Incorporating the Variety Artistes' Federation
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Essex General Branch

The Essex General Branch  is in year year 12 now. We have a  history of arranging workshops, specialised courses and interesting speakers.

There have been yearly members social events including Garden Parties, River trips, Christmas & New Year Get togethers and Theatre visits.

September 2012 saw  another Garden Party with Salsa band and good weather. The year also included  a Using the Equity Website workshop and several inspiring speakers, notably: Jackie Marshall-Ward -  historical dance, as well as lively discussion of current topics. 2014 speakers included Malcolm Sinclair and Christine Payne.

2013 saw a successful outreach programme to the communty and local members with a Showcase - Selection Box at the Fold Billericay. This included afternoon programmes for younger audiences and and evening of variety all provided by member of Essex General Branch. Press and local radio gave good coverage here.

See  News and Events

In Essex we have always aimed to be inclusive and embrace all types of entertainer. Punch and Judy Professors, Pupeteers, Story tellers, Actors, Dancers, Directors, Opera singers, Music Theatre performers, Radio presenters and Variety artists of all kinds are part of our wide ranging membership.

We have meetings bi-monthly on Monday evenings at Trinity Methodist Church, Rainsford Road, Chelmsford for our Branch meetings, which are usually followed by a visit to the nearby County hotel. In 2014 the meetings moved around Essex to give a wider range of members the opportunity to attend. 2015 will be parmanent in Chelmsford on Monday evenings. See Events

The Branch has presented 3 Motions to conference, the most recent being on Branch structure for the future, presented at the 2011 ARC Conference. A further Motion was presented by Chair - Dee Mardi and Vice Chair Brian Eastty at the May, 2015 ARC. This was carried with amendements [See newsletter]

We were able to send 2 Representatives plus an observer in 2013 & 2104  and will again this year.

2015 has an exciting programme of speakers, social events and workshops together with outreach projects to promote Equity to the general public and performers.

Following a joint meeting with Herts branch in 2014 with a visit from Equity President - Malcolm Sinclair; Essex were delighted to host Christine Payne as Guest Speaker at the AGM - See News.

Our aim is to be always helpful, friendly, inclusive and professional in all that we do.

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Equity has a vital network of branches throughout the UK which give members a voice in the union and much more. Branches hold regular meetings in their local area and all members and student members are invited to attend these to share views and experiences, discuss issues that are of importance to them and put proposals to Equity's ruling body - the Equity Council. Branches also organise a programme of social events and raise money for local charities.

If you are an Equity member or student member based in the area you are able to join the branch (no charge) so please get in touch with Dee Mardi - the branch chair. If you are a member or student member visiting the area you are very welcome to drop into the next branch meeting and get to know some of your fellow members.