At the SCBWI Winchester Conference 2018 I received an Outstanding Contribution Award for the work I have done within SCBWI as a Volunteer. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the conference this year but the award arrived in the post this week. Thank you 🙂
Here is the citation:
Anita Loughrey has served as our Membership Coordinator for too many years to count! She remembers times when we didn’t have the networks or even online sign-ups… when keeping on top of membership admin was not for the faint-hearted. Anita is often the first welcoming contact for new members, sending out the welcome pack and answering their queries about SCBWI. She works closely with the Networks and events organizers to provide updated monthly membership lists and follows up on renewals. As many will know, she also served for many years as the Networks Coordinator for London and the South East, forging many personal contacts with members, too. Anita is a shining example of a volunteer who is willing to tackle admin with all-important reliability and always with a smile.
I have been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) since October 2002, sixteen years ago. I first started volunteering in an official capacity in April 2006, when I became Network Organiser for London. This involved planning monthly socials for members at different venues around London with a special guest each time. I also introduced the monthly London SCBWI brunches which were run by Miriam Craig and the monthly London SCBWI Write-ins. I don’t and have never lived in London but I did the job for ten years before handing the job over to the very capable hands of Tania Tay, who has built on what I started and made the London network a strong and cohesive group.
In October 2011, I also took over the SCBWI British Isles membership coordinator role from my wonderful friend Sue Hyams. Over the seven years I have been doing this role I have streamlined the whole membership system for the British Isles and introduced our own British Isles membership pack jam-packed full of useful information on how to get the most out of your membership. I also campaigned to add a dropbox to the online joining form so people could select their network area. Before this was introduced the Network Organisers had to sort out which members were theirs themselves.
One of the highlights for me as a volunteer was going to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2012 to represent the SCBWI British Isles and showcase our members published books. It was fun.
In 2016, I became the South East Network organiser. During the two years I did this job I visited critique groups in Oxford and Southampton and I ran a weekly write-in in Newbury every Wednesday morning. I passed on the mantle at the beginning of this year to Fiona Barker.
Over the twelve years I have been volunteering for SCBWI I have achieved and done quite a lot. I am looking forward to continuing this work. I would also like to say a big congratualtions to all the other SCBWI volunteers who received a SCBWI British Isles Outstanding Contribution Award this year. Well done 🙂