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After ten months of working at the RSA and just when I thought I’d got my head around everything that the RSA is and does, I took up a secondment based regionally and realised that I didn’t know the half of it!  I have moved back to Bristol as Regional Programme Manager for the West and South West regions and have been amazed to find out all that is going on regionally.

My first week comprised mainly of attending both the West and South West AGMs; one in the beautiful setting of Dartington Hall, the second in the black room at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol.  Both AGMs were well attended and it was a pleasure to meet Fellows and hear about all the projects and networks in the regions.  The AGMs will give way next year to Annual Conferences, which will provide an opportunity for individual projects to shine and for Fellows to meet and network with one another. 

Both AGMs were well attended and it was a pleasure to meet Fellows and hear about all the projects and networks in the regions.

I have also met a number of Fellows with fascinating projects and ideas in the making and who already have projects up and running.  Recently Alan Boldon FRSA was awarded an additional Catalyst Grant for his project on Bristol Elders project which is focusing on creating spaces for elders and changemakers to meet to make their insights available to city governance and community building processes, the project will deliver a range of events in Bristol with partners such as Knowle West Media Centre, WOMAD Foundation and Bristol Green Capital Partnership to help deliver change in a city twice nominated Europe’s greenest.  Part of my role is to support those of you who would like to apply for Catalyst funding – you can find out more about Catalyst here.

One of the challenges for the RSA regions is that there are lots of Fellows in rural areas who are not able to travel long distances to meet up with each other.  Whilst this is an ongoing challenge, I hope to improve communications over the coming months by introducing quarterly newsletters to tell the stories of the region, and by improving our Regional web pages.  Both the South West and West regions have a social network site or group, where all events and projects in the region will be posted, so if you’re a Fellow in the region you should take a look and get involved.  What’s more, as of this autumn most of the RSA lectures are live-streamed on the RSA’s website and can be watched live, which gives us the opportunity to organise live streaming and post lecture discussions.  If you’re interested in running one of these for local Fellows then get in touch.

Lou Matter is Regional Programme Manager at the RSA.  Follow on Twitter at @LouMatter


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