Our Constitution & Branch Structure

At the annual gathering in 2009 conference voted to become a Branch structure. The Annual Gathering 2012 addopted a new set of articles, new rules for all branches will come into effect on the 1st January 2013 and this is the date of transfer.

Changing to a Branch Structure Update

Update issued 20 October 2012

All District, Regional, Nation and Centre "Constitutions" will be automatically changing from 1 January 2013 .

In this update we aim to make Districts, Groups and Regions/Nations of the Woodcraft Folk aware of the changes that will take place from 1st January 2013. If you are a group, district or region/nation office holder then you should read this update.

This update contains:

  1. Background
  2. Changing your Constitution
  3. Changing our Charity Number
  4. Changing your Bank Account
  5. Financial Returns
  6. Useful Documents


After a 3 year Commission of enquiry the Woodcraft Folk voted overwhelmingly at its 2010 annual conference for all parts of Woodcraft Folk to become part of a single organisation with all Groups, Districts and Regions/Nations part of the national charity. Previously our groups, districts and regions had occupied a "grey area" between a federal and unitary structure, which could not continue.

At the same time the General Council moved to incorporate the Woodcraft Folk so as to protect trustees and volunteers from personal liability and to allow the Woodcraft Folk itself to hold assists in its own name. The rules of the new company limited by guarantee were agreed at the Annual Gathering this year.

As part of this process membership were informed that a changeover date would be set where the Charity number in England and Wales has to change (it can  stay the same in Scotland) and the new Company Limited by Guarantee number will also need to be used on official correspondence.

This date has been set by the General Council as the 1st January 2013. Meaning from this date all operations of the Woodcraft Folk will fall under the new charity number.

In England Wales at the same time, the title of all bank accounts will need to be changed (which will happen automatically if you are with the Co-operative Bank) and all Group, District, Regional/National and other Sectional (such as the DF) constitutions will be amended to reflect that change. The bank account numbers will remain the same but the charity number will be changed to the new one and the company number will be added.

Changing your Constitution

The District Fellows have already made the relevant changes to their constitutions and we are currently working with Wales and Scotland to make the relevant changes to their Constitutions.

The General Council will issue model constitutions for all Groups, Districts and Regions on the 15th October 2012.

These constitutions have two parts "Section A" and "Section B".

If you wish to adopt the model constitution without any changes for your Group, District or Region Constitution please contact Folk Office who will provide you with a signed copy. 

If you wish to make adjustments to "Section A" which outlines the powers, objects, members and other administrative affairs of your relevant Branch you will need to seek permission from General Council prior to 1st January 2013. (This may take up to three to four weeks and require negotiations)

If you wish to make amendments to "Section B" which outlines the officers, how committees work, Annual Meeting and other operational affairs of the branch then you may make amendments at any time of your choosing and inform General Council. Any amendments to Section B are not valid until General Council has received a copy of the amended rules and their delegated committee (FGP) has ratified them. (Usually this takes one to two weeks)

Changing our Charity Number

Until the 1st January 2013 it is important that you continue to use the present charity number of the Woodcraft Folk which is: 1073665 (In Scotland; SC039791).

From the 1st January 2013 you must only use the new Charity number as the old number will be de-registered.

In England and Wales you should then use both:

Registered Charity in England and Wales (number 1148195) and Company Limited by Guarantee (number 8133727)

In Scotland you should then use both:

Registered Charity in Scotland (number SC039791) and Company Limited by Guarantee (number 8133727)

If you have a letterhead you use, that will have to have the new numbers on it. You may however, continute to use leaflets until you need to re-order, with the old number, as long as the leaflet is not used to raise funds for the Chairty.

If you have any funders with which you are applying for grants in 2013 you should use the new Charity and Company Numbers.

If you have funders which are funding continuous work between 2012 and 2013 you should write to them informing them that from the 1st January the registered numbers are changing.

Changing your Bank Accounts

If you Bank with the Co-operative Bank you will need to do nothing as the Co-operative will automatically reissue you will new cheque books and account names including the new charity number. Your Bank Account number and Sort Code will not change.

If you are with another Bank or Building Society you should consider changing to the Co-operative with which the Woodcraft Folk has special arrangements for bank account management for to make it easier for you to open, close and change signatories. You can access Co-operative Bank accounts from all post offices. All Lloyds TSB branches in Scotland, most old TSB branches in England and Wales, all Cheltenham and Gloucester branches and all Britannia Branches will become part of the Co-operative Bank so you don’t need to make any changes.

If after consideration of your present bank account you decide to stay with an alternative provider (such as the Unity Trust Bank or Ecology Building Society) you should inform your bank of our new charity and company numbers.

Financial Returns

The financial returns of the groups and districts for 2012 will need to be completed and sent into the Head Office early next year as usual. They will relate to the charity with the old charity number. The financial returns for 2013 will be sent in at the beginning of 2014 and will form part of the new charity with the new charity number and company status. Those figures will be fully consolidated into the new charity’s annual accounts whereas at present only the grant income and expenditure is fully accounted for in the national accounts.

So as to make sure that the national accounts are signed off by our auditors all Districts must complete and send in  the return in due time and further action may need to be taken if this is not done in time. Support for treasurers is offered by the National Treasurer and Folk Office. 

The financial reporting arrangements for Regions, Centres and other Sections will continue to remain the same and the requirements, where it exists of quarterly reporting will be informed directly to the relevant areas of the organisation. 

If there are any questions please contact Folk Office on 020 7703 4173 or info@woodcraft.org.uk

Useful Documents

WcF Standing Orders 2019 Revisions.pdf234.25 KB
Woodcraft Folk Articles (Constitution) 2013.pdf260.98 KB
Model Branch Rules for Region.doc81.5 KB
Model Branch Rule for District.doc80 KB
Model Letter for Funders.doc293.5 KB
Model Letter for Bank.doc294.5 KB