GC Report September 2010

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Here you will see Carly Walker-Dawson's report of the last General Council meeting.

  GC Report September 2010

General Council is the board of trustees of The Woodcraft Folk, who are elected by the membership at Annual Gathering, DF Althing and the Scottish and Welsh gatherings. General Council meets face-to-face approximately every two months. Carly Walker-Dawson summarises the main outcomes of the last General Council meeting, 25-26 September 2010, in Manchester:

The Big Plan review

The Big Plan was created in 2008 as a template for the work that Woodcraft should be focusing on in the next five years. Halfway through this work plan, General Council reviewed the progress and structure of the plan. At this year’s Annual Gathering two motions were passed to create another two ambitions – working areas – in the plan. The plan now has seven ambitions, as well as four cross cutting themes. In the reviewed structure, most of the groups have one or two General Council members but the majority of the group should be made up of a wide range of Woodcraft’s membership. General Council is looking for you to get involved in the Big Plan, whatever your role in our organisation. The working groups for the Big Plan and the General Council contact(s) are listed below; please get in touch to join the team. The starred working groups are those that General Council considers to be of the highest priority.


§  *We are bigger and better:

Danny – danny.rowe@woodcraft.org.uk

§  We are much better known and understood:

Phin – phin.harper@woodcraft.org.uk

§  We prioritise camping and outdoor adventure:

Rhiannon – rhiannon.breed@woodcraft.org.uk

Josh – josh.dodd@woodcraft.org.uk

§  *We are open and accessible to all:

Kerry – kerry.frankland@woodcraft.org.uk

§  We empower children and young people to influence the Woodcraft Folk and society:

Jack – jack.brown@woodcraft.org.uk

Saskia – saskia.neibig@woodcraft.org.uk

§  We develop and use new exciting approaches to learning:

Dan – dan.rawnsley@woodcraft.org.uk

§  Internationalism:

Carly – carly@woodcraft.org.uk

Kieran – kieran.ford@woodcraft.org.uk

Cross Cutting themes

§  We communicate effectively with each other:

Pat – pat.hunter@woodcraft.org.uk

§  *We have enough money to do what we want:

Richard – richard.robertson@woodcraft.org.uk

§  We provide appropriate training and support for all our volunteers:

Ghee – ghee.bowman@woodcraft.org.uk

§  We cooperate with like-minded organisations:

Imogen – imogen.probyn-gibbs@woodcraft.org.uk

Caroline – caroline.tendler@woodcraft.org.uk


http://woodcraft.org.uk/big-plan to view The Big Plan.


In line with Motion 6, which was passed at this year’s Annual Gathering, full minutes of General Council meetings are available within one working month of the meeting. To see full minutes, http://www.woodcraft.org.uk/general-council-minutes


Your General Council representatives

Many General Council members have taken on new roles across the organization. Below is a list of representatives for you to keep an eye out for. Feel free to contact them:

Representative to Centre Management Committees:

§  Cudham: Dan Rawnsley – dan.rawnsley@woodcraft.org.uk

§  Darsham: Jess Poyner – jess.poyner@woodcraft.org.uk

§  Hamsterley: Saskia Neibig – saskia.neibig@woodcraft.org.uk

§  Height Gate: Carly Walker-Dawson – carly@woodcraft.org.uk

§  Lockerbrook: Danny Rowe – danny.rowe@woodcraft.org.uk

§  Park Farm: Maddy Williams – maddy.williams@woodcraft.org.uk

Representatives to the CoCamp board:

§  Kit Jones – kit.jones@woodcraft.org.uk

§  Kerry Frankland – kerry.frankland@woodcraft.org.uk

Representative on Venturer Committee:

§  Jack Brown – jack.brown@woodcraft.org.uk

Press Officer:

§  Phin Harper – phin.harper@woodcraft.org.uk

Folk Supply liaison:

§  Pat Hunter – pat.hunter@woodcraft.org.uk


Want to get involved with Folk Supply?

There is no longer a formal Folk Supply board in Woodcraft. However, the new Folk Supply group is looking for interested volunteers to get involved! Are you interested in choosing what types of merchandise we sell? Would you like to be a designer for the Folk? Want to help source our ethical brands? Then get in touch with Pat to get involved: pat.hunter@woodcraft.org.uk.


Do you bank with the Cooperative?

Now that The Woodcraft Folk are one charity, all groups and districts need to make moves to banking with the Cooperative Bank. General Council are also forming an agreement with the bank that allows groups and districts to regain control of their bank account if the previous signatories are no longer active. For help on how to change to bank with the Cooperative, contact Danny: danny.rowe@woodcraft.org.uk


Young people with learning disabilities

General Council received some guests at their meeting from Chorlton and Whalley Range District to propose their ideas about the inclusion of young people with learning disabilities. Train for Change (IFM-SEI international camp this summer) sparked discussions about how to educate our members to support our young members with learning disabilities. Their suggestions focused around CoCamp, including a training weekend and workshops run by young people with learning disabilities for young people, a buddy scheme and a daily drop in session for young people with learning disabilities. The open and accessible working group is leading on this project. Thanks to the Chorlton and Whalley Range members for their proposal.


Venturer Committee

Jack Brown has been elected as General Council’s Venturer Committee representative. Jack is working with other members of General Council to provide logistical support for the committee and they are looking into ways of tackling the safeguarding and chaperoning issues of the committee meeting.


One Charity – what does it mean for you?

This year’s Annual Gathering voted that The Woodcraft Folk should remain as one charity. As part of this, each of your groups and districts need to consolidate all of your accounts into the central organisation, from 2011 onwards.  Group and district treasurers will be provided with training about how to do this.


Developing Gift Aid

A proposal was passed by General Council to maximise our ability to claim Gift Aid on donations. Gift Aid is a system where donations are accepted by the organisation and are subject toa 23%return on the tax. This scheme will be trialed at CoCamp, whereby groups and districts can make donations to Woodcraft, rather than paying camp fees directly. This system is to fund children and young people to attend our camp. For more details you can get in touch with Richard: richard.robertson@woodcraft.org.uk.


Dormant bank accounts

General Council have received a list from the Cooperative Bank of all dormant Woodcraft accounts. If your group or district has a dormant bank account, Head Office will have contacted you. However, in order to receive the money from these accounts, you need to respond before the end of 2010, so don’t wait around! All dormant accounts that groups and districts have not claimed by this time will be transferred into the national development fund.


Fundraising Plan

The General Secretary, Jon Nott, announced his fundraising plan to General Council. The main four aims that Woodcraft can seek at a national level can be seen below:

§  Fundraising from members and supporters – funding from members who support the organisations’ plans

§  Development and capacity building grants – such as Big Lottery funding and the previous Children & Young People Fund for supporting regional revitalisation work

§  Project funding – helping to improve the delivery of our core charitable objectives through national projects. These projects are not what Woodcraft exists to do but they fit with our goals and empower young people

§  Trading income – such as Folk Supply and cafes or bars on national camps, although good value products should not be sacrificed for a higher profit in these areas

To see the full proposal or for further details, contact Jon Nott: jon.nott@woodcraft.org.uk.


Annual Gathering 2011 – a date for your diary

Annual Gathering 2011 will be held alongside CoCamp pre-camp next Spring in Walesby over the bank holiday weekend 29 April – 02 May. The timetable will be structured so that those who represent their district or group at both events will be able to attend all relevant sessions at Annual Gathering and the CoCamp AGM. This will maximize the value for those people who are attending both events, raise the attendance at both events and districts only need to allocate one weekend to national events. Thanks to the DFs who offered to assist in the organisation and running of the event at the DF Althing. More information to follow soon, so keep your eyes peeled!


Your group’s link to General Council

Before the end of 2010, every group in Woodcraft will have a designated General Council ‘buddy’. Your General Council contact will be your mouthpiece at General Council meetings and will answer any questions and listen to any comments you have. Your buddy will also keep you up to date on events and issues. The aim of this new system is to improve the communication between groups and General Council. Your buddy will introduce themselves in the few weeks that are left of this year and will always be on the end of a phone or computer screen to hear from you.

Want to see more of how General Council operates?

Any member of Woodcraft can come along as an observer to any General Council meeting or part of the meeting. Whether you’re thinking of standing for General Council, have an issue you want to bring up or simply want to know more about how the central organisation works, then you are more than welcome to sit in on one or more of our meetings (please let us know in advance though). The next date for your diary is the 20-21 November at the London Office, Elephant & Castle. Get in touch with Sarah if you’d like to come along: sarah.mcdonell@woodcraft.org.uk.

For full minutes of September’s General Council meeting http://www.woodcraft.org.uk/general-council-minutes   

The next meeting will be held on the weekend 20th November 2010.