Well 2020 won’t be a year we forget quickly!
Despite the turmoil I’m delighted that the club has continued to grow and the members gain such satisfaction from activities and friendship we promote.
More on the pandemic in a moment, but there’s been plenty besides this.
At the start of the club year we moved to a new ‘members portal’ to consolidate all our club communications and member date in one place. Beside the benefits for members not on social media, it also allowed the club to better comply with good data management practice such as allowing members to control and update their own data. Uptake was variable and with any new system had its avid fans and those that found it was just another platform. Taking this onboard we explored other options and landed on the use of Team App – a few for users app which allowed us to replicate much of what was available in the members portal but within an externally maintained app with good feedback from other clubs. The use of Team App has been great and I hope members find it a much more convenient way to interact with the club, especially when we’re doing more virtually than ever before.
Continuing the theme of professionalising and future-proofing the club, 2020 was the year we became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO for short). This provides a more robust legal structure for the club but also maintains our important charitable status. Many thanks to the members who have assisted over this 2+ year process and for those who participated in our EGM 2020 to finalise the adoption of NFR CIO.
I’m delighted despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic this year that our membership numbers on roughly similar to last year and we continue to have a steady trickle of new members as we enter the winter months. England Athletics statistics show that other clubs have seen on average a 25% drop in membership so I think it is a testament to the club that our numbers have remained so strong. I’ve heard much praise for how the club has helped members in what could have been quite an isolating period during lockdown.
Finally I’d like to finish with a thank you to the many many volunteers who keep NFR running so smoothly, often behind the scenes. I’m sure most members don’t realise just how much work goes in to organising the club – our active volunteers obviously make it all look seamless and easy. The club is always looking for more members to help – be it big or small.
- Tom, Secretary 2019-20