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Letter from the Regional Chair -Ann Pocklington

posted 20 Mar 2020, 03:39 by Pamela Keeling   [ updated 23 Mar 2020, 04:44 by IT Admin ]

The current pandemic is affecting the Region’s programme, as it is all aspects of our lives. It is becoming hackneyed to say ‘Our first concern is your welfare ‘ - but it is also true. Many of our committees, working groups and volunteers include those who, like me, are in a vulnerable section of the population, either from age or underlying health issues, and we do not want to put them, or any of our members, at risk. We as your Region Committee have thought long and hard about the best way forward, and these are the results of our deliberations.

Region Day will not be held on May 17th. We are looking at various ways of incorporating elements from that day into our future programme when things return to normal. Carry on  with your ‘Pretty Deadly’ pieces, we will find a way to display these when we can get together again. We are also going to explore the possibility of a virtual exhibition - after all we may have plenty of time to work out the technicalities!

The Raffle that normally would take place on Region Day will be cancelled. Many branches have stopped meeting, and so sales are severely limited. Money already forwarded from ticket sales will be returned, and the star prize of Aurifil threads will be held over for another occasion (if it ever makes it out of Italy!).

We will soon be letting you know about the new arrangements for Kickstart. There is a lot of reorganising to do in relation to the current literary theme exhibitions, but hang on to/ complete  your work based on our poets and authors, and we will try our best to give them the airing I know they will deserved, again maybe a virtual exhibition.

The 2020/21 Kickstart would have been launched at Region Day, and we are looking at a new approach to allow it to go ahead in some form. Waiting for an innovative approach to this popular activity should keep us all waiting with bated breath through the next few difficult weeks or months. Being optimistic, we have been given the chance to review how Kickstart works, and how we can best use it to further the charitable aims of the Guild. Look out for an exciting new take on this activity.

Summer School is still within the period of time when we are going to be severely affected by the restrictions brought in to the combat the virus and will not now take place. We need to negotiate with both tutors and the venue to explore the possibilities if postponement.

As with all the events that we are hoping to postpone rather than cancel completely, we cannot start planning new dates at present as we have no idea when the restrictions are going to be lifted, but as soon as we make progress in an area, we will let you know. This itself will be difficult as branches may well not be meeting. Please check with your IT rep. that they have a way to forward information to anyone with an email address and look for ways of including others - perhaps a telephone tree. This is really important if we are to avoid some members feeling left out.

Above all - look after each other, stay in touch and stay safe,

Ann Pocklington

Chair

EMREG

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