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Wednesday 10 July 2024

FDA member Ross Thompson awarded Individual Impact Award 2024

Graham Martin
FDA member Ross Thompson received the Individual Impact Award for his work increasing membership and engagement in the Northern Ireland Section, the union's fastest growing constituency.  

Ross identifies a few main elements behind the successful expansion. The first was collaborating with FDA Learn to secure funding from the Irish Congress Trade Union’s (ICTU) Learning Fund for members and to help attract potential members: 

“We had £10,000 per year for three years and we've been using that money to do competency-based interview training, which has been phenomenally successful. The Learning Fund doesn't say money has to be spent on members, so it's been an ideal way to reach out to people and say the FDA can help you.

“We also put on more events to make sure people feel that they're getting some sort of value from their subscription. Not just that there's the reassurance that we're there if they need us, but also that there's things we're doing proactively.”

Membership growth also came from the Graduate Management Programme, specific to Northern Ireland and similar to the Fast Stream, as well as word of mouth.

Ross explains: 

“We have put a lot of effort into our personal cases, and at the end of every case we'd be telling people to make sure they tell their friends and colleagues about us.”

Speaking about what receiving the award meant to him , Ross says: 

“I was really touched that people that see me week in, week out on calls and in the Executive Committee meetings felt that the work I do, or the effort I put in, is worthy of recognition. I was really humbled and really pleased, proud to get it.

“It's easy to think that Northern Ireland could get left behind because a lot of what goes on in Westminster doesn't have much of an impact as it’s a devolved administration and there's a strong regional element. But I really felt like [General Secretary Dave Penman] saw the work that we've been doing and he's pleased, and it means something to him that we have been doing so well on membership numbers.”

Ross continues:

“A big selling point for the FDA in Northern Ireland is that it’s across the UK and we're always keen to leverage that in any way we can. In Northern Ireland we're always keen to host fellow members. If anybody wants to get in touch to give a talk to our local membership or wants to come over during our AGM to add some value, or if they just want to see Belfast, get in touch with me with or Robbie Davis, who's on the FDA's National Executive Committee.” 

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