BMC Areas seek new volunteers

Posted by Tony Ryan on 25/10/2016

Do you want to give something back to the activities you love? There are lots of ways to get involved with the BMC and help shape the future of climbing, hill walking and mountaineering, including a range of vital volunteer roles at local area level.

The November round of BMC Area Meetings includes the Area AGMs, where each Area elects or re-elects volunteers to fulfil these important roles. Some roles have a maximum period of office, which means we’re currently looking for replacements for some long-serving volunteers, particularly in the role of Area Secretary.

Volunteer opportunities by Area


Lakes

 

Secretary
Clubs Committee Representative
 
Midlands Clubs Committee Representative
Area Youth Co-ordinator

 

North East
 
Secretary
 
North West
 
Secretary
 
Peak Climbing Walls Representative
Hill Walking Representative
 
South West

 
Access Representative (Somerset & Mendips)
Access Representative (North Devon)
Access Representative (Bristol / Avon)
 
Yorkshire





 
Chair
Secretary
National Council Representatives (2)
Climbing Walls Representative
Clubs Committee Representative
Area Youth Co-ordinator (Outdoor)
 
Cymru Mid Wales
 
Chair
Secretary
 
Cymru North Wales


 
Secretary
National Council Representative
Clubs Committee Representative
 
   


About the area volunteer roles

Area Chair
The Area Chair is an extremely important position within the BMC. Together with the Area Secretary it is the Chair who makes the Area ‘tick’. Candidates should ideally have some experience in chairing meetings.

The Chair must be able to ensure that meetings run to time, to enable appropriate discussion on all agenda items. He or she must be unbiased, impartial and diplomatic and be able to ‘keep the peace’ during times of disagreement or unrest, developing consensus and determining when votes are required on agenda items. The Chair should be aware of the BMC procedures and constitutional requirements related to Area Meetings.

The Chair must keep well informed about Area activities, and be able to represent members’ views in a fair and balanced manner at local, regional and national level. In order to be an advocate for the BMC, it is helpful for the Chair to develop some understanding of the BMC’s specialist work areas, finances and structure.

Area Secretary
Secretaries should be good communicators who are well organised and reliable. The main activities of the Area Secretary are to: arrange the meeting venues in accordance with the agreed schedule; work with the BMC Office to publicise and promote Area Meetings; produce agendas (in discussion with the Chair); provide an attendance sheet for meeting attendees to sign; write meeting minutes (note form – not detailed) and send them to the BMC Office; ensure that meeting action points are followed up; and deal with any necessary administration and correspondence between meetings.

National Council Representative
Each BMC Area can appoint two people to serve on the BMC’s main policy-making body, National Council, which meets five times a year in mountainous areas around the country.  After business has been concluded, members are free to spend the rest of the weekend venturing out onto the hills and crags nearby. The BMC covers travel and accommodation costs.

Their role is to represent the views of their Area at National Council and to report back to their Area on any relevant decisions or debates at National Council. Since there are two reps in each Area, meeting attendance can be split if necessary.  It is important that Areas send at least one rep to National Council. Prior to each National Council meeting, one of the reps should provide a summary report of area activities, including a report on the Area Meeting preceding the National Council meeting.

Access Representative
Voluntary Access Representatives are well established within the BMC and they play a vital role in our work with landowners and conservation bodies. Each Area decides how many Access Representatives are required and which geographical areas they cover. 

The role of the Access Representative is primarily to liaise with landowners, conversation bodies, national park authorities and others to maintain and improve access for climbers and walkers; negotiate and review of any seasonal restrictions, e.g. nesting birds; and attend site meetings as appropriate and identify any site information needs, e.g. signage. It is important that Access Representatives attend Area Meetings whenever possible; local access issues are the main point of debate at many Area Meetings.

Area Youth Co-ordinator
Area Youth Co-ordinators (AYC) report to the Area Meeting on youth-related activities. They organise and support BMC local events for young people, e.g. regional rounds of the BMC Youth Climbing Series, and outdoor hill walking and climbing events. AYCs also consult with the BMC Office on child protection issues and pass on any specific concerns to the responsible BMC Officer, so they must be familiar with the BMC Child Protection Policy and attend necessary training courses as specified by the BMC.

The AYC should be an experienced climber, hill walker or mountaineer with experience of working with young people.  AYCs are invited to participate in the BMC Training & Youth Committee and are required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

Clubs Committee Representative
The BMC Clubs Committee provides a forum for the discussion of all matters of concern to BMC Affiliated Clubs. It supports affiliated clubs by advising on specific issues, organising training events, producing general guidance on all aspects of club governance, and championing the cause for clubs.  

Each Area can appoint a representative to the Clubs Committee; all candidates must be a member of and formally proposed by a local club based in that Area. Volunteers should have some experience of club governance to join the committee, although they don’t need to be a current member of their own club committee.  Specific skills (such as legal, accounting, IT experience etc.) are useful but a willingness to contribute to meetings and projects is more important. The Area reps are key for communicating issues from local clubs through to the Clubs Committee and for communicating support, advice and information back to local clubs. 

Committee meetings are held four times a year; twice at the BMC offices in Manchester on Thursday evenings, and twice in the mountainous areas of the country on a Saturday for a longer meeting.  Travel expenses are reimbursed and food is provided at the meeting.  For the Saturday meetings overnight accommodation is provided.  Attendance at local engagement sessions with clubs (such as Seminars or Roadshows) is occasionally requested.

Climbing Walls Representative
BMC Areas may choose to appoint a Climbing Walls Representative to liaise with climbing walls and wall users and to refer any relevant issues to the Area.  Amongst other things the Climbing Walls Representative can take responsibility for ensuring an adequate display of relevant BMC literature is maintained at local climbing walls.

Hill Walking Representative
Hill Walking Representatives act as a focus for hill walking members in the Area. They work to widen the scope of issues covered at Area Meetings and increase the appeal of meetings to hill walkers by ensuring that hill walking appears on meeting agendas regularly. The representative communicates developments coming from the BMC Hill Walking Working Group (HWWG) back to the Area and relays opinions on priorities from the Area back to the HWWG.

The representative can also assist the Area in addressing hill walking-related access issues, and suggest ideas and opportunities for new local hill walking events, helping where possible.

Election process and term of office

As you’d expect from a democratic organisation, there’s an election process for these roles. The elections will be held at the November round of BMC Area Meetings.

Area Chairs, Area Secretaries and National Council Representatives are elected annually at the Area AGM, where members have an opportunity to put nominations forward and volunteer for the different positions. Nominees / volunteers are required to have a proposer and seconder, and voting is by a show of hands at the meeting. No person may hold office for more than five consecutive years; in that event a period of at least one year should elapse before they are eligible for re-election. 

Clubs Committee Representatives are elected for a term of three years, and may serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms, after which they are not eligible for re-appointment until the expiry of at least one year. If you wish to stand for election as a Clubs Committee Representative in your Area, please get an official of your club to submit your nomination, including a brief summary of your relevant experience, prior to your November Area Meeting (or as advised by your Area Secretary) to Jane Thompson, BMC clubs officer at jane@thebmc.co.uk and also to your Area Secretary.

All other Area Representatives are elected annually at the Area AGM; there is no fixed term of office for these positions.

Want to talk to someone about one of these roles?

If you have any questions about these volunteering opportunities, contact Tony Ryan at the BMC office:
Email: tony@thebmc.co.uk
Phone: 0161 438 3334

How many volunteers does the BMC have? 

Overall we have over 500 volunteers; at least 200 volunteers are involved in climbing competitions and around 60-70 help with our access and conservation work. If you add up all those involved with our nine regional groups across England and Wales and ten or so specialist committees, that adds up to another 200 members.

BMC CEO Dave Turnbull said: “One of the greatest strengths of the BMC is the partnership between staff and volunteers. As far as the office is concerned, supporting our volunteer force is one of our core priorities.”

In 2010 we started up the George Band Award for exceptional voluntary contribution to the BMC and mountaineering, to recognise the hard work of volunteers. You never know, one day you could be presented with the George Band Award yourself!

Five ways to volunteer for the BMC


#MakeWinterCount

Follow us to find out more

Instagram

 

Watch and learn: BMC TV's Winter Skills Videos

Become a winter warrior with BMC TV's skills channel. Watch the first in our series of educational winter videos:

Series one: The Basics

Series two: The Basics Part Deux

Series three: Climbing Grade I/II

How to find the right climb

READ: Essential winter know-how


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 7912 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Upcoming BMC area meeting dates
2
Upcoming BMC area meeting dates

Come along to the next meeting in your area, to discuss the latest issues and get involved in the work of the BMC.
Read more »

The George Band Award
0
The George Band Award

The George Band Award for Exceptional Voluntary Contribution to Mountaineering recognises people who have played a significant role in the BMC’s work over an extended period of time.
Read more »

What happens at BMC area meetings?
0
What happens at BMC area meetings?

The best way to find out what happens at BMC area meetings is to go along to one. They are open to all, and you’re encouraged, and very welcome, to attend.
Read more »

Post a Comment
Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Upcoming BMC area meeting dates
2

Come along to the next meeting in your area, to discuss the latest issues and get involved in the work of the BMC.
Read more »

The George Band Award
0

The George Band Award for Exceptional Voluntary Contribution to Mountaineering recognises people who have played a significant role in the BMC’s work over an extended period of time.
Read more »

What happens at BMC area meetings?
0

The best way to find out what happens at BMC area meetings is to go along to one. They are open to all, and you’re encouraged, and very welcome, to attend.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £15.72.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »