Celebrating Achievements

What an interesting and varied month, demonstrating all that is most rewarding about my role in supporting the District’s success.

The District Leadership Team (DLT) spent a productive day ensconced in a windowless meeting room to discuss progress and look at our priorities for the remaining quarter of the year. Thanks to all your great work the District is on course to be at least Distinguished this year, and hopefully Select Distinguished or better. You hopefully know by now that it is not the numbers that we celebrate, but the underlying factors such as more members in more quality clubs improving their own lives and those of others.

We also had a conference call with Division Directors to share their progress and see if any further support is needed. They are doing fantastic work with their Area Directors on your behalf. One of the challenges is to ensure we have a full complement of new Area Directors for the coming year. It is a hugely satisfying role, as highlighted in this excellent article. If you would like more information then ask any of the current team

I was also delighted to be invited to Hamwic Speakers’ 10th birthday celebration. It was a brilliantly organised evening, with special guest the Mayor of Southampton.

Andy Hammond (District Director) with Barbara Saph

It was my honour to present a surprise award to Barbara Saph in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the cause of Toastmasters U.K. South. Hamwic Speakers also did something quite remarkable. To celebrate their 10th Anniversary, they took two people “off the street”, who experience anxiety with public speaking. Their challenge was to coach them over one month to then perform a two minute speech at the Anniversary meeting, which they did superbly!

Robin Chawner DTM and Andy Hammond

It was also my own club, Arun Speakers, 30th Anniversary of chartering this month – quite an achievement! We had I big celebration for our 25th, so this celebration was a little lower key, with a shorter meeting followed by a curry. One of Arun’s Founder Members, Robin Chawner DTM, has been recognised by Fareham Borough Council for his contribution to the local community over many years, largely through his role in Toastmasters. Robin has been awarded Citizen of Honour 2019 and is due to receive his award from the Mayor of Fareham. Sadly, Robin is not currently well enough to receive his award, and we wish him well. Robin has helped so many people over the years, and not only Toastmasters, and has been a huge influence on me. I am privileged to call him a friend.

From one of our oldest clubs to one of our newest. I was invited to give the target speech for the first ever Evaluation Contest for Spirited Speakers in Forest Row, near East Grinstead. The club only chartered on 4th March and are incredibly enthusiastic. They had to cap the contestants at four for the International Speech and five for the Evaluation contest. I have been a member for over 18 years and these five new members gave me some excellent feedback and recommendations. A great demonstration that you don’t have to be more experienced than the speaker to be able to evaluate well!

My focus now turns to the rapidly approaching District Conference in Ashford. In addition to terrific workshops, keynote speakers and District Contest finals, there is the small matter of the District Council meeting on Saturday morning. Further details of the programme, and how to book your tickets, can be found hereI look forward to meeting you in Ashford!

Last Updated on 7th October 2020 by Susan Rayner