General Council Update November 2020

Friday, 27 November 2020

Hello! I’m Aggie and I’m a member of General Council, here to give you an update on what we discussed at the meeting last weekend. 

We looked at our management accounts and our revised 2020 budget, presented to us by Debs and Richard (our new Head of Resources), and although we do not have all the figures at this time it looks like we could be ending the year on a small surplus. This is definitely a win given the current climate and wouldn’t have been the case if Debs hadn’t put in a lot of extra work to obtain Covid-19 support and other grants which has stabilised our financial position and so we at General Council want to thank her again for all her hard work. 

We also approved the draft core budget for 2021 - a break even budget for the first time in a number of years. However given how challenging it is to predict future finances at the moment we agreed to review this again at the February, April and July meetings next year. 

We approved changing the structure of GC to improve its efficiency, spread the workload and delegate tasks more easily. This was seen as especially necessary given that we are likely having meetings online for the foreseeable future and we want these to be both effective and inclusive. Four working groups were agreed in principle; Programmes, Volunteers, Governance and Outreach. The programme working group will focus on improving engagement in national programme, working on dream big, supporting youth lead campaigns and national camp organisation. The Volunteers working group looks at volunteer support, training and empowerment, making sure volunteers feel connected and valued within our movement. The Governance working group is focusing on engaging our members and volunteers in national conversations, empowering our young people, making our democracy more youth focused and ensuring GC as the necessary skills to assist the organisation. Finally, the Outreach group looks at how we communicate effectively with those outside of the Woodcraft Folk, how we can diversify our income, how we can increase and widen participation, be a recognisable brand and respond well to national and international events. These groups were agreed upon and created in principle however additional work is going to be done to look into how they are run and supported. 

Finally we accepted the reviewed and updated safeguarding policy, health and safety policy, whistle blowing policy and volunteer policy. These had been looked over and worked on by Owen, our membership and programme staff member. This was important in order to make sure our young people and volunteers are safe and protected while volunteering with the WCF. 

If there are any questions about the work that GC does, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at generalcouncil@woodcraft.org.uk . Alternatively you can email a specific member of General Council with their first name dot last name @woodcraft.org.uk. There is more information about this on our website. 

Thank you for watching and I hope to link hands with many of you again in the near future!