OurJourneySqAs many readers will be aware, The Bishopston Society is run by a small elected committee and a group of valued helpers. Being accountable to our members, the committee tries to make explicit the policies governing the way we work, from time to time at least.

So in late 2018 the committee “dusted off” our strategy and priorities, and now report briefly on highlights of the operational and developmental priorities it decided on.

Broadly, we reaffirmed the commitments made in 2017 to modernisation, diversification and impact. We also resolved to maintain adequate attention to our “core business” operationally, and take on carefully selected aspects of new development work.

Operationally, we aim in the 2018/19 year to maintain momentum on three priorities, ie our planning work, our public meetings and our information and communications work. We’re also trying to enhance our profile in these areas, because (warning, here’s the boastful bit) we think we’re doing a pretty good job but would like more people to know about it!

Developmental priorities also agreed included a membership evaluation and partnership development.

Student project to examine what YOU think

We commissioned an independent evaluation of the views and wishes of members and other stakeholders. We want to understand better YOUR needs, wishes and desires, how well we are meeting them, and the implications.

To achieve this, we needed outside independent support. We were pleased to be successful in making a bid to UWE for a team of business studies students taking an organisational development module to undertake a project in this area, probably involving one or more surveys.

This project is running during February and March, and TBS members and other stakeholders are getting more details about how and when you are being consulted by our student consultancy team, named "Trico Consultancy".

Traders relationships

In recent years, we’ve focused increasingly intensively on pursuing our goals in collaboration with other local organisations. Not least amongst a wide range of partner organisations and friends, we’ve being working with the local traders organisations.

Development of relationships with traders for mutual advantage in day-to-day or strategic terms can be foreseen across a number of thematic areas. Our 2018 meeting on the future of Gloucester Road, led, for example, to a range of ideas for how community organisations and traders could work together to promote both economic and social objectives in parallel with each other.

Our established warm relationships with GRBID, GRE&T and Gloucester Road Central (the key traders organisations we anticipate working with more) are showing promise in terms of further initiatives and areas for collaboration. Meetings to pursue these plans are now in hand, and some exciting areas of collaboration have already been proposed.

Resources, succession and sustainability

Finally, here’s a comment on a dilemma constantly faced by the TBS elected committee. We’re trying to be ambitious, but realistic – a key tension inherent in The Bishopston Society like most small community organisations. We’re ambitious over what we want to achieve, and how we can make a difference, but are also trying to be realistic over the resources we have at our disposal to do this.

Our main resource is the time that we, your committee members supported by a small team of valued helpers, give voluntarily. To avoid burn-out this is necessarily limited, and (being mostly of a certain age) we’re also trying to factor in succession and bring in new blood. A further example of our developmental priorities is therefore to “motivate and recruit additional helps and committee members, planning for succession and sustainability”….

….so we make no apology for ending this report with yet another appeal for help! It’s fun and rewarding to give some time up for TBS work, and of course “many hands make light work”, so if you think you can contribute, even only a few hours a month, please get in touch, and help make 2019 an even better year for the society.

Further information

A more formal, updated, statement of our strategy and current priorities is available here.

More information on your current committee, valued helpers, their roles and how you can help can be found here.