In early 2009 David Thompson thought it would be a good idea to meet up with local people in the village who were working from home or running home based businesses for a social get together once a month. He contacted friends and acquaintances in the area. They put a notice in the parish circular/newsletter Launton Lines, on the village website and on a noticeboard in the pub. They called the club “Switch Computers Off Tomorrow’s Saturday”. (SCOTS).
David’s tip for other villagers across Oxfordshire who are thinking of setting up their own informal club.
It seems to me the main tip is to identify who may be interested and get them all on an email list, and email the Monday before the event. The need is to get over that there is no hidden agenda, and is first and foremost a social event.
They decided it would be good to meet in the local pub, the Bull, because it would set the tone of the 'meetings' and also support one of the many village business that they are lucky enough to have. The landlord was amenable. Members do not pay a monthly “attendance” fee but buy their own drinks.
SCOTS is not a “business club” in the sense that it does not have a primary purpose to generate leads or network. However, members have found it helpful to draw upon each others skills and collaborate on occasion. The members have thought about having speakers or formalizing the event, but decided against this as it would change the informal/laid back nature of the group.
The SCOTS club has met every month since autumn 2009. It has an email database of around 20 names who are contacted each month by David. Some members are also Parish Councillors and many have community links in other ways. David is the Chair of the Bicester Good Neighbour Scheme, for example. Another member is involved in Community Television.