Ramblers Association Doncaster Group
Minutes of Committee meeting held on 19th March 2018 at The Three Horse Shoes
Committee Members Present: David Gadd, David Horne, Bob Carlisle, Peter Rowsell, Tony Liversidge, Peter Gravestock and Martin Wyman.
Apologies received from: Marion Thompson, Owen Evans, Tony Marsh, Dave Binnington, Dennis Neal and Jim Elvidge.
- Minutes of previous meeting 15th January.
Minutes confirmed as accurate DG/DH.
- Matters arising from those minutes.
- Walking Festival.
BC said things were proceeding very well, the organising group has had their last meeting, and a briefing session for leaders and back markers had been arranged for April 12th at Finningley. All participants will receive a plastic wallet with an information pack including registration forms which can also be used for pre-booking. Ramblers pens and badges will also be available.
BC provided a copy of the leaflet for review plus a mock-up of the poster. There had been a slight glitch in the printing of the leaflet, but they will be ready next Friday and available for collection on Monday 26th. DMBC will distribute to doctors’ surgeries, libraries, Tourist Information and Leisure Centres.
Booked walks might give some idea of the numbers we can expect, but this is a big unknown. BC said if we can average 20 people on our walks he would consider it a success. BC will ask Dean Wiffen if he can help with a promotional stand in the Frenchgate, Go Outdoors have also offered to host one.
- Financial Report.
DH said that we could see from the financial report that we had been paid £50 incorrectly by Foothills. This should have been sent to Rotherham, DH has sent the money on to them.
The donations to Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Edale Mountain Rescue had been paid. MW said he had been asked to bring forward the decision on which charities we would support in 2018, and suggested it would be a good time to vote on this. DG proposed that we contribute to Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Edale Mountain Rescue again, seconded DH, agreed unanimously.
No money has been received from Area, DH to chase.
- Publicity Officer
Carrying on as usual. PR suggested we could take out a paid advert for the Festival, perhaps in Today at £25. DG did not think this was worth it.
PR said that in the week the Festival begins he was trying to get a place in the ‘top 10’ in the Free Press and a spread in the walking section. DG added that the FP had a full spread of GDW and could we not have the same? BC will ask Dean Wiffen to submit our leaflet, BC to liaise with PR.
BC said that neither Rosie Winterton or Ed Miliband could attend, but would try Caroline Flint again.
- Walks Programme Update.
PG had just picked up the Summer Programmes from Hilda, and offered copies to Committee Members. PR took the remaining copies, plus some Heron Way circular walks packs from BC.
- Rights of Way Report
MW said there was not a lot to report. 25 paths had been walked so far, mostly by Dianne Scolari. There had been no further developments concerning the Network Rail requests to close railway crossings used by rights of way, either by diversion or extinguishment of the right of way.
- Social Report
BC said that plans for the day trip to Rippon were well advanced with three walks planned.
DG has booked The Waterwheel for Tuesday 11th December.
DB has suggested the Ukrainian Club for the AGM, BC to ask DB about progress.
11 . AOB.
DG presented a report on the Get Doncaster Moving Workshop - Civic Office, 16th March 2018.
Emma Wilson ran the workshop
DG and PR represented Doncaster Ramblers.
The need: 25% of DMBC adult population take less than 30 minutes exercise per week, one of the least-fit local authorities in the UK. Hence they have been given government money to remedy the situation.
DMBC has formed the Doncaster Active Travel Alliance, which has a cycling strategy, but no walking strategy, and there is no over-arching strategy. This strategy is in the process of being written. Today’s meeting will feed into the strategy.
We had a session on the current ‘walking festival’ (I did make the point that a 12 month series of walks cannot be a festival. EW agreed totally and future leaflets will refer to a ‘walking programme’.
There are currently two leaflets per year, promoting community walks between 2 and 6 miles, with approx 27 walks per 6 months. EW said that the best attended were Doncaster Ramblers walks, although I’m not sure that this was accurate.
In addition DMBC provides 16 unled walks, 3 unled trail walks and 2 challenging walks (Cusworth 5.8m, Fishlake 5.3m). (All on DMBC’s website).
We discussed the appearance of the current leaflet. We discussed the issue that very few ‘new’ walkers attend GDW walks and how this could be changed. DMBC’s community officers look to start walking groups in their area, possibly by book-ending them onto an existing group.
We did SWOT analysis of the ‘festival’ but got a bit bogged down in training/insurance issues more relevant to the ‘Walking for Health’ programme, which is for people recovering from specific conditions i.e. heart attacks/strokes, hip replacements, etc. Strengths were the enthusiasm of leaders, the state of the RoW network and the number of green spaces/parks in DMBC. Weaknesses were the lack of enough leaders (leader training was discussed, plus the amount of bureaucracy involved, most of which Doncaster Ramblers leaders are not required to follow). Opportunities were to provide weekday walks, to promote via the programme via major employers, to promote via social media. Threats were a lack of funding to pay for training/first aid equipment,
We then looked at gaps in what walking opportunities are provided with Doncaster. The major issue appears to be that what is being offered is very fragmented. Also, the benefit of offering a particular interest and to try to attract younger people - 700 people turning up to a Pokemon themed walk was mentioned when that craze was at its height, Easter egg walks, geo-caching walks, as well as heritage-themed walks, etc.
EW then briefly talked about what other authorities are providing viz the Selby doorstep trails. EW told us that DMBC was working on a new website to feature physical activities in DMBC. Presumably Doncaster Ramblers would have a link.
A follow-up meeting is planned in 6-8 weeks time.
MW was asked whether the Thursday Interchange walks could be integrated more. One issue is that there is no Programme published in advance, members are emailed with the details of walks in the first week of each month. Also there is a shortage of leaders: DG said he was happy to lead a walk if required, as was TL. MW said he would speak to Beryl Clarke and Janis Maynard about this, and the possibility of providing more leaders if appropriate.
The meeting closed at 20:38.