Notice has been served: the CIPR Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Annual General Meeting will be held on Wednesday 28 February at Leeds Beckett University. It will be followed by a presentation from this year’s President, Sarah Hall.

We’ve booked a lecture theatre that holds 140 people. Yes, we’re optimists. But I hope we get a good turnout, Sarah has some great plans for her year to share with us.

Your Committee Needs You

Every year we look for new volunteers. It’s often not easy work, you don’t get paid and depending on what you’re doing it can seriously impinge on your social life and good humour (fortunately for me, I have neither).

I wouldn’t recommend trying for one of the Big Four positions – Chair, Deputy Chair, Secretary and Treasurer – without having had some experience of the Committee and exposure to the CIPR’s inner workings beforehand, but we’re allowed up to eight Voting Members to make up the rest of the Committee.

All you have to do is let us know you’re interested beforehand, so someone can have an informal chat with you about what you can offer, and what’s required from you in terms of time and effort. Then if you’re sure, and we’re sure, and we have our up-to-eight, you get voted in at the AGM. And you can claim 20 CPD points at the end of the year; so there is some reward, and an incentive to keep up with your CPD plan.

If you don’t think you can commit to attending six-to-ten meetings each year and taking on a specific role (such as PRide, events, training, University liaison), you could always be a co-opted member, helping out as and when you can.

Help yourself

And yet I see contributions from people, mostly online, saying how little their Committee seems to do for them: ours, other regions, even some of the sectors. Well here’s some words to guide your future thinking.

If you believe in something, and feel strongly enough that you can make a difference, you can’t do it from the sidelines. You have to get your hands dirty.

Yorkshire & Lincolnshire is a HUGE area. And most of us are based in Leeds. So if you have an idea for an event in Sheffield, or Lincoln, or York, or Bradford, or Huddersfield, or Doncaster, or Hull, or Grimsby… organise it. We’ll back you. We’ll sort out the CPD points, if it qualifies. We’ll even put some money your way to book a venue, if you think we’ll make some money back.

That’s what your Committee is there for.

And by doing so, you’ll help others make more of their CIPR memberships, as well as yourself.

And not just regionally; you could join a sector group, and help bring some of their events out into the provinces a bit more.

But nothing happens if members don’t get involved in a Committee; and that starts with attending the AGM, especially if you’re a Leeds-based member. We could fill that lecture theatre with just the Leeds-based members.

God helps those who help themselves.