The RSA Fellowship Council elections are coming up. You might be thinking of standing as a Fellowship Councillor, or you might not. Or you might be thinking, what on earth is a Fellowship Councillor anyway? Fellowship Councillors represent and support Fellows - the role is much like that of a Local Councillor, except with fewer meetings, no allowance (expenses are paid) and far less likelihood you'll spend your entire time discussing immigration, Europe and potholes.
Here are some reasons why you might want to become a Fellowship Councillor:
- You're passionate about the work of the RSA and want to support it
- You want to help make your region more active
- You want to represent the views of Fellows
- You want to learn more about what the RSA does and get involved
- You want to help Fellows to connect and meet each other
- You want to get involved in a project
- You want to support Fellows in accessing what the RSA can offer to support their initiatives
As a Fellowship Councillor you don't need to do all of these things. The role is adaptable and diverse like the Fellowship itself. We all have different interests and expertise and you can, with the help of your Regional Programme Manager, shape the role to both complement and benefit from your own passions, interests and knowledge. I have been a Fellowship Councillor in the South Central region for two years. I worked closely with my Regional Chair and Regional Programme Managers to find out what Fellows wanted in the region and then how to respond in a way that allowed me to share and also develop my strengths. For me, that meant instigating events, organising them and supporting others to share their ideas. For you, that might mean: running a project; collecting views and ideas; initiating small local groups for Fellows; helping to disseminate the research of the RSA in the region; raising the RSA’s digital presence in the region; or working closely with some specific Fellows to gain Project support.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years as a Fellowship Councillor and learned more than I could have anticipated.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years as a Fellowship Councillor and learned more than I could have anticipated. We recently had the South Central Regional Conference, which left me confident that my role had made a difference to Fellows, many of whom had attended one or more of the events in the Ideas in Education Series I ran over the last year. You can read more about my journey and the Ideas in Education Series here. The highlights for me have been meeting a wealth of interesting, informed and informative people; feeling like I've helped Fellows connect and share ideas; learning more about RSA projects and then sharing that with Fellows; learning about and helping Fellows access the opportunities available; and developing my own knowledge and skills.
You might now be thinking, yes - I'm really interested in this. But I'm too busy. So my final point would be that the RSA and Fellows respect that you are busy, because they are too. They are willing to work with you. During my time as Fellowship Councillor I have been working full time as a lecturer, studying part time for a PhD, working with various charities that support young people, working on a talking newspaper for the visually impaired, and struggling to pass a driving test, among other things. I feel I've developed my time management skills and learned to better work with others. I am taking a break to focus on my PhD studies, but I will definitely be standing for this role or another for the RSA again - I feel it has been a wonderful opportunity to further involve myself in a charity I am passionate about. Nominations are now open. You might have a little more time and a lot more knowledge and expertise, so if you do - please consider standing.
I look forward to meeting you when you do.
Bethan Michael FRSA
Fellowship Councillor for South Central Region
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If you are a Fellow and interested in standing for the Fellowship Council, you can find out more on the RSA website. The closing date for nominations is Wednesday 16 July.