West Riding Branch Chair

We are looking for a volunteer to lead our existing West Riding branch, the local representatives of IWA. The branch is made up of a branch committee, supported actively by volunteers and in spirit by IWA members in the area.

The branch represents IWA at events, on local user group forums and at planning and political levels, as well as running a series of talks and social meetings open to all. However, this branch is low on active volunteers and feels it could do make more impact with these tasks and do more if there were more volunteers, and good leadership.

It is a requirement of this role that you are an IWA member. This role also requires you to be elected by the committee. However they are a supportive branch and will help you to feel comfortable quickly.

What does a branch chair do?

Some of these tasks can be done by others if preferred, but the overall leadership and oversight of the branch remains with the chair:

  • Provides leadership for the branch: With support of the region chair, encouraging the branch in their activities to support IWA’s objectives 
  • Co-ordinates the branch: Organising and chairing meetings as required
  • Represents IWA: At various local events - from photo opportunities to public speaking, formal meetings to quotes for the press
  • Supports branch volunteers: Planning for new volunteers, recruitment, induction, and on going support of existing volunteers

What skills or knowledge are needed?

We’re looking for the following qualities for the branch chair:

  • A natural organiser: Previous management experience is useful, but by no means essential as other life experience can be just as valuable
  • Great at working with other people: The branch chair is not required to have all the ideas or all the knowledge but does need to be able to work with other people
  • Supportive of others: Co-ordinating volunteers requires a special kind of leadership, understanding what motivates the branch volunteers and appreciating and making the most of their ideas, skills and time
  • Focussed on getting things done: Able to spot what needs doing and get on and do it – with the support of the rest of the branch committee and volunteers. 
  • Willingness to do it yourself: A key part of this role will be to recruit others and in the mean time to carry out critical tasks.
  • Passionate about waterways: Whether you jog along towpaths, skipper your boat or eat your lunch on a bankside bench you’ll need to be able to enthuse about the local waterways and support IWA – in principle and also as a member
  • Willingness to abide by the rules: All branches must follow the IWA Branch Byelaws

How much of a time commitment is it?

There are set commitments for a branch chair, which include meeting at least quarterly to co-ordinate branch activities and this includes the Annual General Meeting. Each meeting will need time for preparation, travel and attendance.  Beyond this the role is more flexible and will depend on your time available!

We suggest this role requires 12 hours per week.

This role is also officially an elected role for a term of one year. However if you’d like to try it out for size we’re willing to be more flexible.

You will receive support in this role from our current branch committee and volunteers, previous branch chair and volunteer engagement officer.

What are the next steps?

If you would like to find out more, please contact Peter Scott at peter.scott@waterways.org.uk to discuss the role and branch.

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