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Wessex Branch: Annual Review 2011

Last year we fulfilled our commitment to have all of the five Hubs (Dorset, Solent, Thames Valley, Surrey and Sussex) fully operational.  This was achieved with the launch of the Surrey Hub in September 2011. Both Sussex and Surrey Hubs are now active and contain approximately 60% of the Branch membership.

During the past year they have been extremely productive. Sussex Hub presented no less than four events in April, May, July and September, mainly on applied psychology subjects, attracting a total of 165 participants. These included Trauma, Neuroscience and the Body, The Sensational Body and Minding the Body: Somatic interventions for enhancing EMDR Effectiveness. The remaining event at Sussex, Non-Violent Resistance Therapy, has already attracted 145 participants.

Surrey has had two events which have attracted 101 participants, including Tax and Bookkeeping for the Self-Employed with 130 participants already signed up for the Attachment event.  The Dorset Branch had an activity in July and is planning the Branch’s flagship conference on Psychology and the Internet in 2012. The Thames Valley Hub is hosting a one day conference in the autumn of 2012 on Psychological Welfare of Current and Military personnel and Veterans which is currently being developed. We will be looking for a new Hub co-ordinator for this Hub during 2012 as Sue Roberts our Treasurer and Hub Co-ordinator will be leaving. In addition to these specific events we also have an Undergraduate/Postgraduate conference and a Careers Fair (scheduled for 17 November 2012) which alternate annually and an on-going programme of PhD seminars.

Our AGM was held at Southampton Solent University in April when the President of BPS gave a talk on Psychology’s Greatest Pedagogic Challenge.

This past year has also seen a revival of our Branch Bulletin.  Caroline Kamau has been very active in her role as editor.  She has introduced some interesting articles including, in the next  edition, an interview with Professor Michael Eysenck, and a continuation of the series of ‘A Day in the Life of...’. In this edition we hear from an Occupational and Counselling Psychologist, a Psychologist in Academia, a PhD student and a research assistant.

The Branch’s aim remains unchanged this year as in previous years, namely to provide development and networking opportunities for our members. As a Branch of BPS, it's our objective to reach all our members, whether they are active professionally, retired, or students through our five Hubs.  There is also opportunity to report back to the Society at the General Assembly, any concerns that members in our Branch may have. As a committee, we endeavour to represent all of our disciplines of the Society, and to link up with other member networks as benefits our members, such as the divisions and special interest groups. Finally, we have the objective of bringing psychology to the public.

To achieve and maintain this level of activity in the Branch requires commitment and dedication from the committee and administrator. As I finish my term as chair and before I hand over to Gene Johnson in March 2012, I have reflected on the support which has been given by the committee, the executive officers of the Branch and our administrator; to which I give my thanks. Without the dedication of the committee members and the support from the Universities in our area, many of the activities and events that the Branch organises would not happen. The Wessex Branch exists for you the members.  We welcome any suggestions regarding events and activities and welcome any volunteers for the committee or specific areas of interest.

Dr Kathryn FieldenChair