Membership services committee 2019-2020

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Portland Club Assembly 25th June

Membership and Welfare Committee Plans for 2019-2020

Firstly, I should like to thank Keith, Trevor, Margaret, Peter and Bruce for all their advice and support during the last year. I was the new member on the block with a lot to learn. But I had a Dream-Team to work with! So thank you for all your help.

Over the past year our Club has unfortunately lost 3 members but gained 3 more new members. Then with the summer Membership Garden Party on 20th June, from which we shall hopefully consolidate into another 4 or so more members over the next few weeks.

When I first joined the Portland Club in 2017 I certainly thought this was a normal, standard Rotary Club, but after a year or so I began to realise this was not the case.  Yes, I did know that having Keith as a member makes us different, but there is something else too:  nationally 17% of Rotarians are women, in our Club 55% of Rotarians are women.  So as District Governor Stuart Cursley once asked me, what is our secret in a District struggling to recruit women?

Well it is no secret: coming to this club it immediately strikes you: the friendship, the fellowship, the teamwork, the tolerance, the acceptance, the lack of dogma, and the get-up-and-go. It’s the inherent community spirit of this Island.

So, with the Membership and Welfare Committee this coming year we aspire to further increase membership and in particular to focus on getting more men to maintain a gender balance. We shall also explore ways to encourage a hub of younger people willing to attach themselves to us, to join in our events, to tolerate us oldies; we shall explore Associate Membership options. We shall explore opening up access to younger people through links with friends and family.

And Yes, we may well have another Membership Garden Party in 2020 like the recent one.

I also propose to start in the coming year a Portland Rotary Business Partnership Scheme: recruiting a group of business partners who are too busy to do their own Community Fund-Raising Projects: Portland Businesses instead “buy” into and support our network of events instead. There will be a page advert perhaps twice a year in the Free Portland News and perhaps the Dorset Echo (if and when there is a free Charity page available to us to use) advertising Portland Rotary Business Partners and the work of Portland Rotary. By appointing them Associate Members, we give them the option to join us in many of the club events, guest nights, but with the hope they join us as full members in the future.

Elizabeth Hardy

Chair and President Elect 2019-2020