In order to comply with the NHWI statutes the committee must consist of a minimum of 3 members (President, Treasurer and Secretary). However, in order to manage the affairs of the Market Harborough WI effectively and with a manageable work load, our committee usually consists of 9 members elected from the WI group. The committee members organise the various activities of the MHWI for the year and deal with the administrative tasks required as part of managing a charitable organisation.
There is no minimum or maximum term for serving on the committee, however most committee members commit to stay on for at least two years to ensure continuity in the group. Once a committee member decides to stand down, a replacement is sought from the wider membership group. Ideally, a hand-over period should be agreed during which the outgoing and incoming member work alongside each other to transition the role.
The committee as a whole is accountable to the members and is confirmed (or not…) each year at the AGM, which is usually held in September. At the AGM the members are asked to vote on the committee for the next 12 months, the audited accounts and any other motions relevant to the group and the administration of its affairs.
The committee meets on a monthly basis – typically in the first two weeks of a month, but dates do vary according to the availability of the committee members. Currently the meetings take place online due to the covid-19 restrictions, but will go back to in-person meetings at a location in Market Harborough once we are able to.
Committee Member Roles
The main purpose of the committee is to organise the activities of the WI group – be this the meetings, fund-raising activities or social events. Committee members work as a team and help each other as required. In addition to the general management of the WI, each committee member takes on a role in the organisation and administration of our WI group. The roles of President, Treasurer and Secretary are statutory positions that have to exist for the WI group to be viable as a charitable organisation – without them the group would need to disband. The remaining roles have been created to distribute the workload more evenly and ensure that there are clear responsibilities for key activities.
The current roles in the committee are:
President – Valerie Hitchcox
The President leads the committee and oversees the various activities of the WI. Apart from providing coordination and support to the committee members, the President is also responsible for:Ensuring that the various parts of the organisation interact efficiently and operate within the rules laid down by the NFWI
- Ensuring that the various parts of the organisation interact efficiently and operate within the rules laid down by the NFWI
- Making sure that varied and interesting programme is provided and encourage members to take part in the various activities offered to the membership
- Working closely with the treasurer to ensure sufficient funds are available for the group’s activities
Treasurer – Denise Line
While the Committee as a whole is responsible for the financial health of the WI, the Treasurer deals with the day-to-day administration of the WI’s finances and bank accounts. Responsibilities include:
- Collecting the annual subscriptions and sundry funds from fund-raising activities
- Paying the expenses for WI activities as well as the fees to the regional and national federations
- Recording all funds going in and out of the accounts, balance the books and submit the accounts for audit at the end of the year
- Managing the WI group’s bank accounts
Secretary – Kirsten Molle
The Secretary takes on the general administration of the WI and is the general point person for the Regional (Leicestershire and Rutland) and national (NFWI) Federations. Typical activities for the secretary include:
- Co-ordinating the agenda for the monthly committee meetings and maintain the records (such as the minutes, annual report and other documentation)
- Managing the MHWI email inbox and archive, direct messages as required, respond to enquiries and distribute relevant information (such as messages from the regional federation and internal information that cannot be posted on public sites) to the members.
- Co-ordinating attendance by members at the regional and national events
- Co-ordinating the AGM and any related voting activities
Membership Secretary – Carolyn Dyer
The Membership Secretary is responsible for the membership administrative processes and works closely with the Treasurer (managing subscription takings) and Secretary (membership enquiries and communication). Key responsibilities for this role include:
- Maintaining the membership database within the NFWI systems
- Processing membership applications throughout the year
- Ensuring that data protection rules are followed in the handling of member’s personal data
- Co-ordinating the annual subscription payment cycle together with the Treasurer
- Dealing with any membership related enquiries from the public
- Providing membership related data to the committee as required
Programme and Event Management – Bridget Crane and Caroline Hunt
These committee members are responsible for creating the annual meeting and social event programme at the heart of the WI activities and producing the annual programme calendar leaflet. The role is ideally shared to ensure that in any event at least one committee member is available to manage the programme administration. Typical responsibilities for the role include:
- Researching possible speakers and activities for the monthly meetings/social events and produce the programme calendar
- Planning the sessions in detail after agreement with the rest of the committee and co-ordinate speaker requirements (audio, video, materials, timing etc.)
- Co-ordinating advertising for the session with the Social Media Coordinator
- Introducing the speaker at the meeting and provide a closing ‘thank you’.
- Soliciting feed-back as appropriate and co-ordinating payment for the speaker with the Treasurer
Social Media Coordinator – Kirsten Molle
The MHWI is one of the WI Groups that maintains a regular presence in the digital world to provide news and information to the members as well as the wider community.
The role of the Social Media Coordinator is to maintain the various streams – the website, twitter account and Facebook Page – and ensure that the content is coherent and coordinated. This includes writing and editing relevant content, posting meeting reminders and co-ordinating the publishing of event advertising to the members. At present this also includes managing the MHWI Zoom Account, setting up the various meetings and notifying members of the access details for the sessions. The Social Media Coordinator is also responsible for maintaining the subscriptions and access controls for these sites and ensure that they are operated in-line with data protection legislation.
Venue Management – Tricia Blake, Jan Cooper, Carolyn Dyer and Fiona Graham
The monthly (in person) meetings and similar gatherings take a lot of organisation on the day to run smoothly. Apart from providing general support to the rest of the committee activities, the Venue Management Group ensures that the meeting logistics and fund-raising activities are planned ahead and manage the key tasks on the night:
Reception – The Venue Management Team organises the reception desk at the meeting where members sign in, obtain their name badges, can sign up and pay for social events and drop off raffle donations. The reception team also deals with membership queries and welcomes new members, ensuring that their details are recorded and they are introduced to some of the regulars to ‘chaperone’ them through their first meeting.
Refreshments – The sale of tea, coffee and cakes is a fixture at all monthly meetings and an important fund-raising opportunity. The cakes are provided by volunteers who set out the stand and prepare the beverages. The Venue Management Team is responsible for the managing of the rota, to ensure that there are sufficient provisions and for ensuring that the kitchen facilities are left clean and tidy.
Raffles – Another key fund-raising activity is the Raffle. The Venue Management Team collects member donations, sets up the Raffle Display, sells the tickets throughout the evening and does the draw at the end of the event. They also ensure that sufficient prizes are available, working with the Treasurer if funds are required to top up the stock.
Resolutions and NFWI AGM – Joint committee effort
The resolutions process puts members and their concerns at the heart of the decisions about the WI campaign activities. Resolutions are proposed at grassroot level and then reviewed, short-listed and voted on through the annual resolutions cycle. Members vote for their preferred resolution on the shortlist in their WI groups with the result from each group consolidated up to national level. The final choice is then adopted at the NFWI Annual Meeting and turned into a campaign. The Resolutions and NFWI AGM role covers the management of the annual resolutions cycle in our WI group:
- Channelling member suggestions for resolutions
- Distributing the published short-list information and holding educational sessions for the members
- Managing the voting process and ensuring that the results are submitted to the Regional Federation on time
- If applicable, organising attendance at the NFWI AGM and relevant feedback sessions after the event