Andy Hammond: New Ideas New Connections

Thank you for all the time and energy you have contributed on behalf of or members, and for the support you have given to each other and to me.

I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year and personal success – whatever that means for you.

I know we are a richly diverse group, and have different celebrations and customs, so please accept my sincere wishes for a very Merry Christmas in the spirit they are sent, and may this time of year be a joyous one for you.

The Toastmasters year is almost half way through and the first six months have flown by!

Andy Hammond (District Director 2018-19)

So far we have welcomed nearly 1,300 new members, including those in four newly chartered clubs, taking us to nearly 4,500 active members. You have achieved 253 awards under the traditional programme, and 128 awards in Pathways.

Our Area Directors, supported by the Division Directors, have helped to train nearly 700 Club Officers and have completed over 150 club visits.

It is always worth reminding ourselves that all of that has been achieved by Toastmasters giving freely of their time and energy to help their fellow members. That commitment and enthusiasm is at the heart of our shared success, and I thank each of you for your efforts.

The Christmas and New Year period is a time of reflection and planning for many people. What are your Toastmasters goals for the coming year, and how can we best support you? Are you considering taking on a leadership role next year, and if so would you like to know more about the opportunities available to you? Do give us your thoughts and comments so we can help you.

My most recent club visit was to Chiltern Speakers in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. A great welcome and a wonderful evening as you would expect. Thanks to Area Director, Bret Freeman for the invitation, and to club President Diane Richardson. I really enjoy these opportunities to talk about what the District Leadership Team is aiming to deliver on your behalf, and I especially enjoy the question and answer sessions – I never know what I will be asked although Pathways always features heavily! In addition to the superbly organised and managed meeting, I was particularly impressed by two pieces of detail. Firstly the very clear notice regarding photos and video, and secondly the simple yet effective summary agenda on a customised whiteboard. Images of both are attached should you wish to copy the ideas! (I do have Diane’s permission to share!)

I learn something new at every club meeting I attend, and I would encourage all members to visit different clubs and pick up new ideas.

Onwards into 2019 – and more opportunities to change lives, one speech at a time.

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