Benedict Southworth: Once Every Guild
2012 is the year of Preston Guild, the celebration of the city getting its charter from the English King. It takes place every twenty years and as a child I got used to the expression, ‘once every Guild’, meaning: only if the world turned upside down. Which is why, this weekend, I’ll be taking part in the Moonlight Walk in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice. Normally this is an event for women only and is a fixture in my sisters’ diary. This year men are allowed and my three older sisters have called younger brother into action, and into what has got to be the brightest pink T-shirt I’ve seen in years.
The Ramblers recently became the national centre for Walking for Health England. We will be working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Relief. We signed the contract in a room next to their helpline and I couldn’t help but think about my own family’s experiences with cancer. Macmillan and Ramblers are working together because we both know the importance of walking for people with health problems. We already provide an infrastructure through our groups and Get Walking Keep Walking. It’s been great to watch a new team being built as we welcome tens of thousands of new walkers to the Ramblers family.
This week marks the end of my first 100 days as Chief Executive – is that why the sun came out? Anyway just as the sun came out the Board of Trustees met for the first time with its new Chair Jonathan Kipling. Jonathan was elected at the General Council (our annual meeting) in May. The Board meets on a Friday for discussion and then on the Saturday for formal business.
The minutes of every meeting are available on our website when they have been approved. In the minutes is a decision to increase the speed at which minutes are made available. Now they will be available on the website within three weeks rather than waiting for the next meeting. The meeting received reports on how we are working to achieve our mission. It also reviewed the motions passed at the General Council. I was also able to present my reflections on Ramblers and how we can continue to achieve our goals in a changing world. Those of you who have heard me speak will not be surprised to hear that the Board have asked me to prepare a concise version for members.
I hope you all enjoy walking in the sun while I’m walking in the dark.
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