Well, it turns out we were one step ahead of head office in deciding to survey our members! The recent survey we sent round to all the Sheffield CAMRA members had slightly different aims in that we weren’t looking at a complete review of what CAMRA is about, more trying to find out member’s opinions of our branch and how we get them more involved. We had 145 responses, which is just under 10% of branch membership. Not as high as we would have liked but realistic for this sort of survey. However still enough for us to draw some interesting conclusions. The initial questions showed that 30% had been to a CAMRA meeting, and 43% had been on a group social, which are higher figures than currently attend. 85% have been to the Steel City Festival at some point, 58 % always read Beer Matters and 94% will renew their membership when it’s due. All signs that the interest is there for the Sheffield Beer Scene. The challenge now for the new committee is to look at what changes we need to implement to make the most of this interest. A list of suggested social events showed an interest in games nights, heritage talks and pub crawls, and events are already being planned in response. The most interesting section of the survey, and the most difficult to summarise, was the six open-ended questions at the end. Members took the opportunity to expand on their thoughts about branch meetings – what they liked/didn’t like, what would make them attend, suggestions for improvement etc. The full report summary will be on our website shortly, but the basic message was that members want the committee to be more open about it’s activities, be more welcoming to new members and to make meetings more appealing, particularly to women and younger members. The new committee, which includes three women and at least one actual young person is keen to take all these comments on board and make Sheffield CAMRA a much more sociable organisation. Elsewhere in this month’s Beer Matters you’ll find information on the new committee members, including photos (sorry!), as the first part of this process. Rest assured this is only the start of what we have planned. Finally, for all the people who did respond there was a raffle for 12 bottles of beer donated by Hop Hideout. The winner was (drum roll…) Simon Wood, seen here collecting what looks like a fabulous selection of beer. Congratulations to Simon, and thanks again to Jules and Will at Hop Hideout for providing the prize.