search bars close map-marker arrow-right tags twitter facebook

Documents, Guidelines, Procedures and Information

Documents, Guidelines, Procedures and Information

Contents

Our Activities

The Gay Outdoor Club organise over 500 individual events per year plus many regular events. Most of our events are one day but we also organise weekend and longer events. The events take place throughout Great Britain and we also have a number of foreign trips every year.

Walking – We organise more walking events than any other type of event, and a typical walk will be 7 to 10 miles although we also organise more challenging hill walks including ‘munroe bagging’. Most of our walks take place on Sundays but some groups organise walks on Saturdays or mid-week.

Mountain walking – This is the core of our Adventure Out group’s activities and includes day, weekend and longer trips mainly to the Scottish Highlands, Lake District and North Wales.

Cycling – Many of our groups organise cycling events on the public road and we also go mountain biking for those who like a bit of mud!

Social – The social part of our activities is very important and many of our members meet up for socials and other events like theatre trips, meals, camping and canal boating.

Canoeing – Our Adventure Out group organise trips in canoes or kayaks, and each year we go abroad for a white water rafting expedition.

Caving – Our Caving group organise events for those who like to get away from the sunlight.

Climbing – We organise a wide range of climbing related activities such as indoor or outdoor rock climbing, abseiling, scrambling and mountaineering. Some of those activities are organised by local groups and others by our Climbing group. Mountain walks organised by Adventure Out sometimes include some non-technical scrambling.

Winter sports – We have a Skiing group who organise trips to the snow.

Indoor and Sporting – Some of our groups organise badminton, gym, running and swimming sessions.

You can find all of our activities on the Events page.

Getting Involved in Running GOC

Going on GOC events gives people a lot of enjoyment and has resulted in enduring friendships or partnerships, so a lot of members want to give something back. Because GOC is a member’s club, it’s the members who run the club and all of its events. The success of GOC is entirely down to the many members who have played a part in organising something for the club, and we encourage new people to step forward and help.

There are three main ways that a member can get involved in helping the club:

Organise an Event

Talk to the Group Coordinator of your local or specialist group and see how you can help their programme by running an event. You are able to submit events on the website which are then reviewed and publishing by the Group Coordinator. For most GOC events you don’t need experience but there are always people in the group to help you plan and run the event. There are also guidelines for organising an event on this website under Information.

Help Run a Group

Many groups have a few people who help the Coordinator with things like keeping the events up to date on the website or organising some local publicity – splitting the tasks of a Coordinator amongst a group of people helps spread the load and also gets people enthusiastic about the group. If you want to help with your local group, talk to your Coordinator.

Help the National Committee

The committee, listed in the Governance page, are responsible for Coordinating GOC at a national level. There is a continuing need for people to help, either by serving on the committee or by helping with things like publicity. If you want to help, please contact the Chairman.

Please don’t wait to be asked to step forward – if you want to do something for the club please put yourself forward. There is plenty of help available for whatever you want to do, and you could find that you get much more from the club by putting a little bit in.

Governance

Constitution

The club is legally a Company Limited by Guarantee and a Registered Charity, it is governed by two documents:

We also provide guidelines for members who are organising anything for GOC in our Information page.

Groups

The groups which make up GOC organise all of the events, each one has a person who co-ordinates their events and acts as a contact for the group. To find out more about any group and how to contact them, look under our Groups page.

Committee

The club has up to 12 Trustees, who are referred to as the committee. They are assisted by a number of other members who together manage the club nationally. To contact any of the Trustees use the Contacts Page of the website.

Trustees

Chairman: Peter Blackburn – Represents the club and deals with all aspects of club policy, publicity, insurance and safety.

Group Liaison: Julian Donald – Contact for GOC Group Coordinators and associated clubs.

Secretary: Ivor Rose – Deals with all general correspondence.

Treasurer: Roger Sheldon – Manages the club’s finances including membership payments and expense claims.

Web Manager: Owen Morris – Manages the website and IT resources of the club.

Women’s Representative: Al Evans – Promotes the participation of women in the activities of the club.

Without Portfolio: Jim Armitage – Attends meetings

Assistants to the Committee

Archivist: Simon Ball – Maintains the club’s archive of magazines, articles and photos.

Membership Secretary: David Heard – Manages membership subscriptions and magazine delivery problems.

Magazine Editor: Peter Blackburn – Edits GOC’s magazine, Outdoors, dealing with all articles and event reports.

Returning Officer: Graeme Brown – Organises the ballot at a general meeting.

Use of Funds

The club has a number of sources of funds and as a charity we keep some of them for specific purposes. For instance our charitable income is not used for the general running costs of the club.

Our sources of income and their use are:

General Funds

Source: Membership Fees; Advertising in Outdoors; Interest

Usage: Magazine; Website running costs; Administration; Affiliation Fees; Insurance; Bank Charges

Events

Where there is a charge for an event (e.g. a hostel weekend), the club aims to break even. Any surplus or deficit goes to the general funds.

Charitable Funds

Source: Gift Aid; Donations; Legacies; Grants

Usage:

  • Promoting the club and its aims (i.e. all types of publicity)
  • One-off developments such as the website

As those funds grow, we also plan to use them for:

  • Providing training for volunteers
  • Making events accessible to those who could not otherwise participate
  • Making membership available to those who could not otherwise afford it

Conditions of Use

The purpose of the GOC website is to allow people to access information about the club and its activities. There are also features which allow members to interact to discuss and plan GOC events.

Users must bear in mind that purpose when using the website, and in particular when:

  • Deciding on a user name
  • Selecting a photograph for their profile
  • Writing profile text
  • Posting messages

Users of the website may not libel or defame any other person, solicit for sexual purposes, make offensive remarks, publicise commercial or non-GOC events without authority, submit photographs of naked persons, or breach copyright, trademark or legal restrictions.

GOC welcomes men and women of a variety of backgrounds, sexualities, nationalities, ages etc who should all be treated with equal respect as people. No person should feel that they have to disclose or explain any aspect of themselves or their lifestyle.

In submitting a photograph to this website, a user warrants that people in the photograph were advised that it may be submitted and did not object to being in it. The club may use photographs submitted to the website for publicity purposes.

All members or guests participating in any activity within GOC (including using this website) are required to abide by the club’s Code of Conduct which can be viewed by clicking the link.

Health & Safety Policy

We regard the safe conduct of all of our events as the highest of importance and have a comprehensive Health & Safety policy which can be downloaded here: Health and Safety Policy

All participants in our events are reminded of the requirements of our Code of Conduct.

Members who are organising a GOC event are reminded to read our Guidelines for organising a GOC event which contains useful guidance on all aspects of organising an event.

Privacy Policy

GDPR Policy

  • Hold relevant and accurate personal data only for specific and lawful purposes
  • Keep personal data for no longer than is necessary
  • Keep all personal data secure
  • GOC will not sell or share your data with any third parties
  • Provide members with any data held on them upon request by contacting any of the Trustees

GOC Privacy Policy

We realise that people are concerned about their privacy so we make every effort to ask for the minimum amount of information and ensure that all the details that you entered to register for this site are stored in a secure and confidential way. Any details which are not shown on your profile are only used for the club to monitor statistics about our users and can only be accessed by selected Officers of the club.

Members may be asked for additional information to enable us to send them a printed copy of our magazine Outdoors (if applicable). Online payment details are not held on our website.

If you wish to know exactly what data is kept about you, please ask any of the Trustees.

Cookies

The GOC website, like many others, uses small files called ‘cookies’ to help customise your experience. Cookies are stored by the web browser on your computer. They allow us to tailor the appearance of many of the pages to suit your needs and to optimise the site’s performance. For example, if you wish to register as a user on the site, and log in, we use cookies to remember that you’re an authorised user. These cookies remain on your computer until you log out or close your browser window.

If you select the ‘Remember Me’ option when you log in, we will place a permanent cookie on your computer. Next time you visit the site, we use the contents of this cookie to log you in automatically.

We also use cookies to anonymously track visitor numbers to some pages on the site using a third-party service.

By using the GOC website, you are consenting to our use of cookies in accordance with this Cookie Policy. If you do not agree to our use of cookies in this way, you can set your browser settings to control or disable cookies. Information on controlling and deleting cookies on a variety of popular web browsers is available at www.AboutCookies.org. Please note that by deleting our cookies or disabling cookies for this site, you will not be able to log in to the site or take advantage of the additional facilities offered to registered users.

Emails

We send you emails when you register on the site, and to confirm when your account activation is complete. We also send you emails in response to requests made by yourself, including upgrade requests and changes of email address. If you join GOC, or renew your membership online, we will send confirmatory emails to your registered e-mail address, and you will also receive payment confirmation messages from our electronic payment provider. You will receive email notification when your annual membership is due for renewal. You do not need to opt in to receive any of these notifications.

All emails from the GOC site are sent with the sender’s address as [email protected]

If you are a GOC member, you may send and receive personal email messages to other members via the site. If you wish, you can opt out of receiving personal messages and other members will not be able to send them to you. Messages you send will reveal your email address to the recipient in the reply-to field so they can respond to you.

If you are a GOC member with a specific role such as a Group Coordinator or an Event Contact, you will also receive individual emails from registered and unregistered site visitors.

If bulk emails we send to you are bounced because your address is no longer active, we will remove your address from our system, usually within 1 week.

Bulk Mailings

We send occasional news updates (usually monthly) and a fortnightly digest of events to all users who have opted in to receive bulk mailings. You are considered to have opted in if you leave the box ‘I wish to receive occasional mailings by email from GOC’ ticked at time of registration. You can change these settings at any time by visiting the Messaging Options page within the My GOC section.

If you subscribe to a local or special interest group, you have the option of opting in to bulk mailings sent from the group coordinators. You can change these settings at any time by visiting the Messaging Options page or by unsubscribing from the group. Group Coordinators typically send one or two mailings per month.

If you wish to stop receiving bulk mailings, you can change your settings, or you can click the ‘unsubscribe’ link in any bulk mailing we send you. You will be given the option to unsubscribe to all mailings, or specify the mailings you wish to receive.

If you report our mailings as spam via your ISP, and we receive a ‘spam complaint’ via our email service provider, we will automatically remove you from our mailing lists by opting you out of all bulk mailing options. This is usually done within 24 hours. You can log in and change these settings at a later date.

If bulk emails we send to you are bounced because your address is no longer active, we will cancel all your opt-in mailings, usually within 1 week.

If you are not a GOC member and do not log in to the site for over a year, your profile will be deleted. We will send you an email one month before this time so you can log in and continue to use the site if you wish.

Site Ownership and Legal Information

Website

This website is owned and maintained by the Gay Outdoor Club Limited, which is referred to throught the site as ‘GOC’, ‘Gay Outdoor Club’ or ‘the Club’.

Legal status of the club

The Gay Outdoor Club Limited is a company limited by guarantee (Registered in England and Wales, number 08020133), and is also registered as a charity (Registered in England and Wales, number 1158873).

We are run by volunteers and any surplus we make is carried forward for future work and not distributed in dividends or bonuses.

Being a limited company means that members and officers are protected against any claims made against it, that protection is enhanced by liability insurance with a limit of £10 Million. In the event that the club became insolvent, members cannot be liable for more than £1.

Our registered address is 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, WC1N 3AX.

Taxation

The club is not registered for VAT. All prices quoted on the site are what you pay in Pounds Sterling, including any tax or duty which may be due.

Guidelines for Organising Events

Every GOC event is different but these guidelines seek to put together some common principles which will help members organise a successful and safe event.

Every event must have a leader who has overall responsibility for the event, and that person must be a Member of GOC (not a guest). That person may, or may not, be the contact listed in the event details.

Advice on specific activities is given in the menu options on the left, listed below and in our Health and Safety Policy. If you have any other questions on organising an event, please contact our Events Officer.

These guidelines have been compiled from the experiences of GOC groups and we intend to update them regularly. If you have any suggestions for future versions of these guidelines please send them to the Group Liaison Officer

Tips and Hints

Here are some tips and hints that have been passed by Group Coordinators which can be seen as best practice for maintaining a healthy group. I am sure many of you are already doing these but you might find something new to you.

  • When trying to recruit walk leaders follow up an email to the group with a 1:1 chat to ask people if they would lead a walk. They will be flattered that you asked and more likely to agree.
  • When planning the walks for the year put each walk on the web site as a place marker. They can be flagged as provisional, will act as a reminder and prevent other groups duplicating walks on the same date and area.
  • Grade the event as ‘Easy’, ‘Moderate’, ‘Difficult’ so that members can ensure they are fit enough to attend. If you have your doubts they are able to complete the event or maintain a suitable pace have a quiet word with them to encourage them to choose appropriate events.
  • Send out a reminder email to your group a few days before the walk including a link to the walk to make sure everyone remembers there is a walk at the weekend. If it is a particularly interesting walk email guest accounts, including a link to the Join page.
  • Encourage people to add their names to the online attendee list so that others know there will be plenty of people to talk to.
  • Do notsend out details of events to non-members. Ask them to create a free online trial account or pay for membership for the details.
  • Always add images to your event listings. Look at other listings and try to copy their best features.
  • Put an event report online telling everyone what a good time you had with photos from the event to spice it up.
  • At the end of the year send out an end of year report to your group highlighting and thanking all walk leaders and event organisers.
  • Organise walks to start from a station or offer a lift from the nearest station to the start point so those without transport can attend. We have received a lot of feedback that lack of transportation prevents many people attending.
  • Attach the “Women” group to your event to indicate you know a woman will be attending. More women will then be attracted as they will have female company. Make sure all the women in your group know about this so they can tell you when to add the group flag.
  • Put the event report and photos onto Facebook to spread the word.
  • Always ensure the event is introduced, the people attending are greeted and any newcomers are welcomed.
  • Chat to newcomers and make sure they have all the information they need and look out for them to make sure they do not walk on their own too much or sit on their own over lunch. Talk to them at the end of the walk to get feedback and ask if they intend to come to the next event.
  • Put yourself as event contact. You are then able to make sure all inquiries are answered and prevent event details from being released to non-members.
  • Mention Gift Aid to members at appropriate times to help with club finances.
  • Maintain a core list of walks and leaders to call on.
  • Make the end of walks sociable by organising members to bring tea and cake or end the walk at a pub or tea shop.
  • Encourage sociable events such as meeting at a  pub, restaurant, weekend away, cinema nights, theatre, train trips ,museum trips, local village fairs etc
  • Organise joint walks with neighbouring groups to encourage members to mix
  • Make planning meetings sociable occasions to encourage participation.
  • Share the load of leading by recruiting helpers to take on aspects of leading a group. This will also help you with finding a replacement for you, succession planning is important in keeping your group healthy.
  • Get more walk leaders by buddying up with them for the first few times they plan and recce walks and make sure you are on hand to help them on the day.
  • If you have links with other social organisations ask if they want to tie up with GOC so that the membership of both organisations benefit. Give their details to the Chairman who will follow this up.
  • If your group has mixed ability split into 2 groups and the slower group can take a short cut.
  • Ensure you put on a mix of events so that you cater for all abilities. Short walks will bore those with too much energy and long walks will put others off attending.
  • Set yourself the challenge of having at least one walk a month, at least one weekend away a year, one non-walk event every other month i.e. cycling, swimming, indoor climbing, social. Challenging people with something new will keep the group fresh.
  • Encourage members to organise last minute events if they see an opportunity. You do not have to rely on events appearing in the magazine as most members are searching for events on the website.
  • Put meaningful information in the Event Key field so you can search for the event and re-use the details.
  • Put on events in any county, province, country, continent and planet. Groups are divided up by counties in general but that does not mean you have to stick to that boundary. You do not need to ask permission to put on an event elsewhere but you will need to tell relevant parties so events do not clash.
  • Do not form cliques. Surveys have shown members have not renewed their membership because they felt left out of the group. If that happens to existing members it may also be happening to Trial account holders. Speak to new people as soon as you see them and walk with them for a while, get to know them, introduce them to others. Meeting a group of people can be intimidating and it is your job to break down social barriers. If you are not a people person recruit someone who is to assist you and have them buddy up with new members.
  • Link your event to as many groups as are relevant. i.e. if it is a cycling event in Lincoln attach to the Lincoln Group and Cycling Group and this will draw people in from other areas who subscribe to the Cycling Group.

Advertising and Promoting Events

GOC events must be entered into the club’s event database which will ensure that it is publicised in:

  • The website, where it is visible to members and guests; and
  • The magazine, which is sent to members.

Event details on the website

We are looking to improve the event content on the web and subsequently the content in the Outdoors magazine by ensuring all relevant details are present and information which will “sell” the event to existing members and guests is included. It is easy to fall into the trap of only putting up the bare essentials when we are busy doing other things however it is important to present your event in an attractive way so that participants are drawn to events and your group flourishes.

The following prompts can be used as a checklist to ensure that the essential information participants will need is included and reduces the number of enquiries you will receive.

  • Distance of walk
  • Terrain / difficulty of walk (hilly, through woodland, flat, restrictions such as stiles)
  • Describe the start point providing coordinates and the post code for those with satnav (available from the streetmap.co.uk link “Click here to convert coordinates” at the bottom of the screen)
  • Provide start time and estimated end time
  • Whether walkers should bring a packed lunch or money for a pub lunch.
  • Event contact. You might consider putting the group leader as the event contact as they will have had more experience dealing with enquiries from guests and this is an opportunity to provide a welcoming to potential new members.
  • Attach your event to as many groups as are relevant. i.e. if it is a cycling event in Surrery attach to the Surrey Group and Cycling Group and this will draw people in from other areas who subscribe to the Cycling Group.

Some groups have additional activities and information which they include with the walk such as:

  • Inform members that hot drinks and/or cake and/or biscuits will be provided at the end of the walk. Some group’s members regularly bring home baked cake to share at the end of a walk to go with hot drinks organised by the group leader and including this in the details reminds people to bring a cake.
  • Breakfast at the beginning of the walk.
  • Pub stop for drinks or supper at the end of the walk.
  • Lifts offered from nearby train stations if the start point is remote. Lifts can be arranged via the public message board for the event or the designated event contact.
  • Mobile phone number for if people need to contact the event leader on the day.
  • Upload an image of the route drawn on the map which can be made by scanning or photographing the map.

Drawing people to the event

Having a photo in the event contacts profile provides a friendly face to the event and makes GOC appear more approachable. Guests are then more likely to ask for details on the event and can look out for the event contact on the day for an introduction to the group.

Photos are very good way to draw people to an event. Photos of views, points of interest, the trail, interesting buildings etc help to set the scene and generate interest.

Providing descriptive text on the event will also help engage people. A paragraph or two giving people an idea of what to expect fires the imagination, draws people in and people go on the event expecting to have a good time.

If you need any help setting up events on the web site then please contact our Events Officer.

Promoting events

Most groups send out reminders of their events to people on their mailing list. This can easily be done from the website and is very effective at prompting people to attend events.

If you are organising a special event (e.g. a weekend or special activity) please tell the Editor who can make it a featured event and give it further publicity.

Some groups have successfully advertised selected events on other websites and local venues – contact the Publicity Officer for further ideas.

Participants on Your Event

Suitability and preparation

A person who is not suitably equipped and prepared for an event is a potential hazard to themselves and to others. The event leader is entitled to refuse to allow someone to participate if they prejudice the safety of the event.

Such decisions are often borderline and you may wish to ask the views of other participants. If you allow a person to participate it is essential that you tell them of your concerns and make it clear that the decision is theirs and that they have to accept responsibility for themselves.

To avoid such difficulties at the start of an event it is important to give details of the requirements for the event to everyone who may attend. The best way to do that is to include them in the entry on the GOC website when it is first published (some people may not see it if it is amended later).

Children and Vulnerable Adults

We wish to welcome all to GOC but the club does not have suitable policies in place to enable the unaccompanied participation of children (under 18) or vulnerable adults (people who are not fully able to make decisions on their own behalf) in its events.

Children and vulnerable adults may, at the event leader’s discretion, attend if accompanied by a parent or carer normally having responsibility for their care. The responsibility for their safety and welfare rests with the accompanying adult who should have regard to their physical needs, safety, comfort and limitations.

We do not organise events for children, and attendance by organised groups of children is not permitted. We cannot allow children or vulnerable adults to attend any overnight event or other event where accommodation is provided.

Disability

Disability is a very broad ranging term and can include people who have asthma, diabetes, epilepsy as well as people who are partially sighted, hearing impaired or who have mobility problems. We want to be as inclusive an organisation as possible and none of these, or any other disabilities, is a bar to joining GOC.

The extent to which a person with disabilities can participate in an event will depend upon the nature of their disability, the event itself and the support available. Safety of the person with disabilities and of others participating in the event is the primary consideration. Most people with disabilities are aware of their abilities and limitations and it is their responsibility to make judgements accordingly.

In order to help people with disabilities take part in GOC events, and to comply with the Equality Act, we should:

  • Have accurate information available beforehand about the type of activity, distance, terrain, rest stops etc;
  • Make that information available in different ways – in the magazine, on the website, by e-mail or by phone;
  • Find out what support the person may need and whether they will have someone with them.

Our Ability group specialises in promoting outdoor activities for people who are disabled – we aim to provide events to suit all abilities.

Specific Guidance for Walking Events

Walking includes activities which may be described by the following terms:

  • Rambling
  • Hiking
  • Hill walking or fell walking
  • Mountain walking (including scrambling).

Classification of walking events

The website has four Event Types for walking. This is to help people understand if a day walk or longer event that involves walking is suitable for them and what to expect if they attend. The default setting is Moderate Walk. The walk leader or event organiser should select the most appropriate description for the event in question, which may depend on a number of factors including length of walk(s), type of terrain, location and time of year.

  • Easy Walk – leisurely walk for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. May include unsurfaced rural paths. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are recommended.
  • Moderate Walk – walk for people with country walking experience and a good level of fitness. May include some steep paths and open country, and may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.
  • Difficult Walk – strenuous walk for experienced country walkers with an above average fitness level. May include hills and rough country, and may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential. People in doubt about their fitness should contact the event organiser or walk leader in advance.
  • Mountain Walking– see separate document defining Mountain Walking, which includes scrambling. In some mountain walking situations ropes, ice axes and/or other equipment may be needed for safety reasons (for instance because of the conditions) over ground that could normally be traversed without such equipment. However, activities that include ‘pitched climbing’, where members of a party ascend in stages one after the other with the aid of a rope, are classed by GOC as Climbing rather than Walking.

If in doubt about how to classify a walking event that you are proposing, please consult the Events Officer via the Contact page.

Safety and Advice

Walk leaders must take account of our Generic Risk Assessment – Walking.

Walk leaders and event organisers should also consider whether GOC’s advice about Safety in the Hills is relevant and if so put the following statement in the Event Details: ‘People intending to take part in this event should read GOC’s document Safety in the Hills .’ This will be applicable to any event that includes mountain walking and may also apply to other walking events in hilly and moorland areas.

Walk leaders may also find useful advice in the following documents from The Ramblers:

Specific Guidance for Cycling and Mountain Biking Events

This activity includes the use any type of pedal cycle on road, cycle path or bridleway (or the equivalents in Scotland).

Cycle leaders must take account of our Generic Risk Assessment – Cycling

Cycle leaders may also find useful advice in this document from the CTC: CTC – Guidelines for ride leaders

Guidance for Other Activities

Badminton, Gym and Swimming

These activities will take place in public venues appropriate to the activity (e.g. Sports Halls, Gymnasia or Swimming Baths) and the risk management strategies of the venue should be followed.

Running

When indoor, the activity will take place in public venues appropriate to the activity (e.g. Sports Halls or Gymnasia) and the risk management strategies of the venue should be followed.

When outdoor, running leaders must take account of our Generic Risk Assessment – Running

Camping and social

Camping will take place in camp sites or other places where camping is permitted.

Social events may be indoor (in private homes or public places) or outdoor.

For both activities the risk management strategies of the venue should be followed.

Insurance

The club maintains third party public liability insurance with Endsleigh Insurance which protects GOC, the committee, group coordinators and club members against claims of third party liability, member to member liability, trespass, libel, slander and other matters under civil law.

All GOC events are automatically covered by this policy provided they are:

  • Organised by a GOC group
  • Led by a member of the club
  • Entered into the club’s event database
  • In the list of activities below

Standard activities

The following activities may be organised and led by a club member who has appropriate experience:

  • Badminton
  • Camping
  • Canal boating
  • Cycling (on road, cycle path or bridleway)
  • Gym
  • Hill walking
  • Rambling
  • Running
  • Social
  • Swimming
  • Walking

Other activities

If any group wants to organise an event not described above they must contact the chair in order that insurance may be obtained if cover is not provided by a third party running the event.

Cover for guests

Our insurance accepts that people who have not yet joined the Club may want to attend club events before joining. The cover with regards to non-members is limited as follows:

  • If a non-member was to try and sue the Club, the policy covers the Club and its officers;
  • If a non-member causes an injury or damage to another person or property, the policy covers the Club and its officers from any claim;
  • However, in the event of a non-member being the subject of a third party claim, the non-member is not offered protection by the policy. A non-member would be personally liable if any claim succeeded, whereas a member would be covered by the policy.

Incidents and Complaints

Complaints from the public

If a landowner or other member of the public complains about a GOC event, it makes sense if possible to resolve the matter calmly at the time. If that is not possible, they should make their complaint in writing to The Chair, Gay Outdoor Club, BM GOC, London, WC1N 3XX. Do not give out names or contact details of individual officers of the club. After the event make the Chair aware that a complaint may be received.

Complaints from a participant

If you are not able to resolve a complaint at the time, the participant should take the matter up with the coordinator of your group. If they do not wish to do that, it should be treated in the same way as a complaint from the public.

Incidents which may result in an insurance claim

It is important that all incidents that may give rise to a claim are reported to the Secretary as soon as possible after the event. This will enable our insurers to carry out investigations at an early stage whilst information relating to the claim remains fresh in the mind. This will also ensure that we are complying fully with our policy terms and conditions.

An incident is defined as:

  • A fatal accident.
  • An injury involving either referral to or actual hospital treatment.
  • Any allegations of libel/slander.
  • Any allegations of Professional Negligence i.e. arising out of tuition, coaching or advice given.
  • Any investigation under any child protection legislation.
  • Any circumstance involving damage to third party property.
  • Any allegation of trespass

An injury is defined as:

  • Any head injury that requires medical treatment (Doctor or Hospital).
  • Any fracture other than to fingers, thumbs or toes.
  • Any amputation, dislocation of the shoulder, hip, knee or spine.
  • Loss of sight (whether temporary or permanent).
  • Any injury resulting from electrical shock or burn, leading to unconsciousness or requiring resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.
  • Any other injury leading to hypothermia, heat induced illness or to unconsciousness which requires resuscitation or admittance to hospital for more than 24 hours.
  • Loss of consciousness caused by asphyxia or by exposure to a harmful substance or biological agent.

The above list is not exhaustive and if you are unsure as to whether an incident should be reported, then please contact the Chair for further advice.

Under no circumstances should anyone admit liability or agree to pay for any damage caused as this may prejudice the position of our Insurers and could result in the withdrawal of any indemnity. We have a Liability Policy where Insurers decide if negligence attaches to us. Therefore any payments you make to any third parties will not necessarily be reimbursed.

Contact with the insurers and any other party or organisation may only be from the Secretary.

Overnight Events

Guidance

People organising or thinking of organising GOC events that involve an overnight stay will find our guidance: Organising Overnight Events very useful. This covers events ranging from short weekends not too far from home to longer trips in remote areas of the UK. The guidance is packed with information about:

  • Choosing a venue
  • Booking accommodation
  • Travel arrangements
  • Meal options
  • Daytime and evening activities
  • What information to give to participants.

The guidance is based on the experience of GOC members who have organised a lot of events including hostelling weekends, camping trips and events where participants book their own accommodation in B&Bs and guest houses.

Food Safety

The Food Standards Agency have provided a webpage Catering advice for charity and community groups providing food which gives guidance for those who are preparing food as part of an overnight event.

Finances

The club will consider underwriting events that are likely to be financially viable and meet GOC objectives. If you would like the club to provide a loan for and/or underwrite an event that you are proposing, please contact the Events Officer or the Treasurer via the contacts page. We hope this will encourage more people to organise weekend and longer events and increase the range of events that the club offers to its members.

Guidelines for Running a Group

Purpose of these guidelines

The Gay Outdoor Club has existed for over 30 years and is essentially a confederation of groups which organise events with some centralised facilities which are explained later in this document.

One of the great things about GOC is that every group is different, and groups are encouraged to run in a way that meets the needs of the people involved in them. These guidelines do not try to make groups the same but they work within the constitution to ensure that some core requirements are met and that experiences are shared between groups.

Structure of GOC

National Committee

GOC nationally is managed by a committee, details of which are listed in the magazine and on the website. They set the framework by which GOC is organised, issue guidelines such as these, publish a monthly magazine , arrange publicity, maintain a list of members, collect membership fees, maintain a website and pay all the club’s running costs.

Each of the committee members has a specific responsibility, one of which is that of Group Liaison Officer who has a particular remit to liaise with the groups and to represent their interests on the committee.

The Committee does not organise individual events, which is the role of the groups, except that they assist a local group in organising an Annual Outdoor Gathering.

Local and specialist groups

Local groups organise events for a specific geographical area. The main activity for most local groups is walking but many local groups organise other activities, such as cycling and camping as well.

Specialist groups operate across the whole country and organise specific activities (e.g caving) or cater for specific groups of people (e.g. younger people).

There are also contacts for other activities such as skiing to bring people together for events not organised by GOC.

Associated clubs

GOC maintains links with a number of other gay outdoor and sporting clubs by which we promote each other’s events and sometimes jointly run them.

GOC maintains affiliations to national governing bodies of activities where needed and with organisations like the Youth Hostels Association where we derive benefits.

Details of our associated clubs and affiliations are in the magazine and on our website. Many other organisations throughout the world are listed on our website for the benefit of people visiting those areas.

Running a GOC group

Group Coordinator

Each group requires a coordinator who is the link between the national committee and the group. They should ensure that the following are done:

  • A name and telephone number are given to the Group Liaison Officer as a contact for people enquiring about the activities of GOC in the area
  • A programme of events is planned
  • Details of events are entered into the GOC diary on the website
  • E-mail enquiries are dealt with
  • The group page on the GOC website is kept up to date
  • Event messages and the group forum on the website are monitored
  • Messages are sent to the group mail list regularly
  • Items for the magazine are submitted to the editor
  • The group is publicised locally

In some groups these functions are all done by the Group Coordinator but they could be different people to spread the workload.

Changing coordinator

When changing group coordinator, it is important that all the members of the group are advised in advance to ensure that the new coordinator has their support and help in the tasks of running the group. Notice that the group is to change coordinator should therefore be given in the magazine and to the e-mail list. The Group Liaison Officer should be involved to make sure that contacts are updated.

Starting a new group

Most of the UK is within a reasonable distance of a local GOC group. However, that shouldn’t prohibit the formation of new local groups, so long as it does not threaten the viability of an existing group. If, for example, an existing group is covering a large area and is getting a good turn-out, it might be appropriate for a new group to form to concentrate in a different area. This can have the advantage of offering more events for members, and less distance to travel to an event, but it is obviously important to ensure that events do not clash between neighbouring groups.

If there is a specialist need that is not catered for by an existing group, a new specialist group may be appropriate but it is important that the implications on the club’s insurance are assessed before any steps are taken to set this up.

The Group Liaison Officer should be consulted if you are considering starting a new group.

Finances

A group cannot levy an individual subscription, nor can a charge be made just for attending an event but a group or event organiser may collect money to recover the cost of an event, such as a youth hostelling weekend.

Local organisers may reclaim reasonable costs for running a local group such as postage. This should be agreed in advance with the Treasurer.

Deposits for weekend events have become larger and required earlier so GOC can assist – contact the Group Liaison Officer for details.

People in Your Group

Greeting new people

It is important that new people get a good first impression of your group and the club, and group coordinators should ensure that at least one member takes care to greet a new person on an event. New people have been put off by feeling that they were ignored, by having inappropriate attention paid to them or by being monopolised by one person. However confident they may appear, a new person may find it difficult to deal with such situations so it is important to introduce them to a variety of people in your group.

Sometimes a new person may want to meet an existing member to give them confidence to go along to a group event. For your personal safety it is unwise to have such a meeting alone at your place or the new person’s. The ideal situation is for the new person to meet with two members in a relaxed public place.

Guests

Non-members may attend events as guests but restrictions may be applied and people who attend regularly should be encouraged to join.

Where events have limited numbers, members must always be given priority in booking. There may be events (such as the Annual Outdoor Gathering) which guests cannot attend.

Membership of GOC

GOC is a membership organisation, run by volunteers for the benefit of the membership. It can only prosper by people showing their commitment to the club by joining and contributing to the running of events.

Membership is to GOC nationally, not to an individual group and the administration is done by the national committee. Members may attend any GOC event across the country.

Events

Running an event

Details about running an event are given in the organising an event page which everyone involved in running an event should refer to.

Every event must be led by a GOC member, not a guest. That person is responsible for the running of the event and must have appropriate experience and/or qualifications according to the type of event. Certain types of event have been defined as high risk by our insurers and have special conditions applied to them – please refer to the insurance section of the organising an event page for details of these.

Planning your programme

Most groups plan a programme of events because that enables people to plan around the events they want to do, and it does not stop additional events from being added during the year. By having a programme it encourages members to come forward and offer to organise events.

It is usual to put together the programme at some sort of meeting. Some groups have this at the end of an event; others do it separately and make a social event of it. It helps to encourage as many people to attend as possible and for them to come prepared to offer to arrange an event. Some gentle persuasion often helps to spread the load around the group! Your group will be stronger if you use several people to lead walks over the course of the year.

If possible, hold the planning meeting in the autumn so that you can fill in any gaps and expand the detail in time to get the programme on the website for the start of the year when many people are looking for something new to do.
In devising a local programme talk to you neighbouring groups. Joint events offer the opportunity for members to meet different people, they reduce the workload and get your group better known.

In House Magazine, Outdoors

GOC publishes a magazine for members called ‘Outdoors’ which can be ordered at the same time as purchasing membership or contact the Membnership Secretary via the Contact Us page to have the magazine added to your subscription. Outdoors is published monthly (except January and August) and contains the following:

  • Details of all GOC events for the forthcoming month (automatically shown from the list of events entered on the website)
  • Highlighted events (such as the Annual Outdoor Gathering)
  • Previews of events (e.g. hostel weekends which require advance booking)
  • News about the club (new groups etc.)
  • Club business (such as elections and accounts)
  • Other items of interest

If you have anything for the magazine, please submit it to the editor via the Contact Us page.

Internet

Most people have access to the internet and many people regard it as their preferred way to find information. It is now the most common way for people to find out about GOC.

Website

Each group has its own page which can be used in local publicity material and will be www.goc.org.uk/groups/ followed by the name of the group, for instance www.goc.org.uk/groups/eastmidlands.

E-mail

Each group has an e-mail address which can be used in local publicity material and will be the name of the group followed by @goc.org.uk, for instance [email protected] Visitors to the GOC website can send a message using the ‘Contact GOC’ page, which will be sent as an e-mail to the group’s GOC e-mail address.

Using a GOC e-mail address has the following advantages:

It gives a consistent and memorable way of addressing e-mails (they are all @goc.org.uk)

It shows the sender that they are writing to a bona-fide person in the club

The address will not change if the group co-ordinator changes (or changes their e-mail address)

It does not expose the group co-ordinator’s personal e-mail address to public view

It enables the work of dealing with e-mails to be shared if desired

Having these e-mail addresses does not mean that a group has to stop using their existing addresses. The GOC e-mail address will forward the e-mail to up to five e-mail addresses (but if you forward it to more than one person you will have to work out how to avoid more than one of them replying). To change the forwarding the group coordinator should e-mail the webmaster, please note that the forwarding of e-mails is separate from the website so changing the person responsible for your group on the GOC website will not alter the e-mail forwarding.

A large group may require a more sophisticated way of dealing with e-mails than forwarding, such as through a webmail facility – please contact the webmaster if you think that you may want this.

Publicity

The magazine and website described above are very valuable tools in advertising your group and its events, but there are many ways to contact new people and introduce them to GOC and your group.

In some cases GOC can fund publicity initiatives for a group, for this and any other assistance with publicity the committee has a Publicity Officer who can assist you.

Some ideas which have proved useful are:

  • Word of mouth – Still the best way to get people involved in GOC; tell your friends and people you chat to.
  • Online chat and messages – If you read something about outdoor activities, speak up about GOC.
  • Social networking sites – There are websites which are activity and not sexually based, which could feature our events.
  • Internet listings – The entries on these are updated by the Publicity Officer to ensure that we give a consistent message, but please let them know if you find any outdated or missing entries.
  • Magazines – It is increasingly difficult to get free listings on a regular basis in any magazine but we sometimes place adverts.
  • Articles – Newspapers and magazines are always looking for articles so if you have an interesting event it would be a good way to publicise it.
  • Interviews – There are a large number of local radio and TV stations which may be happy to interview you.
  • Posters – A poster is available for use in venues in your area. Places which have been tried in the past are bars, clubs, cafes, community centres, saunas, libraries and outdoor shops.
  • Local resources – Some areas have gay magazines or information sheets which may be prepared to take articles or adverts. Local papers can also be tried.

Resources and assistance

Members of the committee, in particular the Group Liaison Officer, are there to help you. Please contact them if you have any questions or want any help.
These guidelines have been compiled from the experiences of GOC groups and we intend to update them regularly. If you have any suggestions for future versions of this document please send them to the Group Liaison Officer.

Use of Images Policy

We are keen for all events listed on the website or other promotional material to include images showing the area you are going to.

However to make sure that you don’t violate copyright law, GOC policy is that you should only upload photos to the website that you’ve taken yourself, or when you know the person who took it and they have given you permission to use it on our website.

Please do not upload images you find on the internet, even if they say they may be re-used. That’s because there are often additional terms for using them, such as giving credit to the owner correctly, or paying a licence fee etc.  

Please also respect the wishes of anybody in your photo who might not want it published, and never use photos of anyone taken in a private place without their consent. Members must never upload or publish any images that might be considered offensive.

OS maps are Crown Copyright, and cannot be reproduced without a licence. For those of you who wish to include area maps or the like, please only use mapping from a legitimate free source, such as www.openstreetmap.org

Helpful Guidance:

Images used on this site are cropped in different ways for use in different parts of the site.  Because of the cropping, images with text, for example copyright notices, should not be used.

Featured images are shown at a ratio of 1:1.618 (mobile devices) and 1:3.236 (larger screens, eg desktops and laptops).  Images used as links to posts are shown at a ratio of 1:1, as are images used in post galleries.  Cropping for these ratios is always centred on the image.

TIP! Select the image from the library and click ‘Expand Details’ (which is the link near the top right hand corner of the screen) to display the image as it will appear when cropped. Look out for heads being chopped off. Where the image is cropped adversely the file can be edited using your favourite editor and replace the library image for that perfect shot.

Archives

What’s in the Archives? The GOC Archives is collection of accumulated documents produced by the Club and its members during the course of their activities and has been selected for permanent preservation and interest for researchers.

The Archives comes in various formats currently including paperwork, cuttings, magazines, photographs, t-shirts and maps.

What the Archives can do for you? If you need help with writing an historical article about the GOC, the GOC Archivist can direct you to the right part of the archive to aid your research.

To give more accessibility to other organisations, the existing archive is now catalogued to international archival standards.

Material Wanted? The usefulness of the Archives depends on you. There are still some gaps within the archive so if anyone has GOC-related items that could be added to our archive I will be happy to hear from you. These can be from any date up to and including the present day.

So, how can you help? If you think you have anything that you think would be of interest to the Club, in any format, and you would like it included into the collection, please contact Simon on [email protected]

When donating items please provide as much information as possible, as this will be helpful when the item is catalogued. Please include, if available: Your name, Name of event, Date of item/event, Location of event and group, Names of anyone taking part (especially for photographs)

The Catalogue

The catalogue is a large index that directs the researcher to relevant original source materials. The following are notes on the archival arrangement of the collection:

  • The catalogue follows rules according to ISAD(G) – General International Standard Archival Description – a format approved by the International Council on Archives. This means any future document added to the archive can be collated and catalogued by any trained archivist.
  • As the GOC is held by a private repository, there are no predefined conditions or rules for cataloguing so this allowed the archivist a certain amount of freedom to order, arrange and list the collection. However, the principle of original order was followed where possible. For example the albums and folders of cuttings, which although included mixed content, was kept intact and put under the most suitable sub-fonds as individual files. It was considered by the archivist that the most suitable method of arrangement to follow was the Committee structure which, although with some minor changes over the years, has basically remained unaltered throughout the Club’s history.
  • The structure is broken down into fonds, a term used for the collection of the organisation itself; sub fonds, the different branches of the organisation, i.e. GOC Committee Members; followed by serieswhich is the grouping of related materials Under each series, the individual items are then listed.
  • As a private collection, it is not housed in a public repository, so there is no allocated repository reference from the ARCHON database maintained by The National Archives. However, the reference code GB/GOC/** is used to conform to ISAD(G) and identifies the fonds and in turn the individual items themselves.

Further information can be obtained from the GOC Archivist.

Organising an Event Tickets & Booking Policy

If you are organising an event, before adding tickets:

  • If you need GOC to take financial responsibility, such as covering a deposit or any potential loss, you will need to submit a budget to the Treasurer and obtain approval.
  • If you are going to cover the costs or potential losses from your own funds (plus the proceeds from ticket sales), you will need to demonstrate to the Treasurer that you can do this.

Please also provide the following when requesting the Treasurer to approve tickets:

  • Who is to cover costs or potential losses: (GOC or Own funds.)
  • Who is responsible for the event finances: (this must be the first named event contact)
  • Who is allowed to book: (Members only or open to all.)
  • What tickets are you offering and what are their prices

Please note:

  1. You may also offer tickets for some events at nil cost, for example if you are using tickets to limit the number of people attending, rather than to cover costs of an event
  2. Event details should state that it is not possible to provide a refund if members are no longer able to attend the event.
  3. When setting the ticket price, the break even point should be set at not more than 90% capacity, so that if the event is not fully booked it will not make a loss.
  4. The cost of collecting payments online is 2% of the money collected, and as this will be deducted from the amount you receive, please take this into account when calculating what price to charge members.

Refund Policy

The club maintains a no refunds policy for bookings. The Event Organiser may choose to provide an alternative refund policy in the Event Listing however the club can not be held responsible for refunds.

Travel Policy

Policy

Individuals may need to travel on business as and when required in order to help the GOC achieve its aim and objectives.  The GOC is committed to minimising its travel costs to reduce expenditure and to reducing our carbon footprint.  You should ensure your journey is essential and there is a clear business need before booking and that you have first considered a VC/Skype meeting. Not only will this ensure we use our limited budgets to best purpose, it is also a statement on how we respect the environment.

The GOC will:

  • meet the cost of your travel on official business;
  • reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the course of official business;
  • pay subsistence allowance if you necessarily incur expenses when you are away from home on official business  (the subsistence paid will cover only costs necessarily incurred); and
  • ensure that claims for payment in relation to travel and subsistence are processed promptly

This document sets out the GOC’s policy on planning business travel. In developing its policy in this area, the GOC has taken account of:

  • its responsibility for ensuring, as far as is reasonably practical, the health and safety of GOC Members while travelling on business;
  • its liability to Inland Revenue for the tax and NI on any payments made.

You should familiarise yourself with this guidance before arranging any business travel.

1.     PLANNING A JOURNEY

  • Is the journey necessary?

Firstly, make sure you are clear that:

  • there is a clear business purpose for the journey;
  • the purpose will further the GOC’s aim and objectives; and
  • the purpose cannot be achieved another way e.g. by video conferencing, phone, email or letter.

1.2   If the journey is necessary

In order to plan your journey, you need to check:

•                whether you can complete the journey to the destination and return to your home in one day;

•                what time the journey needs to start.  (e.g. can you put the start time of a meeting back to avoid peak rates and the busiest travel periods?); and

•                what method of travel is most cost-effective.

1.3   Working out the most cost-effective method of travel

Before making a booking, you need to check what method of travel is most cost-effective.  In particular compare the journey time and cost of using public transport versus private car versus a rental car where HMRC reimbursement rates do not apply.

If you are considering using your own private car, make sure you can comply with the requirements set out below particularly on insurance and review your own insurance company restrictions.

Consider the effect on overall efficiency of a long journey, and factor in breaks from driving.  Will you be properly effective if you are tired after a long day travelling?  Is there a risk of possible driver fatigue?  Such circumstances may justify an overnight stay despite the additional hotel and subsistence costs.  (In this connection, a long journey is considered to be more than 6 hours travel in a single day.)  You should similarly consider an overnight stay if you would be unable to return home by 22.00 hours.

  1. TRAVEL BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND HIRE CAR

2.1 Rail or Bus Travel

The GOC is committed to minimising its travel costs to reduce expenditure and to reducing our carbon footprint.  You should ensure your journey is essential and there is a clear business need before booking and that you have first considered a VC/Skype or telephone conference meeting. When you are travelling by rail or bus, you must:

  • Purchase restricted (set time) tickets and reserve a seat and purchase the ticket well in advance of travel to get the lowest rates.
  • Travel off peak, where possible
  1. Travel in the appropriate class

First class travel will only be permitted where total travel time in one day is expected to be over 6 hours and the train portion is expected to be the majority of this time.

On a multiple day trip where either overnight accommodation or multiple days of meal charges (due to free accommodation) will be charged to GOC then return First Class travel should be discouraged.

Where you have a temporary or permanent incapacity first class travel may be appropriate.

  1. Purchase restricted (set time) tickets.

You must use time restricted tickets and book a seat. These include super off peak and off peak returns but please note that two singles are often the cheapest.  You may only consider “open tickets” if:

  • Your journey was scheduled at very short notice, travel had to be at peak time and there was no price advantage in booking restricted tickets.
  • After due planning of your trip, you require flexibility which a restricted ticket cannot provide. In most cases flexibility will only be required on the return leg of your journey. You should still book a restricted (set time) ticket for your outward journey if this is cheaper.
  • Your plans change on the day or a meeting unavoidably overruns and you need to buy another ticket as your original ticket is no longer valid. When Members need to buy tickets then they can of course reclaim the cost.

It is important that we all try and ensure that meetings are run to time, planned in advance as far as is possible and that any changes are notified promptly. This will allow Members who are travelling to plan ahead and secure the cheapest train tickets.  First class tickets must be purchased in advance to get the lowest rates. First class tickets will not be reimbursed if the traveller has not planned their journey in such a way as to take advantage of reasonably priced tickets.

2.2  Air Travel

Air travel will be permitted when:

  • there is a cost advantage because of savings of subsistence allowance and official time; or
  • the urgency of the journey justifies any extra cost.

All air travel should be economy.  You are expected to select the airline on the basis of cost and convenience and to make full use of discounted fares.

2.3 Hire Cars

If you decide that a hire car is the most efficient way of making the journey, you must familiarise yourself with your responsibilities and adhere to the guidance on the use of hire cars as set out below.

The GOC’s policy is based on the following factors:

  • value for money
  • environmental responsibilities in the context of fuel consumption

Please try and hire cars of 1600cc small or large compact car such as a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra.   If you don’t feel that you could drive the delivered car safely (e.g. because it is too big or too powerful), you should refuse it when it is delivered.  If you consider there is a business case for a larger car (e.g. if there are several GOC Members travelling together), please explain this in your expenses claim.

Issues arising from the hire contract

You must:

  • have a full valid driving licence; and
  • fulfil all the other conditions of contract. (These vary between companies and you should check a particular supplier’s conditions)
  • check the car (inside and out) for any signs of damage that are not shown on the delivery form. Failure to do this may leave you (not GOC) liable for damage or increased insurance costs; and
  • check the fuel tank is full – cars should be delivered to you with a full tank. Note the delivery form if it is not.

Whenever possible, you must check the car (inside and out) for any signs of damage before collection by, or return to, the hire company.  Failure to do this may leave you (not GOC) liable for damage or increased insurance costs.

You should refuel the car before returning the car.  Failure to do so leaves you (not GOC) liable for very high refuelling charges levied by the hire car companies.

  1. TRAVEL BY PRIVATE VEHICLE

3.1 It is GOC policy to reduce business travel by private car. 

There are three reasons for this goal:

  • Financial – it is often cheaper to use public transport.
  • Health and Safety – reduced car travel lowers H&S risks to volunteers.
  • Environmental – reducing emissions from Member-owned vehicles is a good idea.

The GOC will normally reimburse you for expenses that you actually and necessarily incur in the course of business travel using your own vehicle.  It would be greatly appreciated if vehicle mileage were not charged to the GOC when the GOC trip was on the way of another planned trip.  Example: a London GOC meeting, where you drove to London from the north or west then on to Europe for a holiday which you were going to do regardless of GOC business.

3.2 Insurance declaration

If you use your private car it is your responsibility to make sure that the required insurance conditions are met.

You must declare in writing that:

  • you know and understand the insurance requirements;
  • you are covered to meet these requirements.

3.3 Definition of a private car

For the purposes of payment of Motor Mileage rates, a car will be regarded as your private car if it is:

  • registered in your name (i.e. you own the car or are buying it on hire purchase); or
  • registered in your spouse’s name provided that:
  • the insurance requirements (see above) are fulfilled; and
  • the insurance policy specifically covers the use of the car by you on the business of the GOC.

3.4 Rates of allowance

We will pay the rates for journeys that we accept as meeting the conditions set out in this policy and as published here (or at a subsequent link) by HMRC:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rates-and-allowances-travel-mileage-and-fuel-allowances/travel-mileage-and-fuel-rates-and-allowances

3.5 Distances for which mileage allowance can be claimed

You can only claim mileage allowances wherever the journey starts (normally home or office) and the place visited by the shortest practicable route and the subsequent return journey.

3.6 Garage expenses, tolls and ferries, and breakdown or repair costs

When you use your private car on official business, we will reimburse you for the cost of:

  • garaging and parking fees; and
  • tolls and ferry charges.

Under no case will GOC reimburse the costs of any mechanical problems with your private vehicle or towing charges / recovery charges or incidental expenses incurred due to mechanical issues with your vehicle.   These are to your own account.

We will reimburse the full cost when the total of mileage allowance, toll and other charges does not exceed the cost of the journey by public transport (including the fares of any passengers).

3.7 Expense Report Detail

You must submit a full explanation to support a claim for reimbursement of these charges, including invoices/receipts so that the charges can be confirmed as actually and necessarily incurred.

  1. OTHER TRAVEL EXPENSES

4.1 You will only be reimbursed for taxi costs:

  • when there is no other suitable method of public transport; or
  • when you have to transport heavy luggage or equipment to or from the place of departure or arrival; or
  • where the saving of official time is important.

 4.2 Food / Sustenance costs:

  • We will reimburse documented meal costs up to a maximum of £40 per calendar day. Guidelines include breakfast to not exceed £10, lunch to not exceed £15 and dinner to not exceed £   Meals consumed at home are not to be charged to GOC even if consumed at the start or end of a GOC journey.

 4.3 Other expenses:

  • Documented costs for pet housing, child care, and elderly carer expenses will be reimbursed by GOC with prior approval when Members are away from home on GOC business and where the costs would not otherwise be normally incurred. Receipts will be required.
  1. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GOC TREASURER IN PROCESSING EXPENSE CLAIMS

5.1 The GOC Treasurer has to police this policy.   All expense claims should provide adequate documentation to the Treasurer to make their job as straight forward as possible.   A text narrative that accompanies all receipts is very helpful, explaining how and for what reasons costs were incurred and ensures it is charged to the right expense line.

5.2 Historically the GOC Treasurer never had to forecast travel or subsistence expenses as they were low and rarely exceeded 2% of yearly revenues.   With this new policy this may no longer be the case, so any assistance in forecasting these expenses would be greatly appreciated.

5.3 If the Treasurer questions an expense claim, he will first raise the issue directly with the person in question. If adequate answers or explanations are not forthcoming to the treasurer’s satisfaction, he will refer the issue to both the Chairman and the Secretary. If the expenses are those of the Chairman or Secretary, the Treasurer will select another Board member to take their place. The decision of the Treasurer and the other two Board members shall be final by majority (2 votes) decision as to the appropriateness of the expenses claim made. Prompt written feedback will be provided to the claimant, and the balance of the expenses claim will be paid as quickly as possible.

 

 

Join Now…