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News from the LDWA


A summary of the recent work of the National Executive Committee

Posted on 2021-10-27

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NEWS FROM THE NEC


OCTOBER 2021


Over the last few months, as ‘normal service’ started to resume throughout the groups with full programmes of social walks being advertised, and challenge events being organised again, the National Executive Committee were able to turn their full attention once again to the work in progress before the pandemic hit.  As well as this we are progressing with actions in our Business Plan and of course we are excited about our plans for celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2022. 


In this newsletter I will be covering progress on the following topics:



  • LDWA at 50 – Our Anniversary Year

  • Review of Charity Status

  • The Trans-Pennine 100

  • Update on Replacement of the IT System

  • Posts on the National Executive Committee

  • The Local Group Representatives’ Weekend


LDWA at 50 - Our Anniversary Year


It’s getting very close to 2022 and we have a lot of exciting plans coming together to celebrate our 50th Anniversary year.  After a challenging time for all of us over the last 18 months it has been a real pleasure working with members of the NEC and the Local Groups to create a programme of activities and events. 


Very soon we will be able to unveil the 50th Anniversary logo, chosen by Phoebe Smith our President from the competition entries.   We will use this throughout 2022 on event publicity, promotional materials and merchandise. 


Many of our groups have come up with new, imaginative and interesting social walks and challenge events throughout the year with a 50 theme.  An exciting development within this is the ‘Big Walk’ where quite a few groups are putting something on over the longest-day weekend in June.  How good would it be to get as many of our members out walking at the same time all over the country and sharing their sunrise-to-sunset experiences on social media and in the special Striders that will be published during 2022.  We think we may hit the headlines with this too!  If you haven’t let Karen Pickersgill know what your group is organising yet, don’t get left out, contact her with your plans at groups@ldwa.org.uk


 LDWA Cookery Book Cover


The draft cover and an example of what a Local Group Recipe page will look like


 Example Local Group Page


We are in the process of collecting recipes for the LDWA Cookery Book – Walking with Cake!  But there will be so much more than cake recipes inside.  We already have contributions from many individuals and groups – don’t let your group miss out – we would love to have something from each one.  Does your group have that favourite dish always welcomed by participants at your challenge events?  Or do you have a go-to calorie-bomb home-made snack you wouldn’t mind sharing?  We will also have special contributions, and recipes from our past.  The book is going to be published in a wipe-clean cover – suitable for all kitchens – and in a lie-flat format, so you don’t have to use your phone to keep the pages down!  Each group and contributor will receive a free copy.  We plan to have it ready for launching at the AGM in March and it will then be on sale through the LDWA Shop and on Amazon.  Contributions with a recipe, a photo and a few words about the group, the contributor, the dish or the event or area it comes from should be sent to Julia Warman at membership@ldwa.org.uk


Phoebe is also working with us to get some Anniversary publicity in national magazines, on the radio and on television, so watch this space for more news.


And we have a few surprises up our sleeve which we’ll be telling you about nearer the time.  If you have any ideas you’d like to share feel free to contact me to get them included in the special 50th Anniversary programme at chair@ldwa.org.uk


Review of Charity Status


NEC were asked to investigate the feasibility of LDWA applying for Charity status at an IT Workshop while discussing options for fundraising for the replacement IT system some time ago.  The focus at the time was on being able to take advantage of the additional funding available from Gift Aid.  Though this had been investigated at least twice in the history of the Association it was important to see whether the environment had changed and whether it was an appropriate move to make at this time. 


Therefore, I brought together a panel comprising:



  • Ken Falconer – LDWA Vice-President, Former Chair, Secretary and Editor

  • Tony Willey – Former Chair and Treasurer

  • John Elrick – LDWA Treasurer

  • Stuart Bain – LDWA Risk Officer

  • Julian White – LDWA Communications Officer


and myself, all of whom had had experience and knowledge of Charity and not-for-profit sector organisations in the recent past.  All were asked to consider their experiences and review current rules and regulations pertaining to Charity status prior to the panel coming together.  At a meeting in September all of the information that had been exchanged in advance was reviewed and a detailed discussion ensued.  It became apparent that there were other significant factors associated with obtaining Charity status in addition to any potential financial benefits, including governance and structure, administration, management and reporting.  Other factors including image and process were also taken into account. 


In brief it was felt that there were current issues around the administration, monitoring and reporting which could in time be overcome with the introduction of the replacement IT system.  However, it was felt that the implications for the autonomy of Local Groups, especially relating to ownership and control of funds would be insurmountable.


The full details of the discussion and the rationale behind the decision not to proceed with pursuing Charity status at this time are contained in the paper Charity_Sub-committee_Recommendations_Sept_2021.pdf


If you have any further queries on this topic please contact me at chair@ldwa.org.uk


Trans-Pennine 100


Trans Pennine 100


As I write this there were almost 250 people already on the pre-selection list through SiEntries for the Trans-Pennine 100 which is happening over the weekend of 3rd – 5th June 2022.  The walk starts and finishes in Wombwell, Barnsley and begins on the Trans Pennine Trail. It continues to Oxspring where it passes many historical and architectural sites then from Thurlstone we gain height to appreciate expansive views over Wooldale, Holmfirth and The Holme Valley.  Dropping down for a late afternoon dinner the route ascends onto The Pennine Way with a short hop to find the summit of Soldier’s Lump on the iconic Black Hill. 


The route carefully descends Laddow Rocks on the Pennine Way then views over Longdendale in the evening light promises a more gentle section along the Longdendale Trail.  The Pennine Bridleway follows and you arrive at the eastern edge of The Great Ridge. For most, this will be the early morning section of the route and even in the dark this undulating boundary of the Dark and White Peak will be a highlight of the route. 


We are promised breakfast in the Hope Valley with the route ascending then traversing the gritstone edge of Stanage towards Moscar.   On to The Sheffield Country Walk, back across the River Don and into Wharncliffe Wood the route then enters Skelter country.   Eventually we reach the last checkpoint at Elsecar, leaving the last few miles back along The Trans Pennine Trail (Barnsley Boundary Walk) and the completion of the 2022 ‘Hundred’; The Trans-Pennine 100.


It promises to be a great event and I am already excited to have applied for the marshals’ walk so that I can be ready to meet, encourage and congratulate everyone on the main event at some point over the weekend.


If you want to know more about the event then check out the TP-100 website.  And if you are planning on entering but haven’t got round to it yet head over to SiEntries  and get onto the list. 


There are still opportunities to qualify - check the website for more details. 


If you fancy helping out over the weekend and are not already committed then check if your local group is running a checkpoint or contact T-P100_Chair@Hotmail.com or ldwa100sara@yahoo.com to see what you can do.  It will be great to see you there at our flagship event in our 50th Anniversary year.


Replacement IT System


Our IT system is not only the public face of the LDWA, it is also the engine room and the operations and communications hub of our Association.  Our membership system, Local Group websites and the Long Distance Paths database absolutely depend on it.  As you will know, it is a bespoke system, written for us 20 years ago and it has been creaking for some time.  We have to rely on technical and coding specialists to keep it running, but we can no longer do any of the business-critical developments and it is becoming increasingly expensive just to keep the system operational.  Now that we have contracted for the maintenance of the current system we have some breathing space to start the work necessary to plan for and scope what we need in a replacement system.  Work has already begun with 5 workshops at NEC and Local Group meetings.  Thanks to everyone who has taken part so far.


 Brainstorming the replacement IT system requirements 


Brainstorming the replacement IT system requirements


The next steps are to:



  • Further Develop the Project Plan

  • Establish project structure

  • Perform Requirements Analysis (High Level)

  • Decide on the Scope and Prioritise

  • Define the Phases

  • Decide on delivery approach

  • Decide on Commercial approach – plenty of options to ensure value for money and cost effectiveness, e.g.

    • In-house tailoring of bought in out-of-the-box modules

    • Engage with existing providers e.g. eTempa

    • Full blown tender or small scale tenders as and when we need the capability

    • Use contractors




Until we identify the scope in terms of needs, wants and priorities, in reality it is impossible to say how much the whole replacement system will cost.  However, as a result of two legacies and the contributions from Local Groups and Challenge Events over the last two years, we do have enough to start the process outlined above. 


If we plan, prioritise and schedule a modular approach to development, testing and release over 2 – 3 years we will also be able to manage a phased release of funding over that time.  This approach means that we can focus our attention on defining and specifying the system and carrying out the feasibility pilots to minimise disruption or downtime.  It also means we can plan for further fundraising or allocation of surpluses to align with the project timescale and phased release of developments.  As of October 2021 we have in the order of £132,000 in the IT Fund and we will continue to welcome contributions and donations.  


At the time of writing we are still seeking a volunteer with project management skills who might be able to spare a few hours a week for several months to work with me and the IT Team.  If you think you might be able to help and would like to know more please drop me an email at chair@ldwa.org.uk and we can have a chat.  You’d be playing a part in helping to shape the future of our Association.


We will be giving an update on overall project progress in each issue of Strider but if you’d like any further information at any time please contact ITManager@ldwa.org.uk


 


Posts on the National Executive Committee


Do you have a couple of hours a week to spare, are happy working with an enthusiastic team, are familiar with computers and using the internet and would like to play a part in shaping our Association for the future?  As I write this we are still welcoming nominations and applications for four posts on the National Executive Committee to take effect from March 2022.  All roles are for a period of four years and the role descriptions are in the LDWA Toolkit


NEC informal


NEC Walking the Walk, Talking the Talk and Eating the Pizza


You could be part of this team.


The LDWA National IT and Internet Officer has a great team supporting the work with Pete Buffham, the IT Manager and the IT Support Team.  This is an exciting time to be working in this area as we roll out our Digital Transformation project.  For more information if you might be interested contact Stuart Bain, our interim IT Officer at risk@ldwa.org.uk for a chat.


We are looking for someone who is organised with an eye for detail to volunteer for the role of General Secretary.  You would need to be patient, but firm and experience in herding cats would be an advantage!  You would be need to be comfortable working on a computer, as all of our meeting documentation is kept online.  You would work closely with me, the Chair, but also all members of the National Executive Committee.  You would also have a small team to help with the arrangements for the Annual General Meeting in March each year.  If you would like to know more about this role please contact Madeleine Watson at secretary@ldwa.org.uk who will be pleased to answer any questions.


The Long Distance Paths Officer is an umbrella role, working with a great team, covering a number of inter-related areas.  Our Long Distance Paths database is considered to be one of the jewels in the crown of the LDWA and the role is not only to ensure we remain the primary source of information on all things LDP but also to raise the profile of this resource and to work with the NEC in advising on it’s promotion and development.   Our Hill Walking and National Trail registers are part and parcel of this portfolio, being closely aligned to the paths database, and again you would be working with a great team of volunteers in managing and developing this aspect of the role.  If you would like more information or are interested but have any queries please contact Stuart Bain at environment@ldwa.org.uk who would be delighted to have a chat.


    Lairig Ghru 


One of the 1,500+  paths in our Long Distance Paths database


And last but not least – our internal magazine Strider, by members for members, is seeking a new Editor.  Unlike the other roles which can be managed on a regular basis throughout the year as and when time permits, Strider is published three times a year to strict deadlines, therefore the work tends to be in peaks and troughs.  This is a great time to be joining the wider team in producing our internal magazine, which will be part of the wider coordinated communications package including social media and the future development of an online magazine.  For more information Julian White at communications@ldwa.org.uk will be delighted to answer questions or have a chat.


 Strider cover


A colourful Strider cover


The nomination/application form for all of roles should be completed and returned to Madeleine Watson by 31st October.  With this very short timescale, please contact Madeleine at secretary@ldwa.org.uk if you are planning to submit an application.


Local Group Representatives’ Weekend


This year the Local Group Representatives’ Weekend is back live once again and is being held at Haworth Youth Hostel from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th November.  As usual the weekend is a mix of informal and formal sessions, with the topics proposed by the Local Groups themselves.  It promises to be a very full, varied and interesting weekend.  If for some reason your group was unable to send a representative this year but you would like the opportunity to contribute or input to any of the topics to be discussed over the weekend, or link into the formal Sunday morning meeting by Zoom, then please contact Karen Pickersgill, Local Groups’ Officer  at groups@ldwa.org.uk for a copy of the outline programme or a link to the meeting nearer the time.  This is your chance to help the NEC understand how we can better support our Groups and I am looking forward to working with the Local Group Officers again.


Local Group Representatives at work 


Local Groups Representatives in a workshop session at the Local Groups' Weekend


If you would like to get in touch with me about any of the above topics, or any other LDWA matters I would be delighted to hear from you.


Julie Cribb
Chair, LDWA
October 2021

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