The name of the Organisation Sensing Friends

2. National Location of Principal Office

The principal office of the UCO is in England

3. Objects and Aims of Sensing Friends

3.1 To provide social and emotional relief of those in need in the uk, by reason of
youth and sensory disability who are vulnerable to social exclusion through experiencing any form of physical or emotional disability or additional need arising through circumstances. Sensing Friends aim is to bridge the gap between those young people with sensory needs experiencing this social exclusion and those young people who may engage in excluding others, through their own unconscious prejudices and misconceptions about difference and diversity.

3.2 To promote positive inclusive communities and community participation between those living with sensory needs and their everyday community. We do this by facilitating therapeutic, social and creative pursuits and providing community education which promotes harmony and the lessening of conflict between young people by eliminating discrimination and promoting diversity in society. To offer the young service users a higher quality of life by creating friendships and a support network for the young people within and outside of the Sensing Friends set activity days.

3.3 Sensing Friends provides emotional support through therapeutic peer support groups, creative expression groups and one to one counselling support provided by trained, experienced counsellors, ecotherapists, creative youth practitioners and social workers.

3.4 Sensing Friends provides an outdoor natural safe, nurturing space. This space allows these young people, and their peers, as well as their family and related community to enjoy being in nature together, connecting with themselves and their environment, bonding over shared experiences and learning to embrace and value each others differences as well as the wider community and environment they live in.

3.5 Sensing Friends advances the social and emotional well being of children and young people through any such means as the Trustees and members think fit in accordance with the the Aims and objectives.

3.6 To gain and retain the support and trust of potential and existing charitable donors with the clear intention and firm commitment to utilise all resources in a manner which maximises the benefits we offer and deliver to our community

4. Membership

Sensing Friends has an equal opportunities policy and does not discriminate any individual. Please see our Equal Opportunities policy.

Peer support, creative expression and one to one support membership Is open to anyone aged between 8 and 18 years old; and

  • Lives in Sussex or the surrounding area; and
  • Can benefit from participating in the social and emotional supportive events, activities and services Sensing Friends provides.
  • Wider membership is not limited to any age and is open to anyone including parents, family members, members of the community and professionals who support the cause and needs of Sensing Friends and/or the needs of its beneficiaries.
  • Membership will begin as soon as membership is agreed with committee members and or the registration form has been received.

Ceasing to be a member

Members may retract their membership at any time in writing to the committee.

Any offensive behaviour, including racist, sexist or inflammatory remarks, will not be permitted. Anyone behaving in an offensive way or breaking the equal opportunities policy may be asked to leave the organisation. The individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the management committee, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made.

4. Policies

Sensing Friends has equal opportunity, Safeguarding, privacy, data protection, counselling and health and safety and complaints policies. Sensing Friends upholds these policies at all times and all members will be informed of these policies and need to abide by them.

The policies will be reviewed annually and updated if necessary

Please see full policies attached.

5. committee members

The business of the group will be carried out by a Committee elected at the Annual General Meeting. The Committee will meet as necessary and not less than four times a year.

The Committee will be composed of Trustees and committee members. There will be at least three unrelated Trustees on the committee who will also participate in directing the organisation, including voting on essential issues that arise.

The committee members, sessional workers, consultancy workers will receive payment for work related to delivering essential services related to the activities that directly support the service users of Sensing Friends and will, where appropriate, be paid for essential officer/ administrative or committee work they take part in .

Trustees can, under agreed circumstances, receive payment for essential sessional work, where appropriate and agreed with overall committee only. Where trustees receive payment for sessional work there will be a clearly identified reason and contract related to this.

All trustees and committee members will be safeguarded by Access insurance cover which will protect them against any loss damages or professional liability. Please see details of insurance cover.

The committee members are as follows

Kay Beach
Patrick Beach
Moira Vincent
William Berkeley Smith
Emma Crossland
Penny Wright
Peter Bowley
Craig Stockley

The names of the trustees within Sensing Friends are as follows.

Penny Wright Date 07/12/19

Peter Bowley Date 07/12/19
Craig Stockley Date 19/11/19

In the event of an officer standing down during the year a replacement will be elected by the next Annual General Meeting of members.

Any committee member not attending a meeting without apology for six months will be contacted by the committee and asked if they wish to resign.

The Committee meetings will be open to any committee member wishing to attend.

Decisions and Voting

6. Meetings

6.1. Annual General Meetings

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held within fifteen months of the previous AGM.
All members will be notified in writing at least 3 weeks before the date of the meeting, giving the venue, date and time.

Nominations for the committee may be made to the committee before the meeting, or at the meeting.

At the AGM:-

  • The Committee will present a report of the work of Sensing Friends over the year.
  • The Committee will present the accounts of Sensing Friends for the previous year.
  • The officers and Committee for the next year will be elected.
  • Any proposals given to the committee at least 7 days in advance of the meeting will be discussed.

6.2 Special General Meetings

The Committee will call a Special General Meeting at the request of the majority of the committee or at least eight other members giving a written request to the Chair stating the reason for their request.
The meeting will take place within twenty-one days of the request.

All members will be given two weeks notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email, post or Sensing Friends Social Media

6.3 General Meetings

General Meetings are open to Trustees, committee members, and members and will be held at least a year, or more often if necessary.

All members and committee members will be given two weeks’ notice of such a meeting, giving the venue, date, time and agenda, and notice may be by telephone, email or post.

6.4 Working Meetings

Working meetings are open to working committee members. If necessary Trustees and outside consultancy may also attend. These meetings will be made as and when needed by the committee members.

6.4 Committee Meetings

Committee meetings may be called by the Chair. Committee members must receive notice of meetings at least 7 days before the meeting.

The quorum for Committee meetings is at least 2 trustee and 2 Committee members.

7. Rules of Procedure for meetings

All questions that arise at any meeting will be discussed openly and the meeting will seek to find general agreement that everyone present can agree to.

If a consensus cannot be reached a vote will be taken and a decision will be made by a simple majority of members present. If the number of votes cast on each side is equal, the Trustees of the meeting shall have an additional casting vote. If still undecided the chair will cast an additional vote.

8. Finances

An account will be maintained on behalf of the Association at a bank agreed by the committee. Two cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee (one to be the Treasurer). The signatories must not be related nor members of the same household.

Payments over £250 will be signed by two of the signatories.

• For cheque payments, the signatories will sign the cheque.
• For other payments (such as BACS payments, cash withdrawals, debit card payments or cash payments), over £250.00, a requisition note will be signed by two signatories, and held by the treasurer.

Records of income and expenditure will be maintained by the Treasurer and committee members as
well as outside specialist consultancy and a financial statement given at each meeting.

All money raised by or on behalf of Sensing Friends is only to be used to further the aims of the group, as specified in item 2 of this constitution.

9. Amendments to the Constitution

Amendments to the constitution may only be made at the Annual General Meeting or a Special General Meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution must be given to the committee in writing. The proposal must then be circulated with the notice of meeting.

Any proposal to amend the constitution will require a two thirds majority of those present and entitled to vote.

10. Dissolution

If a meeting, by simple majority, decides that it is necessary to close down the group it may call a Special General Meeting to do so. The sole business of this meeting will be to dissolve the group.

If it is agreed to dissolve the group, all remaining money and other assets, once outstanding debts have been paid, will be donated to a local charitable organisation. The organisation will be agreed at the meeting which agrees the dissolution.

This constitution was agreed at the Inaugural General Meeting of Sensing Friends Group on:-
07/12/2017 and updated on 05/01/ 20