Constitution of Repair Café Gosport

1. Constitution

1.1. Repair Café Gosport (RCG) is an unincorporated, not for profit organisation operated by volunteers drawn from within the local community.

1.2. The constitution was adopted by a RCG general meeting of its Members on 11th June 2022.

2. Aims

RCG aims are:

2.1. To provide social, environmental and educational benefits to the local community by providing a safe and welcoming cafe style environment where together volunteers and visitors can repair personal items/devices that would otherwise be discarded or replaced.

2.2. To support the local community in reducing what’s sent to waste and recycling by encouraging repair and reuse.

2.3. To support the objectives and reflect the Ethos of Repair Café ( https://www.repaircafe.org/en ) and be part of the international movement for Repair Café

3. Objectives

RCG will seek to achieve its aims by:

3.1. Running regular Repair Café Events within Gosport.

3.2. Securing, from within the local community and elsewhere volunteers, with appropriate skills to help run the Repair Café events.

3.3. Ensuring both volunteers and other supporters feel valued in their involvement and support of RCG.

3.4. Fostering and encouraging the transfer of skills and knowledge, to support the aims of RCG.

3.5. Undertaking public awareness activities and campaigns, designed to nurture and develop the “repair culture” in Gosport and to demonstrate the benefits that can accrue.

3.6. Seeking to promote the well-being of members of the Gosport community by offering opportunities for social interaction, volunteering and inclusion within RCG.

4. Membership

4.1. RCG is run by its members, they shall define the direction of RCG.

4.2. Any person who has provided at least 6 hours of their time and attended two Repair Cafe Events as a volunteer to RCG in the preceding twelve months shall automatically be made an Ordinary Member of RCG.

4.3. Persons allocated RCG Honorary Membership, by a motion passed in a general meeting. The status may be conferred on a lifetime or time-limited basis. RCG Honorary Membership may be conferred for a range of reasons, the following are some examples:

  • Recognition of a significant contribution to RCG made by an individual
  • In order to allow an individual, who may not meet the criteria for ordinary membership to participate in RCG typically to offer specialist skills to RCG.

4.4. RCG Members are deemed to have knowledge of the constitution and RCG policies (for example the volunteer code).

4.5. RCG Members are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with this constitution.

4.6. RCG Members shall not bring RCG into disrepute.

4.7. Attendance at any Repair Cafe Event is at the discretion of the person responsible for the event (the Event Lead). Membership of RCG does not override the discretion of the Event Lead. Any case of a Member being requested to leave a Repair Cafe Event by the Event Lead must be reported to the committee in writing.

4.8. RCG Membership may be suspended by the committee for a period of up to 60 days in the event of a serious breach of the provisions of this constitution or RCG policies:

  • The person affected by a suspension should be notified of their suspension in writing, with an explanation for the reasons, as soon as reasonably practicable.
  • A suspension by the committee should be submitted to motion by a general meeting as soon as reasonably practicable.

4.9. RCG Membership may be withdrawn or suspended for any period of time by a motion passed by a two-thirds majority at a General Meeting.

5. General Meetings

5.1. The General Meetings shall be the sovereign governing body and their decisions shall override those of any other body defined therein.

5.2. An annual general meeting must be held each year and not more than fifteen months may elapse between successive annual general meetings.

5.3. General Meetings shall be chaired by the Committee Chair. In the event there is no approved Committee Chair, the first item on the general meeting agenda shall be the appointment of a meeting chair. In the case of the election of the Committee Chair or other motions relating to the conduct of the Committee Chair, an alternative meeting chair will be appointed.

5.4. All RCG Members shall be entitled to attend the general meetings and be eligible to vote on motions, including appointments to the committee.

5.5. Any RCG Member may request the meeting chair exercise a proxy vote on their behalf if they are unable to attend. In this case, they may provide written instruction on how the vote should be used.

5.6. All General Meetings, annual or special, shall be advertised to eligible attendees, using the volunteer message board, at least 2 weeks in advance.

5.7. Any motions or committee nominations for the general meeting to consider shall be submitted to the meeting chair, to be published on the volunteer message board at least 1 week in advance of the general meeting.

5.8. All motions and committee appointments shall be approved by a majority of the RCG Members present at the meeting and proxy votes.

5.9. Voting shall be by means of a show of hands except in circumstances where the meeting chair deems it necessary to hold a secret ballot. Appointments to the committee, motions to suspend membership or motions to withdraw membership will always be carried out by secret ballot.

5.10. A General Meeting shall be held annually to:

  • Review the accounts from the previous 12 months
  • Appoint the members of the committee

5.11. A Special General Meeting may be convened between the annual meeting as seen necessary by the Committee Chair, for example:

  • To approve significant expenses
  • To approve replacement members of the Committee
  • To approve the long-term suspension or withdrawal of membership

5.12. Any RCG Member, supported by 4 other RCG Members may request in writing to the Committee for a Special General Meeting to be convened within 60 days.

5.13. The meeting chair shall ensure written minutes are maintained that can be reviewed by any Member of RCG.

6. The Committee

6.1. The Committee shall be responsible for the general running of the RCG, subject to:

  • the aims and objectives defined by this constitution;
  • any motions approved by the General meeting, for example, a three-year plan

6.2. The committee shall be comprised of the following:

  • A Chairperson – responsible for the governance of RCG in accordance with its constitution;
  • A Treasurer – responsible for the financial oversight of RCG;
  • An Executive Member – responsible for the running of the repair cafe;
  • Up to four additional committee members without portfolio

6.3. All members of the committee shall be approved by the General Meeting, for a period that concludes at the end of the next Annual General Meeting.

6.4. Any RCG Member may nominate themselves to a position on the committee when vacant (either as a result of a resignation or expiration of term).

6.5. Any RCG Member, may observe a committee meeting but shall not have a vote or contribute to the meeting unless invited to do so by the meeting chair.

6.6. The Committee shall have a quorum of two.

6.7. The meeting chair shall ensure written committee minutes are maintained that can be reviewed by any RCG Member.

7. Finance

7.1. All and any funds received by RCG shall be used only for the purposes of RCG in accordance with the aims.

7.2. Any bank account shall be opened in the name of “Repair Café Gosport”. The bank mandate shall require all cheques (or electronic equivalents) to be authorised by at least two nominated committee members (typically the Treasurer and Executive Member).

7.3. The Treasurer shall maintain adequate records of the funds received and expenses of RCG

7.4. The Treasurer shall prepare a report on the financial position for each annual general meeting

7.5. The Treasurer may request a general meeting be convened to discuss any financial concerns

8. Amendments to the Constitution

8.1. Any proposal for an alteration to the RCG Constitution must be submitted to the committee and will be submitted to a general meeting which shall be convened within 60 days.

8.2. A two-thirds majority must approve any change to the constitution at a general meeting including proxy votes exercised by the meeting chair.

9. Dissolution

9.1. RCG can be wound up at any time, following a motion at a general meeting approved by a two-thirds majority.

9.2. A motion to dissolve RCG shall be submitted to a general meeting if no Repair Cafe Event has occurred within the preceding six months.

9.3. On dissolution, the committee shall distribute the remaining assets and any surplus funds to the group or organisation having similar aims and objectives to RCG.

Terminology

This section summarises some key terms from within the rest of the constitution.

Ordinary Member
Ordinary Membership have voting rights at a general meeting and may serve on the committee. Ordinary membership is conferred automatically having made a significant volunteering contribution to Repair Café Gosport, see section 4.2 for the criteria for becoming an “Ordinary Member”
Honorary Member
Honorary Membership has the same privileges as Ordinary Members. Honorary membership is conferred on an individual by a motion at the general meeting to individuals who may not qualify for Ordinary Membership but will never-the-less add to the organisation or have made an exceptional contribution to the organisation.
Repair Café Gosport (RCG)
The organisation covered by this constitution
Repair Café
An international organisation, see https://www.repaircafe.org/en , that prompts Repair Cafe internationally. Repair Cafe Gosport (RCG) is a member of the Repair Cafe which entitles use of the term Repair Cafe and promotion via their website.
Repair Café Event
An event organised by RCG, the main objective of the RCG in order to meet its aims.
Volunteer Message Board
An electronic message board to be maintained as the primary means of communicating with Volunteers and Supporters. At the time the constitution was enacted, Discord was used for the Volunteer Message Board. However, any other equivalent platform may be used