Chairman's Chatter - February 2018

Chairman’s Chatter is published in the quarterly ART WORKS magazine for ART Members and those on the ART Training Scheme.

The new year has started well with a high demand for courses and lots of recruitment activity.

The CCCBR Armistice 100 initiative is developing a greater interest in bell ringing and whilst some of the publicity has not been positive, overall the effect is greatly beneficial to the Exercise. All enquiries that come direct to ART will be passed on to ART Members or, if there is no one nearby, we will pass them to ringing societies to place with a suitable local teacher. When we follow up these placements we sometimes find that they have been passed on without the quick positive response that these people expect and deserve. A professional and enthusiastic response is what is required to give ringing a good name, even if the enquirer is not a suitable candidate.

» Ringing Remembers resources

Other headlines have been made by ringing accidents and I have learned of two serious ones recently. Whilst ART teachers have not been directly involved I believe it is very important that we ensure that safety is emphasised to new ringers, proper instruction given and clearly indicated in the Ringer’s Personal Progress Logbook. Proper emphasis need to be made of this at accreditation for both teachers and mentors. Remember that accidents where teaching is being done or supervised by ART members must be reported to ART using the accident report form on SmART Ringer and proper risk assessments should be in place. There is an opportunity to deal with risk assessments at the ART Conference when an expert from Ecclesiastical Insurance will be presenting and available to answer questions.

Also at the conference are a host of other speakers dealing with coaching, hubs & centres, youth groups and initiatives, PR at Guild & local level, teaching challenges, retention as well as a representative of the CofE explaining the new Volunteer Training and Recruitment requirements. There will be the usual displays, bookstalls, and the opportunity to mix and chat with other teachers and friends. I hope you have booked your place and have encouraged others to come along.

» 2018 ART Conference

We are seeing significantly increased use of the Learning the Ropes scheme but also several queries on how to use it for the higher Levels. Most of these seem to arise because people have not followed though and completed a Module 2 course. If you have only completed Module 1 do arrange or book into a Module 2 – it’s interesting, challenging, fun and great value!

The first of six groups of ART teachers have returned tired but inspired from a week teaching the band at Ypres. 15 new ringers were started and one went through a revision course and at the end of the week two LtR1 certificates were achieved. The language barrier and small ringing chamber proved challenging but good progress was made and everyone enjoyed the experience. The local Press and TV were very interested and proved an added complication! I am still seeking more people to go over – particularly in the second quarter and perhaps beyond – so if you would like a new experience abroad and the chance to grab a tower please let me know.

» Help train the band at Ypres

I am very please to welcome Mark Hibbard to his new role with ART - managing our extensive resources and workshop materials are key tasks and ones which now demand a clear focus. Welcome to the ART team Mark.

See you at the conference.