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St Boswells office wins Union recruitment honour

The Membership Flame – an NFU Scotland award that recognises outstanding efforts in recruitment and retention of members - has gone to the Borders West team of Richard Forsyth, Rory Murray, Laura Bell and Joyce Grigor based at Newton St Boswells. 
 
Looking after 470 members and six different branches – Selkirk, Hawick & Jedburgh, Kelso & St Boswells, Peebles, Newcastleton and West Berwick – the Borders West group is the largest in the Union.
 
In 2016, the office increased its membership and hit its subscription income target for the year.  It also recruited 22 new members including several local businesses to the Union’s Professional Membership category.
 
The office has taken the innovative step of hiring Joyce Grigor to assist the group secretaries one day a week with membership enquiries and subscriptions. 
 
Gavin Millar of Timpendean Farm, Chairman of the Hawick and Jedburgh Branch said: “It gives me great delight to congratulate the team at Borders West on receiving this award.  I find that they provide a first-class service to the farming community. 
 
“They give great support to all members of NFUS, either on the phone or in person on the land.  For all the issues that the different sectors are facing, they are the lynch pin in keeping information moving up to NFUS HQ and reporting it back to members. 
 
“One main factor that has helped the office in retaining members and recruiting new ones has been the introduction of Joyce who has worked hard in travelling around talking to new members, existing members and those who could potentially join this great organisation.  This has been a different approach that has led to increased subscriptions and has been good PR for NFUS.”  
 
The Union’s unique local secretary network – which works on behalf of both NFU Scotland and NFU Mutual - continues to provide an excellent service to members.  It also generates great loyalty amongst those providing that service.  
 
In 2017, two NFUS secretaries – Duncan Low in Inverurie and Murray White in Elgin – will have been in post for 35 years.
 
Last year saw long serving Dumfries secretary Jim Milby retire after 33 years and this year will see Robin Gawn, in the Perth office, retire after 25 years. Another notable ‘retiree’ was Cameron MacFadyen, who left the Strathaven office after more than 30 years of service but is now assisting with the growing membership on Skye.
 
In the new recruits to the Group Secretary network, Laura Bell is off to a flying start, being part of the successful Borders West team.  Last year also saw Johnny Hogg and Louise Graham join Dumfries; Alix Brown become secretary in Thurso; David Gavigan join Strathaven and Mike Paterson get started in Perth.  At the start of this year, Carrie Stout has taken over the secretary’s role on Stronsay from Valerie Fraser.     
 
Notes to Editors
Former NFU Scotland President Jim McLaren started an award in 2011 called the Membership Flame.   It is given each year to recognise those who have made significant progress in securing subscription income.  The 2011 winners were Dumfries and Galloway Region and in 2012 the award went to North East Region. The winners in 2013 were Rob Beatty and Jeremy Parker from Forfar and in 2014 the title went to Skye secretary Jake Sayles.  In 2015, the award returned to Rob Beatty and Jeremy Parker.  2016 winners were Tommy Brodie and Ross Silvers based at Inverurie.
 
A photograph of NFU Scotland Chief Executive Scott Walker presenting the Membership Flame to the Borders West team will be available after 3.00pm from media@nfus.org.uk 
 

Date Published:

News Article No.: 22/17


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