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Committee

MAD Walkers is managed by a Committee of volunteers, who are elected into posts by members annually at the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Your Committee takes overall responsibility for all the processes involved in the successful running of MAD Walkers.

As our group continues to grow, we really do encourage new people onto the Committee.

The 2016 AGM was held on Saturday 12th November at the Deaf Institute in Manchester. All roles were filled, as described below.

Current Posts

Chair

Jon Buckland - chair@madwalkers.org.uk

Responsibilities of this role include:-

  • Chair committee meetings. The Chair should aim to attend all the scheduled committee meetings, running the meeting, keeping discussion on topic, coordinating votes, proceeding in a timely fashion. Note that during Committee meetings, the Chair does not have a vote except in the case of a tied vote.
  • Chair the AGM.
  • Support and co-ordinate activities between the various committee members.
  • Retain an overview of all Committee activities, providing support and advice when necessary.
  • In conjunction with the Secretary, act as the primary point of contact for any issues or complaints raised by members or non-members, referring at all times to the group procedures and policies.
  • Take ownership of complaints in a professional, timely and effective manner, organising sub-committees to examine issues if necessary, following processes detailed in the standing orders and complaints procedure.
  • Liaise with other local Group chairs, Area Committee (attending Area meetings if at all possible) and Ramblers Association HQ.
  • Maintain and update group procedures and policies, with input from Committee.
  • Maintain and update role definitions and handover processes between years, with input from Committee.
  • Maintain an archive of Committee and AGM paperwork.
  • Take responsibility for the Group Constitution and standing orders.
  • Usually a signatory on the account, countersigning cheques and authorising online transactions, confirming actions back to the Treasurer and other signatories.
  • At the end of the Committee year, the outgoing chair’s role typically extends into performing financial authorisations for the new Committee, with express written permission from the incoming Chair or incoming Treasurer.
  • Act as a figurehead for the group.
  • Guide the group’s development.

The chair can often be on the receiving end of a wide range of serious complaints or delicate issues. An ability to remain calm and level-headed, avoiding quick reactions and seeing every side of an issue is beneficial to the smooth and effective running of Committee and the group.

Handover Process

Meet with new Chair between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover and review all documents, including, but not limited to, the Constitution, Standing Orders, Policies, Procedures, Role Definitions, Handover Processes, archived committee paperwork.
  • Highlight any ongoing issues and/or complaints under investigation or matters not closed by the outgoing Committee.
  • Highlight any decisions that have been left for the incoming Committee.
  • Review any particular ongoing activities that require close monitoring.
  • Arrange for completion of account access form, if not already completed at the AGM.

Secretary

Niall Maclennan - secretary@madwalkers.org.uk

  • Secretary is responsible for preparing the agenda (with the chair person) for the committee meetings and producing/distributing the minutes for committee meetings.
  • Ensures that a room is organised (booked if necessary) for the committee meeting and informing committee of location, date and time of meeting plus distributing any meeting papers.
  • Collating officer reports prior to meetings (usually due a 3-5 days before each meeting).
  • Acts as a point of contact for Area group, Ramblers Association HQ and the public, sometimes enquiries are forwarded to relevant members of the committee.
  • Disseminates notices from Area, other groups, RAHQ, public contacts/groups as appropriate through all MAD channels of communication.
  • Runs the Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the group with help from other members of the committee and produces minutes for the AGM.
  • Maintain a diary of the group's important yearly activities, for example prompting before the 30th September when the group's accounts need to be submitted to RA Central Office and in January when the Annual Report is submitted to the Area.

They have one of the group's more intense roles, and the ability to attend most, preferably all, meetings is important.

Handover Process

Meet with new Secretary between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover and review all documents, including current and archived committee paperwork (minutes, actions, reports etc.).
  • Highlight any ongoing issues and/or complaints under investigation or matters not closed by the outgoing Committee.
  • Highlight any decisions that have been left for the incoming Committee.
  • Review any particular ongoing activities that require close monitoring.
  • Review the dates and locations for upcoming meetings.
  • Review preparation processes for each meeting.

Treasurer

Volker Funke - treasurer@madwalkers.org.uk

  • Look after the group's finances and bank account.
  • Issue payments on presentation of receipts.
  • Record all incoming and outgoing transactions.
  • Ensure all payments have receipts/supporting documents.
  • Enable transparency of the accounts.
  • Receive budgets for events, suggesting changes where necessary and present these budgets to Committee for approval.
  • Receive details of and verify each event’s actual expenditure once complete, investigating discrepancies and present a summary to Committee for approval.
  • They provide a report including current bank balance and summary of transactions during the period to the Committee at regular committee meetings.
  • They obtain information regarding future transactions to ensure the cashflow is well managed.
  • Retain sufficient funds for future deposits to large expenditure events to be booked in advance of cash payments.
  • In October they prepare the year end accounts to be submitted to Area (and the auditor - a group member selected at each AGM) and present them at the AGM.

Accountancy experience is not required, but numeracy is quite important. The effort for this role is spread throughout the year and can be quite considerable.

Note that membership payments are all handled separately by the Ramblers Association.

Handover Process

Meet with new Treasurer between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover and review all financial records.
  • Handover report archive for the role.
  • Highlight any ongoing event budgets or financial matters not closed by the outgoing Committee.
  • Highlight any decisions that have been left for the incoming Committee.
  • Arrange for completion of account access form, if not already completed at the AGM.

Membership

Siobhan Burke - membership@madwalkers.org.uk

  • Maintain the group's membership list, which is received from the Ramblers Association's membership office and Area membership secretary, and report the membership total to committee meetings.
  • Field any emailed membership enquiries.
  • Provide a list of the group's current members to the AGM to identify those with the right to vote.
  • Send out email reminders to people who have lapsed membership. Check membership status of people signed up for events (for insurance purposes).
  • Provide members' contact details to requests from other committee members, in line with the Data Protection Act.
  • Provide the responsible officer (usually the webmaster) with an up to date list of email addresses to be used for the dissemination of information through email shots.
  • Manage the group’s Facebook members list (invite new members, review requests and remove lapsed members)

Handover Process

Meet with new Membership Secretary between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover report archive for the role.
  • Handover and review all membership records.
  • Highlight lapsed members and chase up details.
  • Highlight any ongoing issues or enquiries.

Communications

Aimee Teare - comms@madwalkers.org.uk

He or she should look for opportunities to promote the activities of the group in an engaging manner both to existing members or contacts and to potential new members. This could be achieved in a number of ways, such as some of the following (but certainly not all! The role-holder should certainly be selective as to where they focus their efforts).

  • Through the two Facebook pages (‘Members’ and ‘Community’)
  • Maintaining the Meetup site, including sourcing information from the MAD website to create Meetup Events (where possible this work can be shared with other relevant officers, such as socials officer and walks coordinator) and passing information and/or queries to other officers as and when necessary.
  • Coordinating with, or being directly involved in, the team responsible for the periodical production of the Newsletter.
  • Having primary responsibility for the Twitter account, with the intended purpose of developing MAD’s profile across individuals, companies and organisations in order to attract potential new members.
  • Working with the walks coordinator to promote our involvement in any RA themed events, walks or notable anniversaries.
  • By producing publicity material about our Group (e.g. posters, leaflets, displays) and arranging their distribution in suitable local locations.
  • Informing the local media about the Group's activities through articles, regular features or advertisements or contributions to their social media channels.
  • Organising publicity stands at local fairs or public places (e.g. market places, popular walking locations).

Any publicity must be 'apolitical' so that there is no conflict with the view of the RA overall. The Publicity Officer may liaise with RA's publicity section for advice on their national campaigns; which might involve themes for walks or notable anniversaries. This role can be as intensive as the holder wishes.

Handover Process

Meet with new Publicity Officer between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover documents accompanying the role.
  • Highlight any ongoing MAD publicity campaigns or events and put new officer in contact with any named contacts.
  • Handover the Newsletter information.
  • Handover the Meetup account details and associated pointers for use.
  • Handover the Twitter account details and associated pointers for use.

Socials

Kate Atty - socials@madwalkers.org.uk

  • Encourage members to organise socials and manage the social calendar.
  • Lead the organisation of any big ticket events e.g. the annual Christmas party.
  • Ensure information regarding socials appears on the website by email of the information to the Webmaster in a convenient format.
  • Maintain the back-end website system for socials as and when that becomes available.
  • Responsible for publicising all socials by both internal and external methods of communication, e.g. creating Facebook events and inviting members or simply posting to Facebook pages, using Twitter etc (either directly or through the relevant Officer)
  • Ensure that the social programme complements the walks and weekends programmes.
  • Prepare the new members 'meeter and greeter' rota for the monthly Knott Bar socials.
  • Provide a regular report at every Committee meeting summarising current activities.
  • Provide an annual report on Socials in time for collation into the Annual Report presented at the AGM.

Handover Process

Meet with new Socials Co-ordinator between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover report archive for the role.
  • Handover and review all current social events.
  • Highlight ongoing events that require attention (usually Christmas party is the main one).
  • Handover discussions with members putting on socials.
  • Explain the use of the automated back end system if it has come online, otherwise the method of submission of socials to the webmaster.

Walks

Steve Rawlins - walks@madwalkers.org.uk

This role is responsible for:-

  • Receiving all walks submissions from our volunteer walk leaders, checking their contents for accuracy e.g. walk distance, difficulty etc and approving them on the website via the back-end system.
  • Responsible for publicising all walks by all internal and external methods of communication, e.g. posting to Facebook pages, using Twitter (either directly or through the relevant Officer)
  • Tabulating all walks led; their leaders and other statistics on each walk for annual data.
  • Answering personal queries regarding walks.
  • Assisting walk leaders in planning, reccying, grading and submitting walks.
  • Filling in gaps in the walks calendar with their own walks when necessary.
  • Keeping in regular contact with walk leaders and encouraging walks to be submitted as and when necessary.
  • Making sure there are Committee members present on a new leader's first walk.
  • Giving walk transport advice.
  • Encouraging new walk leaders, through focussed events such as training walks or map evenings at the regular pub social, where people can plan walks.
  • Encourage walk leaders to report any path obstructions they find and report these to Area or RAHQ.
  • Arranging the prize draws for Walks Leader and New Walks Leader at the AGM.
  • Provides a regular report at every Committee meeting summarising current walks.
  • Provides an annual report on Walks in time for collation into the Annual Report presented at the AGM.
  • Custodian of the group's walking equipment inventory (for example maps, radios and compasses), and will need to be keep track of the holders of this equipment so that these objects can be provided to members/coordinators when necessary.

Handover Process

Meet with new Walks Officer between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover report archive for the role.
  • Handover and review all current walks.
  • Highlight ongoing and upcoming walks that require attention or support.
  • Handover discussions with members putting on walks.
  • Explain the use of the automated back end system.

Weekends

Owain Roberts - weekends@madwalkers.org.uk

The responsibilities of this role include:

  • Encouraging group members to organise weekends away such that there are several spread throughout a year, particularly to more distant areas where the duration of the journey and walk would be impractical within a day walk.
  • Responsible for publicising all weekends by all internal and external methods of communication, e.g. posting to Facebook pages, using Twitter (either directly or through the relevant Officer)
  • Maintain a diary of the regular walking weekends to fill, such as bank holidays and this role should ensure variety (for example not revisiting the same walking area within a year).
  • Answer all weekends related queries, from organisers and attendees, passing on queries when necessary, including encourage car-sharing for weekends away.
  • As weekends are complicated, this role assesses the completeness of the weekend organiser/s arrangements (for example, does the charge for the weekend cover costs, are the number of beds in line with expected popularity, have the walks on the weekend reccied?).
  • Having extracted the main details from the weekend organiser, submits the weekend(s) to the Webmaster in a convenient format or instructs the weekend organiser to use the website submission system for weekends as and when this becomes available.
  • Maintains the back-end system for weekends as and when this becomes available.
  • Arranging with the Treasurer for any deposit or final payments for each weekend as appropriate.
  • Answering queries from the Treasurer regarding budgets.
  • In line with attending weekends being a benefit of being a MAD group member, they request the list of weekend attendees off the weekend organiser to compare it with the current membership list from the membership secretary.
  • Usually a signatory on the account, countersigning cheques and authorising online transactions, confirming all actions back to the Treasurer and other signatories on the account.
  • Custodian of the group's weekend inventory (for example catering equipment), and will need to be reasonably flexible so that this can be provided to members/weekend coordinators when necessary.

As weekends are volunteered at any point, this is a steady 'drip-drip' role.

Handover Process

Meet with new Weekends Officer between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover report archive for the role.
  • Handover and review all current weekends.
  • HHighlight ongoing and upcoming weekends that require attention or support.
  • Handover discussions with members putting on weekends.
  • Explain the method of submission of weekends to the webmaster.

Webmaster

Mike Dent - webmaster@madwalkers.org.uk

This role looks after the group's website. The primary activity is updating the socials and weekends pages and the general maintenance of the website (although socials and weekends may soon have a similar automatic system to the one operated for walks).

The webmaster must be conversant with running and developing websites. Familiarity with HTML/CSS and PHP is essential, while Javascript, AJAX, jQuery and SQL/MySQL would be beneficial.

  • Responsible for the day to day maintenance of the website. The website is written in PHP with a MySQL backend database, has been relocated to a new server to allow further PHP development e.g. the automation of the socials and weekend pages.
  • Day to day activities currently include updating the Socials, Home, Weekends and Meet and Greet pages with information received from various Officers.
  • Further development of the website is encouraged if the postholder has time and enthusiasm, but should not detract from the necessary day to day maintenance.
  • Ensuring remaining content is up to date, dynamic content as much as possible based on the date e.g. past socials will disappear from socials page once date of social has passed.
  • Correction of spelling and grammatical errors throughout the website.
  • Ensure ‘historical events’ pages are kept up to date if manually required.
  • Ensure backup and restore mechanisms are in place for the server, working with the hosting provider.
  • Be in tune with the RamblersWebs (hosting) forums, as this contains info on updates and bugs.
  • Keep the ramblers.org.uk walks database up to date as much as possible.
  • Avoid becoming a single point of failure – keep other experienced officers conversant with the website structure and maintenance.
  • Avoid over-complicating the website further.
  • If possible, ensure that cover will be available from other experienced officers at all times when the officer is unavailable.

Handover Process

Meet with new Webmaster between the AGM and the first Committee meeting and:-

  • Give an overview of the role.
  • Handover login details for the website backend and automated system back ends.
  • Explain the structure of the website.
  • Explain how to update socials, weekends, and regular meet and greet event details.
  • Inform RamblersWebs, using the ‘change of webmaster’ form.
  • The new webmaster will need to register as a walks editor on ramblers.org.uk

Meeting Dates

Any members are welcome to attend a Committee meeting, though please email the secretary (secretary@madwalkers.org.uk) in advance as there is limited seating space. The 2016/17 calendar is below:

Date Meeting Venue
Wed 7th December 2016 Post-AGM Committee Deansgate
1st Feb 2017 Committee Deansgate
5th April 2017 Committee Deansgate
7th June 2017 Committee Deansgate
2nd August 2017 Committee Deansgate
6th September 2017 - AGM planning meeting AGM Planning Deansgate
4th October 2017 Committee Deansgate

 


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The Ramblers' Association is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Company registration no. 4458492. Registered charity, England & Wales no. 1093577. Registered office: 2nd Floor ,Camelford House, 87-90 Albert Embankment, London. SE1 7TW
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