Legalities of charging for a craft group

I've been going to a craft group for about a year now, the group has been running about 18 months.  They organisers charge £1 a week. It's supposedly to buy things for the group, not that the group would actually need anything. Everyone has their own equipment.

There's no club accounts, no bank account. As far as I can see the person concerned is just carrying around the money...although obviously not all of it. The 2 club managers recently both got a fairly pricey piece of kit each, and I think they've taken it out of club funds, and there was a brief discussion last week about buying something which would only be used by one of them and be of no use to anyone else, and nothing to do with the hobby we are doing. For reference she's getting at the moment about £15-£20 a week, although some weeks it could be as much as £40+  There are no club overheads.  The room we use is free. 

So, are there any rules she should be following? Is it legal to take a weekly sub from people with no accounts or bank account?
There's some dissent brewing in the club about this. We reckon they've probably had at least £2.5k from people, and we don't 100% know what they've done with it all.
Apologies I'm being rather vague, don't want to be too outing.  Sorry if this is the wrong board for this.  I don't know where else to put it.

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Comments

  • I don't know the legalities of this but surely the first thing to do is ask the question.  There is strength in numbers so maybe get a few of you together (maybe even all of you) and ask the question with everybody there.  Maybe rather than be confrontational about it but maybe word it like this - "we have worked out that you've collected over £1,000 in the last year but as you haven't needed to spend this on anything maybe we could suspend the weekly payments until such time as the money is exhausted?"

    However having said that, if it is her own premises there are costs associated with running the class, electricity and heating especially in the winter in which case £1 a week really sounds like a bargain.  If it's not her premises is she having to pay to hire the venue?

    Just a few ideas for you
  • Debbie9009
    Debbie9009 Posts: 239 Forumite
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    In addition to the above, you could start a discussion at the next group meeting, for ideas on how to spend the money collected so far, and see how the organisers react.


  • However having said that, if it is her own premises there are costs associated with running the class, electricity and heating especially in the winter in which case £1 a week really sounds like a bargain.  If it's not her premises is she having to pay to hire the venue?


    No, it's a room which is in a public building, loaned out free of charge to local groups.  They sell food/drinks so make a few quid out of the various groups which use the room over the course of a week.  
  • kacie
    kacie Posts: 901 Forumite
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    We hsvea similar set up, however the money is written down in a cash book, and the funds buy us biscuits etc, plus we use it to celebrate birthdays or Christmas gatherings. 
    Maybe suggest using the funds for an outing to a craft event or Christmas party? 
  • Chloe_G
    Chloe_G Posts: 316 Forumite
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    As @kacie says they need to write it all down in a book and use the money for the good of the group.  I used to go to a massive walking group in a local park.  Two men used to lead the walks and charge £2, paid in cash to them.  They said they would give me a form to fill in for health reasons etc but they never did.  The local council encouraged this group because it meant a lot of people paying for carparking and using the cafe.  I got to know that this retired men were taking good holidays abroad and I worked out they were making so much money from these twice weekly walks in cash in a public park.  I basically couldn't understand why we were paying them for walking routes that we could easily navigate ourselves, but no-one seemed to care apart from me!

    Anyway, I don't think they should be charging you anything unless the money is spent on a day out for you all somewhere at the end.


  • Chloe_G
    Chloe_G Posts: 316 Forumite
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    Also, we used to run a riding club and we had to do the whole thing properly to get a bank account and public liability insurance.  We had an elected committee, meetings, took subs, all documented with accounts that could be inspected.  It was a lot of work but it all had to be done legally. 
  • theoretica
    theoretica Posts: 12,275 Forumite
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    Organising something can be a reasonable amount of work, and I have no issues with the organiser charging and being paid for their efforts and skills or rewarded with access to equipment - but it should be openly done and not hidden.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • Organising something can be a reasonable amount of work, and I have no issues with the organiser charging and being paid for their efforts and skills or rewarded with access to equipment - but it should be openly done and not hidden.
    There's no real organising, other than when they initially organised the room we use (which is free).  Everyone brings their own equipment, there is no need for club equipment.   I've been to several groups for my hobby in the past, and have never had to pay, and there's never been club equipment.  And crucially, the organisers have no skills in the hobby at all.  It's just something they were a bit interested in.  Equipment is very cheap.  And I don't see why I should be paying for them to buy stuff for themselves.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 32,634 Forumite
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    edited 16 July 2022 at 8:17PM
    Chloe_G said:
    As @kacie says they need to write it all down in a book and use the money for the good of the group.  I used to go to a massive walking group in a local park.  Two men used to lead the walks and charge £2, paid in cash to them.  They said they would give me a form to fill in for health reasons etc but they never did.  The local council encouraged this group because it meant a lot of people paying for carparking and using the cafe.  I got to know that this retired men were taking good holidays abroad and I worked out they were making so much money from these twice weekly walks in cash in a public park.  I basically couldn't understand why we were paying them for walking routes that we could easily navigate ourselves, but no-one seemed to care apart from me!

    Anyway, I don't think they should be charging you anything unless the money is spent on a day out for you all somewhere at the end.


    Or maybe they just had good pensions? 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • MalMonroe
    MalMonroe Posts: 5,783 Forumite
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    Organising something can be a reasonable amount of work, and I have no issues with the organiser charging and being paid for their efforts and skills or rewarded with access to equipment - but it should be openly done and not hidden.
    There's no real organising, other than when they initially organised the room we use (which is free).  Everyone brings their own equipment, there is no need for club equipment.   I've been to several groups for my hobby in the past, and have never had to pay, and there's never been club equipment.  And crucially, the organisers have no skills in the hobby at all.  It's just something they were a bit interested in.  Equipment is very cheap.  And I don't see why I should be paying for them to buy stuff for themselves.
    It sounds as if all the members need to sit down and have a meeting about this £1 that everyone is paying for nothing.

    Nobody should be paying anything, should they? Whose idea was that in the first place?

    The organiser person needs to explain what she's done with all the money that's been donated over the months and exactly where it's gone. Where are her records?

    If the venue's free and there's no charge for heating or anything else and you don't need to be organised, just what are you all paying for? It seems like these wily people have been pulling a fast one for a very long time.

    What would happen if you all refused to pay? You said this "There's some dissent brewing in the club about this. We reckon they've probably had at least £2.5k from people, and we don't 100% know what they've done with it all."

    That dissent has been a long time coming - but thank goodness it's here now. You've all been giving those 'club managers' money for nothing (to quote Dire Straits). You need to stop. Or they need to start keeping books in a proper manner and detailing where all that money has gone. Anything else is just theft under a different name, pure and simple. 
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
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