And it’s goodbye from me…
Well, not really. I’m still SCBWI Finance Co-ordinator but I have handed over the running of the SCBWI in the South East to Jane Haryott. I’m guilty of being a bit of an over volunteer, I find it hard to say no. This is partly vanity (I can do that!) but I also find volunteering gives you so much back. Being a SCBWI volunteer means: you meet great people: you learn how your organisation works and even get some influence over how it operates; you get a sense of community and belonging that really help in a career choice that can, sometimes, be a bit lonely. And it’s joyous seeing people succeed and knowing that, by being a part of an organisation like SCBWI, you (kind of) helped that happen. So why, you may well ask, have I given up this role?
The truth is, I wasn’t doing a very good job of it. I’ve just sold my first book, I run a very busy fruit farm, I fence competitively and help out at the fencing club and I had over-volunteered. I was not giving the South East what it deserves – a driving force!
During my time running the network we welcomed a lot of new people, new face to face groups sprang up in Southampton, Brighton, Portsmouth, Winchester and Chichester – I think we have about 12 active groups now – and room for more. The South East has the largest membership of SCBWI in the British Isles and it needs more than someone vaguely holding it together. This is why I’m so thrilled that Jane has taken the reins. She’s in the process of visiting all our face to face groups, something I hadn’t even contemplated. She’s full of energy and enthusiasm and there’s the possibility that another long standing volunteer, known for her social prowess, might be joining her soon as well.
I look forward to seeing the South East Network go from strength to strength – sometimes you need to know when to hand things over to someone else and I’m pretty sure I’ve got this one right! Thank you so much for stepping up Jane – and thank you to all our face to face group leaders – you’re all brilliant. I truly believe that ground roots contact is the real strength behind our organisation.
If you want to find out more about a face to face group in the South east, please contact Jane at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathy Evans has worked really hard for us as a Network CoCoordinator. I'm sure we'd all like to join in thanking her for her commitment. And of course, she is, as she says above, still a volunteer for SCBWI.