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A Letter From The Association Chairman

Dear Association members,

It is almost 2 months since I assumed the role of Chairman of the Rifles and RGBW Association and to say it has been a steep learning curve would be an understatement.
I am still in the fact finding/research phase and trying to understand a). What is the role of the Association as we grow older? b). What do the Association members want? I think it is fair to say that the answer to both questions differs depending upon length of service, Regiment served with and a million and one other factors, so please bear with me whilst I learn more.

My immediate findings fall into the following categories and my observations are included.
 

  • Communications – I have yet to work in/with/for any organisation that has excellent communications, and the Rifles & RGBW Association is no exception. The Association has no desire to close any Facebook Groups/Pages etc, nor to use a one size fits all approach. However, with all the Association members being volunteers I am keen to reduce the burden on them, whilst improving communications. Listed at end of this message is a list of the communication portals we will use to send out details of Association matters. Individuals are actively encouraged to share any newsletters/messages far and wide on social media, or to friends they know who do not have access.
     
  • Social Media – Not all our Association members use social media, or the same platforms, indeed some do not have access to e-mail, which provides unique challenges in itself. We will use Rifles & RGBW Facebook and Rifles & RGBW Website as the primary site for Association matters and ask everyone to repost/share to sites they are members/administrators of.
    If you have not already joined the Facebook Group and the Website can I please ask you to do so, so that we can keep you informed about all Regimental Association matters?
    We do not have a Twitter/X account and currently I cannot see the need for one. Please let me know if you think otherwise.
    You may not have heard about SWIFT, which is the RIFLES wider Social Media network and is open to all Association members. It is easy to join, just follow this link and register – https://theriflesnetwork.co.uk
    I have picked up on the fact that many of you feel that the SWIFT network is too broad and does not meet your needs. I have been speaking with the Trustee responsible and hope to have a meeting with him and our branch chairmen to see how it can be adapted to help us. More news to follow. Meanwhile, I would encourage you all to register and obtain an account as I am sure we can do more to use it to the Association’s benefit.
     
  • In Memoriam – Sadly hardly a week goes past without hearing the news that someone who served in our regiments has passed away.
    The Association tries to ensure that we support the family at what is a very stressful time. This includes booking a bugler through the Army (if possible and the individual fits the category for having a bugler provided at MOD expense), arranging for Standard Bearers and Standards or ensuring a regimental wreath/flowers. Unfortunately we struggle to get all the information we need to provide timely support.
    We have a simple form available on the website (Rifles & RGBW Website) where we can capture all the details we need (it will also be able to be sent out in paper form, if needed).
    It would be incredibly helpful if you would go to – Service details, where you can enter your service details, to be used as the basis of an obituary
     
  • Welfare – Welfare is handled by the Rifles and unless I am told to the contrary is working well. If you are aware of anyone needing welfare support, please do not hesitate to send an e-mail to myself, or the Secretary (contact details below).
     
  • Branches – It is a delight to see the branches thriving and the allocation of funds for an annual event seems to have been well received and working to the branches advantage. If you have any observations and ideas for how we might improve on the current arrangements, please do let me know once you have discussed it with your County Chairmen, who are doing an excellent job and providing an invaluable service to the Association in helping the branches run smoothly.
     
  • Meetings – Although I try and follow as many Facebook groups etc as I can I am sure I do not have a full picture of some of the excellent gatherings that are taking place not just across the Southwest, but across the rest of the country and world-wide.
     
  • Forecast of events – We are working with the Webmaster for the Association (Rifles & RGBW Website) to:
    • Provide a Calendar/Forecast of events where members can see what events are taking place throughout the year. If you do have an event coming up, can I ask you to ensure that County Chairmen add it to the calendar on the Website?
    • Create a ticketing portal to allow individuals to book tickets for Association events and pay electronically so that branches are released from some of the admin burden.

Please feel free to e-mail or phone me if you have any observations/ideas on how we can best support our Association members, wherever they might be. 
I look forward to hearing from you.

Kindest regards,

Jon

Key Contact details:

Jon Wort
Chairman, Rifles & RGBW Association
chairrgbwassn@gmail.com
Mobile: 07753 816598

Steven Bowkett
Secretary, Rifles & RGBW Association
thesecretary@rgbw-association.org.uk
Tel: 01367 240531


Primary communication channels:
The RIFLES Network
Rifles & RGBW Website
Rifles & RGBW Facebook
Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Rifles Berkshire & Wiltshire Museum

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