Find out what your student club volunteers have been up to over the last few months.
Welcome to the first blog by the BMC's Student Panel! It's a strange time at the moment, with almost all club activity stopped by restrictions due to COVID-19. It's been great to see clubs pulling together and members supporting each other while everybody is in isolation. If your club is facing any particular issues, don't forget you can get in touch with oursleves or the BMC Office for advice. But while we're all cooped up inside, your BMC volunteers are still thinking about how we can best support our clubs, once we're all unleashed to get back out doing what we love again!
Before Christmas we put out a call for new volunteers from student clubs to fill a vacant student rep position and to fill our revamped Student Panel to help drive the work we do to support the BMC's student clubs. We're pleased to say that a group of talented keen beans have stepped up, and we're ready to get going as a group. From now on, we intend to regularly blog about the work we're doing to keep students in the loop, let us know if you have any comments/feedback!
Firstly we welcomed Lizzie from the University of London Mountaineering Club as the new Student Rep. She sits alongside continuing rep Mike S representing the interests of your clubs on the BMC's Clubs Committee, as well as helping to lead the work of the Student Panel. We should also say a massive thank you to Mike Jimenez, the outgoing Student Rep who has come to the end of his term. Mike J has been a committed volunteer for the last six years and has put in a huge amount to help support student clubs.
We've also welcomed Harry, Isaac, Luke and Jarek who join our Student Panel. The Panel is an evolution of our old Student Advisory Group, and we're hoping the the group will be able to make the BMC's support for its student clubs much more student-led. We've spent the last few months getting used to new ways of working together, and discussing ideas of how we can start to evolve training, resources and communications for students. We'll introduce and get to know the new panel members in a future blog.
The BMC has recently produced a draft strategy for how it will evolve its support for its clubs over the coming years. The Panel had a really good discussion on the document, what it might mean for student clubs and submitted some feedback on behalf of clubs. We'd really encourage club committees have a read of the strategy and submit their own comments too; you can find out more about the strategy in this short video:
Finally, we've briefly discussed our first big project for the next few months, to produce some technical guidance for Students' Union Officers on how to support university mountaineering clubs. We know clubs and SU relationships can sometimes be difficult, and we want to produce guidance that helps clubs and SUs understand how student mountaineering clubs should operate. More info will be coming out on this over the next few months, but we're keen to hear from anyone with ideas or who could contribute, get in touch with Mike or Lizzie below.
Over the next year, we'd also like to start pieces of work on improving communications, helping students continue their club career after graduating and looking at what training we can deliver for clubs online. In the meantime, don't forget that if your club is having issues or if you need advice on anything to do with running your club, then remember you can always reach us via email (below) or on Facebook Messenger.
Hopefully by the time we next blog we will all be back out exploring the hills again!
Student Clubs Rep
Meet your Student Club Reps
Mike Spooner & Elizabeth Porter
Mike has been a BMC Student Club Rep for the last four years. He's finally no longer a student, having clocked up over eight years with Southampton University Mountaineering Club, including a couple of shifts as president and doing other committee and SU jobs along the way.
Lizzie is a current student at Imperial College London. She was introduced to climbing four years ago by the University of London Mountaineering Club and has been on their committee ever since. During this time she also volunteered as a student clubs representative with the University of London Union and has been actively involved in a number of other student climbing clubs.
Mike & Lizzie sit on the BMC Clubs’ Committee. Their job is to represent the interests of student clubs on the committee and help communicate the work the BMC does to student members. They also lead the work of the Student Panel, to shape the support the BMC gives to its student clubs. So if there's any issues you think we should be talking about, thoughts on what the BMC could do better or problems that you need some help with and are not sure who to ask, then get in touch!
📧 Contact Mike here
📧 Contact Lizzie here
DOWNLOAD: the shiny new BMC RAD app
Get all the info on crags with the newly updated RAD (Regional Access Database) app from the BMC! Available now for Android and iOS, it's free and comes with a host of new features like navigation and parking, weather and tidal updates, and of course information on restrictions or notes on access advice. Get it here now!
RAD is community led and your comments help keep it up to date so don’t be afraid to add any relevant information after a crag visit which might be useful for other visitors – anything from conditions on the crag, favourite routes or reports of rockfall/other recent changes to the crag are all useful for other climbers visiting.
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