When we think of HELOA, we often think of the Group meetings, training and networking events, but we don’t always think of the back of house activities which keeps the association going. Yes there is a team of volunteers at group and national level which changes from time to time, but the Office is the one constant that ensures everything runs seamlessly.
One of the most essential roles is responding to member queries, which can range from quick responses, to more complicated items which are brought to the attention of the UKC. The main time you hear from the Office is when renewals approach, a member changes institution or there is a change of primary contact. The Office liaises across the UKC to ensure each system is set up and for a member everything happens quickly and problem free.
I write this as we fast approach AGM and National Conference. There have been a few changes to the national Exec in the past year and the Office has kept supporting us to ensure everything is ready for this big event. I certainly couldn’t have done all the jobs that are required if it wasn’t for Dawn and Louise. Finding the best way to conduct a hybrid AGM, ensuring that all documentation are correct and key deadlines are met, comms plans are in place are just some of the examples that the Office are currently working towards.
As National Conference is a training event it seems only fitting as well to mention how much support the Office gives the Training Team, to ensure packs are made and that delegates receive all the correct information in plenty of time. Each year throws different challenges and some examples from this year are the Office making the necessary preparations to incorporate Associate members, supporting the training team with our covid protocols and problem solving for a Wi-Fi blackout during AGM, so that voting can still take place.
As a charity we are governed with the task of ensuring we do our best for the students we work with. Our Code of Practice and Standing Orders determine how we operate and it is the Office who keeps checking alongside the VC for Governance that these are kept up to date.
It is hard to believe that there are only two members of staff, based at Edge Hill University, who supports all of us throughout the year. As new in my role I couldn’t have got through the past through months without their support. In such few words I couldn’t detail the multitude of other roles that they carry out each day. What I can say on behalf of all of the membership is thank you for supporting each and every one of us.