Here’s a round-up of some of the many issues the management team have been dealing with over the last few months - there's plenty going on!
Volunteers and employees
It’s been a good season for attracting volunteers. We’ve recruited a new equality and diversity officer, and a partnerships officer - whose job will be to build contacts to help effective campaigning. No less than three legally qualified members have volunteered to help British Naturism with legal questions, complementing the work of Peter and Christine Wright, whose roles are unaffected.
And we were delighted to welcome on board Georgia Williams as our new customer services assistant.
But there’s no getting away from the fact that we are still carrying key vacancies at Board level. Appointment of a new Finance Director proved to be short-lived, when the person appointed concluded that he wasn’t able to give to the role the time it required. The management team will be looking at ways to lighten the load of this role, including the possibility of buying-in some services.
And we still lack a Chair, although Jon Williams has been an excellent vice-chair.
One new volunteering role is the Clubs Officer (log in required). Following last year’s consultation of BN’s clubs nationwide, we see this as a key role in improving the representation of clubs within BN, and also in providing support directly to clubs.
It goes without saying that we would welcome expressions of interest in these, or any other, currently vacant roles.
British Naturism: Sunfolk
We still await a decision on our application for planning permission for the various improvements we want to make to the site. It has taken much longer than we were given to understand it would. Consequently, we’re having to postpone some of the improvement work we hoped to start this autumn. That’s a disappointment, but we’re happy that so many people have been able to enjoy Sunfolk this year even before the work has been carried out.
The end of lockdown has enabled dozens of events to take place across the country and the management team have been managing, supporting, and advising on many. To mention just three, the Naked Heart Walk at Painshill Park in Surrey raised some £26,000 for our charity of the year British Heart Foundation. The first ever, and well-supported, guided naked walk took place across Morecambe Bay. And Nudefest, one of BN’s flagship events, was a great success despite disappointing weather.
Naturism is Lawful leaflet
We've worked hard on creating a new resource for Naturists, taking the form of a web page, a downloadable A5 document and a business card-sized item available from the BN shop, which has been really well-received by those who enjoy the great outdoors without clothes. They explain that Naturism is lawful in concise language, in a format that can be given away to people naturists might encounter.
We’re delighted once again to be working with Dr Keon West. His latest project concerns the relationship between exposure to nudity during childhood, and various types of adjustment or maladjustment as adults. We hope that this will add to the weight of evidence showing that those who are exposed to nudity at an early age typically have greater body-confidence and self-esteem when they are older.
We’re currently consulting on BN’s Regions. The organisation is split into six regions whose role, among other things, is promote Naturism, provide opportunities to practise it, and to represent members and clubs at Executive Committee level. The consultation asks members what they want from their regions and seeks views on how well the current arrangements are working. A separate, more technical, consultation seeks views on various proposals for modest reform. The results will be examined by the Regional Structures working group. The deadline for responding is 31 October.
The AGM in 2020, held online for the first time, attracted the largest attendance in living memory. We made the decision to hold this year’s AGM online too, since it makes the event so readily accessible for most members.
As well as the formal business, this year's AGM this coming weekend will include a “state of the nation” address from BN President Mark Bass, and an opportunity for questions and answers.