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No more Heart of England? (Read 8416 times)
Big_Vern
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No more Heart of England?
07.08.2006 at 18:07:35
 
This year has been a bit of a roller coaster for MAG in the West Midlands. We have had 3 key people/officers leave with no-one stepping into their shoes and a distinct lack of volunteers to help organise events. Yet we also had the Brum Demo made a national one and also held a highly praised National AGM in our area.
 
The future opportunities for the West Mids area look very bright. With members of the National Comittee (inc the Chairperson) keen to develop and help our events, both the demo and the Heart of England (HOE), grow.  
 
The problem the area now faces is that with the loss of those 3 key officers and a distinct lack of volunteers coming forward, we may not have enough people to lay on any future events at all. In the past we have been able to rely on the Past It's MCC to help marshal at our events and runs, but at present that club is in a tumultuous time itself, so may not be able to help out in future.
We currently have 2 local reps, and 1 national rep as well as 2 regional officers (Secretary and Promoter) within the whole of the West Midlands, but these 5 people cannot organise and run these events with the amount of people coming forwrd to volunteer.
 
At this years HOE we got support from Black Country & Coventry MAG volunteers (Thank You all), as well as from some local clubs (Thank you as well). As the demo was national we benefited from outside help. But the number of people who volunteered from within the West Mids was far less than the number required. Also less than have come forward in the past.  
For example: The products stall was unable to stay open as there was no-one to man it, and people had to work extra long hours on the gate & door etc because there were not enough volunteers to fill even half of the time slots required. This means that the people who did volunteer had to work even longer hours.
 
Now don't think this is a personal attack, or I'm finger pointing at anyone or any group in particular. Far from it. I am just bringing to everyone's attention the situation that West Mids MAG now finds itself in. We are all volunteers, and some are able to do more than others, some don't have the time to help, or have commitments that are more important. I understand that and agree that certain things take a far higher priority than MAG. I myself have had health problems this year and was unable to attend or help at the HOE due to hospital etc etc. So I know there are reasons for people not to help. But as every volunteer led organisation knows, without the poeple to do it, we will not be able to do the things we want.
 
What I am trying to point out is that we need to know what the MAG members of the West Mids want us to do, after all it is your area and your membership. Do you want events put on? Do you want the HOE & Demo, a Fed Hill run, or a one nighter put on, or an Easter Egg run? Or do you want us just to do membership stuff and pass on information? Do you want us to be active and hold events and parties, or do you want us to just be reactive and pass out MAG relevant posts? But more importantly, what can you do to make it happen?
 
This year we have lost funds through not having the staff to do certain things (like the products) that bring in the money. It was suggested we put on a one nighter to raise more funds (so that we can then put on the HOE), but we don't have the volunteers to do it. We also have a yearly Fred Hill run to the motorcycle museum, but we don't have enough people to organise it. Next year is the 30th Anniversary of the Brum Demo, so we would like to make it the best yet, and the HOE to go with it. But at the moment we do not have enough people to organise it, let alone run it.  
 
Without the volunteers coming forward to help plan and organise these events, they will not happen. It cannot be left to the 2 local reps and the regional rep to do it all, they cannot. At the past few regional meetings, 3 people attended (and those were the regional rep, 1 local rep and his wife) it is impossible to plan, organise and run anything in these circumstances.
 
Obviously if you think that the West Mids should not put on events then we need to know that as well. It is no good trying to put on events if no-one wants them.
 
I hope this post is taken in the spirit it is intended. I am not trying to force people to do anything, or saying that  I'm hard done by, or implying that everyone is lazy or anything else like that. I am simply trying to let everyone know where West Mids MAG stand at the moment. If you live within the West Mids area and are a MAG member then the regional rep (Eddie) needs to know what you want, and what you are prepared to do to make it happen.
 
It would be a shame if the Brum Demo, HOE or Fred Hill run was to vanish from the West Mids, but that is a distinct possability if we get no more volunteers than we had come forward.
 
To those who already volunteer I say Thank You for all your hard work ths past year, and if you think you can help more then let us know. To those who haven't yet volunteered but would like to, then get in touch. There are loads of jobs that need doing both in planning, organising and on the day, and you don't need any special skills for most of them. We have a vast range of jobs from stuffing envelops or printing stuff off - to organising locations and manning the products stall.
 
So please let us know what you want from West Mids MAG, and what you are prepared to do to help it happen.
 
Vic
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Vic Hawkes
West Midlands Rep
National Association for Bikers with a Disability
http://www.nabd.org.uk

Keeper of the West Mids MAG website chalice
http://west-midlands-region.mag-uk.org
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davsil
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #1 - 07.08.2006 at 20:42:18
 
hi vic. ok i'm fairly new to mag but wanted to know can anyone attend your regional meetings and if so when is the next one
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John_ADV
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #2 - 08.08.2006 at 09:18:04
 
It will be a real shame if the HoE rally dies  Sad  Rose and myself did an extra shift this year to help out, I also stayed behind with Gary to help with the clean up. If more people could just do one 3 hour shift it would make things much easier for everyone, and lets face it, 3 hours out of a whole weekend isnt really a lot.
Come on guys volunteer to do a shift and dont let a good rally die  Smiley
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Hogielad
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #3 - 08.08.2006 at 11:56:45
 
BV, we did'nt make it to the rally this year, in fact we have only done one rally, our first, which to be honest a total crap. It was in Westward Hoe, very wet, nothing going on, no stands. In fact it was just half dozen tents erected in sea mist, no promised midnight bbq and entertainment was just a few children running amok around dance floor.
 
We stayed in a chalet which had'nt been cleaned after the last guests and I had to clean the tide marks off the bath before I could get in.
 
Was'nt expecting luxury but did expect it to be at least cleaned.
 
Anyway this is off topic, so to get back to it.  We would be very happy to help in any way we can and although we are new to MAG and therefore need to be told exactly what you want from us, I do have great organisational skills, which is something of a must being married to Mr Hogie cos he could'nt organise a pi33 up in any brewery. (but I love him all the same).
 
Anyway why don't you organise a meeting for anyone who wants to volunteer and we'd be happy to come along and see how we can help.  Smiley
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ladyzzr11
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #4 - 08.08.2006 at 12:00:16
 
Im more than wiling to help out at events. Just PM  so i can arrange my shifts at work,The joy's of being a nurse eh?.
xx
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #5 - 08.08.2006 at 12:35:07
 
Hi Vic,
 
I'm more than happy to help with anything. You know i will always sell the raffle tickets every year plus more than happy to go on the gates like this year.
Only problem with anything else is transport i only have 2 legs not yet 2 wheels. still saving, but i will gladly help out with anything including any organising phone calls, getting free stuff for rallies ( by wearing short skirts). If i can help organise my brothers daves life ( manic as you know) i can help you out as well.
 
DEFINATELY DO NOT WANT TO LOSE HOE OR ANY OTHER EVENTS.
 Lets all help out,
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Big_Vern
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #6 - 08.08.2006 at 16:33:27
 
Thanks for the replies. I know that the people who did volunteer over the weekends had to work some long hours and it is very much appreciated. Smiley
 
The point is it's not just on the day that we need help (although obviously we do need as many as possible then  Smiley) but also in the organising and preperation before hand. There are a lot of things that need doing in order to set up an event like that, some just mind numbingly boring, some just simple tasks that need a specific thing to do (like a telephone or computer).
 
If you think you can help doing anything then either come along to the regional meeting or give Eddie a ring and let him know the type of thing you can do, or would like to do.
 
The Regional Meetings are open to anyone and everyone. They are held in Bromsgrove at the Bewell Head Working Mens club (which is just around the corner from the Hundred House, where the meetings used to be), on the 1st Thursday of every month starting about 8pm. So the next one will be 7th September 2006. You will find full details and a link to a map on the West Mids website here: http://west-midlands-region.mag-uk.org/where.php
Please feel free to pop along and have a chat over a drink. We need to know what you want your area to do, and we need help to do it. We don't ask that you devote your life to it (although...... Smiley) and any spare time you can give would be greatfully appreciated.  
 
Just so you get some idea of what sort of jobs need to be done, here is a short list of the ones that spring to mind straight away:
 
Police & Council notified (especially for the demo run)
Signs designed, printed & laminated
raffle tickets manufactured
gate tickets manufactured
prizes obtained for raffle etc
trophies designed & manufactured
advertising (from web to leaflets) - leaflets to be distributed
MAG tent to be organised & stock sorted
Alcohol obtained for after sales
badges/patches designed and manufactured
Paperwork for gate etc produced
Bands/entertainment booked
Traders booked
Venue details finalised
Marshals for run organised (high viz jackets, intercoms etc + liaise with Police)
Marshals for venue organised (radio, time slots, locations etc)
programme developed
P/A system organised etc
 
And that's just the organising of the event. Then on the day we need:
 
put signs up
organise site (traders, tents etc etc)
put MAG tent up + marquee
bring all the equipment (tents, electrical stuff, merchandise etc etc)
Marshals for gate, door & site as well as for the demo run
people to man the MAG tent for products
sell raffle tickets
 
This isn't an exhaustive list by any means, but it just shows you the variety of jobs that need to be done. Now individually they are not difficult tasks, but if there are only 4 or 5 people to do it then they get complicated. So even if you could do 1 of the tasks it would alleviate the pressure from others. Obviously as the regional rep, Eddie sorts a lot of the venue stuff out, along with insurance etc etc. It's the other stuff that we need help with. This year we didn't sell half as much merchandise or sell half as many badges/patches as we usually do, and the money we get from that sets the budget for next year (so we can book bands, venue, equipment etc) and as we hevne't made the money, the budget for next year will be tight. That's why a 1 nighter was suggested, to raise the funds for next years events.
 
If you fancy getting even more involved within the region there are still a few vacancies on the 'board' so to speak. As already said we had 3 officers leave this year who haven't been replaced yet. So if you fancy doing the treasurers job, or merchandise, or being a secretary you are more than welcome to do so. Just come along to the meeting and have a chat.
 
Vic
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Vic Hawkes
West Midlands Rep
National Association for Bikers with a Disability
http://www.nabd.org.uk

Keeper of the West Mids MAG website chalice
http://west-midlands-region.mag-uk.org
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Hogielad
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #7 - 08.08.2006 at 17:08:41
 
ok vic, count us in. we'll be at next meeting to see what we can do.  Smiley
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #8 - 09.08.2006 at 15:58:23
 
Don't for get selling raffle tickets is mine and captain job  Smiley
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rose
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #9 - 09.08.2006 at 15:59:44
 
Its the only way she get people to talk to her  Grin Grin
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #10 - 09.08.2006 at 16:06:39
 
At least people dont look 'down'on me when they talk to me.
XxX
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Steve - Admin
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #11 - 10.08.2006 at 18:42:38
 
Bloody good post Vic - well explained without blaming it all on me for leaving the region!
 
Having been involved with West Mids MAG for many years, I can tell you without a single doubt what we need more than anything:
 
MORE PEOPLE AT REGIONAL MEETINGS
 
That's it...the rest will follow.  
 
More people means more ideas. It also means more resources - you never know who has contacts that might prove useful. You probably don't know how useful you can be, until you get involved and find what's needed.  
 
It also stops the existing attendees from getting depressed - sitting there with only 3 people to organise an event the size of the HoE (plus a demo) is enough to drive you to drink (that's why meetings are held in pubs!)
 
 
One thing is worth noting:  
 
As meetings grow in size, they have to be run more formally - keeping to an agenda, a chairperson, only speaking through the chair (yes, I know you can make lots of jokes about hiding behind the sofa, so don't bother!)  
 
Unfortunately, this can put some people off, but it is the only way to keep a meeting short, productive and to the point. Gassing and gossiping can be done once the agenda is dealt with.  Most people at the meeting will have just finished work, or have other time commitments after the meeting, so you need to get on with the meeting so those that need to leave promptly can do so without missing anything important.
 
Please give it a chance - once you get used to it, you'll see it makes sense. Formal meeting structures have been developed over hundreds of years, and they do work (if you can shut the gasbags up for 5 minutes!)  
 
West Midlands MAG has the potential to do great things.  It has only been doing good things by the extraordinary efforts of a few individuals.  This year you lost 3 of these, and the region has suffered.  A few people moving on should not upset an organisation of this size - and it won't if more people get involved.
 
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Steve - Admin
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #12 - 10.08.2006 at 18:47:21
 
One more thing (oo, I've just come over all Columbo  Shocked)
 
You can help next year's HoE to happen by getting your tickets for the BCMAG BFTD5 Rally, so we can give the region a big donation to help pay for the rally.
 
Tickets are available at the meeting, or online:
 
http://black-country.mag-uk.org/bftd5advert.php
 
Someone has already bought 2, so you'd better hurry before they are all gone!
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #13 - 10.08.2006 at 21:00:42
 
do you think it might help if the region meetings are closer to where the majority of members are. i work long hours and drive a lot ,traveling down to bromsgrove puts me off attending
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Re: No more Heart of England?
Reply #14 - 13.08.2006 at 21:57:43
 
Hi Steve and Vic,
 
As you said about a one nighter how about a halloween bash, or find a big field to let you have a fire and have a fire and firework display type thing.
 
I dont mind helping organising as i usually organise the charity do's at work. But again no transport but i have a phone a computer and a bus stop down the road.
 
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