Dear Kewites and Friends,
Many apologies for sending out our ‘turn of the year Newsletter rather later than usual. A belated Happy New Year and hope you had a good festive season. Another 12 months has flown by and already I am well into my 4th month as President.
We have had a busy few months working on your behalf, with two Trustees meetings and continued bedding in of the new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) structure. This seems to be functioning well and although there a few glitches that we come across in our understanding of the structure, none are serious, and we are steadily ironing these out.
I am keen that we re-establish ourselves as the alumni association for the whole of Kew. As part of this, I am taking the opportunity to visit Kew’s various departments and publicise the Guild, which is already starting bear fruit with new members and I will continue work on it during the year.
We have also started work on a concise strategy document outlining our goals for the next five years, which will be available before the AGM in September.
We are pleased to welcome our new Membership Secretary, James Richardson, who is a long-standing volunteer at Kew. James can be contacted about membership matters at: email@example.com. The postal address is: Membership Secretary, Kew Guild, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE. A reminder that membership runs from January to December and 2020 membership fees are now due, unless you joined between September-December 2019, in which case your membership runs until December 2020. Membership fees remain the same as last year. We are hoping to introduce direct debit in 2021.
The website continues to be improved and we hope you find it useful. We welcome contributions from members which should be sent to our Secretary, Sara Arnold (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our Twitter account (@KewGuild) is active and if you are a Twitter user, please do follow us.
Awards Scheme and outreach
We are looking at a re-vamp of the Awards scheme to bring it more into line with the ‘public good’ requirements of a CIO. This may result in us offering a mix of awards, some of which will be for Guild members only, while others which will be available more widely. Chris Kidd, our Awards Scheme Chair, is leading our work on this.
We are also keen to encourage with outreach activities that support Guild and Kew objectives. In line with this, we co-sponsored a Discovery Day entitled ‘The World of Horticulture and its Opportunities’, organised by the Royal Parks Guild for horticultural apprentices and trainees. The event was held at Kew, with staff and former students playing a significant role.
Kew Guild Journal
The deadline for written contributions to the Journal is 31 January (apologies for the short deadline). Please send them to Sparkle Ward, our Editor at email@example.com. As always, we like to receive comments (both positive and negative!) and ideas from the membership, which can be sent to Sara (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please also email any ‘News of Kewites’ and photos to Pamela Holt at email@example.com.
Dates for the diary
Please note that, unless otherwise indicated, details about individual events will be sent separately.
26 February. Kew students supper, Ask Restaurant, Kew, 7pm. This event is primarily for the current first year Dip. Hort, science MSc and science intern students. If any Guild members outside this group wish to attend, please let Dave Simpson know by 7 February; places will be limited for non-students!
4 April. Stourhead.
21 May. Annual Dinner, Cambridge Cottage, Kew.
1 – 6 June. West of Ireland. Please contact Brian Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) for availability.
Early July. Knepp Wildland: rewilding project in West Sussex.
Mid or late August. Gardens of Kent focusing on the World Garden at Lullingstone and the Great Comp garden.
5 September. AGM, venue to be confirmed, followed by dinner/social.
22 – 23 May 2021. North Wales, based in the Conwy Valley and including Bodnant Gardan and the Ffestiniog/Welsh Highland Railways.
A reminder that it is important we have your current correspondence address (including email). Please send any changes to email@example.com.
I want to thank our Trustees, Secretary, Treasurer and advisors for their hard work in keeping the Guild ‘on the road’ over the past year. I also warmly thank you, our members, for your continued and much-valued support. Floreat Kew!
All the best, Dave