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! Crewednews November '16

Each month, your 14 team leaders meet to exchange information and resolve the periodic challenges that crop up regularly in any operational business. We generally reach conclusions on quite a variety of issues that affect some or all volunteers.  But sometimes we're not so hot on communicating changes.  Hence, the decision to try out a new regular digest for you, the lifeblood of Waterways Experiences.

This issue is a catch up one - it includes items from both October and November meetings. Normally it'll be shorter, so please stick with it!  

Feedback please! It's not a one way street - please email with any questions, comments or information for inclusion in the next issue - copy deadline, 15th December.  

Thanks to everyone who submitted the RSVP via the form - great response. Some people just replied by email, so didn't get to tell us the other important info needed by safety team.  If this includes you, please click here even if you're not coming to the AGM .  ALSO, the agenda papers now include the statement of accounts. 

Accidents sometimes happen when boating - ask Martin Power.  Although our procedures are designed to minimise risk, there's no knowing when the worst might happen from a lapse of attention.  
Trustees and Team Leaders need to know that they've taken all reasonable measures to keep passengers and crew safe, and this includes ensuring that crews include competent first aiders.  
A perk of being a WExp crew member is that from January, you'll qualify for FREE first aid training.  Don't miss out - you never know when it'll come in handy, whether while working for WExp or at any other time.
Watch this space for booking details.  
In similar vein ...

There were THREE near misses on the boats during September.  
  • A slip when walking across a lock gate,
  • a flying windlass
  • and a volunteer cutting his hand on a rusty nail. All of these were preventable.
TAKE HEED everyone!
Berkhamsted Santa's Sleigh

Once again John Bennett is looking for helpers for this very worthwhile annual community fund-raiser, organised by Berkhamsted Lions. There was a good turnout of WExp volunteers last year, and a good time had by all.  

Please contact John if you can help ...
  • Sunday 18th Dec, 3.40 pm - 8pm
  • Meeting place: Clarence Road garages (Berkhamsted, behind the Police Station)
Has your CCBM expired?
If so, if you haven't already done so, please drop an email to Barbara Lefrevre to register for the RYA test.
Do we have enough fun?

If you'd like more, in the form of more frequent social events for volunteers, please send in your suggestions.  
Increasingly we're finding that clients are making generous donations 'for the crew' at the end of a trip, and usually, the skipper hands this over to the Finance Team for banking.  Our treasurer is now recording these donations and trustees are keen to ensure that the money is used to reward crew efforts. 

STOP PRESS:  date just fixed for another volunteers' social trip Saturday 4th Feb. Watch for booking info in CrewedNews 2
On board entertainments

The Marketing team has been busy tidying and improving the collection of pastimes available to passengers, particularly those less able to get involved on deck.  

When you're crewing, please tell the passengers about these, and at the end of the trip, ensure that they're all packed away tidily in the new plastic boxes. 
Questions or comments?  Contact Davina Lines
Help our clients to shout about us!

A new supply of the maps, folded to make a WExp leaflet has now been delivered.  Before you cast off, please make sure there's a supply on board AND as passengers leave after the trip, please hand a copy to each of them.  This will help ensure a continued regular stream of bookings from clients'  friends & relatives, thereby reducing the need for more expensive forms of marketing
A big 'thank you' from the Marketing Team
Messages from Marion ...

1) Join her for decking the boats in their festive garb on Weds 30th Nov.

2)  She's considering adding a fleece gilet to the range of items - please let her know if you'd be interested so she can guage their viability.

Email Marion
Boat cleaning
This has been a bit of a vexed topic of discussion at several TL meetings recently.  Volunteers tend to fall into two groups - those who are passionate about cleaning, and the rest.

 First impressions count, and it's important to our reputation that high standards of cleanliness prevail.  The feedback data that we collect through the post trip online survey shows that this is the one area where some clients (though not many) DON'T give us top marks.  

Skippers' views appear polarised on the amount of time it's reasonable to ask volunteers to spend cleaning,

There's been debate on the feasibility of paying for boat cleaning, but the general view is that this shouldn't be necessary and could indeed prejudice our strong, all-volunteer culture.  Besides, the management of a commercial cleaning contract would itself represent a significant challenge. 

So the verdict?  Really just to ask all crews to do the best they can and before locking up the boat, cast a critical eye over things as if you were the next passenger to step on board.  We're going to try and improve the checklist a bit to help, so watch this space. 
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