The P.R.O. work has continued to build on good working relationships with the clergy, the community, the media, national Ringing Remembers and Big Ideas Team, our ringers, and other Guild and District teams. Word gets around! We received encouraging letters from our Presidents and Vice-Presidents, a request from Portsmouth Diocese to engage and work with NHS Isle of Wight in its ambitious NHS70 celebrations, an invitation to raise the profile of ringing at a Council’s Bereavement Services Open Day and a direct request from a Lord-Lieutenant asking us to ring for a special service.
Tangible benefits for us all are often as a direct result of sharing valuable resources. The NHS 70 event saw NHS staff distributing Ringing Remembers recruitment leaflets outside of 15 towers. It was encouraging to work alongside the Ringing Remembers and Big Ideas team, especially helping to achieve the wonderful event at Longstock that was televised. It was great to witness our members’ own excellent P.R. initiatives; in addition to Guild Press Releases and activities, we saw excellent local news activity - community and church magazine and press articles, radio items, T.V. appearances - many related to the WW1 Centenary such as the Armistice Day peal at Portsmouth Cathedral, Tommy’s Travels on the Isle of Wight and in Yateley and other fine features such as Heritage Day.
Unsurprisingly, many of our efforts and projects overlap and we all benefit from being flexible and ‘joined up’. As P.R.O. I work closely with the Communications team and it has reaped many rewards.
Enthusiasm is infectious! I was delighted to take up an offer of help from Gary Marsh who has been supporting us for some time now. Gary is based on the mainland, attends many local events, reports back with text and photographs and is confident to make and follow up media contacts. Thank you, Gary.
The Ringing Remembers recruitment project presented a splendid opportunity for our Public Relations team to play a very positive role. I’m pleased to record my thanks to David Mattingley who supported me a great deal – his help was much appreciated and especially beneficial early on in the campaign when the referrals were coming in ‘thick and fast’! Between us we made the initial personal contacts, trying to reach out quickly. The personal and speedy approach was effective generally; we liaised with local towers and teachers to organise a Taster Session. It worked well. I kept in touch with many of the new ringers subsequently, taking care not to ‘tread on toes’ locally. New ringers have come back to me often seeking further information and offering valuable feedback.