Your band is doing well and you want a slow, steady stream of new recruits coming to you to keep the band young and fresh. So how do you get to this position? Aim to increase general awareness of local bell ringing and bell ringers using a wide range of different media and networks.
This isn’t about a big event, its about a steady drip-feed of news with a clear and welcoming “call to action”. If potential ringers can find you and make the decision to learn to ring by their own self-interest and motivation, they are more likely to commit long-term.
Face to face is by far the most effective way of recruiting people. Friends and family members can be the easiest to approach.
Advertising local ringing times can be put on display in prominent places, preferably on the outside of the church.
Keep a stock of ringing leaflets with your tower contact details on and give them to visiting non-ringers, hand them out at events and put some on your church leaflet table.
The use of the internet is widespread. You need to have a good web presence. Your website should contain interesting material including attractive photographs as well as details of local ringing times.
Allows you to create a group for your activity online and notifies people registered with the system of when your activity is taking place and other details.
Write a piece for the church magazine or the Parish newsletter or free newspaper about ringing. They will reach many people in the local area.
A paper copy of the church notices is often given out at the beginning of the service for the congregation to take home. The notices are often emailed out to a group of people too.
Many local interest groups such as the WI, Rotary Club, Young Farmers, History Society, U3A or Townswomen’s Guild have a regular series of talks at their meetings and are always delighted to hear from someone new.
I have to admit to always feeling a chill run down my spine when anyone suggests a recruitment drive. We don’t actively recruit, we just respond quickly and informatively to enquiries and have had a steady stream of new ringers, some through the website, or through ART enquires and some through word of mouth. Very occasionally if numbers are low I send out an email to the students encouraging them to recommend us to friends or other ringers at their home towers. I think the students themselves are probably the best recruiting sergeants.
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