Area Organiser s Handbook

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1 National Women s Register Area Organiser s Handbook 23 Vulcan House Vulcan Road North Norwich, NR6 6AQ / / twitter.com/nwruk Company Limited by Guarantee Registered Charity No

2 Area Organiser's Handbook TABLE OF CONTENTS 0 AO JOB DESCRIPTION...1 Area care...1 Suggested Solutions to Common Group Problems... 1 Guidelines for Area Meetings...2 a. At the meeting... 3 b. After the meeting... 3 Publicity...3 Starting a new Group...3 Guidelines for a talk to women interested in setting up an NWR group... 3 An AO s role in the organisation of events...4 AO PROCEDURES Expenses Events Reports Written contact with groups in your area New Groups...6 Appendices...7 Contents of packs...7 Preliminary Information Pack (PIP)... 7 Area Organiser Pack... 7 New Group Pack... 7 New Member Pack... 7 Area Organiser s Stationery Request Form...8 Area Organiser Report...9

3 Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 1 AO JOB DESCRIPTION The AO is the local link between members, Groups and the National Organiser. Her duties are: To maintain contact with the Groups in her Area. To arrange at least one Area Meeting a year. To visit groups. To help coordinate inter-group activities. To circulate copies of Group programmes. To advise and encourage her groups with publicity. To encourage Groups to hold events or work with them to do so. To look for possible places for new Groups and to help start them. To send reports to the National Organiser. To keep a record of her expenses and make regular claims. Area care Each AO is given details of the Groups and Individual Members allocated to her care and establishes contact with them. It is a good idea to hold an Area Meeting once a year so that some members of each Group can meet to obtain information, exchange ideas, share speakers and plan inter-group activities. The Area Organiser can alternatively, or also, arrange to visit Groups individually. She encourages Groups to send her copies of their programmes so she can circulate them and make Groups aware of each others activities. Groups should be encouraged to plan and attend Workshops and Day Conferences or Discussion Lunches and to attend the National Conference. The AO encourages Groups to talk to her about any problems so that she can give advice and might help to save a Group from folding. Suggested Solutions to Common Group Problems i. No one wants to be LO Suggest: No one should be LO for more than a year. Dividing up the jobs (Treasurer, Publicity, and New Members) among group members, with one person remaining as the Office contact. Having joint LOs or having an LO and a deputy who takes over from the LO after a year, with a new deputy. Involve the whole group in planning the programme, either through an open meeting or through sub-committees which plan part of the programme. Have a different person to be in charge of each meeting, separate from the hostess. ii. The group has got too large Suggest: Meeting more frequently, then not everyone will be able to attend every meeting. Meeting on different nights. Have some meetings during the day. Starting some sub-groups iii. The group is getting smaller Suggest:

4 Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 2 An interesting and varied programme, which should contain serious subjects, lighter topics, visits, social events and the occasional speaker. Encouraging people to bring friends to meetings. Have a Bring a friend evening. Putting up to date publicity in places where it would be seen by women who might be interested in NWR. Leave NWR leaflets, bookmarks, business cards in libraries, Drs surgeries, Community halls. (All NWR publicity material is Free and supplied by the Office.) Taking a stall at a local fete or exhibition. Approaching a local newspaper or radio station for some publicity. iv. New members come but don t stay Many Groups have been without new members for so long that they have become a clique without realising it. Suggest: A few members meet the new member before the next meeting. Someone collects the new member and brings her to and from the meeting. Organising the evening so that the new member has the chance to talk to as many new people as possible, for example by asking people to get up to collect coffee and biscuits and thus change places. Keeping personal talk to a minimum at first. Telephoning the new member before the next meeting to ask if she is coming and if she wants a lift. Involving the new member in the organisation of a meeting in a minor way so that she feels part of the Group. v. One person dominates group discussions or the discussion breaks into small groups of people all talking at once. Suggest: Having a chairperson (not the hostess) who makes sure that everyone has the same amount of time to contribute and who makes sure everyone listens to each contribution. Having an hourglass to limit the time that someone speaks. Having a baton which is passed from person to person. A person can only speak when she has the baton. Guidelines for Area Meetings The AO can hold a meeting in her home or ask a Group to host a meeting for her or hire an outside venue. As far as possible the venue should be in the centre of the Area. She can hold it during an evening or on a Saturday. She can invite two members of each Group, including the LO, if the meeting is in her home, or as many as want to come if it s in an outside venue. It can be a simple meeting to exchange NWR news and ideas or a more elaborate one, with a speaker, a quiz, or an activity. Refreshments can be tea, coffee and biscuits or something more substantial. Please note that for a meeting of LOs, NWR will pay 20p per mile towards the LOs' travel expenses. This should be claimed by the AO in the same way as other expenses are claimed. For other Area Meetings, the NWR Area Care budget can help with the cost of hiring a venue, but members should pay for their own refreshments or arrange a bring and share. Please refer to the Events Handbook. Invitations can be sent out by the AO or the Office. All Groups and Individual Members in the Area should be invited. The National Organiser should be informed of the date and Groups asked to bring copies of their programmes for circulation. The AO should bring with her to the meeting publicity material for the Groups and any information she has received about NWR events from the Office or National Organiser.

5 Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 3 a. At the meeting Introduce yourself and ask each member to do the same. Explain the format of the evening and what you are going to discuss. Refer to any NWR information which members should know about. o Details of local conferences, workshops or discussion lunches. o Use of the Research Bank. o Membership of the Special Groups. o Inter-Group activities. o Regular exchange of programmes. o Attending one another s meetings. o Interesting local speakers or places to visit. o Publicity opportunities. o Following up enquiries / Attracting and keeping new members. o Group management. Try to ensure that everyone contributes and no one person monopolises the evening. Ask members to help with solutions to problems. Collect contributions from everyone to cover the cost of refreshments. Thank the hostess. b. After the meeting Find out the replies to any unanswered queries at the meeting and notify the Groups concerned Please send a report to the National Organiser. Publicity The AO encourages her Groups to publicise NWR locally. Publicity materials are available from the Office. The AO receives monthly details of the enquiries in her Area. She should identify any places which might support a new group and help to start one. Starting a new Group Interest in a new Group can come either through a direct enquiry from a member moving or an enquirer keen to start a Group herself. A Preliminary Information Pack (PIP) will be sent to the enquirer by the Office who will also notify the AO and the National Organiser. The National Organiser will either make contact with the enquirer herself or ask the AO to do so. The AO and the National Organiser are notified of all enquiries in an Area. If there are several, the National Organiser will suggest that the AO holds a meeting with them to see if they are interested in starting a new group. To encourage more interest locally, further publicity in the Area should be arranged before the meeting. Guidelines for a talk to women interested in setting up an NWR group Publicity: take along posters, leaflets, bookmarks, business cards, car stickers and badges and the LO Handbook to illustrate the amount of advice available (all can be obtained from the Office). Aims of NWR (refer to NWR Information Leaflet). History: how and why NHR began and the type of women it attracted (women with small children who were having a break from their careers and who might have moved to somewhere where they knew no-one).

6 Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 4 Development: now NWR, providing links for women of all ages and backgrounds who have different reasons for joining. Office: in Norwich, staffed by two job-share administrators. Trustees: three to five volunteers who manage the organisation. National Organiser: working part-time from home to oversee and manage all elements of membership, marketing and staffing. Website and Publicity Coordinator: working part-time from home and responsible for the website, magazine and publicity. Finance Manager: One Finance Manager working part-time from home. Regional Structure: groups divided into eight UK Regions, subdivided into Areas containing 6 to 12 groups. A small number of Areas are cared for by volunteer Area Organisers. Local Groups: autonomous, plan own activities, draw up programmes. Subscriptions: national and local. Advantages of membership: friendship, discovery/learning, interesting discussions, fun, local contacts, social events, confidence-building, new ideas and interests, different opportunities and challenges. Other benefits of membership: NWR Magazine twice a year; Area and Regional meetings and events; National Conference; Special Group membership (Postal Book Group, Correspondence Magazines, Penfriend Scheme); NWR s website; Individual Membership option. If women would like to start a new Group, they will need to decide: o How often to meet. o When to meet (day of week and time of day). o Where to meet (usually members homes). o How to run their Group (single or joint LO, other officers [Treasurer, Publicity person, New Member liaison]). o How to plan their meetings (by committee or by all members contributing). o The date of the next meeting. o Ask the office to send them a Preliminary Information Pack (PIP). o The Group name which should be unique and reflect the location of the Group If they decide to form a Group they should send the completed registration form from the PIP to the Office. Their details will then be entered on the computer and they will be informed of any further enquiries in their Area. They will be sent a New Group Pack and future mailings from the Office. They should be invited to any Area Meetings held. The AO should keep in touch with the Group to encourage it to become established. She should keep the National Organiser informed of progress. When the Group is established, subscriptions should be sent to the office with a list of members names and addresses (including addresses where possible). They will then be eligible to use all the services for members and receive individual magazines. An AO s role in the organisation of events (eg. Day Conferences, discussion lunches and workshops) An AO can encourage Groups to hold their own event or work with her Groups in the organisation of an event.

7 Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 5 The AO should encourage event organisers to check with the Office to discuss possible dates and themes to avoid clashing with other events. The Office can send them a copy of the Events Handbook to help them with the organisation of the event. It can also provide them with labels and arrange for the event to be advertised in NWR Magazine. The National Organiser should also be informed and the budget for the event discussed with her to make sure that it is feasible. Final accounts should be sent to the National Organiser and Finance Manager. AO PROCEDURES 1. Expenses AOs may claim expenses for activities outlined in the AO job description. An advance payment of 10 annually is made to each AO in lieu of expenses. A subsidy is paid after the event to those who attend the National Conference. Please claim your expenses monthly or at least quarterly (31 March, 30 June, 30 September). All expenses for a particular year must be claimed by 15 December. Send your expenses to the National Organiser for authorisation. She will forward them to the Finance Manager. You may claim for reasonable costs by completing an expenses claim form and sending with receipts for: Phone calls (20p per call). Include a list of calls or a sheet from a duplicate book. Travel (35p per mile). Meals A present bought for your hostess if you are staying overnight with a member. Bed and Breakfast accommodation when visiting a group or attending an area event. Other expenses while on NWR business. If unsure about claiming any particular amount, please check with the National Organiser. 2. Events Let the Office and National Organiser know if you are organising an Area Event. If you want to advertise it in NWR Magazine or on the website contact the NWR Office. Before you decide on a date, check with the Office to make sure that it doesn t clash with a similar event nearby. When the date has been decided, confirm it with the Office. An Area Event Form must be completed and sent to the Office for insurance purposes. An NWR subsidy of up to 100 is available to help with the cost of hiring a venue and/or speaker for any inter-group event. The claim form is available from the NWR Office and must be sent with an invoice or receipt. A draft budget for any event should be sent to the National Organiser and a copy of the final accounts should be sent to the National Organiser and the Finance Manager. (Please refer to the Events Handbook.) Keep the National Organiser and other nearby AOs up-to-date with what has been arranged. If an account is opened please ensure that there are at least three signatories and that two signatures are required for any transaction. It is useful to hold an Area account. If you need a news release or advice with publicity contact the Website and Publicity Coordinator. Please send a brief report on your Area Event to the NWR Office and the National Organiser after it has occurred. NWR Magazine copy dates are generally mid- February and mid- September. 3. Reports Please send an annual report of Area activities to the National Organiser by the end of the year.

8 Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 6 4. Written contact with groups in your area If you write a letter or your groups, please copy to the National Organiser. 5. New Groups NWR has a New Groups budget. If you incur any expenses in trying to set up a New Group, e.g. phone calls, postage, or hire of a hall, keep your receipts and claim the money on your expenses.

9 Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 7 APPENDICES Contents of packs Preliminary Information Pack (PIP) Area Organiser Pack Letter AO and LO Handbooks List of Local Groups Report forms Guidelines for starting a New Group Expense claim forms Typical programmes Stationery order forms New Group Registration Form A4 headed paper Current Magazine Compliment slips Publicity Items NWR Sticky labels Information Leaflet Posters, leaflets, bookmarks, business cards, postcards, car stickers Magazines New Group Pack Letter Subscription form Guidelines for groups The Role of the Local Organiser Local Organiser's Handbook Programme Ideas Support provided for groups Planning and producing your programme Publicity Material Stationery & Publicity order form Suggestions for where to put NWR publicity material New Member Pack Welcome letter Current magazine Postcard Pen Leaflet Pin badge Car sticker Information Leaflet Facebook information Website info - member zone and forums

10 (if applicable) Registered Charity No Area Organiser s Handbook (Revised July 2015) Page 8 Area Organiser s Stationery Request Form Please state specific quantities required in all cases... A4 headed notepaper Cost Number required Compliment slips Sheet of 24 sticky labels Area Event and Budget Form AO Report Forms AO Expense forms NWR publicity leaflets NWR bookmarks NWR business cards NWR posters NWR postcards NWR Car sticker NWR Pen 50 pence Other items Date required by: (Please give as much notice as possible and note that we use 2 nd class post.) Name Area Address Tel address

11 Registered Charity No Area Organiser Report (Revised April 2014) Page 9 Area Organiser Report Please send this form to the National Organiser. Name: Date: Area: Activities: 1. Area Meeting or Event (dates, type of event, names of groups and numbers who attended) 2. Communication with groups Group visits Telephone conversations/ contacts

12 Registered Charity No Area Organiser Report (Revised April 2014) Page Reports on events held 4. Forthcoming events

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