|12 Oct 2021|
|Old Berkhamstedian News|
Earlier in 2021, OBs were contacted and asked if they would like to take part in our questionnaire so we could get an idea of what you want from our alumni organisation. We had a fantastic response, 6008 questionnaires were sent out either by email or post card and we received 641 replies. A 10.7% overall response rate. We received some great feedback, whether that be for more events, different types of events, more reunions, a larger range of clubs as well as what the preferred method of communication should be.
A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our Questionnaire. It responses have been reviewed by the Committee who are now working hard to put into action some of your ideas and requests. These are starting to come to fruition and you should see some changes over the coming months.
YOU SAID .... WE DID !!
73% of you use the organistaion to stay in touch and share memories. The website is a fantastic source for photos, spanning several generations. We have stories from the archive and we have had great fun sending you photos from the period when you were at the School.
What is the most valuable benefit of TOBs, %age replies
You said you really enjoy school events and reunions. So far this term we have hosted the reunions for years 2000, 2001, 2010 and soon 2011. They are such great fun and it is so nice to see everyone back at the School again. We had lots of requests for the Annual London Dinner. This is now in the calendar and is taking place on 1 December.
What type of events would you attend?
Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions, the memorial service for JAD had to be postponed. You have asked if it is still possible for this to go ahead and we can now confirm that the service is booked for the weekend of 2nd /3rd April, so please keep an eye on the website and emails for this as plans develop.
Many of you asked for more regional clubs so you can make contact with OBs in your area. 23 of you said you would be interested in volunteering to be regional reps which is great; you will be hearing from us soon so we can get started setting up these new clubs.
As well as sports clubs, there were a signifcant number of OBs wanting more for the Arts. Previously we have held the OB Talent Show which has been a great success and we are looking at dates for early 2022 to bring this back. We have also seen a great interest in developing more activities for Art and Choirs and will be seeing how we can best facilitate this - whether back at School or elsewhere locally.
What would you be interested in taking part in
Your FAQS answered here:
What is Connections and how do I sign up?
Connections is the online hub for The Old Berkhamstedians (TOB). It is full of interesting news from the OB community as well as updates from current School life. It is a great way to get in touch with fellow Old Berkhamstedians around the world and to join existing clubs, networks or societies that aim to bring the OB community closer together. There are also back issues of both the School and The Old Berkhamstedian magazines available to peruse and you can sign up to be an OB mentor or seek help from an OB mentor. This exciting project was only launched in 2020 so as more OBs sign up the Connections network will go from strength to strength. Sign up here: https://connections.berkhamsted.com
What are the benefits of Connections?
It is a great way of getting in touch with other OBs and keeping up to date with the OB community and news from the School. As an OB you do not have to sign up to Connections but it is the best way to ensure you are getting the most out of what TOB has to offer.
Do I need to pay a subscription to be involved in TOB?
A subscription is no longer required to be a member of TOB. If you have attended the senior School or sixth form for more than one year you are automatically entitled to become a member of TOB and it is free to sign up to Connections.
How do I find a pupil or teacher I was at school with?
The best place to start is Connections as you can search on past pupils and teachers (provided they too have signed up to Connections) but you can also contact TOB via the office (email@example.com) and we will do what we can to put you in touch.
How do I hear about reunions?
TOB already organise 10 and 20 year reunions and the office will contact you to invite you along when your year is celebrating those milestones. If you have not been contacted but believe you should have been then do please contact the office. We are looking into the possibility of combining year groups for reunions as per the feedback from the questionnaire.
Will TOB help me organise a reunion?
If you would like to arrange your own reunion, and have enough interest amongst your friends, then please contact TOB via the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and they will be happy to help. These events can be hosted at school or elsewhere. We can support you either way.
Can I have a tour of the School?
In the past it has been possible to organise tours during the school day but COVID has meant that there are now restrictions around visitors to the School. We hope to bring this back once things are more settled. We are also looking to include School tours as part of bigger events organised by TOB.
How do I receive a copy of The Old Berkhamstedian magazine?
If you would like to receive a copy of The Old Berkhamstedian magazine please contact the office (email@example.com) You can then opt to receive the magazine via email or as a hard copy.
Can I view old copies of The Old Berkhamstedian magazine?
Connections has every copy of The Berkhamstedian, Girls Chronicle and The Old Berkhamstedian magazines. Visit the ‘Archive’ section via the Connections homepage. You can search the magazines by year and even for your own name! It is a wonderful resource and will bring back many a memory.
Is there anywhere I can view old photos of the School?
The ‘Archive’ section on the Connections website has a wonderful selection of old photos and stories. If you have any questions about the School Archives, any stories to tell or would like any further information then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I be more involved in TOB?
We are always looking for willing volunteers to become involved in TOB! Please contact the office if you would like more information or to volunteer.
Do I have to join the committee in order to become more involved?
No, you can be involved as much or as little as you’d like. We appreciate that not everyone wants to commit to joining the committee but may be happy to volunteer to help out at events or to bring together other OBs in their area. The annual AGM is now run via Zoom and every OB is obviously very welcome to attend.
How can I find out if any OBs live in my area?
Again, Connections is the best place to start but you can also contact the office (email@example.com) and they will be able to tell you if other OBs live in your area. GDPR regulations mean any initial contact must go through the office.
Can I help organise events for OBs in my area?
Of course. If you would like to do so please contact the office and they can contact local OBs on your behalf. We are looking to organise more regional events with the possibility of having regional OB representatives to provide a local contact within a specific area.
Can I come to school to watch sports fixtures?
Unfortunately COVID has temporarily put a stop to this but we will let members know when it's possible for spectating to recommence.
Can I attend school events such as concerts and recitals?
Similarly, COVID prevents this at the moment but we are looking at how we can involve OBs in more School events.
How can I find out about upcoming events for TOB?
TOB events will be posted on Connections but you will also receive an email with details - provided you have agreed to receive emails from TOB. If you are unsure you can check with the office (firstname.lastname@example.org)
How do I join an existing TOB club or society?
You can join via Connections. Go through the ‘Clubs’ option on the Connections homepage then click ‘Join now’ on the relevant club.
Can I suggest/start a new club or society?
Absolutely! Please email the office with your suggestions. The questionnaire gave us an idea of clubs and societies OBs may be interested in so we will be sending out more details in the near future.
How does TOB support the School?
TOB supports the School through its charitable arm, The Old Berkhamstedians Trust Company (TOBT). This contributes to Scholarships and Bursaries every year, as well as supporting successful applicants in Year 12 with Travel Grants. We also support departments within the School with donations for equipment.
How can I help support the School?
The School welcomes donations and bequests from individual Old Berkhamstedians. At the moment the School is funnelling all gifts into its Anniversary Bursary Fund - see link.
Can I support The Old Berkhamstedians financially?
Gifts and Bequests received by TOB will be used to support our members; Gifts /bequests received by TOBT will be used to support the School. Please contact the office for more information.
There was the option to be entered into the prize draw with an array of prizes to be won!
The following winners have all been contacted to receive their prizes:
David Harland, Jennifer Kennedy, Louisa Kent, Kate Smith, Andrew Barratt, Richard Flint, Nick Howell, Brian Peach, Jonny Shell, James Whately-Smith, Mike Francis, Brandon Tan, Daven Hindocha, Alex Laybourne, Cameron Crees, Robert Boulter, Jill North, Angela Kingham Morphy, Rob Plumbe, Nigel Rhys-Davies, Brian Norris, Martin Cooper, John Flashman, Susannah Clark , John Fry
Below are some of the results from the questionnaire for you to see:
What information should TOBs send out?
Profile of the respondents
What is your profession