WWOOF in the city

Jul 9, 2017

Holly Cross, meeting organiser par excellence, tells of our adventure.

‘We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.’

It might not at first glance seem an appropriate quote for the meeting of WWOOF UK staff and directors we had in July in Birmingham, but stay with me. Martin Luther King wrote this in a letter whilst incarcerated in Birmingham jail. Okay… it was Birmingham Alabama, but still. This leader of people, writing generally of humanity, could just as well have been addressing the WWOOF community specifically, and speaking of the way humans interact with all the living things in the world.

end of the day and stlll smiling

Thus, Central Birmingham (England) was not necessarily a natural choice for a WWOOF team meeting; we have been in the habit of having our meetings somewhere rural with the chance to be outside – but as an experiment in saving time and money, we were trialling a one day meeting in a central place. We chose Cherry Reds, a very welcoming cafe only two minutes walk from the train station. They gave us a private room papered with maps, into which the afternoon sun streamed and in which we devoured tasty goat cheese sandwiches and homemade falafels. 2017 marks ten years of WWOOF’s Co-ordinator, Scarlett and our Finance Administrator, Christiane having worked for the charity, so the ‘map room’ hosted the marking of a decade of dedication when the directors started proceedings by giving Scarlett and Christiane cards and garden vouchers.

Nim and Taryn in a kind of post-meeting euporia

As a contrast to those combined twenty years service, the single garment of destiny seemed to be knitting itself around us as we also welcomed Emma Johnson to her first Council meeting. Emma attended the Members Weekend in Cumbria last October, and when staff and directors realised what a wonder-WWOOFer she was, they invited her to join this meeting and consider being a director of WWOOF UK. One of her many skills is in strategy and marketing, so it was really useful to have her input at a time when we are working out how to upskill the team to allow us to reach the goal of ‘telling WWOOF’s story and share our values and ethos at every opportunity’.

Holly and Christiane paying the bill – good job the finance person’s there

Despite being on a straitened budget this year, this meeting in the Midlands’ sunshine confirmed how well the WWOOF UK team is working together – the directors agreed that this organisation is being run well by a positive, innovative staff team. Furthermore, in this network of mutuality it must be said that without the willingness of the directors to give their time, expertise and careful consideration, this would not be the great charity to work for, and be a member of, that it currently is.

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