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Thread: Question 13: Making the GAGB attractive to cahers outside of the South of England

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Question 13: Making the GAGB attractive to cahers outside of the South of England

    Hi,

    Many times I here geocachers state that the GAGB is nothing but a toothless lion that is not relevant or interested in geocaching in their area. The main areas I hear this from are Ireland (Republic and Northern), North East England, Wales and especially Scotland.

    These complaints could be brushed off as one or two 'cachers that do not know what the GAGB do, or, they can be tackled as a problem that actually exists. Evidence of the existence of this problem can be seen by where the elected committee members for the last few years have lived, where all the current candidates live, where GAGB CITO events have been held and the complete lack of interest in the GAGB by geocachers outside of the Southern England area.

    Simply stating that people from other regions should be more proactive and stand is not an answer. The elected committee need to tackle this issue and increase the interest across the whole of the UK and Ireland.

    I would like to ask the candidates how, if elected, they would engage with the general geocaching community outside of the Southern England region and promote the GAGB to geocachers who feel the GAGB is no longer relevant to them?


    :socool:

  2. #2

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    Good question.

    I think perhaps one way to look at this is to keep an up-to-date list of the regional FB groups, and to ensure at least one GAGB member is active in each of them.

    Even if they are a fly on the wall and only get involved where most needed, at least we would have some visibility of what's going on.

    Perhaps a new meeting section - kind of like regional updates could be a thing for the new committee to take forward.

    This does fall in line with something I have been thinking about in terms of structure of GAGB going forward.

  3. #3

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    I think we should post to all the Facebook groups and make sure there’s a gagb member in there and make sure we have a list of nearly all he English Geocaching groups


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    From Harri Boorman (GCHarribo)

  4. #4

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    I didn't realise that the West Midlands was in the south? Both Sharon and Ant are from there.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paperballpark View Post
    I didn't realise that the West Midlands was in the south? Both Sharon and Ant are from there.
    The West Midlands is in the southern part of the UK. This answer demonstrates the problem very well


    :socool:

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by GCHarribo View Post
    I think we should post to all the Facebook groups and make sure there’s a gagb member in there and make sure we have a list of nearly all he English Geocaching groups
    Only most of the English groups? This answer shows you have no interest in the rest of the UK and Ireland then.


    :socool:

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by N0hope View Post
    Only most of the English groups? This answer shows you have no interest in the rest of the UK and Ireland then.
    Not just England I think Ireland and well and even international if people want as well.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    From Harri Boorman (GCHarribo)

  8. #8

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    However, you did actually say "the general geocaching community outside of the Southern England region" which is a totally different thing to "the southern part of the UK".

    This is the precise reason why I am keen to promote a layer of "Friends" or whatever they would be called that would act as intermediaries between the Committee and the geocaching community as a whole, with particular relevance in those areas of the country that are further away from the main centres of population.

    We have in the past had Committee members from Scotland, Wales, the north east and the Isle of Man. GAGB have often been represented at major events in those areas, and I am sure we will continue to do this.

  9. #9

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    I am also keen to create the level of friends of the GAGB as previously stated by other candidates.
    I would also like to have area officers to assist cachers on a county level to regularly feedback to the committee.

    Also I would reach out to all caching groups as well to give a greater freedom of voice to everyone (I currently live in the North East of England and would be keen to have regular open forums for members at events during the north east with me if elected)

    In additon I would be willing to help engage the members to feel positive and engaged no matter where in the country they are.

    Also I would engage the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish groups and create a regular dialogue between them

  10. #10

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    Great question, thanks for asking it.

    The GAGB constitution (clause C) says: "the Association's objects are to enhance and progress geocaching as an activity within Great Britain and Northern Ireland".

    GAGB therefore covers England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland i.e. the United Kingdom. It is therefore no surprise that cachers in the Republic of Ireland call the GAGB "irrelevant" etc. - because, based on the constitution, it is. However, I believe that GAGB has not (since its inception) and should not ignore Ireland altogether. There should be a close link, and I would be happy to see our work extended into Ireland in some way.

    Sometimes, GAGB committee members do live in the same region, or neighbouring regions. Last year, committee members were barely spread across the UK. One thing I would like to point out is that we have actively encouraged cachers in other parts of the UK to stand for election, or nominate someone from their area. We have had committee members from Scotland and Wales in the past. There is nothing whatsoever preventing a GAGB committee from consisting of members from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Nothing. People need to be willing to stand themselves to make that happen.

    The most enthusiastic people, with a good vision and time to give should stand for election - wherever they are - to deliver for everyone across the UK. If (by chance) they happen to be concentrated in the same area, then so be it.

    Now, moving on to a possible solution. I think the establishment of GAGB Friends would help tackle the 'irrelevance and lack of interest' issue. We need members all across the UK who are willing to spread the GAGB word, explain what we do, organise GAGB events, negotiate local landowner agreements, write Seeker articles relevant to their area, etc. This would be the best way to promote the GAGB, make it seem relevant and increase interest. This would be a fantastic way to engage our members. More obviously, GAGB (committee members or Friends) should be present at as many events as possible - from pub meets to Mega's. Our roving events should continue to travel Great Britain. Increasing our visibility to a greater degree across the entire UK would help us seem more relevant. Finally, the work we do (in terms of land agreements, answering queries, solving disputes etc.) should continue to be spread across the UK, and this should be shared more widely to demonstrate that GAGB still works in and cares about every area.

    If re-elected, I would be enthusiastic to increase interest in GAGB and make it seem more relevant across the entirely of the UK.
    GAGB Committee Member
    2015-20

    Author of my Geocaching Blog ~ SUBSCRIBE.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by N0hope View Post
    The West Midlands is in the southern part of the UK. This answer demonstrates the problem very well
    What complete b*****ks. The West Midlands is in the MIDLANDS - hence the name. The people concerned aren't anywhere near 'the south of England'.

    Given that you're in Scotland though, I suspect you'd think of anyone in England as being 'in the south', so why don't you just say 'Making the GAGB attractive to cachers outside of England' instead?

  12. #12

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    Firstly, let's define "southern" properly. About half way up the country is Newcastle upon Tyne, but more than half the population live within the London TV area! Hardly surprising that it's relatively rare to get a Scottish committee member (hi Jackie! And Hi Jacquie!).

    GAGB were proud to get Border TV involved in the Caledonian Cache Festival - two committee members ran our stall there (not me). We have pegged the Red Arrows video (Wales!) to the FB page too. Seeker had a great article about the Lake District. But these are not things that will satisfy your question, I suspect.

    At the end of the day it's about helping and doing things where we are wanted and needed. We've not held a roving event in, nor had a committee from London, and nobody thinks we are neglecting them. However we were invited to Scotland, we did help when Wales wanted help, we have donated to Devon, we've been to Yorkshire, we do what people want, and we help where we can. It's all about being volunteers, and if someone in Scotland (or NI, and so on) needs help and asks GAGB, I strongly suspect that if we ask locals, we'd get plenty of kind people to help them. We are geocachers, all of us are nice, right?

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    ~~~
    Ant, of Sharant

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paperballpark View Post
    What complete b*****ks. The West Midlands is in the MIDLANDS - hence the name. The people concerned aren't anywhere near 'the south of England'.

    Given that you're in Scotland though, I suspect you'd think of anyone in England as being 'in the south', so why don't you just say 'Making the GAGB attractive to cachers outside of England' instead?
    Clearly you did not read my original post or my reply to you correctly. Misquoting me as saying "South of England" clearly shows this. Also assuming that because I live in Scotland makes me racist towards the English Quote: " I suspect you'd think of anyone in England as being 'in the south'," clearly shows your own lack of understanding about other cachers. I am Yorkshire born and bred, lived in Sussex for many years and then in Buckinghamshire for even longer before moving to Scotland in the last few years.


    :socool:

  14. #14

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    Thank you all for your replies and they have really helped me make up my mind who to vote for.

    My original wording was deliberately provocative to see how each candidate would respond. The nice thing was that the majority of candidates who chose to answer did not pick issues with the area I highlighted and then be defensive that they are mainly from a small(ish) part of the GB but answered the two questions which were asked (how you would engage with those who feel the GAGB is not relevant and how to engage with a wider audience).

    Personally I feel the best response would have been that in this modern age it does not matter that all the candidates are from the South of Great Britain (not England) and that better local communication is the key. Clearly UKCACHEMAG, Griff Grof, geocaching womble, border caz and Antreid gave good answers that covered these points. Thank you for those responses and a special thanks to Griff Grof who clearly spotted my deliberate red herring about the Republic of Ireland, you sir have definitely got my vote!

    I just feel it is a shame that not all the candidates felt they should answer


    :socool:

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by N0hope View Post
    ...my deliberate red herring about the Republic of Ireland...
    Sneaky! However I'd like to mischievously point out to you that you've 'red herringed' yourself, as we do cover 'all' of Ireland when the opportunity arises. When I was editor in 2016 I was really proud of the three Ireland-focused articles we had then. The trip report to Dublin certainly led to me having firm plans to go caching there (folks - did you now you can do a day trip Liverpool-Dublin for about £20 in early January? To get (arguably) Europe's first Geocache! Bargain!) just as soon as I can work out who to donate my children to, LOL.
    ~~~
    Ant, of Sharant

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