Annual Tasks

There are a small number of issues that need to be addressed by groups and districts less frequently. Most importantly, groups need to complete the annual registration process to ensure that the details held by Folk Office for each group are up to date, and that the groups are covered by Woodcraft Folk’s insurance.
 
Group registration
 
All groups are required to register with Woodcraft Folk’s central office on an annual basis. Forms are distributed to group and district contacts towards the end of the year, and have to be completed and returned by the end of the first week in January.
 
Returning your group registration form to Folk Office is vital to ensure that the group is covered by Woodcraft Folk’s insurance. The registration form also provides an opportunity to ensure that the contact details for the group held at Folk Office, and those that will be listed publicly on the website, are correct.
 
An annual fee is payable for each registered group – this offsets the costs that Folk Office incurs in supporting groups, as well as maintaining insurance cover and providing DBS/PVG checks for the group. Part of the fee is a flat rate payable by all groups, and the remainder is calculated based on the number of children regularly attending the group.
 
Groups who can afford to do so are asked to make an additional contribution over and above the basic group registration fee. Conversely, any group or District that is unable to cover the full cost of its registration fees is invited to contact Folk Office to arrange to pay by instalments, or negotiate an alternative schedule of payments. It is General Council’s aim that no group will be forced to close because it is unable to meet the cost of its annual registration. 
 
Democratic participation
 
Each group and District may send one of its members as a delegate to the Annual General Meeting to cast a vote on its behalf:
 
For or against motions or amendments (including those to amend the constitutional arrangements of Woodcraft Folk, such as the Aims & Principles or the Articles of Association)
To elect members of General Council 
 
Woodcraft Folk’s constitution allows any registered member, including young members, to represent their group at the AGM. As many members as wish to participate may also go to the AGM as observers.
 
Groups and Districts may also propose motions and amendments for consideration at the AGM, and nominate members to for election to General Council. Each year, the timetable for this is published on the website, and emailed directly to District Contacts.
 
Other issues
 
It is good to use the end of one year and the start of a new one to reflect on how things are going, and address anything that needs attention. How you go about this will depend on whether your group is part of a larger District. The Sustainability Scorecard is a good ‘health check’ for your group, and can help you to decide where to focus your efforts to ensure your group continues to thrive.
 
Finance: Each District has to send in a financial return to Folk Office on an annual basis, so that the income and expenditure by groups and Districts can be included in Woodcraft Folk’s annual report and accounts. If you are part of a larger District, your District Treasurer will usually be in contact with groups to collect and consolidate financial information for the previous year.
 
Camps: Most groups have a longer camp or residential trip over the summer period, and the earlier the date can be set and publicised the better. There may also be large camps in the UK or abroad that you may want to consider participating in.
 
Reviewing policies and procedures: It’s a good idea to see if any of your group/District’s policies need updating. In particular, it is a requirement that the Local Safeguarding Plan is reviewed each year, even if no amends are made to it.
 
Membership: Adult volunteers who don’t pay for their membership by direct debit may need to be reminded when their membership falls due (although they should be contacted directly by Folk Office as well). DBS and PVG checks last longer, but the Membership Secretary should regularly check if those of active members need to be renewed or updated.
 
Development: Does the makeup of your group reflect the diversity of the community that you serve – and if not, what steps can you take to address this? Is there sufficient demand to expand the group, or start a new one?