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The significance of CABE Regions has never been more apparent. Its 12 regions across the UK and Ireland play a pivotal role in not only strengthening the fabric of the organisation, but also helping to contribute to CABE’s primary mission – to be a unifying voice in the sector.
CABE regions are run by committees of volunteers who deliver local CPD activities and opportunities for members. As well as the committees, CABE members are encouraged to get involved by sharing their CPD ideas, which can be sent directly to the committee, or even hosting an individual event themselves. CABE HQ supports these events and promotes them to a wider audience.
A community feel
CABE Regions aim to bring together like-minded individuals, providing members with access to a strong, professional community at a local level.
“The community feel is my favourite thing,” says Michael Brearey, Chair of Yorkshire & Humber Region. “Listening to local members is always the priority. We tailor interests to ensure the events we are putting together are suitable for their needs.”
Robert Gary, Chair of South West Region, agrees. “The networking side is definitely my favourite part. There’s a core of us who have been together for a number of years and, through the region, we’ve created a really solid group of friends. This is a real benefit of being a member within our region.”
“Being able to contribute with local knowledge is a great plus,” notes Lindsay Richards, Wales Regional Secretary and CABE for Women Chair. “We have our own language and legislation [in Wales] and it’s important to have an understanding of the cultural differences.”
Events are vital
Regional Events for members, such as the Built Environment series and buildeng conferences, are key to bringing regional members together.
David Humphreys, Chair of Republic of Ireland Region, says: “CABE has always been a place where you can actually speak your mind. We’re not here to dress things up at our events; CABE members want to hear the truth, find out what issues there may be and sort them.”
“They are critical to the organisation ... and this is why Built Environment Ireland in September was such an import event for us,” says Nancy O’Keefe, Treasurer of Republic of Ireland Region.
Richards adds: “I think it’s really important to have a presence. A lot of our members in Wales work for private practices and there can sometimes be challenges in getting them to give up their own time, but I believe the events are so important.”
- Michael Brearey C.Build E FCABE, Chair of Yorkshire & Humber Region
- Robert Gary C.Build E FCABE, Chair of South West
- Lindsay Richards C.Build E FCABE, Wales Regional Secretary
- David Humphreys C.Build E FCABE, Chair of Republic of Ireland Region
- Nancy O’Keefe C.Build E MCABE, Treasurer of Republic of Ireland Region
An open door for CPD
CPD too is vital – without it skills and knowledge quickly become outdated. The CABE Regions facilitate opportunities for members, organising CPD events and webinars on relevant industry topics.
“I think CPD needs to be taken seriously. Some survey results have shown that it isn’t taken as seriously as it should be,” says Humphreys. “It’s a balancing act of trying to encourage people to understand the importance of it, rather than seeing it as a burden, and this is what the regional committees are here for.”
“If someone had a query about a certain area of training, we are more than happy to send people in the right direction; it’s then up to the individual to take that next step,” says O’Keefe. “CPD is there to help you develop – it’s in the name. You need to use it to learn.”
“We have a really good spread of expertise,” says Richards. “Our CPD events reflect this. It’s about improving the industry, and I think CABE is at the forefront of helping this through its CPD events.”
Support from outside
CABE’s regional committees rely on the goodwill of volunteers, who give up their free time to offer support to their local region. CABE is incredibly thankful for all the help given by these volunteers.
CABE understands the demands of the industry and that not everyone can sit on the committee due to time restraints and personal commitments.
However, you can help without being a committee member. You can support your region by attending events, proposing ideas for a CPD event or hosting an event at your office. Sometimes, the most valuable contributions are made by those who put forward ideas to the regional committees.
“We need CABE members from the region to feed back and express what’s happening in the local area, so we can listen and ensure the free CPD events we host are right for them,” says Brearey.
“We’re always encouraging people to join in,” agrees Gary. “Through feedback we receive from previous CPD events, we tailor [events] to things the members in the region want to see to upskill and further their knowledge.”
CABE wants to encourage all members to get involved with their local region.
“Grab hold of any opportunity,” says Brearey. “Helping out with CPD, holding a position on the committee or helping out in any way you can gets you involved with this great community. You have that sense of belonging.”
“We can help you with your CPD by ensuring it is relevant and helps your professional development,” says Richards.
“We’re here to give back and help those within the region. We welcome any new members, – it’s not what they can do for me, it’s what I can do for them,” concludes O’Keefe.
Get involved with your local region at cbuilde.com/regions