First of all a big thank you to the organisers of the New Year weekend away to Swansea! Dawn E.did an amazing job of searching out a venue and making sure this one was stocked with Prosecco this year! Thank you to Brian F. for agreeing to step into the Treasurer's role during the New Year booking period. Thank you to James C. and Chris M. who made sure there was a walks programme and Ruth F for social venues, Kate H for manning the spreadsheets.
We had a fantastic year in 2016 and continue to grow but at a more mature pace now. We were the fastest growing group in an area of nine groups, at 4.6% growth. We put on over 200 walks, numerous socials, had 5 successful weekends away to Hastings, Shrewsbury, Great Malvern, Lake District and the Isle of Wight, we almost doubled our numbers from the year before. James Cain led our first ever Cycle Ride, 40 miles from Oxford to Reading – was a great day out! Hope we have another. Thank you for the volunteers for coming forward to lead these weekends away and we have already announced 2 new upcoming weekends away in 2017 in Spain and the Netherlands. I will be announcing details for a weekend away the 3rd - 5th of March, in Swanage for the Annual Blues Festival very soon.
Thank you also to last year’s committee for their hard efforts. We say goodbye to Brian Francic as Treasurer, Corinne Farrell as Membership Secretary and Sharon Giles as Digital Officer - thank you very much for your hard efforts. Welcome to new committee member - Mike Oliver who has been elected Treasurer and we welcome back Suzette Gregu to the Committee as the Digital Officer and hope you have noticed Suzette's efforts on the website!
We are still on the lookout for a Membership Secretary for the group. This is a fairly administrative role but once you set it up should only require 15 / 20 minutes of your time a week. Please do volunteer, poor Wendy Smith is doing her Comms role and Membership as well as also implementing our changeover from Pommo to MailChimp for the delivery of our communications.
I hope you will save the date for a very important area event on February 4th, the Inner London Area AGM, to be held at the Bloomsbury Baptist Church. There you can vote on the elections for the Area Officers, we have 3 Capital Walker colleagues running for roles: Phil Marson for Vice President. Phil will be stepping down as Area Chair. I will be standing for Area Treasurer and Caroline Wall will be running for General Council representative and so will Phil Marson. We have a contested election this year with 5 candidates and only 3 places available. General Council representative is an important position as you get to represent Inner London at General Council to be held in Southampton, April 1st and 2nd. At General Council you represent the area and vote on motions and the election of Board of Trustees, where I will be running for re-election. Inner London is very well represented on the Ramblers Board of Trustees, with the Chair and Honorary Treasurer both from Inner London. Please come out to support your fellow Ramblers and give Caroline your support to win a contested spot. Caroline is leading a walk to the Inner London AGM. Details of the AGM on the Website
Love London Walk London – a few active volunteers from the area: Phil Marson, Clare Wadd, Dominic Pinto, Alex Mannings and myself, along with assistance from Ramblers Central Office have been a part of a successful campaign to lobby the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to hire a Walking Ambassador for London. There is a new Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman, formerly with Nike, who will be starting in February. Our campaign is up for an volunteer award. Voting has now closed so look out for the results. Check us out on Twitter #LoveLondonWalkLondon
As ever, we rely on volunteers to make the group the success that it is - I’d like to ask for more volunteers to come forward to lead walks, socials and weekends away in the coming year. If you would like to see a different walk, social or weekend away on the programme, please come forward - we can assist you and get a mentor or co-leader to work with you. We’ll be having a Leaders’ social this summer to thank our leaders and to encourage volunteers to come forward. So watch this space!
My New Year’s resolution is to walk more, 30 minutes a day at least – does your body and mine well - so hope to see you all out there!
Teri Moore, Chair