AGM 2011

Notice of the MAD Walkers Annual General Meeting

This is for people who are registered members of the MAD Walkers group within the Ramblers association only.

This is to notify that the Manchester And District Walkers (MR08/MR50) will be having our Annual General Meeting on 2nd November. This will begin at 7.45pm at the English Lounge, with a buffet beforehand at 7pm. All members of MR08/MR50 are welcome to attend.

During the meeting there will be an election for the committee roles as listed below. All posts are vacant and a number of applicants per role is encouraged to give our membership the widest choice (and to make the evening more fun too).

To apply for a role, please send an email directly to the secretary ( There will be no need for proposers and seconders for any post this year if you are a member of MR08/MR50. The applicants will be collated and announced via the messageboard with 3 weeks notice of the event.

Please address any specific questions to myself at the address above.

Jonny (MAD Walkers Secretary)

Further news

The Annual Return for the group's accounts has been published and is available from the message board to registered users.

The following are available for download:


Role Description

As the AGM is fast approaching I wanted to take this opportunity to summarise the role of chairperson in case anyone was thinking of standing for the position and wasn't entirely sure what it entails.
Basically.... I chair the meetings. Now given the rowdy bunch currently on the committee this is a rather challenging task, as diversions and tangents are frequent occurrences, and all need to be whipped into line or we wouldn't get anywhere.
No, in all honesty, we have implemented a new system which appears to be working well - whereby small reports are submitted to the committee to read in advance which leaves the agenda open for most in depth discussions, proposals or concerns.

The chairperson is also the official spokesperson for the group - not that I have been asked to represent us this year - but there is always the possibility. Also a key point of contact for questions from members as well.

Some key points for the role are:

  1. Discussing the agenda with the Group Secretary and deciding the order of agenda items.
  2. Getting the meeting started promptly and keeping the discussions 'on track' throughout the meeting.
  3. Facilitating a culture of open, respectful discussion where all those who are keen to contribute are given the opportunity to do so.
  4. Arranging the casting of votes on agenda items where necessary, and exercising the chair's casting vote if required.
  5. Ensuring that the date, time and venue for the next meeting is agreed upon at the close of the meeting.
  6. The Chair's approach to meetings needs to recognise both the voluntary commitment and responsibilities of the office-holders present as well as adhering to the democratic principles and constitution of the Groups committee.



Being the secretary involves the organisation and coordination of the bi-monthly meetings in terms of running the meeting and minuting the outcome. Annually the AGM is also run by the Secretary.

The role also involves some coordination of information requests from the Area and Ramblers HQ and distributing this information to the Committee and membership as appropriate.


I hold the details and administrate the groups finances. A small group of committee members support me by acting as counter signatories on the account so that I can't turn my holiday plans into reality. I deposit and spend on behalf of the group and keep an ongoing check on all movements in and out of our account. If people are planning weekends or socials that require deposits I will send these out, receive monies for the events and pay the final bills. I refund people on expenses approved by the committee such as a donation to a mountain rescue organisation or the bills for keeping our website live. At the year end I produce a financial return of the years accounts to submit to the Ramblers and my accounts will be audited within the group by someone elected at the AGM.

Previous treasurers have set up spreadsheet system for keeping track and adding up the figures so it is not too arduous a task.

Weekends coordinator

The weekends coordinator help organise weekends away for the group, by:

  1. Coordinate the weekends so they are spaced through out the year.
  2. Advise and assist with weekend leader queries, e.g. budgeting and supplies.
  3. Publicise existing weekends including inviting other groups if weekends aren't filling.
  4. Keep the weekends manual up to date.
  5. Liaise with the Secretary to secure deposits.
  6. Collect attendances, outgoings and income.
Walks coordinator

The Walks Coordinator carries out the following tasks:

  1. Tabulate all walks lead, their leaders and number attended on each walk for annual data.
  2. Answer personal Queries regarding walks.
  3. Assist walk leaders in grading walks.
  4. Making sure there are Committee members present on a leader's first walk.
  5. Transport advise and set off time advise.
  6. Receiving all walks submissions and entering them in the diary and sending them on to the Website officer.
  7. Encouraging new leaders.
Socials coordinator

The socials coordinator assists with the organising and advertising of social events and acts as both a point of contact and a source of encouragement for members of the group to submit social events. Once firmed up, events are submitted to the Website officer for inclusion on the website.

Website officer

As you would expect, this role involves looking after the content and operation of the website. This includes:

  1. Receiving details of events from the Walks, Socials and Weekends coordinators and placing on the MADwalkers website (although this is moving towards an on-line submission system - see below).
  2. Ensuring remaining content is up to date and accurate.
  3. Administering the message board and Facebook group.

However, duties also include behind-the-scenes work and IT issues:

  1. Ongoing development to advance the website. Current technologies used include HTML/CSS, PHP, Javascript, AJAX, jQuery and SQL. Adobe Photoshop is currently used for all logo design.
  2. Ensuring ongoing access to a server for hosting content and also that backup and restore mechanisms are in place.

Recent activities have included:

  1. Relocation to a new server to allow cost-effective PHP and MySQL integration.
  2. Conversion of web pages to PHP to allow dynamic content.
  3. Introduction and integration of a new message board to our existing website.
  4. Relocation of walks to a MySQL database, a points-of-interest database for travel locations and production of on-line forms to create content. More work is planned in this area for socials and weekend events too.
Membership officer

The primary role of the Membership officer is to ensure that new or prospective members are given a warm welcome to the group and are made aware of the opportunities which involvement in the group provides. The role also involves some clerical work, in the receiving of membership lists from the Area and communicating with members or prospective members for information requests or other relevant correspondence. The Membership officer also authorises membership of the group's message board on our Website.

Area Liaison officer

The Area Liaison officer acts as the point of contact for the Area Committee, which oversees and communicates with all groups in the Manchester area.

Footpaths officer

The footpaths officer works towards protecting and enhancing the rights of way network. The role provides a contact point for any group member to report right-of-way access issues and also acts as a key contact for local authority, representing the organisation and obtaining information. You'll also be working with the Area Footpath officer to ensure distribution of relevant information to local volunteers. Some key responsibilities are:

  1. Keep informed of matters relating to rights of way in your Area through information sent from Central Office, from local Group networks, local access forums and local authorities.
  2. Report footpath problems to the authority and monitor progress and any action taken. Look for opportunities to extend the footpath network.
  3. Assess and respond to proposals to change the path network, both pre-order and through the legal process. Ensure this work is followed through to its conclusion.
  4. Report footpath successes to Central Office
Countryside / Walking Environment As a Walking Environment Officer you will be able to contribute to the Rambler's work in preserving and enhancing the beauty of the countryside for the benefit of the public. This role involves liaising with the Footpaths Officer and looking at planning and environmental issues which may affect our area.
Publicity officer

This role enables our group membership to grow by attracting new members. This is achieved in a number of ways:

  1. Producing publicity material about our Group (e.g. posters, leaflets, displays) and arranging their distribution in suitable local locations
  2. Keeping the local media informed about your Group's activities through articles, regular features or advertisements
  3. Organising publicity stands at local fairs or public places (e.g. market places, popular walking locations)
  4. Updating our online presence, including overseeing our Facebook group and publishing material on our website (by liaising with the Website officer) about local campaining work and group information
Ordinary Members (3)

The role of an ordinary member is simply to assist the rest of the committee in any way he or she sees fit. This could range from helping organise socials to helping run walk leader training days and anywhere inbetween, depending on the experience of the ordinary member. It's not particularly taxing (although it can be if you make it!) and is a great way to 'test the water' if you want to find out how MADWalkers is run by volunteers and maybe step up to a bigger committee role in the following year.