The Heart of Britain Groups - Heart of Galloway

 

Andy Hurst - Low Craiglemine Organic Farm - Newton Stewart  Wigtownshire DG8 8NE

Tel: 01988-500730 - E-mail: akhurst@galloway-timber.co.uk

 

Helpful Hints for Heart of Britain Groups

First of all, try and find a few dedicated people that will work with you.

Even if you are in different areas you can still support each other and hold alternate meetings in different areas if necessary.

I would then suggest that you all get together a sample constitution and add to it the aims particular to your area. Perhaps there will be enough of you to form a group, you only need a Chairman, Secretary, Treasuer and one other to make a quorum - perhaps the one other could be your Press officer! Try to decide on a membership fee, I suggest you keep it low so that anyone could afford it. (Ours is #3.00 a year) .Then publicise an open meeting putting forward your aims.

You can try doing this by persuading your local newspaper that the present policy for dealing with fmd is tearing the heart out of your County or area. Get them to contact Devon paper, Western Morning Star to find out about their campaign (Our new local MP used the phrase tearing the heart out of Galloway in his first address to the house!).

Make posters and get them posted around and try and get anyone with a high profile, local M.P.'s, Vets, Doctors Church leaders, hotelier, businessmen and farmers, (perhaps your local NFU man that is anti cull?), anyone you can think of to come. Try to aim at all sections of the community, many are affected and will be supportive. Invite speakers to explain the aims of Hearts of Britain and /or talk about vaccination/the policy and alternatives for the future. ( A list of experienced speakers willing to come can be obtained from Jane Barribal at Farmtalking.com. Tel: 01361-850282/850680). Print off Membership application forms and have plenty to hand at the Public meeting where you can invite people to join. Hopefully, at the end of the meeting you will be able to announce the place, time and date of the next meeting of members.

Copy of sample Constitution to display at the meeting

Discuss how to raise funds.

Discuss what actions you are going to take.

Organise effective communications.

Be prepared to get criticism from people but try to keep cheerful, positive and constructive in the face of opposition!

Be prepared to be let down but keep going, people will come out of the wood work if you let them have their say and are prepared to accept that not all will have the same views as you.

The group should not be single issue.

Be prepared to be the boss and try to use peoples skills etc. So that you are not the boss but the instigator!

A sample Poster, sample Constitution and Fund raising suggestions are enclosed/attached.

I hope these few suggestions will help.

There are probably other things to tell you as well so do feel free to phone me if you like. 01988500730

We must try and mobilise the public etc. and make the government listen!

Andy

P.S. I hope the following examples/samples will be useful to you.

(Sample Poster/Newspaper advert)

_________________________________________________________________

Countryside Crisis?

Are you Concerned, Confused, Frustrated, Angry?

Heart of Galloway

Countryside Support Group

Open meeting for ALL affected by FMD

Tourist/rural businesses, small holders, pet owners, farmers, vets, health and social workers, tourists, members of the public, in fact any-one in the community affected or concerned by foot and mouth and its affects on the country-side.

Monday 18th. June 2001 at 7.30 pm

Wigtown County Buildings

_______________________________________________________________

(sample membership form)

Heart of Galloway

Membership Application

Please fill in block capitals

Name ................................................................

Occupation..........................................................

Address .................................................House name or no.

..............................................................Street

..............................................................Town

..............................................................County

..............................................................Post code

Tel. no............................................................... 

E-mail.................................................................

apply for membership of the

Heart of Galloway Countryside Support Group

I ..agree with the aims of the 'Heart of Galloway' Countryside support group.

I enclose the membership fee of # 3.00.

I enclose a donation of #..............

Signed..

Dated....................

Please make out cheques to Heart of Galloway FMD Countryside Support Group.

_________________________________________________________________

(The Constitution)

Heart of Britain Groups Constitution

1.     Name: The name of the organisation shall be 'Heart of (someplace)' 

2. Aims: The aim of the group are to :- 
2.1  Support and promote all those persons who live, work or have an interest in the countryside. 
2.2 Ensure the preservation of the democratic and human rights of country dwellers. 
2.3 Co-operate as a group to aid the community in the preservation of rural life, landscape & Industries 
2.4 Link with other Heart of Britain Groups across the United Kingdom to promote these aims. 

2.     ANY OTHER AIMS PERTAINING TO THE PARTICULAR GROUP'S GROUP INTERESTS. 

3. Membership: The group is open to anyone who lives, works or has an interest in the Countryside and agrees with the group's aims. Membership applications to be proposed and seconded by members & approved by the committee on 
submission of an application form and receipt of the annual membership fee. 

4. Committee: A committee comprised of at least 4 members should be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting by majority vote and the committee will have the power of co-opting of others to the committee. 

5. Office bearers: Office bearers shall be Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Treasurer and Secretary with other positions of responsibility decided by the committee. 

6. Subscription: All members will pay annual subscriptions as the Committee may determine. 

7. Finance: All monies raised by the group will be paid into a Bank Account in the name of the group. Two signatures of committee members shall be required to withdraw monies from the said Account. A sum of up to #50.00 can be held by the treasurer as petty cash. A record of transactions will be maintained and audited annually and presented to the Annual General Meeting. 

8. Annual General Meeting: Every year on or around the twelve month anniversary of the inaugural meeting. 

9. Meetings: Meetings will be held as often as deemed necessary. Special General meetings may be convened at any time by the committee. 

10. Rules and Procedures: Voting- Meetings- All questions arising at any meeting shall be decided by a simple majority of those present and entitled to vote there at. 
Quorum- A quorum shall consist of 4 elected members. 
Minutes - Minutes of all meetings shall be keep by the secretary appointed for such a purpose. 

11. Alterations to Constitution: Alterations to the constitution are only valid if passed by a majority of those present at either an A.G.M. or a Special General meeting. 

12. Dissolution: In the event of dissolution of the group, any funds remaining shall be transferred to any group deemed by the serving committee to have similar aims to the group. 

______________________________________________________

SUGGESTED ACTIONS THAT THE GROUP MIGHT TAKE

1. Ask your local Paper to ask people to write to Tony Blair, Maragret Becket, Ross Finnie and your MP/MSP calling for an Independent Public Inquiry.

2. Ask same to ask questions in the house etc. for a change in Government Policy regarding the control of FMD, i.e. Vaccination, an end to the contiguous and 3km cull, humane treatment of animals and people if culling has to take place.

3. Financial help for farmers and rual businesses that have been crippled by Government Policy.

4. Helping, distributing Help packs, support farmers.

5. Fund Raising. Funds will be needed to run your group but we also need to raise funds nationally for ;-

Our loyal website providers.Funds for legal proceedings.TheNational Group.

(Heart of Britain 'T' Shirts will soon be available for sale with a good profit margin!)

_________________________________________________________________

FUND RAISING

1. Some areas have special funds available for self help groups, community groups, etc. (I went to the Wigtownshire Council of Voluntary Services for advice and they put in an application on our behalf to Loyds TSB FMD Fund).

2. If part of the remit of the Group is to offer support to people in crisis then you local Health Dept might offer financial help under support to mental health.

3. I you become a registered charity the you can apply to other funding bodies on your own account.

4. Events. Your imagination is the only boundary.

5. Sales. We hope to have several items for sale with Heart of Britain logos as well as the 'T' shirts soon!

There are many way to raise funds so please explore different avenues and let other Groups know of your success stories.

 

Good Luck! Please don't forget to call me if you think I can help you further.

Andy (Hurst)

Heart of Galloway