What it’s all about
The DDA Education Committee would like to help towers and ringers to help each other, so that
new ringers are trained, existing ringers are developed, and bands are strengthened. Why?
- Because we sometimes lose people new to bell ringing when they don’t know where to get basic training, or don’t receive the necessary encouragement to continue through the frustrations of early development. We’ll call this stage one.
- Because many ringers only get the bug for ringing once they move on into change ringing. We need to help ringers move from call changes to change ringing. We’ll call this stage two.
- Because ringers at a tower where (mostly) basic methods are rung might aspire to the challenges of more advanced change ringing. We’ll call this stage three.
We appreciate that not all towers will be able to handle all of these stages. For example, you may be capable of the initial teaching, but not have the resources for more advanced methods; or you might be fine with Plain Bob Doubles but not have anyone who can teach handling. Towers often come to arrangements with nearby towers to support each other’s training needs, and when they do that’s great – but when that doesn’t arise naturally, or people don’t know who to ask, the Education Committee is willing to make the connection. That’s what this message is about.
How to offer support
- Is your tower one that is able to teach bell handling to beginners, maybe from another tower in your area?
- Would any of your ringers be willing to go to local towers to teach beginners or help them make progress?
- Are you willing and able to welcome visitors who wish to progress, at one or more of the stages listed above?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then we would like to hear from you. If your tower can welcome visitors on practice nights (or handling sessions) to help them on their ringing journey, please complete the Training Support – Tower form. If you have ringers who might be willing to teach or help at a tower that asks for support, please encourage them to complete the Training Support – Individual form. It’s fine to forward them the link. Completing the form is not an immediate or open-ended commitment. It just means we know you are willing for us to contact you to arrange support to another tower or ringer. No arrangements will be made without first checking that you’re still available and willing.
How to ask for support
- Do you have some potential recruits but you aren’t confident to teach them handling?
- Do you want to move on as a band and need someone to teach you, or need another couple of steady ringers for the method you’re all trying to learn?
- Do you have an especially able learner who needs more development than you can offer at your tower?
Whatever your training needs, please contact the Education Committee by email (individual ringers can also use our Training Request form). We can then recommend a suitable practice that is willing to help members of your band to move or crack that difficult stage, or we can recommend ringing teachers or helpers willing to help you in your tower.
How it will work
When we receive a request for training support, the Education Committee (normally via the local District representative) will review the offers of support that have been made, and identify a suitable tower or individuals to meet the request. We can then make the introductions and recommend a form of support that will meet the training objectives.
Here are some guidelines:
- Training support will have clear objectives (e.g. to teach raw recruits to handle safely, or to enable a band to ring Plain Bob Doubles with the Sunday service band or introduce someone to new methods).
- Training support will be limited in duration (e.g. A will attend Y’s practice regularly for four months; or a trainer and two helpers will attend Z’s practice for six sessions on alternate weeks), although it could be flexible if that suited everyone.
- Learners should be accompanied by someone from their own tower when attending elsewhere to learn handling, until they can ring rounds competently. At this stage they will also be expected to attend their own practice, ideally accompanied by their instructor.
- Anyone visiting on a regular basis for training should be encouraged to contribute to the tower funds.
- Tutors who are asked to help at another practice should at least be offered reimbursement of their expenses.
If you wish to discuss this further, please contact one of your District Education representatives.