All posts by Peter Edwards

All Ipswich Outdoor Group events are suspended indefinitely due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) restrictions

Hi everyone,

With regret, I have to formally announce that all IOG activities, meetings and events on the programme are suspended indefinitely with immediate effect. I have asked Lou to update the online programme with this news and we will be updating our social media to reflect this too.

This has been a difficult decision to take and, on behalf of the committee, I want to express how heartbreaking it is for us to have to do this for, as far as I know, the first time in the history of the group. Events truly are unprecedented.

I do not wish to waste time justifying the obvious, but for comparison – both British Orienteering and parkrun have suspended all events, and The Ramblers have ceased all group-led walks until the end of May. Our group is popular enough that every walk attracts a large enough number of people that we cannot continue the group’s regular activities, without risking the safety of members or the public.

I’d like to thank all the event organisers who will be impacted by this decision for their patience and understanding.

Does this mean we should all be imprisoned entirely? No. The latest published advice states that, apart from people who are in households with symptoms or who have pre-existing health or age conditions that put them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, going for a walk or cycle independently can continue and is an excellent way to maintain health and well-being – provided independent walkers, in very small numbers, stay over two metres away from others. I also want to draw attention to the risks of car-sharing – whilst this is usually a good thing for the environment, it really should be avoided at all costs, for now.

We all have many other IOG members contact details and I would encourage members to stay in touch, follow the Public Health England guidance [1] which will be continually updated, and also check on each other. The IOG social media will remain available and is going to be a good way of keeping us all from getting cabin fever.

Please can I request members not use the IOG social media to co-ordinate unofficial events, however.

Formal group activities will be resumed as soon as we can be sure it will be safe for all to do so. If you have any spare time, do consider donating some of your home time to The Ramblers efforts to secure old footpaths, with their Don’t Lose Your Way campaign.

Many thanks for your understanding, I hope all of you and your loved ones stay healthy and get a tonne of jobs done at home in the meantime!

Peter.
Ipswich Outdoor Group Chair

[1] https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

New IOG Membership Key Tag & Benefits

Hi, all.

Thank you to all those members who made it to last week’s AGM and helped express the view of the membership.

One thing the committee was able to unveil at the meeting, are brand new plastic key tags for all our group members which can be used a proof of IOG membership. They contain the members name and emergency contact details together with the group’s discount code for the YHA.

The group has worked towards a membership card for several years, ever since we approached local outdoor retailers and were granted discounts at many of them. The details of the benefits available to group members have until now not been completely published, as several of the retailers requested that the group provide our members with some form of proof of membership that could be shown at checkout. The group trialled emailed paper membership cards in 2014/15 & 2015/16 with some success, but the amount of effort required to produce them was prohibitive and being only printed paper, their authenticity could too easily be questioned.

Going forward, this year we have worked with a supplier who can provide us with plastic key tags annually – budgeted out of the existing member’s subscription fee – and similar to those used by popular shop loyalty card schemes. The IOG key tags have now been produced and are valid for the remainder of this IOG membership year. Please see the recent post to the IOG announce mailing list for details of how to collect yours.

There is also now a complete list of group membership benefits for the first time on the Joining the IOG & Benefits page.

This includes details of all the local retailers that offer discounts to group members, as well as information on the YHA benefits that are provided to us, as Affiliate Group members. Many of these local discounts were agreed by former committee member Tamara Moreau, so a hat-tip to her for obtaining them originally. This year, Christina and I have re-confirmed with all the listed retailers that they are still happy to support the group and we have shown them the new IOG key tag design. The pair of us were also able to add a couple of new local retailers to the list: GO Outdoors and Elmy Cycles. Full details of their new offers of support are available on the page above.

Many new (and existing!) members of the group are probably unaware of the range of benefits available to them as IOG members. We hope that with all the information now readily available direct from our website, these will be much more widely used by group members.

Thanks!

Peter.
IOG Chair

New IOG logo

Hi, everyone.

You may remember that we ran a little holiday competition in December last year, asking for submissions for a new IOG logo. You’d be forgiven for thinking that we completely forgot about the results. 🙂

Not true!  We had several submissions for consideration and I’d like to make a special mention for the sterling efforts contributed by Matthew & Sophia Thomas, Bob Hannan and Marie-Louise Karttunen. It has taken a large amount of work this year to pick out a winner and get it ready for the group to use.

Creating a new logo was not at all an easy task – the group needed something that would work on the paper programme as well as on the website, Facebook and Meetup groups. It needed to look good when scaled down to the tiny icon used when storing bookmarks in a web browser, and also when scaled up to larger displays in case the group needs to produce posters or stands at recruitment events etc. Trying to get something that would fit all of these goals and also be representative of the group’s outdoor activities, was always going to be a challenge – requiring both imagination and technical skill to turn that into a vector-format image that the group can make full use of.

Without further ado, I’d like to reveal the winning entry, as chosen by the group’s committee – a design by Rachael Norris.

 

Ipswich Outdoor Group logo
Ipswich Outdoor Group logo

 

This was one of several designs Rachael drafted – she put a considerable amount of time and effort into the project, and I hope everyone can agree that it shows!

From a literal viewpoint, the new logo, which was based on a stock image, displays a signpost and a path over some rolling hills, which covers the group’s primary outdoor activities – walking, hiking, cycling. However, looking at the design a bit more figuratively, the signpost could also represent pointing in a new direction – and a path which if taken, and with a little work, could lead to a brighter hill ahead. All of which, I think, captures the positivity of being a part of our group.

The white signpost stands out well against the contrasting pastel colours of the hills meeting the sky, and the overall bright colour impression is pleasant and remains recognisable even when the logo is reduced to a small size where the writing is no longer readable. At the same time, those main themes are all still perceptible when the image is converted to grayscale for use on the printed programmes.

“Great picture … !

I think it looks attractive and sends the message of future adventures and possibilities.”
Matthew Thomas, IOG Chair 2013-16

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have already seen the logo has made it on to our Facebook page and website. It’ll be rolled out on to the group programme for the next quarter. To celebrate the launch, I’ve had a limited-release run of pin badges made up which I’ll be handing out at this month’s social meeting so do come along if you’d like one. Going on from here, the committee has lots of ideas of how we can make use of the new logo.

Many thanks for all who entered the competition and I hope you’re all as proud of the result for the group as I am!

Peter.
IOG Chair