The OS Club is approaching an end of an era in that many long standing committed Old Sedberghians are coming to the end of their active involvement. A new generation are taking over the helm.
We have therefore looked afresh at how we deliver value to our members, the details of which are included in our new Strategic Plan which can be found here. The plan itself is a thirty page document so I have summarised the salient points.
We have started by establishing our vision which is:
By whatever measure, to be the best alumni association of any public school in the UK.
While vision statements can sometimes be an unattainable dream the OS Club has proved it can be superlative when it has sufficient resources. As an example the Pilgrimage of Remembrance is the envy of many institutions around the country.
We spent a long time considering what we represent and we concluded that as a club we are about ‘friendship’, ‘heritage’, ‘support’. While friendship and heritage are already conveyed in our mission statement and are perhaps readily understood we have now revised the mission statement to include the supportive aspect of the club which will become a cornerstone of our work. We have therefore added: ‘further, to assist and promote work experience, career and professional development by harnessing the collective experience, opportunities, and good will available through school work experience, alumni and peer to peer contact and networking occasions’.
We have defined our stakeholders and recognised their importance in the Club’s future as much as our importance in theirs. Such stakeholders include, The Headmaster, Chair and Board of Governors, Bursar and current parents. We as a club need to engage with them and ensure they engage with us such that they become brand ambassadors of the Club and help to promote its virtues.
We have considered carefully the strata of members within the club. In the past we have been good at delivering value for some but not to others. Going forwards we plan to address this, particularly for younger members having a more even balance for both sexes.
There are a number of new initiatives that will be undertaken by the club. Career support is central to our plan;, new social events, which have broader appeal for all ages and sexes is another. A new communication strategy which harnesses the omni-channel methods by which our members like to receive news is also key as we move forwards.
As Chairman of the Club I have pushed for more resource. Our present Club Secretary, Nigel Horsfall, is in agreement that the club now needs a full time Club Secretary if we are to successfully implement our strategy. Naturally this will incur greater staff costs and indeed we may have to run at a slight deficit for the next two years. The Club however has strong reserves and so this does not concern me unduly. Indeed some members have already noted that there is little point in sitting on strong reserves, better to put them to good use.
I am extremely grateful for the broad support I have received from members of the Club and from our stakeholders; but it is not my club, it is Our Club. I want people to engage with its future, to be as passionate about its success as I am, and I therefore welcome comments and suggestions such that as a membership we can take the Club forwards and be the best that I know we can be.
To this end please feel free to contact me, either by email, letter or phone, through the Club Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and together we will continue to build on the fine work of my predecessors.
Jan van der velde
Chairman, OS Club