What is happening in Division D?

December is a delightful time for daring leaders of Division D! D is for Determined, Dynamic and Distinguished. Toastmasters are always up for a challenge and challenges have been aplenty in the first 5 months of this Toastmasters year! Here are some of the highlights from our 4 Area Directors. The news is the media has not always been very encouraging recently, but news such as these most definitely are! A shout of appreciation goes from Massimo Guadagnino, Division D Director, to every Toastmaster in all of our Division D clubs and areas who are determined, dynamic and thriving for their clubs to be Distinguished in this Toastmaster Year!

News from Area D14 as told by Rembrandt Kuipers

In our Area we have had a successful contest season. We have transitioned to a mix of in-person and online meetings across the area, with some seasonal in-person social events being planned, and are looking forward to 2022!

News from Area D21 as told by Amanda Bouch

We had five clubs that are healthy in numbers and one that needs support to get back to its base level of 20 members.  Lockdown and zoom fatigue are the main challenges for our clubs. But the community clubs are all returning to at least one in-person meeting a month, as long as we are allowed to!

News from Area D29 as told by Rakhi Jain and Bonnie Wong

This is a friendly, warm and nurturing area of 4 clubs – 2 community and 2 corporate clubs. The Area has had a busy start of the year with the community clubs Riverside Communicators and Trojan Speakers holding a joint meeting on zoom for the second year in a row with a shared agenda.

Riverside Communicators after much anticipation, pioneered their first hybrid meeting in November streaming live via Zoom to York House. Numbers were restricted by the venue to 25, members were glad to reignite the joys of face-to-face speech presentation, warm hospitality of refreshments was well received by all during the break. Glance into the first hybrid meeting at Riverside, including members online via Zoom. All clubs can learn from the efforts behind the scenes to make it happen!

Trojans are expected to have a first in-person social in December since the lockdown.

The other clubs in the Area are also considering the hybrid meeting format for the new year, in line with their corporate guidelines.

Contest season was swung into action in October, with a healthy collaboration between clubs to organise the competitions. Area 29 swept the first places at Division level for both Humorous and Table Topics Speech contests. More internal contests are in the calendar for GSK and Riverside Communicators in December as they fine-tune the excitement and rigour of speech contests in preparation for the spring round of contests!

News from Area D53 as told by Gillian Prior

We are a cluster of friendly clubs in the South West London / Surrey border area with three unusual things about it.

  • The first unusual thing about this Area is that we have seven clubs.
  • The second unusual thing – and the reason why we are so many – is that the first ever NHS corporate club, Epsom and St Helier Toastmasters, chartered here in early September. This is a huge privilege for us, and we are doing our very best to make the new club welcome.
  • The third unusual thing – Mole Valley Speakers are based in a school, and have a strong and enthusiastic following among the school staff! Every club has its own unique feel and it is inspirational to experience the different ideas coming from our members.

Our two corporate clubs, Epsom and St. Helier (ESTH) Hospital Toastmasters and KBR still meet online. But the community clubs are mostly going back to (at least alternate) in-person meetings, now, in church halls and community centres.