English Bridge Education & Development
Newsletter - July 2017

Dear EBU member

It has proved to be a busy start to the year for EBED as we work to promote and develop bridge for everyone in England. Of course this means that we have had less time to a produce a newsletter, and now we have it has even more in it, so sorry that this is long one, but there is lots of good news to report.

Please don't hesitate to contact our staff if there is something we can do to help you. And similarly we would love to hear from you if you are able to help us. Details on how you can support our work are at the foot of this newsletter.

Welcome to Donna Wright, our new Chief Executive Officer

We are pleased to have appointed Donna Wright as our new Chief Executive Officer.

Donna is joining us to: lead the organisation; manage the charity’s staff and day-to-day activities; work with the Trustees and staff to develop and deliver business strategy, plans and targets; and ensure the sustainability and expansion of our activities and services.

You can read her short biography here.

New fundraising partnership

We are pleased to have started working with an organisation, Third Sector Consultancy, which will help us to identify, and approach, potential sources of funding.

We hope that in future newsletters we can talk about new projects that have been made possible by securing funding from outside sources.

Fast Track Bridge

We are nearing completion of work on Fast Track Bridge, the new addition to the national learning programme.

Fast Track Bridge gives the opportunity to learn to play bridge in just 24 hours of lessons. This caters for a new audience of both students and teachers wanting to learn/teach via a more intensive course than is offered by 'traditional' methods. This may be in a 'holiday' setting, or through clubs offering an alternative 'condensed' course.

The material has recently been trialled at two intensive courses, and received great feedback. Of the nine who attended one course, none would have been able to learn via a 'three term' method, so we are delighted that it looks to be bringing new people in to the game.

The publication will be available from August onwards in time for the new teaching year, and we will be holding a series of regional previews so that teachers can view the publication and check out how they can apply it to their own new courses.

5th August - Bristol BC
8th August - Summer Meeting in Eastbourne
14th August - Manchester BC
16th August - Young Chelsea BC, London
21st August - West Midlands BC, Solihull
22nd August - Welwyn Garden City BC

All sessions are free of charge. To book please email Lisa Miller at EBED. lisa@ebedcio.org.uk.


Research projects

You may recall that at the start of this year we shared the results of the research project which we undertook with Stirling University. The full report is available here, but the ‘highlight’ was that it allowed the researchers to demonstrate, for the first time, that playing bridge has a statistically significant positive effect on wellbeing.

Of course we all thought it was likely to be true but those bodies that give grants and will support our efforts to bring bridge to a wider audience, need more than anecdotal evidence or our gut feeling. They need to see data generated by robust academic research. That is why we are in the process of funding further research with Stirling University and Imperial College.

The Benefits of Bridge

Following the survey which was undertaken with Stirling University, we have given funding for work which will further investigate the motivations behind why people play bridge, and the benefits which participants enjoy.

By having the information from this research we will:

  • be able to better target future promotional activities;
  • have key data which will be important when approaching potential funders;
  • add to the international ‘knowledge-base’ about bridge for the benefit of all involved with the game. 

fMRI scanning of the brain

We have previously mentioned our plan to undertake a project which will scan the brains of bridge players, to help identify that playing bridge has had a beneficial effect on the way that the participant’s brain responds. We hope to have more news on this project later in the summer.


Youth activities

We are delighted at the number of clubs, counties and schools that are starting to organise activities for young players, and very grateful to the continued efforts of the established programmes around the country which are working alongside us to bring the game to an ever-increasing youth audience.

If you would like more information on how we can help you to start a club for young players, whether at a school, or through a local bridge club, then please get in touch with Richard – richard@ebedcio.org.uk.

Junior Teach-In

The Junior Teach-In (JTI) our three day residential bridge camp returns this year after a year off in 2016. We will again be returning to Loughborough University, though the event is a week later this year to avoid the Bank Holiday Weekend.

Come and enjoy a packed weekend of bridge entertainment, tuition, coaching and play for all young people under the age of 21. There's plenty of fun and social activities included, and we cater for all levels - from beginners to aspiring internationals - so please spread the word to all who might like to try playing.

More information is available here.

Please see below for information for those who may need financial assistance in order to attend.

Bursary available for those needing financial support to attend junior events

We are very grateful to the Makers of Playing Cards Charity for providing a grant to support juniors who need financial assistance to take part in a junior event. This bursary could be applied to any junior event in the coming twelve months, so if there is something in which you would like to part, but would need financial assistance to do so, then please contact Richard – richard@ebedcio.org.uk.

Junior bridge lessons over the summer

There are a number of clubs and organisations which are running bridge and minibridge sessions during the summer, giving youngsters a fun way to spend some of their school holidays, and allowing them to take their first steps in bridge.

A list is available on our website.

Junior Award Scheme

Over 180 young players have completed one, or more, of the levels of the Junior Award Scheme, with many more working towards earning one of the certificates. A list of those who have completed one of the levels is available in the Junior Award Scheme Hall of Fame.

The Junior Award Scheme provides a great way to stimulate enthusiasm for junior bridge among young players, and to reward achievement as they progress along their bridge learning journey. For more information please see www.ebedcio.org.uk/junior-award-scheme.

The Bridge Warehouse now stocks books which are specifically written with the Junior Award Scheme in mind. These can help those who are working towards one of the lower levels, or those who are using the scheme to introduce the game. This is part of the ‘junior bridge’ range – see below.

Junior Bridge products available in the Bridge Warehouse

The Bridge Warehouse (the new name for the EBU Shop) now has a section dedicated to items which are good for junior bridge players, or for those involved with junior bridge. This includes books aimed for young readers, books for those who want to introduce the game to youngsters, and practical equipment such as card holders. Go to www.ebu.co.uk/shop/junior-bridge to see what they have available.


TD Training

Upcoming Club TD training courses

We are continuing to organise successful TD training courses, with forthcoming full courses taking place in Welwyn Garden City, Eastbourne (at the Summer Meeting), Chichester and Cheltenham, and more to be confirmed soon. Please see the course calendar for details.

New laws

As you may be aware, the WBF have updated the laws of bridge, and these will come in to effect in England in August 2017. To help county and national TDs get to grips with the changes there will be a series of sessions around the country at the end of the summer – please see the course calendar for details.

New One Day Course coming soon

In the coming months we will start to develop a new one day course which will be aimed at enabling members to run a ‘club session’. Those wishing to become a fully qualified TD will still want to complete the longer course, but we hope it will help a number of clubs who need more members who can undertake basic scoring, set up an appropriate movement, etc. We hope to be able to give more details in a newsletter later in the year.


Simultaneous Pairs

EBED Spring Sim Pairs

Thank you to everyone who took part in the EBED Spring Simultaneous Pairs in May, and to the clubs which hosted heats. There were 120 club heats, and nearly 4000 people took part, raising around £10,000 for EBED.

Congratulations to the winners:

Monday - Steve Hollister & Chris Williams, Bracknell Forest BC
Tuesday - Mike Toft & Ron King, Trowbridge County Town BC
Wednesday - Daniel McIntosh & Rudi Falla, CICBA (Guernsey) BC
Thursday - David Dawson & Jeremy Fitzpatrick, Selsdon BC

The full results are available via the specific day above, or through the EBU website.

EBED Autumn Sim Pairs

The next EBED Sim Pairs will be held in September, and each of the five heats is open to all clubs in England. Please encourage the club (or clubs) you play at to host a heat, even if they are an unaffiliated club – they will not pay a surcharge to take part. Details on the sims are available on our website.

The proceeds from the EBED Sims

The proceeds from both the Spring and Autumn events will go to improving and developing the infrastructure for bridge teaching in England. This work has included the refresh of the Bridge for All material and the development of Fast Track Bridge (see above).

We believe investing in the future of bridge teaching is very important as without plenty of good lessons taking place, and good material to use, the next influx of bridge players – which is needed if the game is going to thrive – won’t be produced. Please take part to support our efforts in this area.

Student Sim Pairs

The EBED Student and Schools Sim Pairs took place in the spring, with a record number of players taking part. 980 bridge students and school children – more than double previous years – played in their first simultaneous bridge or minibridge competition. We hope it will be the first of many.

The results are available on the EBU website – minibridge; bridge.


EBTA Convention

On 8th - 10th September 2017 we will be holding a Teachers' Convention at Chesford Grange Hotel in Warwickshire.

It is open to EBTA members and non-members, and to residential and day-delegates. Join us, and bridge teachers from around the country, for seminars, workshops, discussions, dinners, and games of bridge.

Please see the information leaflet for more details including a provisional list of activities and booking information. Places are filling up, so don’t leave it too long to book your place.

If you have any queries, or would like to contribute to any of the sessions, please email Sue Maxwell on sue@ebedcio.org.uk.

Bridge for people with learning difficulties

EBED is pleased to have been working with a group to bring bridge to people with learning difficulties. Led by Richard Pearl, and with teacher Liz Dale, the project has introduced five students to some of the aspects of card play to promote the principles of partnership, competition and generosity.

Richard says, “The students love the sessions and are learning well. Although it is early days, I can see these young people enjoying our lovely game to the full in the near future."

They hope to run more sessions in future, and also some in Northamptonshire. More information is available here.


Supporting EBED

EBED cannot rely only on the generous support of the EBU, and must find contributions from other sources.

As mentioned above we are actively pursuing funding opportunities, but we also need your help. Donations, whatever their size, are greatly appreciated, but we recognise that a financial donation may not be practical for many members, and you can give us your support in a number of other ways.

  • Take part: Please encourage your local club to consider holding EBED events and, of course, we hope that you will take part yourself!
  • Spread the word: Tell people about what we have to offer and how to find us by phone, email or on the web. If you would like to be sent leaflets which outline what EBED offers then please get in touch.
  • Volunteer: We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who could help us to grow - you needn’t make a large commitment of time. Please email us if you feel that you would like to help.
  • Talk to us:  This charity is run for the benefit of present and future bridge players, so please engage with us.
  • Donate: You can of course help fund the work of the charity by making a financial donation or gift aid. Please visit www.ebedcio.org.uk/donate or contact finance manager Gail Nancarrow by email or on 01296 317210. We are also able to provide information on legacies and gifts in kind.


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English Bridge Education and Development
Broadfields, Bicester Road,
Aylesbury, HP19 8AZ
01296 317218

Copyright © English Bridge Education and Development. EBED is a charitable incorporated organisation established under the Charities Act 2011, Registered Charity No. 1153543
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