The Fellowship Council has been reorganised to improve how it supports Fellows. So how does this affect you and are you making the most it? I have recently been elected as Chair of the Fellowship Council and I am very keen to tell you about the new system, identify active Fellows and welcome any feedback you may have.
As with all voluntary activity, “the more you put in, the more you get out”, but how do you get started? You are too busy as it is anyway, aren’t you? Having no time is about priorities and we understand that you may have higher priorities than being an actively involved Fellow. That’s fine and we appreciate that by being a Fellow you are already supporting our mission and share our values.
Fellows tell me that they are stimulated by meeting interesting and like-minded people who are outside their normal business and social circles, and many find time to attend the meetings, formal and informal, that we hold across the UK. Networks grow and projects develop. The reorganisation of the Fellowship Council is largely for Fellows who want to take things a stage further. The focus is now on supporting networks which can either be based in towns and cities or be national theme-based groups.
If you would like to start or grow a network in your geographical area or about a particular theme linked to key areas of RSA work, there will be a Fellowship Councillor who can support you. They are volunteers and so the support does not extend to doing all the work! However, they are experienced and are good sources for advice alongside your RSA Local Area Manager. There are also new resources to support you turn ideas into activity, which include funding (e.g. for room hire to host an event to get things started), marketing within Fellowship and web and booking platforms to promote and manage engagement.
If you are thinking of starting a new network, we suggest that you first organise an informal Meetup event to see who would support you and what interests them. If you do already have a burning issue or topic in mind then we encourage you to lead with it. For us to support a new network, we need to know that there are at least three Fellows involved. You can use the Find a Fellow feature on the website which now allows you to search by location as well as interest. If you would like some help with this, please contact a Fellowship Councillor via myRSA. They all know many Fellows and can often put you into contact with someone with similar interests.
If you already have a network, please tell your local Fellowship Councillor to see how we can support your activity. Activity can mean projects, as well as events, and we are interested in both. Fellowship Councillors sit on the Catalyst grant giving panel and so it is worth making contact if you are thinking of applying. The activity resources created by the RSA Area team include a range of different event templates that you can adopt, or work with the team to develop your own format. Each Area team will continue to hold a range of events in the major cities, which you can keep your eye on the local Area pages.
To progress the mission of the RSA, we work on three key themes:
- Public Service & Communities
- Creative Learning & Development
- Economy, Enterprise & Manufacturing
Two Councillors for each theme have also been appointed to support the involvement of Fellows in this activity. It is early days and we are still sorting out how this will work - if you have anything you want to say or contribute, please get in touch.
Some of you will be aware of the old structure. In Northern England, we had three regions: North West, Yorkshire and North East. Each region had its own team of volunteers who organised activity, which was time-consuming, bureaucratic and not very inclusive. Now there are three Fellowship Councillors representing the North and the idea is to support Fellows who want to start and grow their own local or thematic network. Devolution.
Please take the opportunity and get in touch.