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NNAS Silver Training Course - Expressions of Interest
Map Reading Opportunity with Worcester Ramblers
A draft proposal has been received from Derek Jones regarding a Group NNAS Silver course.

This course is suitable for confident navigators who wish to develop their fine navigation techniques and a methodical approach suitable for more difficult situations including night navigation.

Details are as follows:

Sunday 24th January 2016
Session 1: Based at Martley Memorial hall from 10am - 1pm followed by a practical involving contour recognition and reinforcing bronze skill to high level.

Sunday 7th February 2016

Session 2: Based on the Malverns - Practical, discussion and problem solving.

Sunday 28th February 2016
Session 3: Based in the Clee Hills - Acclimatisation then assessment and feedback.

It may be possible to shuffle these dates and the co-assessor has not yet confirmed availability.

It would be advisable for candidates to purchase EXP 203 and EXP 190  maps to cover the Malvern and Clee areas otherwise they will be using printed extracts that tend to lose contour definition.

If we do not encounter poor visibility it may be necessary to extend a session to darkness or do a short night navigation session one evening.

The gaps in the dates are to allow practice and if we wish, Derek can ask his successful gold candidates to offer their help to individuals or small groups.

The total cost to our Group, which includes all Derek's charges, certificate and village hall hire is estimated at £530. This does not include optional enamel badges which are available for £2.50 each.

12 candidates is the absolute maximum permitted by the NNAS and if we could fill the course then the cost per individual would be c£44. This course will not be subsidised from Group funds. The standard charge on Derek's public course is £50 we believe.

If you are interested in principle in signing up then please contact Cliff Dimond (chairman) as soon as possible via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website. We can assess the level of interest and then either commit to the proposal or politely decline at this time.

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Worcester Ramblers Logo Church Stretton Weekend Reports

Church Stretton Walking Weekend Friday 20th - Monday 23rd November 2015

Photo above is the view
from the Long Mynd Hotel
  Thanks from Derek...
Thirty three members enjoyed a variety of walks, good accomodation, good food, drinking, whist, a quiz and a rambler drive - thank you Mandy. A big thank you to all the walk leaders and to Doug who planned/coordinated all the walks.

And a HUGE thank you to Alan and Trish who organised the whole thing, were the perfect hosts and ensured everyone had a good time. A great weekend!

Blog from Janey..
Shropshire is my favourite stomping ground.  On a cold, crisp day under an azure blue sky we met at The Bog Visitor Centre to walk The Stiperstones.  This used to be a thriving mining village with a Victorian School, complete with gas lamps and the area does have a ghost like feel to it.  I think there were 11 of us. To read more click here..
Added to Home Page by DH 24/11/15


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Worcester Ramblers Logo Working Party Report - 16th November 2015
  Working Party 50 up!

A number of firsts on this working party. The first time for Doug to be boss and the first time for Mike (who's doing the work whilst Doug takes it easy). But today's exercise saw the 50th step at Southstone Rock being put into place. A great job by our working party members - thanks to you all.

Like to join a future footpath working party?

Contact Doug F via the Contact Us page
Added to Home Page by DH 16/11/15

Worcester Ramblers Logo  New Worcester Group Pamphlet

Click photo to see full PDF version
One of our key recruitment initiatives for 2015 was the design, production and distribution of a pamphlet specifically focused on the Worcester Group. This is now available, having been professionally printed in A5 size. To access the full PDF version, please click on the picture of the front page. (left)

Immediate plans to distribute the pamphlet include agreement to display copies at the Worcester Beer Festival on August 6th, 7th and 8th and availability for our stand at the Worcester Show on August 16th.

In addition to this however we need your help:

Friends and Family
Do you have people that you know personally who might be tempted to try us out as a result of reading about our activities?
Distribution Locations
Can you help with locating pamphlets within organisations near you?
Examples might include:
  • Tourist information centres
  • Community Centres
  • Libraries and other hubs
  • Outdoor clothing / equipment shops e.g. Cotswold Outdoor
  • Local Pharmacies
  • Supermarkets
  • DIY stores
  • Garden Centres
  • Hopitals' information centres
  • Countryside Centre
  • GPs' surgeries
  • Parish magazines / websites
  • Church magazines / websites
  • Any additional ideas
Sharing the workload will make a huge difference, so please help with one or more elements of the campaign by contacting Cliff D as soon as possible. Cliff has a stock of pamphlets to issue which he can make available at the beginning of walks or alternatively get in touch with him via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website.

More members will generate more leaders which will in turn mean a more vibrant and varied walks programme!
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Worcester Ramblers Logo Improved Communication
It has been suggested that members would appreciate more regular and detailed information regarding the activities of the committee and the actions that are being considered and taken within the overall framework of our 2015 Group Focus Areas.
Consequently it has been agreed that in future, the following information will be published on our website:
  • committee meeting dates
  • the agenda for each forthcoming committee meeting
  • signed off minutes from each committee meeting
  • the summary financial report produced for each meeting
Suggestions and feedback into the committee from the membership have always been welcomed and members are invited to contribute agenda items or feedback (with background rationale to aid understanding) for any meeting.

Any such input should be sent to Sue Rose, our Group Secretary, via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website. Sue is responsible for assembling the agenda for each meeting.

Specific individual queries or clarifications can be dealt with by contacting the appropriate Group officer rather than waiting for a committee meeting to take place.

The last committee meeting held was on Wednesday 2nd September 2015.

To see the minutes and Treasurer's report for the September meeting click here.

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Nine More NNAS Bronze Certificates Awarded
Map Reading Opportunity with Worcester Ramblers
All of the nine Worcester members who were recently assessed at the third NNAS bronze navigation course organised by our Group successfully completed their training.

Congratulations are due to Graham A, Sandie E, Jane L, Lesley F, Peter and Ann F, Felicity W, Ann P and Penny G for maintaining the 100% pass rate to date.

During 2015 we have now trained a total of 31 Group members to the bronze standard incorporating basic navigation and compass techniques. It is hoped that the associated improvement in map reading skills and the ability to navigate more confidently will encourage these individuals to lead walks on behalf of the Group in the future.

Thanks are once again owed to Derek Jones who ran the course and although there was a good deal of information to absorb and apply, the combination of theoretical and practical elements kept participants engaged, motivated and entertained.

A proposal for a Group silver navigation course is just about to be posted on our website. Please contact Cliff Dimond (chairman) via the ‘Contact Us’ page on our website if you would be interested in this opportunity and we will use this input to assess demand.


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Worcester Ramblers Logo Walks Registration Forms
Walk Registration Forms
Those of our members who walk with us regularly will know that at the beginning of each walk, the leader asks each participant to complete an entry line on one of the walk registration forms. These come as two variants - the first for Worcester Group members and the second for visitors.
It may sometimes seem tedious to provide this information and recently it has become apparent that the level of legibility and extent of completion has deteriorated somewhat.
It seems appropriate therefore to remind members why our Group collects this information:
1. The leader and back marker need to know how many and who are on the walk in the event of people
    getting separated from the main group.
2. The recent incident involving one of our members has reinforced the need to be able to provide clear witness and victim contact number details for emergency service and insurance company purposes.
    The contact number should be a personal mobile or land line number although a mobile number if also 
    carried on the walk could be especially useful in the event of separation.
3. In the event of a third party insurance claim, it is important to have advance evidence that an  individual was an official participant on a walk.
4. The membership number is used to cross reference the name and to identify if any individuals are 
    abusing our ‘three walks for free’ policy e.g. by continuing to walk with us when their membership has
    lapsed or by pretending to be a member in the first place. These have happened in the past!
5. The overall data is collected and used to monitor the ‘health’ of our Group over time and this in turn
    informs our focus and decision making.
Could we all please take care to complete the entry line clearly and fully and remind walk leaders to take the registration forms with them on the walk rather than leaving them in their car.
Incident Forms
Fortunately incidents serious enough to be reported are uncommon, but - see 2. above - if such an incident should occur it is pertinent that walk leaders have an understanding of the required information and preferably have a copy of the incident form to which they can refer. This form can be found via the useful links on Submit a Walk/Walk Leaders Checklist on the Volunteer pages of the Ramblers Association website in Volunteer Zone user guide.
 Worcester Ramblers
Focus for 2015
Worcester Ramblers Chairman Cliff Dimond

2015 Group Focus Areas
At our recent committee meeting we discussed our focus areas for 2015 and took the following decisions:
1. Our original major categories of:
        > Increase the number of walk leaders
        > Footpath / bridleway improvement
        > Improve engagement of the wider membership
    would remain the key areas to concentrate on.
2. We should continue to do 'more of the same' in 2015 as we did in 2014 i.e. attempt to
    recruit around 50 new members over the year, most of whom should become 'active' 
    A further step change in recruitment ambition was considered unrealistic with the
    Group likely to struggle to successfully absorb any such even higher increase.
Full details of items under consideration are contained within the three PDF files accessible by clicking on the individual icons shown. 
Please take this opportunity to scrutinise the thinking to date and to let us have any thoughts, comments or suggestions for improvement you might have. We will not have the resources to address all the suggestions so your input on prioritisation would be welcomed.
If you are interested in leading or supporting any of the individual initiatives, we would love to hear from you.
   Increase the number of walks leaders Improve engagement of wider membership Footpath & Bridleway Improvement 
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 Worcester Group Health Check
May 2015
To see some of the detailed underlying data
Click on the image
In November 2013 your new committee started recording a selection of data that effectively monitors the health of our Group over time. Sandra Chapman has been capturing the base data in a spreadsheet since then and Cliff D. has been analysing it.
A first summary analysis was published on our website in May 2014 with a follow up in November. The data up to and including May 2015 has now been analysed and gives a year on year perspective for the first time, enabling seasonal factors to be taken into account.
Observations that could be made from the latest data include:
  1. The number of registered members has increased gradually to 450 in May 2015 although flat for the past four months and still well below the peak of 490 in February 2011.
  2. We continue to recruit new members at an average rate of 4 per month which is both consistent with the same period last year and our stated target of 50 this year. The steady stream of new recruits more than offsets those existing members not renewing.
  3. Importantly, the number of registered members who are ‘active’ walkers has risen again to 118 from 94 last May (an increase of 25%)  but still only represents about 26% of overall membership (118 out of 450)
  4. The number of different members walking in any given month has increased consistently and significantly during 2014/15 when compared with the same period in 2013/14
  5. Membership within the remainder of the Worcestershire Area (comprising Bromsgrove, Wyre Forest, Redditch and Evesham) has stabilised at a combined total of 601 in April 2015 compared with 720 in October 2012
  6. During the year to date, the Group has put on 97 walks compared with 86 during the same period  last year.
  7. The number of different walk leaders has increased to an average of 10.43 per month during 2014/15 from an average of 8.86 during the same period in 2013/14 (a 17% improvement)
  8. During 2014/15 there has been an average of 19.6 participants per walk compared with 17.6 when compared with the same period in 2013/14 (an 11% increase)
  9. There was a significant increase in visitors during December 2014 and January 2015, presumably as a consequence of our Winter Walks programme
  10. The number of working party assignments completed increased from 4 in the first seven months of 2013/14 to 9 during the same period this year
Another detailed analysis will be published in and around November 2015 but if you have any observations or questions about this information please feel free to bring them up with Cliff.
Worcester Ramblers Logo  More News Coming Soon