Letter from the New Chair

Friday, 9 December 2016

File 4683

In November, I was thrilled to be elected as the Chair of General Council. Our GC is quite unique as a board of Trustees. Over half of its members are under 30, and 42% under 25. In terms of leadership of our organisation, we must have one of the youngest boards of any British charity. Additionally, they are all elected, committed and competent. It is to be a real privilege to chair this group, enabling the vision and values of Woodcraft Folk to be realised. We are a group for and led by young people.

This last month has been very busy, and I’ve had to work closely with our General Secretary, Jon, and other staff to find out about a wide range of projects different people have been working on, all of which fit together to make Woodcraft bigger, and better and bolder. 

We are working hard to open groups and districts in new areas, building on the success of our New Groups project. Our Development Director, Debs, is in the process of obtaining funding to further progress this. We are also looking for ways to widen participation, to diversify our groups, to reach out to the young people in communities where we have little traction. Groups and Districts are looking for things they can do better to include more young people and we will soon be able to share successes and learn from each other. 

We have set up committees to look at aspects of our income to ensure there are easy ways for people to support us through Friends of the Folk, through Folk Supply and in other ways. We will be able to give an update on these in the spring.

We have restructured the link between GC and our outdoor centres and our former Chair, Pat, has become the lead Trustee for our centres with each centre having its own link member on Council. This will make it easier for GC to support the work of the centres and for the centres to better support each other. 

Jack Walker has been elected in a new role as Press Officer and co-ordinator of media strategy. He’s been busy drawing in people to work with. One of our key aims in this area is to ensure that Woodcraft Folk is a Go To voice when it comes to children’s rights in the UK.

Planning for the International Camp of 2020 is continuing apace. Naomi and Tom are taking a clear lead on this and the process of applying for co-ordination roles is continuing at the moment. If you’d like to see the job descriptions or apply for a position, please contact us. 

In the nearer future, mark the date 23rd, 24th and 25th of June for our 2017 Folk Assembly at Bramhope Camp Site, Leeds. Last year those who went had a great time and next year’s promises to be even better. We’ll have a range of training, discussion, development and social activities; a great time for the whole of the Folk to get together. Have a think about what you want to bring, an idea, a project, an argument, we’re looking for all contributions to make this a really dynamic event; the driving force for Woodcraft development.

Blue Skies Stuart Walker