7 August 2018
In 2013 (with trepidation) I volunteered to join the Eastern Region Committee, a little bit concerned about what I was letting myself in for if I am honest! My main reason for putting myself forward was I felt the region was lacking in free, good quality CPD events for members plus I was keen to feel more involved in the Association. I used to read the Building Engineer journal and there was only one event a month for members in the whole of the Eastern Region, which was in King’s Lynn. It is quite a large geographical region so was reaching around only 20-30 members. On joining the committee there was a drive for more Centres of Excellence (CoE) to be created in all regions to support a greater number of members which the current President, David Taylor, who is in the Eastern Region himself, is keen to continue to promote.
I subsequently set-up the Norwich Centre of Excellence. I still organise and facilitate the monthly CPD events in Norwich with the assistance of a few supportive local committee members and the excellent staff at CABE HQ. Compared to when I joined, we now have a strong regional committee but are always looking for other members to join to give a greater breadth of experience to feed into the wider Association. We are especially keen to speak to anyone who feels there is a lack of CPD offering in their local area and would be prepared to start-up another CoE.
I think this applies to most regions, but especially those regions covering large areas, so more centres will help avoid members having to travel excessive distances to get the benefits of knowledge sharing.
In my experience, the hardest part was finding a suitable local venue that was cost effective, flexible and with good transport links. Once I found the venue it was just a case of setting a regular day and time for the monthly events to suit myself and the members. Then there was a raft of good quality presenters that we, as the wider organisation, have to call on plus I used my own contacts I have built up. Following on from the success of King’s Lynn and Norwich events we now have numerous Centres of Excellence running, with more on the horizon; plus some excellent other larger day CPD events in the region that are not only great to help you meet your CPD requirements but also for forming new business contacts and friendships.
Fortunately, my current and previous employers have been very supportive of the work I do for the CABE both on the committee and on becoming a Board Director last year. This is because they can see the benefit not only in terms of my own personal growth but also the benefit to the construction and property industry in a wider sense. Therefore, if you have supportive employers or work for yourself and can spare a relatively small amount of time, I would encourage you to contact your regional Chair listed below to get involved as it isn’t as much work as you may think, but you will get more from it than you imagine.
Darren Burrell - Eastern Region Committee
- Eastern: James Sizer – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southern: Michael Wadood – email@example.com
- South West: Robert Gary – firstname.lastname@example.org
- East Midlands: Kevin Blunden – email@example.com
- West Midlands: Michael Idowu – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wales: Gerard Walsh – email@example.com
- North West: Christine Leigh – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Yorkshire and Humber: John Loom – email@example.com
- Northern: Russel Urwin – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Scotland: Andrew Turriff – email@example.com
- Northern Ireland: Joel Howson – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Southern Ireland: David Courtney – email@example.com
- Enquiries – firstname.lastname@example.org