The CIPD branches continue to provide resources and support for the profession #HRtogether

By Louise Nuttall, Chartered MCIPD, Branch Chair, CIPD Swindon and North Wiltshire

From the start of the coronavirus crisis, many members looked to their local CIPD branch for resources and support as well as events and networking opportunities that were swiftly adapted to accommodate lockdown. Below one volunteer branch chair, Louise Nuttall, Chartered MCIPD from Swindon and North Wiltshire branch shares how her branch responded and the impact this had with members and the wider profession.

Over the past few months our branch has seen a huge amount of change due to the crisis. We are a relatively small branch, both in geographic spread and numbers of members. This means that historically all of our events were held face to face. Of course, this posed a bit of a challenge for us operating in a way we have not experienced before. 

From mid-March, we had to suspend all face to face meetings, so we ensured that our members were updated throughout by the weekly newsletter.  Once we were provided with a Zoom licence we set up about four events in close succession, this ranged from drop in sessions to virtual workshops.

All branch events are open to members and other people professionals, regardless of where they live.  Moving to online events has provided a further opportunity for people from any branch area to join the Swindon and North Wiltshire events.

In addition to this one of my aims was to increase engagement and our social media presence of our local branch.  We have now updated our Facebook and LinkedIn accounts and have created a new Twitter account – you can follow us at @cipdsnwb. We are finding Twitter useful to push out central CIPD content, webinars and articles and also what is happening at a local level to publicise our online branch events. This is helping to keep our members engaged in conversation, between our virtual meetings as we build a following.

I couldn’t have done this without a fantastic committee, all of whom were also busy managing the crisis in their day jobs.  We have a range of skills and specialisms in the branch which has proved useful, some of us are more comfortable with technology than others, but as time goes on, all of us are increasing in confidence.  As chair of the branch I couldn’t be prouder of what we all have achieved over a short space of a very difficult time, and how well it has been received.

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