Moved to new area?
Thinking of taking up a new activity?
Find it difficult to meet new people?
If you have answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions then please read on – this article on Join a committee may help you.
Also click onto the poem about our sub-committee meeting minutes says it all. It can be great fun.
Moved to a new location.
Some years ago we moved from Scotland to a typical English village. Hartley Wintney sits on the A30 between Sandhurst and Basingstoke and boasts not one but two genuine duck ponds, plus a traditional English pub, the Wagon and Horses, which attracts customers from miles around.
Folks living in the village fall into three main categories – those who have lived there for years and have a well established circle of friends. Those with children in school, and who make new friends waiting at the school gates or PTA events. Commuters, who may well have local connections but also make friends travelling.
As self-employed people, past child-bearing years, and without a dog, we fitted into none of these categories and so could have stayed isolated. Instead we decided to join several of the local activities. We joined two wine tasting groups and had a lot of fun with those. Both the reading groups were full so we started a new one, open to both men and women. That was novel! Hartley Wintney also had a very successful and long-standing Twinning Association so we joined that too.
But just joining an organisation isn’t really enough – you are still on the outside waiting for people to contact you. What you really need is to get involved and be part of the ‘inner circle’. Soon after we arrived the AGM was announced and we went along. After the evening’s business was concluded came the inevitable call: ‘We could really do with some new committee members. Do we have any volunteers?’ Both our hands went up and we were immediately welcomed as we agreed to join a committee.
We quickly discovered that committee meetings were not only very productive but also very sociable. Meetings rotated around the members’ homes and were fuelled by generous glasses of wine and tasty food.
The Association was very busy, raising funds for the annual twinning weekends. Unlike our French and Belgian counterparts we didn't receive any government-funded handouts – we had to raise all our money ourselves. So we had a busy programme of events, organised by the committee, and well supported by the local community.
Being involved in the committee got us fully involved in all aspects of village life and, by the end of three years, we had made so many friends and felt a full part of so many things.
Of course, as we had joined a committee it meant that you had to commit time to meetings and be prepared to accept action points to move things forward, but it was all good fun – the other committee members were a great bunch of people and made us feel very welcome.
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