CONSTITUTION OF CHARLBURY REFUGEE ACTION GROUP
As revised 14/11/2016
The name of the Group shall be Charlbury Refugee Action Group.
The Aims of the Group shall be to:
a. Promote the human rights of refugees (including, in addition to those qualifying as refugees under the Geneva Convention, persons forced to leave their home by reason of armed conflict, natural disaster, human rights violations, or other conditions making normal life unsustainable);
b. Assist in the alleviation of poverty, distress, ill health and homelessness among refugees as defined above (provided that any such assistance to a group which includes persons who are not refugees shall not be deemed to fall outside the Group's objectives);
c. Contribute to the prevention of the flight of refugees through the provision of humanitarian assistance to victims of armed conflict or natural disaster;
d. Promote the wellbeing of refugees as defined above in the local Charlbury community and elsewhere.
e. Raise public awareness about the circumstances and needs of refugees as defined above; encourage greater participation in improving their lives; assist in helping them adapt to life in their new environments.
In order to achieve its aims the Group may:
a. Raise money.
b. Open bank accounts.
c. Take out insurance.
d. Organise meetings, courses and events.
e. Work with other groups and exchange information.
f. Prepare and disseminate letters, press releases, publications, reports and other educational and campaigning materials.
g. Support with donations any other group whose purposes include any falling within the Group's objectives.
h. Do anything that is lawful which will help it to fulfil its aims.
(a) Membership of the Group shall be open to any person over 16 who is interested in helping the Group to achieve its aims and willing to abide by its rules; and who applies to the Secretary for membership. A subscription will be payable if the Management Committee levies one.
(b) Membership shall be available to anyone without regard to gender, race, nationality, disability, sexual preference, religion or belief.
(c) Every member shall have one vote at General Meetings.
(d) The membership of any member may be terminated for good reason by the Management Committee but the member has a right to be heard by the Management Committee before a final decision is made.
(a) The Group shall be administered by a Management Committee of the Officers and no more than eight other members elected or re-elected at the Group's Annual General Meeting (AGM) or coopted under 5 (h) below.
(b) The Officers of the Management Committee shall be: the Chairperson, the Treasurer, the Secretary, the Minute Secretary, the Fundraising and Events Officer and the Campaigns Officer.
(c) The Management Committee shall meet at least 4 times a year. All meetings shall be open to any member who wishes to observe.
(d) The Chairperson shall normally chair all meetings of the Group. In the Chairperson's absence, the Management Committee may elect a member of the Committee to chair that meeting.
(e) The quorum for Management Committee meetings shall be 3 members.
(f) Voting at Management Committee meetings shall be by show of hands. If there is a tied vote then the Chairperson shall have a second vote.
(g) The Management Committee may by a two-thirds majority vote and for a good and proper reason remove any Committee member, provided that person has the right to be heard before a final decision is made.
(h) The Management Committee may appoint another member of the Group as a Committee member to fill a vacancy or otherwise, provided the maximum number of committee members is not exceeded.
(i) The Management Committee may constitute sub-committees as required.
6 Duties of the Officers
(a) The duties of the Chairperson are to:
• chair meetings of the Committee and the Group,
• represent the Group at functions/meetings that the Group has been invited to,
• to act as spokesperson for the Group when necessary.
(b) The duties of the Secretary are to:
• take and keep minutes of meetings,
• prepare the agenda for meetings of the Committee and the Group in consultation with the Chairperson,
• maintain the membership list,
• deal with correspondence,
• collect and circulate any relevant information within the Group.
(c) The duties of the Treasurer are to:
• be responsible for the financial affairs of the Group
• keep proper accounts that show all monies collected and paid out by the Group
(d) The duties of the Fundraising and Events Officer are to:
• raise money to assist in the fulfilment of the Aims.
• maintain records of all monies raised and to render those monies and records to the Treasurer.
• promote and organise awareness-raising events to assist in the fulfilment of the Aims.
(e) The duties of the Campaigns Officer are to:
• respond to the misinformation and prejudice surrounding refugees.
• pressure local and national authorities on behalf of refugee rights and needs.
(f) The duty of the Minutes Secretary is to take and keep minutes of meetings.
(a) Any money obtained by the Group shall be used only in furtherance of the Group's aims.
(b) Any bank accounts opened for the Group shall be in the name of the Group.
(c) Any two of three nominated officers may issue and sign cheques, and authorise bank transfers.
(d) The Group's accounts shall be drawn up to 31st August each year and will be subject to an Independent Examination.
8 Annual General Meeting
(a) The Group shall hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) within 3 months of the year end.
(b) All members shall be given at least fourteen days' notice of the AGM and shall be entitled to attend and vote. The quorum for an AGM shall be at least six members.
(c) The business of the AGM shall include:
(i) A report from the Chairperson on the Group's activities over the year,
(ii) A report from the Treasurer on the finances of the Group,
(iii) The election of the Management Committee and
(iv) Consideration of any other matter as may be decided.
9 Special General Meeting
A Special General Meeting may be called by the Management Committee or by any six members to discuss an urgent matter. The Secretary shall give all members fourteen days' notice of any Special General Meeting together with notice of the business to be discussed. All members shall be entitled to attend and vote.
10 Alterations to the Constitution
Any changes to this Constitution must be agreed by at least two-thirds of those members present and voting at any Special or Annual General Meeting.
The Group may be wound up at any time if agreed by two-thirds of those members present and voting at any General Meeting. In the event of winding up, any assets remaining after all debts have been paid shall be given to another Group or Charity with similar aims.
This constitution was adopted at a general meeting of the Group on 14 November 2016
Other committee members present:
Hugh Belshaw, Naomi Bowen, Gene Teo Cooke, Angela Gwatkin