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Above: Jane Sawyer from the New Societies CommitteeWhy are we waiting?The case for Second SessionsWith nearly 7,000 people on NADFAS waiting lists, there's a lot to be said for Second Session Societies. Jane Sawyer and Michael Shirley from the New Societies Committee highlight the compelling reasons why Second Sessions are so successful - and easy to set up Figures prepared by NADFAS House in 2011 indicate that burgeoning waiting lists continue to be a challenge for both daytime and evening Societies. Our successful lecture format attracts thousands of potential members, largely through word of mouth. Many of the people on those waiting lists could make a signifi cant contribution to NADFAS, were they to be given the opportunity to join a Society.There are compelling arguments for us to address this situation. For example, many of those prospective members are recently retired and are missing the active involvement and roles of responsibility that they enjoyed during their working lives. Societies could really benefi t from these people's energy, experience and contributions as early as possible. And, of course, such enthusiastic people will only wait patiently for membership for a limited period before joining other organisations where access may be easier.One of the solutions to this dilemma is to seriously consider starting a Second Session. There are already 24 Second Session Societies spread over 11 Areas. The New Societies Committee supported by the NADFAS House Membership team has carried out research with a number of Chairmen of Second Session Societies to see if there were any specifi c problems to overcome. A clear message has come back from these Chairmen confi rming that they all enjoyed the Second Session and it worked well. Some had a track record of 20 years. Committee Members are able to share responsibilities, enhancing their respective roles and giving them more experience, which greatly benefi ts their Societies. Waiting lists, which had been gridlocked for three to fi ve years, were fi nally freed up. Henley-on-Thames DFAS Chairman Alvi Shaw's response to the survey echoed the sentiments of other Second Session Chairmen in the South Mercia Area: "We use volunteers to do checking in and the Committee are divided into AM and PM members. The two Sessions come together for Study Days and holidays. With Day Trips we allocate 50 per cent of the places to the AM members, and 50 per cent to the PM on a fi rst-come-fi rst-served basis." The benefi ts include economies of scale, such as the reduction of administration, printing costs and negotiation on lecturers' travel expenses. Morning and afternoon or evening sessions on the same day often reduce the venue rental.Other interesting points include: . Frequently, Society Chairmen and Vice Chairmen share the role of Chairman on Lecture Day, taking turns to introduce the lecturer and give out notices. . The Treasurer keeps a single account, as it is a Single Society. . Most venues can accommodate the Society AGM. . By having two Sessions it is easier to organise the 'meet and greet' function, which is essential to integrate new members. . Among new members, fresh volunteers often appear on the scene to join the committee or take part in Young Arts, Heritage Volunteering and Church Recording. Additional committee members help spread the load, though most Societies found 10-11 in all a workable number. Gri Harrison, National Chairman, adds: "As I pointed out at the AGM in Edinburgh, there are nearly 7,000 people on our waiting lists, the equivalent of 28 average-sized Societies. Wouldn't it be wonderful if in 2012 we could help some of them to enjoy all that NADFAS has to offer through more Second Session Societies."With the benefi t of a suitable venue, Societies with long waiting-lists should seriously consider the merits of starting a Second Session, which would allow all on the waiting list to gain membership. New Societies Committee members live in different parts of the UK and they would be pleased to discuss the opportunities and benefi ts of starting Second Sessions with interested Societies. There is always support available from NADFAS House and a start-up grant of £300. So, on behalf of all those people waiting to join a NADFAS Society... why are we waiting? ?For enquiries regarding Second Session Societies, please contact the Membership Department at NADFAS House on 020 7430 0730.54 NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 SESSION SOCIETIES