded rapidly over 5 years, broad working groups are in the process of being created to clarify areas of responsibility and allow for more volunteer helpers to become involved and spread the workload.
On behalf of our members I thank Les, Rob and Gill for their hard work and commitment over the last few years.
The 2016 Budget was exceeded in both income and expenditure and there was no need to call on reserves which have increased. Our supporters gave £8000 though the supporter’s scheme for which we are very grateful. Without this support we would not be able to operate or develop our support for the ringing community into the future.
The windfall from RF closure and profit from the launch of so many new products will be managed in a sustainable way and on specific projects.
Our 2017 operations budget assumes that merchandising will contribute £2500, we will raise £6000 from our supporters and we use £2200 from reserves. Hopefully we can beat budget again in 2017. However with more users and activities we may need more administrative time with associated set up costs. This together with recruitment and other initiatives being discussed are not within our current operations budget. Early signs suggest high day course demand in 2017/8 with associated workloads.
Tutors & Workshop Leaders
In 2017 more administrative time will be needed and software for Membership Administration will be required.
Rob Parker, Lesley Belcher, Rose Nightingale and Sam Bollingbroke have worked hard on SmART Ringer and our other websites. The ART website and SmART Ringer have largely been re-written re-presented, new resources and products have been added, contents reviewed and updated and we have moved server. A vast amount of work has gone into these improvements.
Ringer & Teacher Support
ART Hubs and group working in general are important for making the change that is required to support successful recruitment, retention and progress to higher levels of change ringing.
There have been a host of new products over the last 12 months:
It has been a very busy 12 months given the number of new products. Anne Sladen, Tony Goodman and Gill Hughes have been exceptionally busy with sales of over £8000 achieved in 2016 including £1400 Whiting Society products.
A review group has looked at all aspects of assessment to ensure consistency of standards. A standards group will be appointed to monitor quality & consistency in all areas of ART’s activities and advise the management team.
Many volunteers carry out tasks for ART on a regular basis and personally, and on behalf of the committee, I thank them for their dedication and hard work.
As we develop though, even more helpers are required and we would be keen to hear from more people who would be able to assist and join our great team of volunteers.
2017 has been a busy year for ART – with new products developed, systems updated and sound finance - thanks to the continued help from our supporters. We are in a good position to move forward in 2017/8 encouraging and supporting more teachers and helping to recruit and retain more new entrants to our ART.