NATIONAL NEWS AND EVENTS FROM NAFAS
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
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BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP
OSBOURNE HOUSE EXPLAINED
24th May 2021
I love this time of year, May is my favourite month, it is said that the earth laughs in joy during this month. Certainly, colour is back in the garden and countryside, the woodland canopy closes over the bluebells and the green of the trees is fresh and welcoming.
I know clubs are beginning to make plans for that ‘back to meeting’ mode as and when we are able. We are all aware so much has happened since the last meeting took place.
I, personally, sometimes think there are two faces of NAFAS, the clubs which provide fuel for the hobby and love of flower arranging, a social outlet to meet familiar faces and likeminded people, a chance for a good time out of an afternoon or evening. Our clubs are rich in talented members and their strength is they are autonomous, they can run to their strengths, membership and Area demographics and committee’s leadership and direction. To me the second NAFAS is the formal Association set up with a charity status, Board of Directors and Trustees with voting rights, the trading aspect and business that pulls the floral train. This part cannot create its own ad hoc working methods and must work within its guidelines. We are working hard to ensure everything this NAFAS works by is up to date, relevant to today’s constraints and will enable us to take the Association forward in a stronger position and support the clubs and Areas.
Whilst the strength of clubs can be the autonomy, that same strength can also make problems when the Association tries to advise clubs on their running, bookings policies and interpretation of what the Association does for the clubs. As with anything the key secret is communication at all levels.
Club Officers, be clear of your roles and what you can offer when booking for the programme. Area Reps do not presume all those you pass information onto actually understand what they do with that information; contact and communicate are the bywords here.
The two faces of our Association I have highlighted can lead disenchanted members to say, what are they doing for us, for the money we pay, we’ve not met, and our club finances are low so why should we not have an Affiliation Fee holiday this next time?
Over the last few weeks, I have renewed a couple of personal memberships to organisations, I have not been able to access the benefits of them yet but my goodness in a few more weeks I will be able to, and I am very excited about that. I have still received newsletters; I have had a website to view about the group and friends who I have met I have had virtual coffees with.
There are parallels here. Now is the time for looking forward. The Board and CEO are working hard to improve the running of our organisation, we are trying to find ways we can engage successfully with everyone and that requires a look at GDPR issues. We are bringing members on board to embrace specific tasks and are planning events for members to look forward to.
The feedback from our first Virtual National Show has been wonderful, it far surpassed my hopes, and everyone involved put so much time and effort into it. Please remember members you were all able to access it from the comfort of your homes, your membership enabled that for you. As a charity our remit is to be seen to be facilitating equality and diversity, to that end our Virtual Show was accessible and affordable and there for all who wanted or needed to compete in and attend. What more could we wish?
Here are a few of the many feedback comments:
“ ........ so much to tune into, stunning work by competitors with many new names which was so good to see. The presen- tations over the previous weeks were all excellent and most enjoyable.” From a previous National Officer.
“I found you online, I was hooked from the start of the piece on YouTube, lovely images and bird song, everything else that followed amazed me, you are worth joining.”
“A triumph for NAFAS in very difficult times but we have also proved that we can all work in a different way.” From an Area Chairman.
“Congratulations to all that entered and to NAFAS for daring to embark on such a unique event. What a success. I feel totally uplifted.” From a member.
This Show was brought to members and the outside world by our Judges, Demonstrators, Speakers, Teachers, Exhibitors, Photographers and Media Team for our members and whoever else chose to be interested. For any member who says what does NAFAS do for us, well we are doing all we can to engage, enable and ensure the Association continues and thrives. Our Virtual Show competition had 2,262 online views, demonstrations 7,309, talks 2,609 and tutorials 3,997. Overall, there were 138,465 impressions.
There will be regular virtual shows and virtual classes to fulfil our remit and I am, at the moment, working on a physical National Show for 2023.
We have a journey of change, that is inevitable, ahead of us, not easy but everything is achievable, there is not an ultimate goal as that indicates a stop, if we do and become complacent then we cease to grow, our journey is ongoing.
Awareness is the greatest agent for change. (Tolle).
I know we do not all see eye to eye, but open and overt debate is healthy, our whole going forward will be based on that. Are you with us? My door is always open to every member who has constructive and founded comments and opinions. I have many faults and one is I wear my heart on my sleeve, it is the way I was made, and I am proud of that. I will never knowingly let you all down or let anything happen to the organisation that has given and will continue to give as long as it remains viable. We are looking and moving forward to new horizons. It has to be onwards and upwards, backwards is no option.
If anything is worth doing, do it with all your heart. (Buddha).
Welcome on this journey.
Katherine Kear MDPF National Chairman
FLOWERS AT WESTMINSTER ABBEY
It is not generally known that NAFAS organise the flower arrangements in Westminster Abbey. Areas are invited to send members to arrange to represent various days and events. Some of the members arrangements are shown here.
Left: a photograph of the arrangements done at Westminster Abbey yesterday 16th January 2019 for the Service of the Baptism of our Lord.
The photo shows Gloria Goodley, Susan Bloomfield from Norwich Group of Flower Clubs (East of England Area of NAFAS) together with Minor Cannon Jenny.