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London and Home Counties Branch 2013

The London and Home Counties Branch is the largest of the Society’s regional branches, serving more than 14,000 members. Now in its eighth year of operation, the Branch has continued to develop its programme of events designed to expand on and further the interests of both full and graduate members who are working and studying within the field of psychology.

The branch committee lost a number of members during the year, with members finding it difficult to balance the demands of work and other activities. The branch held a number of talks and events over the year. Our overall number of activities – 10 – was down on previous years, but the attendance figures were steady.

We continue to run free evening talks for members. The free talks have ranged in content, including a very oversubscribed talk on Mindfulness, which we are hoping to repeat in 2014 in a larger venue.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the speakers we have had volunteer their time and expertise over the last year during the free evening talks. Furthermore, we are always seeking out new and interesting speakers for upcoming events and invite all members interested in presenting at one of our talks to please get in touch.

A very successful networking event for members to meet the committee was held in May 2013 and resulted in a number of volunteers putting themselves forward for election to the branch committee. This increase in volunteer members has also led to a number of extra talks planned for 2014 and we are looking forward to providing talks and events that are of interest to all our members.

We have moved this year to advertising more events via the email announcement system run by the Society and this is improving our communications with members as they have taken the opportunity to book talks more quickly. Our aim for 2014 is to improve on this while continuing to send out flyers in 'The Psychologist'.

We understand the importance of student members for the future of the Society and our profession. We provide talks on careers for students considering moving into the specialist areas of psychology such as clinical and counselling psychology. We sponsor a student undergraduate prize for students in our branch area for a poster on a topical subject each year.

We also support PsyPAG with sponsorship of their conference and have a PSYPAG representative on the branch committee. We would like to provide more contact with the universities in our branch and their students so that we can promote membership of the Society. We also ran events for postgraduates, including a workshop on readying research for publication, which was very popular.

We would like to thank the branch committee members for their dedicated hard work. Without their effort and commitment, talks and events would not happen. Member volunteers are the key to healthy member networks in the BPS, and must be nurtured. Members and volunteers need to be at the centre of the Society in all that we do.

Jacky Rappoport Murphy, Chair to July 2013
Professor Zenobia Nadirshaw, Chair from July 2013