Schools should be easy to find. There is probably a list on your local authority’s website, or you can use SchoolsSearch. In a small village you probably know all the schools, but in a bigger town there may well be more than you think.
There may be several groups that meet regularly in your church – Mothers Union, Church Fellowship, and so on. You don’t have to limit yourselves to Anglican churches. Groups attached to other denominations may be just as interested in the story of ringing. They may not have bells, but they share the communal heritage of ringing. Your vicar can probably give you contacts, and your council website (unitary or county) should have lists of churches.
There are lots of groups out there – more than you think! Many rely on word of mouth to find speakers, so the more talks you give, the more likely that your name will be passed to someone else.
Some groups are purely local, and the best place to look for them is in local directories or libraries. But many are affiliated to a national or international organisation, which gives you another way to search for them. The table below gives details of some organisations, and how to find a local group near you.
Some organisations (for example the WI and some county history societies) have directories of speakers and their subjects, and the lists are provided to all their local groups. You might get on a list just by offering, or you might be invited to an audition. For example, the WI invites several speakers to selection meetings where each has to give a 20 minute potted version of their talk. It’s not at all intimidating, and you might even get some ideas about presentation by listening to the other speakers.
|Rotary clubs||Around 1000 clubs in the UK for people dedicated to volunteer service||Find one near you|
|Inner Wheel||Nearly 800 clubs in 21 districts for wives and partners of Rotarians (over 20,000 in UK) that have separate meetings with speakers|
|Round Table||Around 80 branches in UK||Find one near you|
|41 Clubs||Many clubs for former Round Tablers over 45|
|Ladies Circles||250 clubs across the UK and Ireland for women aged 18 to 45|
|Tangent Clubs||Many clubs for wives and partners of 41 Club members who used to be in the Ladies’ Circle||Find one near you|
|Probus||Over 900 clubs in UK for retired professional and business people who meet for fellowship and to hear guest speakers||Find one near you|
|Soroptimists||Over 100 clubs in UK for professional and business women working to improve the lives and status of women and girls||Find one near you|
|Federation of Women Graduates||Around 20 local associations of women with degrees or equivalent who meet regularly||Listed on this page|
|The Women’s Institute (WI)||Over 50 federations, with 7000 groups in UK.||Find one near you|
|Towns women’s Guilds||Nearly 800 branches for discerning women who care about their communities.||Find one near you|
|Trefoil Guilds||Over 20,000 women and men with a connection to the Scouting and Guiding movement.||Find one near you|
|Civil Service Retirement Fellowship||Over 250 groups in UK||Find one near you|
|U3A (University of the Third Age)||Over 800 separate U3As across UK, with over ¼ million members. People no longer in full time work share experiences in a wide range of interest groups||Find one near you|
|Local history societies||Over 1200 local history societies.||Find one near you|
|National Women’s Register||Over 350 groups in UK of women who meet regularly||Find one near you|
|Ladies luncheon clubs||There are many||Search for one|
|Gentlemen’s luncheon clubs||Not as many as the ladies, but still quite a few||Search for one|
|National Association of Women’s Clubs||Around 130 clubs with almost 5,000 members across England whose activities include widening personal horizons.||Find one near you|
If you know of other useful lists of organisations who might welcome a talk on ringing, please let us know.