Dear county bridge colleagues (All county shareholders, Chairmen, Secretaries and Youth Officers)
I am writing firstly to introduce myself. As you may be aware earlier this year I joined English Bridge Education & Development (EBED) as its Chief Executive Officer.
I'd like to take this opportunity to give you an update on achievements of the charity in recent months. We have been busy both with 'day to day' activities as well as special projects, such as; the launch of Fast Track Bridge, revision and updating of Practice Play books, review of policy and guidance for youth bridge, revision of teacher training course and revision of Club Director training courses. More details on all these projects can be found below.
We have completely updated all our safeguarding policies and we continue to recommend that counties, clubs, teachers and other bridge organisations adopt similar policies. These policies cover not only juniors under the age of 18 but also vulnerable adults. Everyone needs to be aware of their responsibilities in this area and how to act whenever they may face a potential issue. Richard Banbury is our Child Protection Officer, and is able to provide further advice on this as well as organising DBS checks for volunteers who may need such a check.
We have produced a new Youth Handbook as a guide for county organisations who may feel daunted or uncertain as to how to get a junior bridge club up and running at a local school. EBED can not only provide general advice and put you in touch with a network of other junior bridge enthusiasts, but also to fund the supply of the basic equipment needed. Please take the chance to find out more about this and also our Junior Award Scheme on http://www.ebedcio.org.uk/youth
Twice a year we arrange for junior bridge players to visit the House of Lords for a tour of the buildings and some Minibridge/bridge. At the end of November, 19 children from Bourne Academy & Uppingham School had the chance to pit their skills against some of the peers.
The club director training course has been shortened to three days and the material revisited to bring it into line what most clubs want from their directors. We also continue to provide seminars as updates on directing matters, both generally and on the new laws, as well as on the use of EBUScore and to support the new EBU forum for club directors to share information and discuss problems. https://www.ebu.co.uk/forum/ New flowcharts have just been published reflecting the impact of the new laws – we know these are very popular with many directors. EBED has also taken over responsibility for the County director training program – with both the Advanced TD course (ie County TD prep day) in the Spring and the September training weekend in Coventry. If you would like to encourage more players to become directors in your area, then please contact Richard (firstname.lastname@example.org) to help set up a suitable course. Course information and calendar can be found here http://www.ebedcio.org.uk/td-training.
One innovation to help meet the needs of directors in the northern half of the country is that in 2018 the Advanced TD course (also known as the County TD Prep Day) will be held twice – in Leeds (March 24th) and in Aylesbury (May 12th). Please encourage the leading club directors in your region to come to one of these days in anticipation of attending the County TD training weekend in the future. Please contact Richard for more details.
New to Bridge
We are also currently running a free Minibridge Simultaneous Pairs event for all new bridge players, whether junior or adult http://www.ebedcio.org.uk/node/219. Please do make sure that all your teachers are encouraging their beginners to take part. We can email all the necessary info upon request. Similarly we will run a similar national free Student Sims Pairs (suitable for either Minibridge or Bridge players) over a four week period starting mid Feb 2018 – open to anyone attending lessons, supervised play or similar. Teachers and clubs can pre-register now – please contact Richard.
Please also remember that EBED exists to promote bridge to anyone regardless of EBU membership – so we always appreciate your help in passing on information about our activities to non affiliated bridge clubs and teaching groups in your area. Regular updates on EBED projects will continue to appear on our page in English Bridge and of course our website www.ebedcio.org.uk
Please can I ask that this information is passed to your county’s membership in order to make them aware of EBED’s importance to the future of bridge in England. I would also greatly appreciate if you could publicise the links to our web pages on your own and club websites.
Kind Regards - Donna Wright
Chief Executive Officer - English Bridge Education & Development