The lockdown hasn’t slowed us down!

With four clubs chartering during this time and new members streaming in, it’s been busier than ever. It’s great to find our members now coming back to rejoin their clubs. After the initial panic, let’s face it, we all did in one way or another, after weeks of being at home, our online windows on the world have provided opportunities for us to stay connected and let’s be honest, sane. At the beginning when the switch to meeting online was mooted, many members were not happy. Now in May, we reflect on our club, contests and conference sessions; they were all able to perform well and adapt seamlessly to the online format. This is itself a success. 

“United We Speak” is the Region wide initiative to run Open House meetings, which you can invite friends, colleagues and family to join. There’s a Facebook page – United We Speak – as well as details appearing on LinkedIN. District 91 is hosting an event on 21 May.

The mantra “30 is the new 20” for club membership has been embraced. By increasing their base membership, some clubs are weathering this storm. What has been great to hear from you is that even if members didn’t renew, that clubs are still involving them to encourage them to join and experience an online meeting. Others are now actively seeking guests to join their meetings and to engage in the “+3 Challenge” to recruit three members (1st April to 31 May) to be gifted £30 from the District. As we are in May, running through to 30 June, it is of course Beat the Clock – time to increase your membership by 5.

During these challenging times members have stepped forward to offer support to members of their clubs in so many ways. I have heard stories of bread and milk drop offs; writing letters and posting them; and a tutorial on mastering online shopping. The latter was needed to avoid the 10 carrots, being 10 bags of carrots.

The continued support our Toastmasters community is providing is shining through right now. Let us pause for a moment, to thank all that have worked hard to support members, phoned those living alone or self-isolating, provided an escape for health care workers to do something ‘normal’ by joining their club meetings and to see familiar smiling faces at online club meetings. It may seem small, but right now, it is priceless.

Quoting Past Toastmasters International President, Mike Storkey remember the member. You are the most important part of this organisation. We are here to serve and support you.

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