Recent activity

November 3, 2008

It’s sometimes a boring, thankless task being President but recently, things have become interesting and, to some extent ,worthwhile.

One of the things that I have been involved in setting up is the chamber website.

It costs very little to host and was constructed with a grant from the government and some chamber funding and with the expertise of one Mr Murray Ambler-Shattock. In fact, without him the site would never have been even started.

Don’t misunderstand that last comment. It is not just the knowledge of website building that makes Murray priceless but his unbowing faith and enthusiasm to the whole chamber concept. He is one of, luckily, several members who believe in the chamber unerringly. Our web master is one of a big team of dedicated members who give their own time and resources freely to help grow the chamber.

Now, one recent meeting I attended was for another group in which i am a member. I joined in order to foster relationships between them and us. Them being the local Industrial association. They had attended the Big Meeting I have previously blogged about and we were discussing ways of improving the Industrial group when one prominent member suggested a website. The Chamber website was quoted as a good example of an informative well planned site. That  was a small thing but a very proud moment for me and my team. Another member also mentioned producing a small fold out leaflet explaining the benefits of membership to the Industrial association to potential new members and he cited the chambers own leaflet, which he had seen and taken at that recent big meeting. more pride although the leaflet had been in existence since before i joined.

Another glow moment: I was at a meeting for another affiliated group. I attend a lot of these because I feel it is important to keep in touch with the people who have something to say and something to give in Weston. Anyway, at the meeting, it was being discussed, in some detail and at a basic idiot guide level ,about the new website this group had just launched. The site builder was going to great lengths to explain how the various members could link to the Group’s site. I listened to him say how links to other sites helped boost the ratings for the site. When one of the older established members of that group looked across to me I simply smiled and commented that the chamber already had a link set up which would direct people to this new site. It was like giving a nod of approval to a young apprentice. They had looked to me for confirmation and I felt great. It felt like the chamber was being regarded as a mentor to other smaller groups, someone to guide and help protect or teach them.

It was good. it makes me proud of the chamber just to know that people feel we are a reference point for how a group works is very very good news. It means that, despite our own fears about dropping membership or activity, we are making things work.

I get a buzz out of helping people. My next thing will be to contact the organiser of a local carnival which ends it’s tour of towns at Weston. It collects for local charities and always needs helpers to collect the pennies and pounds. Last year a colleague and I did the job for the first time and it was extremely hard on the legs but very worthwhile. The fact that a small share of the collected money is divided between the charities of the collectors was a bonus as it meant £60 went into the chamber charity fund but the main benefit was the feeling you get from seeing people who want to give money on a cold, usually rainy winter evening. I hope to do the same again this year.