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I can’t believe it’s been a year since I stepped up and volunteered to be a committee member for the CIPD Central London branch.  At the AGM (held in the awesome The Office Group facility in the Shard) I made my pitch as to why I wanted to be a branch member and then had a nervous wait to see if I’d been elected.

I was first approached to join the branch by the Vice Chair, Fiona McBride.  (If you don’t know Fiona you are missing out – through her consultancy Fiona McBride Consulting she works with organisations, teams and individuals to develop their training capability.  But in honesty she is much more than that.  She’s one of the two founders of LndCowork (along with Michelle Parry Slater), Community Director at Facilitation Shindig and an active member of the Lnd Connect community hosting Unconferences along with colleagues across the UK.)  She’s a someone I have worked with and greatly respect.  I knew she had got involved with the CIPD Branch the year before and that she was keen to bring new people to the committee and provide a great offering to CIPD members living and working in Central London.

She’s pretty convincing when she wants to be so after some thought about why I wanted to be a volunteer I stepped up.

Now in all honesty I have had a little love/hate relationship with the CIPD over the years. As an interim and independent consultant I don’t believe that they offer much for my professional development or particular circumstances and my reasoning for upgrading to Fellow in 2012 was to boost my CV in a market where employers want the badge.  For many years I couldn’t justify the membership fee for what felt like a magazine subscription and little more.  That has changed over the years and is continuing to improve, the introduction of the Work magazine for Fellows providing richer strategic content has been one particular positive.  I realised that if I wanted change and improvement sitting on the sideline bitching about it wasn’t helpful.

So I decided that I would make a difference by working with them, being inside the tent and it’s been excellent.  Do you go to Branch events where you live?  If not you should find out about them.  There’s a group of volunteers giving up their time and sharing their expertise to put on events throughout the year to help and support local members.  Across London there are up to 8 events each month ranging from Employment Law Updates to Student Conferences to session on Coaching for Change.  There is a small fee for the events to cover the costs of the room hire.

This year I have hosted and co-hosted a few events.  I ran an event with a lawyer and PR expert on Gender Pay Reporting, hosted a Diversity and Inclusion question time and cohosted an introduction  to Social Media.  I have learned and developed and met some brilliant CIPD members, students and others living and working in London.

However, I am having to step down as I moved out of London during the last year and am now living and working in the Cotswolds.  As such I am not able to commit to the branch as I would like so I am putting out a call for folk to step up and put themselves forward to join the committee.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my year, and will continue to support the Branch when I am in London and now supporting my local branch here is Gloucestershire.  So if you would like to give a little back, support your fellow professionals, develop your skills by hosting and organising events all whilst working with a great team and building your network this is perfect for you.

If you are interested please contact Fiona either on twitter @fionamcbride or via email to clondonvicechair@cipdbranch.co.uk .  The AGM is on the 15th May where elections will take place.