Financial Support - Open letter from the Association of Independent Showmen

To all Showmen,
We, as an association, have come to an unfortunate realization over the last eight months; during this pandemic, that trying to obtain financial support specifically for Showmen and how the performance of the association is viewed in light of this fact by the community makes for difficult conversations.
The harsh reality that has sadly come home to us over these last eight months is that, “Nobody in authority cares about Showmen.”

We as an association have spent a lot of time researching, discussing, meeting and writing various submissions, reports and consultation papers; both as an association and as a community to the UK government and internationally. The truth is, on reflection however as an association, that these attempts while not bad or poor are just simply not up to the mark for our members and the community - as quite rightly - you have many expectations of us.
We have always performed during this pandemic so far as an association more than we’ve been asked for (the AIS represents just 24% of the total Showmen community), but our recent work performance doesn’t seem to be making the impact required. We have also noted, as members of this community that you have not needed, so far, to make any pressure on the association about this; for which we are truly appreciative – thank you.

Being the Company Secretary of the association however, I would like to share with you some valuable tips that we have picked up over the last couple of weeks from our round of meetings with international organisations; they have been very helpful and supportive in this.

First, make a list of the problems you are facing or the things that are not going right and disturbing you.
Secondly, “Stand your ground and push back.”

You do not have to do anything extra with this in the bigger picture – that’s the associations responsibility, but we have been advised that as part of the community stick to the basics of this list, especially when you write to your MP (we, and they strongly recommend this). This may give us some extra room and boost to carry on our work, and when you do write to your MP speak from the heart. Don’t just send it in by email, write the same letter by hand and post it to your MP.

As always you can also come and talk to directors of the association, or me, if there are some professional issues worrying you. We know the strength and skills of the community and the members of our association, and we know that we will be able to get back on our front foot very soon. Suffice to say we all hope we will all get rid of this lack of caring by governments and local authorities sometime very soon and with perseverance will be back to our normal way of life.

Best regards,
Andrew Nixon
Company Secretary of the Association of Independent Showmen

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