I need information re- running a craft club

Myself and some friends have decided to run a little craft club. We meet weekly in a local community centre and do cardmaking, sewing, knitting etc. We rent the hall for a small fee and have named the club, appointed a secretary(me), a treasurer and a chair person. We have opened a bank account and expect to have some fund raising activities to raise money to buy another sewing machine.
Is it necessary to have things like a First Aider, Health and Safety Officer and policies and proceedures etc for a club like this?
Does the paint and glue etc need to have a risk assessment on it?
The group is not a charity or a business.Someone has said that as a group that charges 'fees' all these things should be in place, also that we need to get public liability insurance. This seems rather extreme for what is basically a social and friendship group who have a common interest in crafting.

Replies

  • meritatenmeritaten
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    you do need some policies agree on at first meeting. such as procedure for electing the officers or whatever you call them. whether it will be yearly or every five years or only when the post becomes vacant. you also need to decide on how topics or crafts are going to be handled - will you have a single meeting dedicated to one craft or can everyone do their own thing?
    it will save on nasty arguments down the line if these are agreed now!
    I would think public liability insurance would be covered by the community centre.
    as for the paint and glue etc - are you storing it at the CC? if so their own insurance should cover that - check that though.
  • hannahsmammahannahsmamma Forumite
    170 Posts
    Thank-you Meritaten, we're ok on choosing the crafts and who does what and when it's the other stuff like Health and Safety and Safeguarding. Where did you get your information from? Is there some kind of groups handbook?
    (ps I have just re -read this and it sounds a bit stroppy, not meant to be, just want to do things properly)
  • kingfisherbluekingfisherblue Forumite
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    Myself and some friends have decided to run a little craft club. We meet weekly in a local community centre and do cardmaking, sewing, knitting etc. We rent the hall for a small fee and have named the club, appointed a secretary(me), a treasurer and a chair person. We have opened a bank account and expect to have some fund raising activities to raise money to buy another sewing machine.
    Is it necessary to have things like a First Aider, Health and Safety Officer and policies and proceedures etc for a club like this?
    Does the paint and glue etc need to have a risk assessment on it?
    The group is not a charity or a business.Someone has said that as a group that charges 'fees' all these things should be in place, also that we need to get public liability insurance. This seems rather extreme for what is basically a social and friendship group who have a common interest in crafting.

    I have set up a couple of community groups, and the first thing to do is to write your constitution. This is your set of rules, for want of a simple explanation. It explains who the group is open to, so if it is the Anytown Crafters, your members might have to live in Anytown.

    It also details how many people are on the committee, how it is made up, and how many have to be present to have a vote carried. So if your committee has seven people, you could have chair, secretary, treasurer and four other members. If you have to vote on something, you may decide that at least four members of the committee need to be at the meeting. The numbers are up to your group to decide. You may think you don't really have any decisions to make, but thinking ahead, what if room hire suddenly increased by a large amount - would you want to pay it, or would you consider looking for another venue? If your fundraising efforts were more successful than expected, how would you want to spend the extra money?

    Banking details should be included. It is usual to have two, unrelated signatories. Some groups state that the chair and treasurer are the preferred signatories, but you should have at least one other, in case someone is on holiday, ill, etc.

    There should be a section about fees. How do you decide what to pay? How will you decide on increased subs? How do people pay - weekly, monthly, termly? If someone doesn't come, do they still pay? (My Brownies and Rainbows do, as I still have room hire, insurance, etc to pay).

    Details about Minutes and meetings should be clear. For example, 'Meetings shall occur at least every second month. The Secretary shall record the Minutes, which will then be distributed to all committee members. Once agreed as accurate, the Chair will sign the Minutes and the Secretary shall keep signed copies on file'.

    You should also have a dissolution clause. If the group folds at some in the future, how will you dispose of any assets?

    I know it may sound a bit daunting, but covering these details now can save a lot of arguments and discord in the future.

    For insurance, although you may be covered by the community centre when you are there, you should check the details. For example, ifgnome one injures them self when using a sewing machine belonging to the group, I doubt if the centre would cover any cost resulting from that. If someone sued, it would be the group that was sued, not the community centre. You should have public liability insurance if you are planning any trips out. Our group has found Zurich very competitive for costs and cover, although it is a different type of group (we run social activities for disabled children and their families).

    An hour long meeting should sort out most things. The Constitution is your governing document and should be reviewed before an AGM. Any changes should be voted on during the AGM.

    If you ever decide to apply for funding, you will need a Constution and copies of your accounts.

    If you have a council for voluntary services in your area, they may be able to help you. In my area, the social housing company have funding officers who can help with setting up a group, Constitutions, obtaining funding, etc. There is also a lot of information if you google 'how to run a community group'.

    If you need any help, feel free to pm me.

    Good luck with your group.
  • meritatenmeritaten
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    Thank-you Meritaten, we're ok on choosing the crafts and who does what and when it's the other stuff like Health and Safety and Safeguarding. Where did you get your information from? Is there some kind of groups handbook?
    (ps I have just re -read this and it sounds a bit stroppy, not meant to be, just want to do things properly)

    I set up and ran a craft group for a charity based in their own premises - but I also helped with a martial arts class in a community centre and have drawn from this.
    It is always wise to check with the centre exactly what their own insurance etc covers. and be aware that if you do fundraising activities OUTSIDE the centre - then members will not be covered by their policy (I learned that at the craft group - members wanted to do a fun run - and I had to arrange insurance cover for that one activity)!
    as for the craft group - it is wise to set down exactly what the group is about and how meetings are handled - cos you will always get people who want to do it 'Their' way! having it in black and white is the best way to stymie that! 'Quoting GROUP POLICY can often diffuse heated discussions!

    So your first meeting should be to discuss your 'mission statement'! to agree officers and terms of service and to decide on how formal you want to make the group (or informal).
    Our group just had me! lol - it would have caused too much argument otherwise and as I taught it and was treasurer, and chief teamaker - I got to make the decisions and receive any flack!:)

    Good luck - and I am sure there must BE a handbook out there somewhere!!!!!!!!!!!
  • ToonieToonie Forumite
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    I help to run a not-for-profit toddler group, we are a drop in group and as such you pay when you come, we have our own public liability insurance as the hall we use does not cover our equipment.

    Dependant on whether you will be running for profit or not can alter what information you need to have. Also, will there be any contact with children at a time when their parents/carers are not around, equally, for vulnerable adults. If so, you will need to be aware of safeguarding issues (there is information and courses available from http://www.nspcc.org.uk/).

    As my group is run by volunteers and the only money we take pays for rent, insurance and activities we do not have a written constitution or policies and procedures. Parents are always responsible for their own children and we do not supervise them.

    There is some information available here http://www.communitymatters.org.uk/content/463/Setting-up at the bottom of the page is a link to an information sheet which costs £2, I don't know how good it is, but it may be worth checking out.

    You will need to make sure any time you get new equipment you explain how to use it to all members and if there is anything toxic you need to be very careful with it. If you do not have a first aider you should not offer any first aid (plasters etc) as you are not qualified to do so.
  • jackyannjackyann Forumite
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    Your local council (try district council first, they should point you at best place) will have some sort of community development officer (who may go by another name!)
    Their job is to encourage clubs like yours - so they can help you on rules / constitution etc (you have good advice here as well). They can often advise about insurance (may be able to get you covered on a policy they have). They may negotiate with other organisations, and give you information about grants, sharing facilities with other clubs etc.
    I have always found them very useful
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