My name is Hilary Jackson, and I am the coordinator for Region 10 (The East Midlands) covering Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland.
How did I get this job? Well, I’ve been a member of The Guild for almost 30 years and I’ve attended Area Days, read The Quilter and taken part in a variety of events during that time, including every Conference & AGM since 2005. When I retired from a lifetime of teaching young children I had intended to spend my life making quilts and reading novels! It wasn’t long before I was persuaded to take on the role of Young Quilters’ Representative and I had a great time. I then agreed to become the Area Representative for Nottinghamshire, and hardly had time to get used to that role when our Regional Coordinator’s three year term was at an end and I was persuaded to take on that role.
I am now halfway through my time as coordinator and the last eighteen months have been very varied. I never quite know what may pop up in my email box but that’s what makes it so interesting. I have had all sorts of requests from information about local quilt groups, to someone expecting I could sell a deceased relative’s craft supplies on behalf of the family. I get many letters and emails with feedback about the work undertaken by the Region 10 Committee. Knowing people have enjoyed events makes the job worthwhile.
I do try to remember to check for emails every day to keep up with important information but that’s not a big job. My busiest times are close to our Area and Regional Days, making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible on the day. We are fortunate in having a fantastic Regional Committee who all work well together. We plan a programme of interesting and varied speakers and workshops for Area Days, and we are always looking for new ideas for events – some of which are successful and others less so – but we are willing to try new ideas! One of our great successes this year was an English afternoon cream tea arranged to welcome a party of quilters from New Zealand.
I feel the biggest challenge for me has been to do with the recent technological changes in how Regions communicate due to GDPR. However, having said that I am excited by the increasing use of the Guild’s Facebook page to connect with other members and I am a great fan of Instagram which I find a very positive forum for the exchange of ideas and the opportunity to admire other people’s work.
Day to day tasks include keeping up with information sent from York, welcoming new members with a letter and a copy of our regional magazine, Cobwebs, and organising committee meetings. Over the last eighteen months we have coordinated quilters throughout Region 10 in a project to create a quilt to mark 400 years of the story of the Pilgrim Fathers’ journey to USA. We have taken part in the ‘Get Creative’ initiative and we have represented The Guild at the Newark Show where we made a quilt over the three days to inspire people to join our friendly world. I do try to attend all our events, sometimes this is not always possible but I know I can rely on other members of our committee to support events throughout the Region.
The best aspect of the role of coordinator is the connection with people in real life. I get to meet and talk to so many people. I have made good friends from being actively involved in The Guild.
One of the highlights of my time as Regional Coordinator must surely be the forthcoming Conference & AGM here in Region 10 in 2019. It’s a great honour to host quilters from all over the UK and I look forward to welcoming our visitors next year. There is a lot of organisation involved but also a lot of fun planning a varied programme of interesting speakers and workshops.
If you are a member of The Guild who enjoys spending time with other quilters and you have good ideas for events in your Region, I would encourage you to consider volunteering to be a coordinator. There is plenty of support available both from the local committee and the other coordinators you meet at national events.
Region 10 Coordinator