Welcome to the first of our blogs from the North East. I wanted to use this opportunity to give you a better insight into how we work as a committee, and invite you to consider joining us at some point in the future. In upcoming blogs, I aim to tell you about the kinds of things we are working on, so you can know what to expect in the future.
Working on committees is both challenging and rewarding –particularly for one as geographically spread as ours. Working in remote teams is becoming more common within our profession, and therefore our relationships become especially important. I have tried to make sure that within our committee we take some time when we meet to get to know each other and about our motivations and interests beyond our committee roles. As committee members are volunteers, it is important to make sure we stay connected with each other.
Part of my intention when I started out as chair was to develop the committee – this is essential to our ability to act. In the past few years, we have welcomed new members of the team, and it has been wonderful to watch them grow their abilities and confidence. Many team members have taken on new roles recently, and each member has a role to carry out. As we have teams which allow us to work with a wider variety of volunteers, this means those we call “ordinary committee members” are team leaders and working on exciting projects, such as co-ordinating our public engagement activities or organising a conference. This means they are able to use their creativity to develop their area and bring these to strategy discussions in the committee. At our next meeting, we will also be exploring social media and how we can use this more effectively to connect with members who use this as a source of information.
One of the greatest challenges to working with volunteers can be securing the commitment from members to take part in initiatives. This means that many activities we organised are dependent on opportunities – finding the right speaker, finding someone to organise it, finding the right venue etc. With our growing experience we are looking towards creating a more deliberate strategy, so in the coming months look out for a survey about the kinds of interests you have, and the types of activities you are interested in. There will be the opportunity to indicate whether you are interested in speaking at events or organising them, and please do get in touch if you are willing.
Getting involved can be a great way to network with other psychologists, and talking about your experience and what you have done can be helpful for your career. I’ve added some information to the “Joining and Benefits” page as to what our teams do, and how you can get involved. We’d love to hear from you and hope to see you at one of our upcoming events – such as Glen Jankowski and Megan Hurst in York on February 22nd and Caryn Franklin’s talk at Leeds Beckett on Fashion, Diversity and Individuality on February 24th.