Branches Forum Liverpool 8th September Attendeees Annette Smith Director of Regions and Branches Joanna Rooke Manager of Regional Programmes Jenny Beard NSEW Officer Natalie Broadhurst Regional Programmes Assistant Pam Buchan Regional Officer, North of England Cass Beddoe Regional Officer, Wales Sandy Smith Regional Officer, Scotland Phil Brown Regional Officer, East Midlands Dan Richards Regional Officer, South of England Peter Reed West Midlands Chris Smith Derek Smart West Midlands Lorelly Wilson North West Branch Stuart Pullinger West Scotland Georgina Humphreys West Scotland Nigel Over Edinburgh Sue Bird Aberdeen branch Prof Brian Ratcliffe Aberdeen branch Robert Gates Lincolnshire Branch Margaret English Richmond Scientific Society Beatrice Downing North West Tim Gabriel West Yorkshire Eric Albone Bristol and Bath Andy Newsam Merseyside Roger Long Cumbria Jim Brightwell Hampstead Huw James South Wales Hannah Crookes Tayside and Fife Jane Magill West Scotland Iain Murray Tayside and Fife Introductions, news and updates Joanna Rooke welcomed the branches to the forum and thanked them for their attendance. Joanna updated the forum on: 1) Changes to the regional team. Natalie Broadhurst joins us as the new Regional Programmes Assistant. If you need any resources, need to add anything to the website or have anything for the monthly newsletter please let her know and she will be happy to help you. Dan Richards joins us as the new Regional Officer for the south of England. Dan’s area spans from Cornwall to Kent and as north as Oxfordshire. Dan is working hard to revive dormant branches in the south. Thames Valley, Bedfordshire and Devon are in the early stages of recruitment. He is also setting up a third branch in London and has seen a lot of interest from young people in the region. Cass Beddoe the Regional Officer for Wales is leaving us at the end of this week. She is emigrating to Australia. We have appointed her replacement. Pam Buchan the Regional Officer for the North of England will soon be going on Maternity leave, we are appointing her replacement. 2) The BA is changing its name to The British Science Association. The name change will be launched in December 2008. The full name is to be used not abbreviated to BSA to avoid confusion. Please continue to use the old logo until the new one is launched. Any publicity material with the old logo that is already in use or has already been produced can continue to be used. All BA baners will be replaced and new marketing material will be sent to branches. We will send more information out to branches closer to the time. 3) Child Protection & Vulnerable adults and Risk Assesment. If you have regular contact with children or vulnerable adults you need to be vetted. We have a code of conduct that needs to be signed. A copy of the BA code of conduct can be found on our website. All new volunteers need to be made aware of the BA code of conduct. Please return copies of this to your regional officer or to Natalie Broadhurst at BA head office. Branches supervising activities for both young people and adults should be alert to possible hazards and ensure that safety precautions are taken. A basic risk assessment should be completed before any events. Basic risk analysis forms can be found on our website. 4) We have been given 10 books of paintball tickets. If any of the branches can think of any ideas of how to use them please let us know. Annette Smith updated the forum on news from the Young Peoples Programme (YPP) and CREST. We are working on redeveloping CREST, we are getting CREST accredited and making the silver award more in line with the curriculum. CREST star is celebrating its 1st birthday and is doing really well in attracting new schools to the award. The national celebration for CREST projects has joined forces with the Young Engineers, ETB and a wide range of other science organisations to put on one large, all encompassing fair to inspire the public and promote the wonderful work done by these students (aged 12-19). Please see the website for more information on CREST and UK Young Scientist and Engineers Fair. Best Practise session – challenges for new and established branches Tim Gabel from the West Yorkshire branch gave a talk on newly formed branches and how he got involved with the West Yorkshire branch. Pam Buchan the RO for the North of England managed to persuade him and some other people to form the branch. Tim is an academic industrial lecturer in chemistry, he organises events in schools and other organisations. He has found that supporting other events and getting involved with other organisations in the area is a good way of getting the BA name exposure and to recruit new members. He has also found that recruiting people from Universities can be a good way to get your branch going as you can get access to facilities at universities and room hire quite cheaply. Careers Europe was used to recruit members to get the branch started. There was a general discussion about this and ideas such as organising guest speakers for a lecture series and working with organisations such as MENSA were discussed. If anyone is interested in working with MESA please contact us and we can get you in contact. Members also expressed an interest in working with other branches to learn and share ideas. Some tips for new branches were covered: • Collaborate with places like the University of the Third age. • Get well networked; get a good variety of people on your committee. • Get members involved with branch activities by using their field of interest. • Let people know that you are flexible and that the roles within the branch can be flexible to. Roles can be split between people if necessary. • Try to use the expertise of the members of your committee • Contact your local council for contacts of arts groups that it may be possible to collaborate with. • Remember the Regional Officers are here to help you with anything you need. If anyone has any strategies or suggestions on ways to recruit new branch members please let us know. Talk about NSEW and branch plans Jenny Beard the National Science and Engineering Week talked about NSEW. NSEW will be taking place on 6th-15th March 2009. This year the theme for the Week is ‘Change’. This broad theme was chosen to enable the Week to support and fit together with Darwin200 (a programme of events celebrating Charles Darwin’s discoveries) and the International Year of Astronomy, both happening in 2009. NSEW is all about people who organise events and the BA will give you as much support as we can to help you to organise your events for NSEW. Please register your events on our online system. This allows people see what events are happening in the week. We can also offer you press support, Lisa Hendry our press officer here at the BA is happy to give you help with local press and writing press releases. We are also working with a PR agency to try to get national coverage for NSEW, hopefully even more than we generated last year with the Big Question. The BA produces a series of free marketing materials each year for NSEW. These include leaflets, posters and bookmarks. To order your free materials please fill out an online request form. This allows you to order up to 250 of each item. If you would like more please email email@example.com. All orders will be sent out in January. If you’d like to hold an event for NSEW why not come along to our free information sessions! This year we are developing the sessions to include more information and be of benefit to a wider audience. Whether you have never organised an event before or regularly get involved in NSEW – these sessions will be useful. We are holding a number if information sessions for NSEW across the country.The information sessions will be split into three sections and will include the following (varing depending on the region): 1. Talk on NSEW. This will include information on available funding, free resources, opportunities, planned competitions, national projects and more 2. Talk(s) given by contributors or partners to NSEW. Will include a range of information on Darwin200, International Year of Astronomy and from NSEW organisers 3. Networking and brainstorming session. Opportunity to network and brainstorm with others who organise science and engineering events Information sessions will also include a display of hands-on ideas and potential activities taken from the free NSEW challenge packs. All events are free but pre- booking is required. Food and drink are provided. We have logos and graphics for NSEW available for you to use, if you require any please let us know. Funding Applications for our Small Grant Scheme for Schools are now open. If you work with or know an eligible school in your area, please pass on this information to them so they can apply for up to £500. Eligible schools must either; 1) Have a high proportion of pupils who are from black or minority ethnic backgrounds 2) Have a high proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals 3) Be a school which has low attainment in science subjects 4) Be a small school based in a remote and rural location The grant scheme is open to any state school within the UK and schools must fall into at least one or more of the eligibility criteria. Priority will be given to schools that either meet more than one of the criteria or can provide a strong case for falling well within a single criterion. The deadline for applications is Friday 28th November 2008. Please see the BA website for more details about the small grant scheme for schools. Please be aware that a number of funders who award money for science and engineering related outreach events have their deadlines coming up soon! 1. RCUK. National Science & Engineering Week Awards (NSEWA) 2009. 13th October 2008. 2. ESRC. As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, funding is available up to £2,000. Deadline 9th October 2008 3. Institute of Physics. Public Engagement Grant Scheme. Deadline 7th November 2008. 4. Science and Technology Facilities council a. Small Awards Scheme. 17th October 2008. b. Large Awards Scheme. 14th November 2008. 5. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. PPE Award. 11th November 2008. 6. Royal Society of Chemistry. Education Initiatives Fund. 31st October 2008. 7. Royal society. Education Partnership grant. Friday 7th November 2008. 8. Wellcome Trust. People awards Scheme. 10th October 2008 We also have BA strategic grants available as well as grants from the Scottish government and the Welsh Assembly. Improving the BA regions and branches – review of HQ objectives from last forum Joanna reviewed the objectives set out at the last branches forum . 1) Website. It was asked if branches can edit their areas of the BA website. The IT manager is looking into this. It will however need people to be trained and manuals. Hopefully this will happen next year. Philip Brown updated us on the following tasks that were assigned at the BA Branches Forum in Newcastle in May 2008: • Create a BA branches blog with branch level access to edit their own sections/ consistent branding and message / flexible / linked into BA site. • Investigate interactive web 2.0 tools and linking/embedding other sites into the BA site, e.g. YouTube, Slideshare etc. Report back to the branches on what can be done on the BA site. • Can JM teach web editors to do embed pages? • Investigate weekly email of web stats to ROs and branches. • Investigate feasibility of online meetings (for branches/ROs and central office) Branches Blog • Create a BA branches blog with branch level access to edit their own sections/ consistent branding and message / flexible / linked into BA site. There is now a google map on the website and a flicker account available to branches, the flicker account is a way to showcase what the branches have been doing. We are always looking for new content for the website from branches. Please send us regular updates of what you have been doing along with pictures so we can put it on the website. The branches area is currently being improved to make it more user friendly. Every Branch of the BA has its own page on the BA website in the “In Your Area” section. However, Branches are welcome to submit more content for the BA website if they would like. We would like to add information such as: a) Details of upcoming events b) Reports, feedback and images from previous events c) Projects in the pipeline d) Opportunities for volunteers e) Information about partnerships and sponsorship f) Biographies of Branch members and speakers g) News and information h) Changes to contact details i) Anything else you can think of! Text should ideally be in plain text format, but word / PDF is fine. Images should be submitted as jpegs (separate to the text). Please note images for all pages except the galleries will be cropped and/or resized to 200x150 pixels to fit on the templates, if they haven’t been already. Additionally, please limit your emails to 2MB or contact the team if this is a problem. Images are best when they are fun, bold and interesting. Think action shots! Remember that the images are small, so close-up photos work best. Images don’t have to be too specific and can illustrate an abstract theme of the text. 2) Building membership lists You can become a supporter in a couple of ways: a) online at www.the- ba.net/communications or b) complete a registration form (requested from and sent by the Supporter Development Team - firstname.lastname@example.org). To become a member, individuals must also sign a statement agreeing to abide by the BA’s statutes - www.the-ba.net/the-ba/AbouttheBA/Have_a_Say.htm Once registered as a supporter, you can opt in or out to receive various supporter communications from the BA – see www.the-ba.net/communications and click on “Receive News” in the left hand column for more details. • If new Branch members are registering, they should indicate they are part of the BA Branch to the supporter development team or to the Regional Programmes Assistant. Branch members will also automatically receive bi- monthly e-newsletters from the regional team in central office in addition to other BA communications. • Supporters who select “Information on events and activities from your region or local branch of the BA.” will be added to the supporter lists which are circulated to branches. In order to build up the BA’s supporter base, it is really helpful and important to record the contact details, and particularly postal and email addresses, of your event attendees – these can then be forwarded to the BA supporter team to add to the BA’s central database at email@example.com. When asking event attendees for contact details, branches need to be clear on what these details will be used for and we therefore need to put a data protection statement on any form requesting details. In order to comply with the Data Protection Act, the following statements should be included on any data capture form. “The BA is a small, supporter-based charity. We ask your permission to contact you to let you know about BA activities, local events and supporter opportunities. If you wish to hear about these programmes or supporter opportunities please tick this box now.” “The BA operates in accordance with the Data Protection Act; we may pass your details on to other carefully selected companies whom we believe maybe of interest to you. If you DO wish to receive mailings from other organisations please tick this box.” Although people have requested communications from us, email data protection also requires that every email we send gives people the opportunity to opt-out. Please include the statement below in email communications, this will give the supporter team the opportunity to update the BA database. “Please Note: The BA respects your privacy. If you do not wish to receive emails regarding our work please let us know by forwarding this email to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the title 'unsubscribe'.” All contacts forwarded to central office (who have ticked to receive information on activities, local events etc) will appear on the supporter lists circulated to Branches every month. The supporter lists you receive show the contact details of all the people in your area that have opted to receive information on regional events and activities. It also lists the date on which they were added to the list and the date on which they are due for renewal. When a supporter is due for renewal they will receive an email asking if they wish to remove themselves from the list. Supporters will only be removed from the list if we receive instructions to do so. If branch members are aware of any incorrect contact details on the supporter list, e.g. you know if people have moved or you receive bounced back emails, please inform the supporter team on email@example.com so that they can update our central database – these incorrect details will then be removed or changed for the next months list. Proposed strategy for branches Theme: The Evolution of Communication We propose to ask all BA branches if they would like to submit an idea for an event based around this theme. This topic was chosen to be flexible but also to fit in with the Darwin celebrations. In reality, the fundraising may or may not come too late to tie in with Darwin (depending on who the funders turn out to be) but the theme will also stand alone. More information on this will be sent to you soon.