IOL Members News
It’s busy times at IOL and there’s a few things I’d like to update you on.
It was great to see a good attendance the on-line AGM on Monday night, so thanks to all who could make it and a further thanks for bearing with our technical hitch and delayed start. The minutes will be published for all in a few weeks time and will capture the agenda items and the open Q&A session questions and answers.
We welcome Heather Crawford, Steve Randles and Andy Robinson as Trustees and Brain Kitson and Jim Whittaker as co-opted Trustees and a part of The IOL Trustee OLA Transition Subcommittee representing BAPA and AHOEC respectively – with existing IOL Trustees Louise Edwards and Andy Robinson completing the 4-person subcommittee and representing Outdoor Council and IOL.
Horizons Editor - Carmen Byrne
It is with much thanks for the excellent job that Carmen has done for the last 4 years in producing our flagship magazine - Horizons – that I have to inform you that the summer edition will be her last. Her talents are much in demand and she simply can’t fit everything in! Carmen has been hugely influential in making Horizons what it is today and as both a talented editor and designer we have been fortunate to have a one-stop-shop that could cover all the bases required and own the whole production.
This of course means we have an opportunity to fill. We would like to deal with one contractor who either covers all the bases or can liaise with partners to provide the full design and editorial service required. Details will be advertised soon - the role will not be geographically constrained and with working hours entirely at the discretion of the contractor to support the publication of 4 editions annually – spring, summer, autumn and winter ... with the first being autumn 2022.
Ok, not quite what it says on the tin but as we shift to more working from home, and the staffing team being spread across the country, we no longer need an office that can support a daily team of 5. So, we are thankful for the continued support of the team at Warwick Mill who have offered us a smaller office, in the same venue, and with no notice period penalties, for an immediate move that will reduce our rent by close to half and of course therefore enabling these monies to better serve member needs.
CEO Jo Barnett
We are getting ready to welcome Jo in as our new CEO from the 1st of July – Jo has (as those of you who know her will fully understand) already been getting under the skin of all things IOL via zoom meetings with the IOL Team; Mike, the Chairman; and Mark (Taff), acting CEO, for a number of weeks. She will be well placed to hit the ground running when her formal induction starts in July. As a reminder, Jo is spitting the role 50/50 with her current responsibilities running the Outdoor Education Department at Telford and Wrekin Council.
Membership and Direct Debits
The shock to us all and our working practices provided by the pandemic is still reverberating but we have taken stock and will be re-positioning the membership offer from October 2022 to reflect a general increase in more on-line and remote working and meetings. We have also taken a good look at the behind-the-scenes costs of operating our various payment types and whether these monies (and time distraction) could be better used to serve members.
It takes a surprising amount of time and effort to process repeated over-the-phone annual payments, and even more to operate monthly DDs – all of which diverts team time from doing other more valuable works. So, we are asking all members to please consider shifting to an annual DD payment so we can make better use of your monies – and will be aligning the fee structure to better encourage and reward that.
As incentive to move from a monthly direct debit to an annual one, if you let us know that you wish to change before 1st October then you will get a whole year at the current annual membership rate (email Dave at IOL for this).
Membership and Interest/Discussion Groups fees re-boot
As part of the changes mentioned above, we have also taken the decision to stop levying a membership fee for the current Special Interest and Discussion groups within IOL. Most IOL members are members of at least one of these group so this will represent an annual membership saving of at least £10.
We will retain a £30 Concessionary membership fee to cover students, unemployed and others experiencing hardship (call us to discuss).
All other current levels of membership will have a simple fee of £70 if paid by annual DD. The capacity to make a one-off payment will be retained and will carry a small premium. We would really like to move away from monthly DDs but very much do not want to lose anyone who desperately needs this route so please call us for a chat if that applies to you.
Remember, this only applies from the 1st of October and will only be live for you as your membership term comes up for renewal. And the sign-up for current groups will be free!