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September 1999

 AMMO 99 - A Golden Weekend

 Editor's Column

 National News

 National Chairman's Chat

 Think Tank

 NGOOT Returns to the National Diary

 What A Weekend! - ART 99
  Cheadle Win Inter Group Quiz

 Gone To The Dogs

 10 Things You Never New About... Viv Squires

 The 18 Plus Email Discussion List - Find Out More!

 Some Camping Tips

 Top Publicity Tip Number 1

 Meet The New EPRO



Jelly Baby Update


WASH Bookings Open

National Diary


AMMO 99 - A Golden Weekend

The final AMMO of the millennium brought another new venue - Stubbers in Upminster. I had paid my money and booked up for a golden ticket allowing me to take part in all the activities. However, I also ended up on security and therefore had to combine all the fun with plenty of work - what a weekend. 
The first bonus of the weekend was the news of the free bar at the disco. Thinking it was a wind up I checked it out and was surprised to find the ex-National Chairman (and my boss for the weekend) handing out the free drinks ("One for you and two for me" he chanted). It was supposed to be while stocks lasted but a couple of extra trips to the local offy made sure it lasted. 
Saturday was activity day and armed with my golden ticket I set about climbing, shooting, skiing and sailing through the day. I sailed for the first time, hit more bulls in archery than ever before and felt the thrill of the jet skis. Saturday night brought us the disco and live bands which seemed to go down very well. 
Sunday morning and it was games time. Redbridge rustled up a team to compete with the best and battle commenced. Al l the favourites were there such as the water tower, bungee slide and dressing up game. Apart from a bad accident on one game we dominated our group and were satisfied to finish in the top half of the table. This year's winners were Coventry (who also entered a team that won the wooden spoon for coming last). 
Although the RAT failed to get off the ground properly (technical problems that were not the fault of the organisers) the weekend came to an end with a brilliant finish and the band, Wide Open, helped me enjoy an extra special occasion (my first wedding anniversary). 
All in all AMMO 99 was an excellent weekend and with a few slight modifications will be a great way to start the new millennium. 

STEPHEN LAMPRELL Redbridge 18 Plus


The top five teams this year were: 
1 Coventry A 

2 West Kent 

3 Cheadle 

4 Crawley Red Assassins 
and the gallant losers: Wooden Spoon Coventry B



Redbridge 18 Plus

Editor's Column

As my term of office ends in October it seems fairly likely that this will be the last issue of Plus News that I edit. As we won't know who the new Editor will be until the October NEC meeting then please send any articles to me in the meantime and I'll pass them on. 
There are various people I'd like to thank for all their help during my four years as Editor. 
Firstly anyone who has submitted articles during this time - there wouldn't be a magazine without you. Then there's Christine George, Sue Swan, Sandra Bradshaw, Andy Anson and Corinna Haywood for suggesting that I stand for election in the first place. And special mentions for Jo Woodhead who, in her role as an NEO, has looked after me and the magazine and has always been there in times of crisis, and to my husband Mark for all his help (taking photos of events, general assistance and great patience when I'm up till all hours putting the finishing touches to the magazine). 
Good luck to the next Editor - please inundate him/her with articles and photos (something sadly lacking in this issue). 

Katie Hawkins

National News

The following National Officers were elected at the July NEC meeting: 

Honorary General Secretary - Sandra Bradshaw

National Executive Officer - Jo Woodhead

National External Public Relations Officer - Liam Wright

National Development Officer - John Smith

National Activities Officer - Wayne Fenton

National Think Tank Member - Wendy Turner

Now Get Out Of That 2000 Co-ordinator - Dave Filer

ANC 2000 Chairman - Karen Grey

ANC 2000 Bookings Officer - Sandra Bradshaw

ANC 2000 Publicity Officer - Carolyn Edwards

ANC 2000 Treasurer - Rebecca White 

The Annual National Conference in 2000 will be held at the Britannia Hotel, Coventry on 8th and 9th April 2000. 
Tom Seddon, North Thames and Chilterns Area Chairman. has been elected as Deputy National Chairman. 
Now Get Out Of That


National Officers

National Chairman's Chat

It seems quite strange to be writing under this heading. Although I have spent the last two months not so much on a learning curve as a cliff. I still look over my shoulder when anyone mentions "National Chairman"! I am thoroughly enjoying the post though and have gained a lot of insight into the role, along with learning much about National procedures. 
As a newcomer to ArT (a terrible yet true admission) I can only say what a fantastic weekend! For anyone who thinks training is a series of boring lectures think again. The trainers - Sandra Cawthra, Sandra Bradshaw, Jo Woodhead and Carolyn Edwards - all deserve a huge pat on the back for the effort that went into the weekend. They all did an excellent job but Sandra Cawthra deserves a special thank you as the co-ordinator of the weekend. It was well organised and went off without a hitch, despite finding a bed and personal belongings in one of the rooms we were using on the Saturday morning! I would urge you all to think about Kickstart, the training weekend in October, and sell it to your members. 
As I write this I am looking forward to my first NEC meeting, albeit with some apprehension. I hope that the next year will be one of hard work, based on decisions made by the NEC. I was aware at the ANC that the emphasis at the moment is on recruitment, retention and development. The NEC will be addressing these issues and will keep you in touch with am decisions we make. 
I am looking forward to TAG as the next National event I shall be attending and I hope to see many of you there.





Think Tank

Andy Bond, Eight Rivers Area Chairman, is to be the NEC representative for the National Think Tank. Following the election of Wendy Turner as a Think Tank member there are still two positions available. Anyone interested in standing should contact the National Chairman, Viv Squires. 

NGOOT Returns to the National Diary

At the July NEC meeting I volunteered for the role of "Now Get Out Of That 2O00" Co-ordinator. Having now been duly elected (well that's what the National Chairman called it) by the NEC to run NGOOT over the first May bank holiday weekend of the millennium, I hope to entice all members of the Federation to enter a team. I will then be in the unenviable position of turning down those that book late. 

What is NGOOT? you all cry. (Well I hope you do). It is a weekend of physical and mental challenges for mixed teams of four. Over the weekend we will determine who is worthy of joining the illustrious list of former winners that include groups from most areas of the Federation. 
Already I have started to assemble a team to help assess your physical, mental, logical, and illogical skills over the weekend. We will also challenge any other skill that we feel is worth testing. This co-ordinating team is a combination of experienced NGOOTers to bring knowledge and stability to the event and new NGOOTers to ensure that new, vibrant ideas flourish.

How do you win?

Firstly you have to enter. Further information will become available between now and next April Booking forms will be distributed to the usual group contacts. However as a "thank you" for reading this, I am willing to send booking forms to any member that writes to me. Secondly it will help to have members who work well as a team. Why not prove you qualify and show that you are simply the best? Do you think that you group or area committee will cope? 
Thirdly you have to turn up after booking. 
Most important of all you have to be able to enjoy yourselves. And to win, you have to be the best. 

What do you have to provide?

A working car with at least 4 seats. Four 18 Plus members, including at least one of each sex. A map - I will let you know which one sometime before you start. Etc.

What will you have to do?

Ensure that you plan nothing else for the weekend of Friday 29th April to Monday 1st May 2000. Ensure your bookings are received before the event is fully sold out. Meet at the pre-arranged starting point; from there just follow the instructions and use your initiative. Have fun. 

Where is it? 

In true NGOOT style this varies each year, but I can tell you that it will be somewhere in England (or Scotland, or Wales, or somewhere else easily accessible) probably! We will, however, divulge this information before you arrive.

Dave Filer, NGOOT Co-ordinator



What A Weekend! - ART 99

When I decided to go to ArT 99 it was for several reasons, but the main one was to learn more about the Administrator's duties within group and area. I was also curious about what actually happens at the training weekend as I had heard several stories about previous training weekends. 
My first thought was that it was going to be a weekend of lectures!! but I found that it was totally the opposite. It included a team exercise in which we managed to out manoeuver the NEC party (with the help of Mike). As the saying goes "It pays to know your enemy". We also thrashed to oblivion the Midland party. 
Saturday night in the pub never ended as many stories were told at the bar of previous events which members had been to. There was also time available over the weekend to see where the previous headquarters Nicholson House was, and the surrounding area. 
I thought the weekend was very useful to me personally both outside and also within Plus. I also learned that it was not as daunting as I first thought. It turned out to be a fun filled weekend where I learned a lot and met members from other groups and areas. 
I would recommend the training weekend to anyone. I had heard a lot of things said about the ArT weekend such as it was boring and "What do I need training for?". I think training is for everyone in one form or another. 
To sum up I enjoyed the ArT weekend thoroughly and I am definitely going to go to Kickstart in October. If it is anything like ArT it will be worthwhile going to and money well spent. For those who didn't go you missed out on a really enjoyable weekend.

JULIA ROBERTS Thatcham 18 Plus


ArT 99 took place over the weekend of the 12th - 13th of June. Normally aimed at area and regional officers, it was decided to cover training to group officers and members so that all members could benefit. 
Subjects covered were leadership & delegation, time management, presentation skills, communication, assertiveness, simple treasury, development, group activity, publicity. Area Chairman, advanced treasury, motivation, training, recruitment & development, Chairman, Administrator and activities. 
The delegates who attended the sessions all enjoyed themselves and got lots out of it. Some items will be actioned at the Jul NEC meeting. 
From a personal point of view I enjoyed and benefited from the sessions on communication, recruitment & development and motivation. The other sessions created lots of discussion and helped some of the newer members of the NEC to start to work as a team. 
The delegates who left on Sunday were not the same as those who had arrived on Friday night or Saturday morning. They went away motivated and ready to put into practice the skills learnt during the weekend. 
Thanks to the trainers for passing on their skills and knowledge and to the other delegates who attended and provided input into all the sessions. 
I for one will be pushing Kickstart 99 and ArT 2000 at the Northern Area August forum and November Conference.

DAVID ORSLER Northern Area Chairman 


Thatcham 18 Plus

Cheadle Win Inter Group Quiz

Despite being three team members down at the start Cheadle managed to win the inter group quiz held at The Falcon, Chester (a great time was had by all). 
Thanks go to Steve, the newly elected Chairman, for staging the event and to the members who turned out to take part. Chester's venue was described by one visitor as the best she had ever been to. 
Various rounds including general knowledge, pop music, sport and geography brought much whirring of the old cogs. Cheadle's win was a total team effort with team members surprised at other team members' obscure knowledge. 

CRAIG BROGAN Cheadle 18 Plus


Gone To The Dogs

No, this is not an article about the state of 18 Plus, but one to say thank you to Havering and Romford for a great night out at Romford Dogs on 30th June. 
The night was organised in aid of charity. The charity being The D.J.M.F. Child Cancer Concern Charity. The aim of the charity is to provide children, who for long periods of time are confined to bed, any comfort to keep their mind active and morale high and a smile on their face. These gifts can be anything from board electronic games to TV's or videos. In terminal cases when the child is allowed home for a few days, the charity hopes to be able to send the whole family away for a short break. 
The evening was an inclusive deal for 15.00 which included entrance to the stadium and a meal. We had front row tables overlooking the track and the meal was superb with a choice of menu to suit all tastes. 
There were 12 races on the programme and betting was done from the table - so you didn't have to move at all. Various methods of selecting the dogs were used by members ranging from studying the form to choosing pooches that "looked pretty", reminded someone of their cats! or "had a curly tail". 
One member of Chingford, a heavily pregnant Kate Williams, kept jumping with delight every time a dog she had backed won. This happened for 9 of the 12 races and some were worried she would go into labour - she didn't! (Since then she has become the proud mother of a baby boy Stephen Thomas Kinsey. Congratulations to both her and Andrew). 
There was also an opportunity to sponsor a dog, and if it came in 1st you won a bottle of champagne. Unfortunately the dog I sponsored in race 12 was no. 2. and no. 3 won - typical. The atmosphere was lively with the noise rising with each race, as people shouted at the dog they had backed - although I doubt very much if the dogs could hear through the glass. 
For those of you with concerns about the hare - it survived - as did those of us who went, although I fear some went home lighter of pocket than they had arrived. 
This event is an annual one and I can only recommend that those who missed out attend next year. It was a splendid evening with a lot of hard work put in and one not to be missed. 

VIVIENNE BATTEN Thurrock 18 Plus

Thurrock 18 Plus

Romford 18 Plus


 10 Things You Never New About...

Viv Squires, National Chairman

  1. She had been Group Chairman for 12 months before she attended her first Bi-AGM let alone ran one! 

  2. She was found fast asleep on the pavement after a rather good pub-crawl by someone who stood on her hand.

  3. When she lived on her own, visitors were greeted with upturned pots which they were asked to deal with by removing the spiders contained within to a safe distance.

  4. She did, however, manage to deal with two bats in her belfry at about two o'clock in the morning.

  5. Whilst in Dorset she spent an hour and a half not only trying to find her car, but having to find the right car park where she had left it.

  6. She is terrified of heights to the point where if there is a steep drop she will drive on the wrong side of the road to get as far away from it as possible. This not only scares the passenger but the oncoming traffic as well. 

  7. She is best avoided first thing in the morning until at least 12 noon or a dozen cups of coffee whichever comes sooner. 

  8. Does an awesome impression of Gwyneth Paltrow.

  9. Has an unusual sense of humour. She once named a shrub Bruce because it was a forsythia.

  10. Whilst I am writing this she is sat in the bath singing and upsetting the dog downstairs. 

The 18 Plus Email Discussion List - Find Out More!

The 18 Plus Discussion List was set up in February this year. Since then it has grown to 60 members, including one ex-Plusser as far away as Brisbane, Australia. 
If vou have access to email then this development is worth trying out! Read on for more information. 
Any topic of debate relevant to 18 Plus is welcome, including the exchange of information and ideas. Use this forum as a means to keep in touch with distant Plussers, forward promote your events to the list and just say hello, see you at AMMO, or whatever. 
18 Plus is all about friendship, fun and personal development. It's a voluntary organisation, run by its members. In order to keep it open and functioning well, we need to keep in touch and be active within our groups, areas and the Federation. The idea behind the discussion list is to encourage and develop this through communication and healthy debate.

To subscribe to 18plus simply tap in this URL:- 

Or use the following email addresses to try out the list and choose vow form of membership:- 
Contact the owner - 

There are a whole host of features available to subscribers of this list - from bookmarks through to calendars, surveys archives, a shared files zone and a personal message facility. 
Access the following:- 
Don't miss out on access to valuable information that could be beneficial to your group. Play a part in the discussion that's shaping the new Federation. Be part of the next generation - get on line and join in the debate. 

JARRETT SMITH Midland Area Chairman and List Moderator

Some Camping Tips

These could prove useful for the next 18 Plus camping event you go to. 
When using a public camp ground a tuba placed on your picnic table will keep the campsites on either side vacant. 
Lint from your navel makes a handy fire starter. Warning - remove lint from navel before applying the match. 
Take this simple test to see if you qualify for solo camping. Shine a flashlight into one ear. If the beam shines out the other ear it is OK to go into the woods alone. 
You can start a fire without matches by eating Mexican food then breathing on a pile of dry sticks. 
In an emergency, a drawstring from a parka hood can be used to strangle a snoring tent mate. 

Top Publicity Tip Number 1

Fonts, printed labels and the post office.
A font (or typeface) is the name given to a particular style of character set in the publishing industry. It defines the look of each character and how the are spaced from each other. Most mechanical typewriters and early computers had a very limited range of characters, therefore only one or two fonts were available to the user. 
With modern desktop publishing and printers, the user is no longer restricted by the fonts included in the printer, as additional fonts can be used in the computer software which are then used to create the printout. A typical modern word publisher such as Word, comes with over 100 fonts as standard. However, different fonts are used for different purposes. This is especially true if you are using printed labels and envelopes through the post. 
The Post Office now use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) in most of their main sorting offices in order to sort mail. Unfortunately many printed fonts do not work reliably with this system, producing errors. Script and condensed font are particularly bad at this, which may cause your letter to end up going to the wrong destination, causing delays. Even Sans Serif fonts like Times New Roman are not much better, as the older sorting machines tend to get confused with the tails on many of the letters. The best and most reliable font for printing mail labels is a serif font. Arial is recognised as the best font to use, which is recommended by the post office. 
So next time you are printing labels for your press releases, use the Arial font: it may get to its destination that little bit quicker.

LIAM WRIGHT National External Public Relations Officer 

Meet The New EPRO

Hello everybody 
As you may be aware by now, I have been elected as the new National External PRO. I am looking forward to serving you (the members of 18 Plus) over the next two years, assisting in group and area publicity, as well as co-ordinating the National publicity of 18 Plus. So I thought I'd better write something in Plus News to give you a little hint on what I have planned for my first 12 months of office, and to give you a bit of background about myself. 
I have been an 18 Plus member since joining Malvern 18 Plus in April 1994. At the first group Bi-AGM I attended I was asked if I would like to stand as a group publicity officer and I agreed. During the next few months I began enjoying designing publicity posters and writing press releases, and got a bit of a buzz from publicising 18 Plus. Since those beginnings I have been a development publicity officer for Bromsgrove and Worcester group, as well as Mid West Area External Publicity Officer. 
The position of group publicity officer is one of the easiest yet most rewarding positions in 18 Plus, you don't need high powered home computers and fancy printers to produce results (Although they can help). What you do need is a little imagination and planning in what you wish to achieve. 
My plans for the next 12 months are as follows. Firstly I intend to continue the good work carried out by my predecessor Judi Horsburgh in sending regular press releases to the national media, in particular newspapers. A large number of enquiries were made at headquarters over a very minor mention in an agony aunt section in the Mail on Sunday "you" magazine in the last few weeks, reminding us that the press release is the most powerful and cheapest form of publicity that an 18 Plus PRO can use. 
As you will know, the current group publicity guide is about 8 years old, and requires a considerable update. I am currently working on this with a planned release date in time for Kickstart in October. I am also intending to produce an accompanying CD-Rom, full of clip-art, press release templates and poster designs as well as other useful information. If you want to be the first to get hold of these materials, you'd better book your place at Kickstart 99 now. 
If your group requires any assistance with publicity in the meantime, I will be happy to give you some advice. Like every National officer my time is limited, so I cannot do the complete job for you, but I can provide sample press releases and posters to assist in your group publicity. Just give me a call (my telephone number is in the national directory). Although I have a preference for contact by email. My email address is Please put '[P]' (capital P in square brackets) somewhere in the mail subject for a faster reply.

I look forward to hearing from you . 

LIAM WRIGHT National External Public Relations Officer


Simon George (pictured) is a member of Slough Windsor and Eton 18 Plus and North Thames and Chilterns Area Development officer. He was elected as Borough Councillor for Stoke Ward (Slough North) on May 6th this year. 
He will serve on Town Services (Housing) and the newly formed Performance Overview Committees, the latter of which acts similar to the select committees in Westminster. Namely scrutinising police decisions, but applied on local services. He also has a place on the Housing Appeals sub-committee and currently holds a school governorship at a local infant school. 



In August a feature appeared about 18 Plus on Ceefax on the Community Service Volunteers page. 


Abingdon 18 Plus

Jelly Baby Update

The following letter from Shelter was received at the office in May: 

Dear Judy 

I am writing to thank you and everyone at the Federation for raising f1602.41 for Shelter over the past year. It certainly was a lot of fun working with you and the groups, both Sarah and myself enjoyed meeting you, thank you for allowing us to attend your conferences. 

As you can appreciate it is not physically possible for me to meet everyone who raises money for Shelter, we just do not have the resources. However, when I do, it really motivates me. Meeting supporters face to face, knowing that there are people out there like your Federation who really do care about homeless people makes my job worthwhile. 


So on behalf of us all at Shelter we would like to thank the following groups for their donations: 
L. Street / Wash 98 - 151.00

Barnet 18 Plus Group - 29.50

North Thames & Chilterns Area - 100.66 

L .Street / NEC meeting - 2.00

Coventry 18 Plus - 654.66

Havering 18 Plus - 260.00

Various ER Groups - 57.00

Hillingdon 18 Plus - 60.97

Bradford 18 Plus - 10.00

Leeds 18 Plus - 124.00

North West Region - 15.02

Northern Area - 8.82

Romiley Group - 56.00

Cheadle Group -12.14

Stockport - 4.08

Didcot (Oxfordshire) - 56.56

I do hope Shelter can look forward to working with the National Federation in the future. In the meantime please pass on our sincere thanks to all the above groups for their kind support throughout the past year. The money raised will be put to use straight away helping those who are homeless and badly housed. 


FIONA HEAD Community Fund-raising Officer




Ruth Bowers (Thurrock 18 Plus) and Andy Bond (Eight Rivers Area Chairman) got married in August.

Mark and Katie Hawkins (Barnet 18 Plus and Plus News Editor) are now the proud parents of John who was born on July 15th weighing 8lb. 5oz. 

WASH Bookings Open

Booking forms for WASH 99 were sent to all groups on 16th June. If your group did not receive the booking forms and information about WASH 99 for any reason please contact Sue Rowland for copies. 
Bookings for WASH 99 have already been received. As usual, the first booking came from Barking and Dagenham Group, whose ever efficient booking officer Garry Dunnings has been obtaining the f20 deposits from the Barking members over the last couple of months. Northwich 18 Plus also tell me their members have all booked their time off work and are already counting down the days! 
The WASH 99 committee look forward to seeing you all at WASH. If you have never been to WASH and would like to know more about it, please feel free to ring Sue or Paul for more information. 




 Last updated 22 February 2007 by