You will need a simple Group Constitution to apply for grants and open a bank account. This should state your aims, what you plan to do, who your members are, how you organise yourselves and your finances, and what happens when the group ends. You can probably find a friendly accountant or bank manager to be the ‘auditor’ or ‘verifier’ for your accounts. The draft Constitution below is only a suggestion. Adjust it to suit your needs but you should ask someone to check that your Constitution meets all the latest requirements, which can change over the years. Your local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS - see contacts) will be able to advise you.
Rough Draft Constitution
The Group shall be called the ……………………………………….. (the Group).
The aims of the Group shall be:
- to encourage and provide access for people over the age of 50 to engage in stimulating creative, social, leisure, educational and health-promoting activities;
- to encourage the sharing and development of talents, to learn new skills and provide training for members; and
- to help people who might become isolated to enjoy creative activity and to encourage people to develop activities that they can sustain collectively and individually.
The objectives and activities of the Group shall be:
- to meet regularly for creative and social activities at a place accessible to all members;
- to make adequate transport arrangements for all members;
- to agree and implement a programme of activities of interest to all members;
- to invite external artists and other creative people to develop the skills of members;
- to gain access to equipment and materials that are needed to implement the activities; and
- to engage in social activity alongside other stimulating activities.
The first members of the Group are those people named below, who have agreed to become members. Anyone over the age of 50 and living within, or close to, the parish of…………………………………………. may become a member of the Group, subject to approval by a simple majority of those attending the meeting at which the application is made.
5. Annual Meeting
(a)There shall be an annual meeting in each calendar year. A minimum of one month’s notice shall be given for the annual meeting.
(b)The annual meeting shall:
- approve the annual verified accounts, or statement of income and expenditure;
- appoint an accounts auditor or verifier;
- approve the signatories for the bank account;
- elect a Chair, Treasurer and Secretary for the year; the Treasurer and Secretary may be established as a single office;
- elect a committee or working party to manage the affairs of the Group between annual meetings;
- set the annual subscription or meeting fee for the coming year;
- receive a report on the year’s activities; and
- decide any other business.
(c)The meeting will only go ahead if one-third of the members attend the annual meeting. Decisions shall be made by a simple majority of those attending. In the event of a tie the Chair shall have the casting vote.
(a)The Group may raise funds as necessary to fulfil its aims.
(b)The Group shall open a bank account in the name of ……………………. .
(c)The Group shall decide at the annual meeting who shall be the approved signatories and two approved signatures shall be required for any withdrawal.
The Group shall be dissolved if a simple majority of the members agree to do so. Any surplus of funds at the time of dissolution shall be distributed to other properly constituted groups or organisations in the …………………. area with similar aims.
This Constitution was adopted by the first members on …………………………...
Signed on behalf of the members by:
List of First Members: