I have used various approaches to recruit young ringers. I confess that I find the most effective way of recruiting young
ringers is to constantly be on the look out for young people of around
ten years old, preferably with their parents, so I can get to know the
parents and when I have gained their trust, then ask if their children
may come and try ringing.
Arranged by the Cathedral, this event was the largest festival of its
type to be held outside of London. The number of displays were too
numerous to mention all, but included embroidery, glove–making, clock
making, saddlery, flower arranging, stained glass, calligraphy, stone
masonry, wood turning, lead plumbing, and of course … bell ringing.
Four years on, my original 4 learners are all still ringing and we have a team of 8, plus 3 new learners. We don’t have
as many helpers as we’d like, so it can take a time for us to master something new, but the team has bonded strongly by facing
these challenges together; often cheering or applauding each other when they accomplish something for the first time.
A recruitment exercise that went wrong - a tower open day generated 13 people who wanted to learn to ring. The traditional way of teaching wasn’t going to work so we decided to take intensive teaching to the extreme and commit to getting everyone up to ringing rounds on four within a month. This being a leap year February gave us 29 days!
We’ve had some good experiences over the past decade. Being adjacent to Harrow School helps so we have a relatively easy “recruitment channel” drawing around four new recruits each year. The track record throughout D of E and post-D of E is pretty good with recruits continuing to ring - going on to ring hundreds of quarter peals and becoming officials at local towers.
This was not Christine’s first attempt at learning to ring. It was in fact her last attempt at learning before throwing in the towel. She overcame considerable problems with anxiety about bell handling to finally master the skill and has subsequently come a long way. She has become a competent method ringer and has now rung over 30 quarter peals
As a member of the congregation and a lapsed ringer, I was volunteered to find recruits to ring our new bells. Advertised locally in magazines and by word of mouth, one by one, I had various people approach me, who were already ringers or who liked the idea of learning to ring. 25 turned up at that first training day, most of whom are still with us ...
Debbie Johnson and Judith Frye
When The Edington Ringing Centre opened in 2010 The Western Daily
Press did a four page spread detailing our recruitment drive. We managed to attract six young
members all around 11 or 12 years old. They very quickly bonded and we
held another “open” session during the summer holidays of that year when
we managed to welcome four more ...
Last November, Tim Hine, our contact in North Staffs, heard the following through ART. "Good
evening Tim. My husband has shown an interest in bell ringing and I
wondered if there was a course that I could enrol him on as a Christmas
present and would be interested to know where, when and how much? Many
thanks – Rebecca." Tim continues the story …
One of our ringers, a Sunday School Teacher,
explained to the children why the bells were not rung for service that
Sunday morning. Within 2 weeks we had 6 young recruits and after 18
months we have still got 4 of these, who are now starting plain hunt. We have been successful because of our strong links into the Church community.
Looking for new recruits to strengthen our band we posted on the Facebook Village Noticeboard page. We got 2 responses, both from adults between 35-55 so perfect recruits in that respect in my opinion anyway. It looks like these notice boards have a lot of traffic (ours is around 1250 users) so very little effort and zero expense.
The group is completely outside the traditional ringing structure and we do not promote membership of the association or press them towards service ringing – its primary function is a U3A social group that enjoys ringing. Our overall aim in Bridgwater is to open up ringing as wide as possible as an interesting hobby that is not just about attending church service.
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