Clare Project code of conduct
The Clare Project drop-In meeting offers a supportive and confidential safe space where people can meet to talk about themselves and their experiences, listen to others, form friendships and feel less isolated. To maintain this environment we expect all visitors to accept and follow these guidelines.
Everyone attending the drop-in should endeavour to
• show mutual respect and offer support to others
• be aware how vulnerable and challenged others may be feeling
• appreciate the individuality of all those present
• recognise each other’s ethnicity, sexuality and right to privacy
The drop-in expects
• the main meeting room to be a safe and peaceful space at all times
• any personal disagreements between individuals, or other problems or difficulties which may arise, should not be allowed to disrupt the drop-in – such issues to be taken out of the main meeting room and a committee member will endeavour to help if required
• all those attending to avoid the use of offensive or foul language
The drop-in DOES NOT accept
abusive, violent, disruptive, aggressive behaviour or speech.
• The drop-in meeting room is an alcohol and drug free environment.
The group facilitator, supported by the management committee of The Clare Project, reserves the right to protect the drop-in space from any disruption.
Clare Project constitution
Below is a copy of our constitution, approved by the Clare Project annual meeting in 2010.
Name of Organisation: The Clare Project Community Group
Aims and Objectives:
The Clare Project Community Group is a group established to provide a safe and supportive environment for people to explore issues surrounding their gender identity and to be affirmed in their journey. It does this through providing: a weekly drop in; crisis support; relevant workshops and courses; and social, cultural and creative activities. Membership is open to anyone who is exploring their gender identity or supportive of those who are. It is a non-political and non-discriminatory group.
Area of Benefit:
The area of benefit is anyone who is affected by gender identity issues.
The aims and objectives will be achieved through:
-providing a weekly drop in where people can meet to make friends and access information, support and counselling
-providing other affirming social, cultural and creative activities as appropriate
-providing workshops and events where transgendered people can learn the life skills needed to interact socially in their destination gender
-making essential information about transgendered people, the medical paradox of our bodies, our legal inequalities and the realities of social stigma available to all people
-the operation of a discretionary fund to subsidise the cost of counselling for those unable to afford it with their own resources. Operation of the discretionary fund shall be subject to a separate set of procedures.
Limit on Powers:
The Clare Project Community Group can speak only for its own members and it can do so only after its Executive Committee has determined the Group’s view on any given matter. Individuals cannot speak for the Group unless empowered by the Executive Committee to do so. Issues surrounding gender are often politicised; the Group should refrain from being drawn into party politics.
Membership of the Clare Project Community Group is open to
-anyone who has gone or is going through a gender reassignment,
-anyone who is exploring their gender
-anyone who supports the objectives of the Clare Project Community Group (referred to as “friends”).
Any member or friend can stand for election of the Executive Committee and every member and friend shall have one vote at meetings organised by the Clare Project Community Group.
There is no membership fee for trangendered people, for those who are exploring their gender or for those who are directly affected by those who are. However friends are asked to pay a membership fee to be set annually in order to help raise funds. This membership fee is non-returnable.
Anyone attending projects sponsored by the Clare Project Community Group will be asked to help finance them as they are able.
The Secretary and Drop In Facilitator will keep a register of members. No details of any members shall be disclosed outside the group without prior consent.
Members must treat each other with respect and observe the Clare Project Community Group Code of Conduct. If at any Group event, a member acts in a way which is contrary to that code, the Executive Committee may decide to suspend their membership.
Members’ conduct outside of Clare Project Community Group’s activities is not subject to the Group’s Code and is not within the Executive Committee’s power to comment upon.
The Clare Project Community Group will be managed by an Executive Committee which shall be elected annually at the AGM. It shall consist of:
Chair – who shall be responsible for chairing group meetings and acting as the Clare Project Community Group’s representative to other groups
Secretary – who, in consultation with the chair, shall be responsible for arranging regular meetings, taking minutes of those meetings, setting an agenda for meetings, overseeing the organising of activities, keeping an up-to-date register of members
Treasurer – who shall be responsible for maintaining the Clare Project Community Group’s accounts and reporting on its financial status as necessary, providing annual accounts at the AGM, co-ordinating grant and funding applications, keep a day to day record of transactions arising from the Group’s activities, advise on the handling of the discretionary fund.
Executive Committee Members:
-Three members of the Clare Project Community Group
-A representative from the main hosting body, Dorset Gardens Methodist Church
-The Drop-In Facilitator (non-voting member)
-The Drop-In Crisis Counsellor (non-voting member)
All members of the Executive Committee must be CRB checked.
The Executive Committee has the power to co-opt others onto the committee as necessary. It shall be responsible for making all decisions concerned with running the Clare Project Community Group including appointments. A two-thirds majority have to be present to make a decision on behalf of the Group. The Group shall aim to work by consensus but if this is not possible, decisions will be made by majority vote. In the event of a tied vote, the Chair has the deciding vote.
The Executive Committee shall meet at intervals decided by itself, but at least once every two months. All members of the committee will be consulted on the dates and venues of meetings.
Officers may stand down at any time but if possible should give one month’s notice. Replacement officers can be approved by the Executive Committee. In the event of misconduct an officer may be removed by a majority vote at an AGM or an EGM.
The Secretary will keep minutes of all meetings of the Executive Committee and any member of the Group may read the minutes.
The Clare Project Community Group will meet at intervals arranged by the Executive Committee. It will hold an Annual General Meeting; members will be notified of the AGM one month in advance. An Extraordinary General Meeting may also be called by any member, subject to the agreement of 25% of the membership. One month’s notice must be given to all members of an EGM.
Money raised by the Clare Project Community Group will be spent on activities which support the objectives of the Group and which sustain the discretionary fund. Records of all financial transactions will be kept by the treasurer and regular reports will be given to the Executive Committee. Discretionary fund transactions will remain confidential.
All cheques will require two signatories, to be determined by the Executive Committee. Transactions relating to petty cash and payment for premises, counselling, etc. will be conducted according to methods devised by the Treasurer.
Changing the constitution
Changes can be made to this constitution at an AGM or an EGM. Any proposal to change the constitution must be put in writing to the Secretary before the meeting and passed on to members in advance of the meeting. Changing the constitution requires a two third vote of those members present at the meeting.
If the Clare Project Community Group wishes to consider dissolution, a special meeting must be called and all members told of the purpose of the meeting. A majority of two thirds of those present is requires to dissolve the Group. If it is dissolved, all debts must be paid, grants and funding money returned and the remaining assets donated to charities which further the work of the transgender community.
Approved at the Annual General Meeting held on 23rd February 2010.