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Code of Conduct

Personal Safety

Every person taking part in a club event is responsible for their own safety and for the safety of other participants.

You must be clear about the nature of the event before you start and be comfortable that it is within your capabilities – all events have a nominated contact who you can ask for details in advance, or you could ask the co-ordinator of the group organising the event.

You must also ensure that you have appropriate clothing and equipment with you for the event.

You are recommended to carry on your person details of any medical conditions and persons to contact in the event of an emergency.

Our events are intended for adults. 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 the physical needs, safety, comfort and limitations of the young person or vulnerable adult.

Insurance

GOC has third party public liability insurance which protects the club, its officers, event organisers and members against being sued as a result of activities organised by the club.

That insurance is not personal accident or travel insurance and members are advised to take out appropriate insurance, especially for events which are abroad or where payment has to be made in advance.

Behaviour

GOC has earned a good reputation and in order to maintain it participants in club activities must behave responsibly and comply with legal requirements. This means, for example, abiding by rights of way legislation, keeping dogs under control and ensuring that there is no behaviour which may be perceived as unreasonable, infringe public decency or bring the club into disrepute.

Respect for other Members

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.

Participants will have differing levels of comfort about their sexuality and some may be nervous about participating in an organised gay event. A balance needs to be struck, particularly when in public places, so as not to cause unnecessary distress or embarrassment whilst at the same time not feeling it necessary to hide who and what we are.

It is fine to take photographs on club events but you should not photograph anyone against their will. If you intend to submit the photograph to the newsletter or a website you should advise people of that. The club may use photographs submitted to it for publicity purposes.

Harassment

Whilst GOC is a group where people who share their sexuality can meet and enjoy friendship, members should not have to face any sort of harassment. People should be sensitive to the way that their words and actions may be perceived and in particular be aware that some people, especially new members, may not have the confidence to stand up to behaviour they are not comfortable with.

Members who take on responsibilities within GOC, such as group coordinators and committee members, should take particular care that they do not take advantage of that position (either deliberately or unwittingly).

Use of website

The website provides the ability for members to post messages related to GOC activities, but such messages may not libel or defame any other person, solicit for sexual purposes, make offensive remarks, publicise commercial or non-GOC events without authority or breach copyright, trademark or legal restrictions.

Only authorised members may add events to the calendar.

Confidentiality

Details of people and events provided to members are done so for their use in attending or organising GOC events and should not be passed to non-members except to enable them to attend an event as a guest.

The club keeps any addresses and other information about members securely and never gives those details to third parties.

Limits to authority

The club can gain useful publicity by members telling the press or posting online about their experiences, but no member may make a statement on behalf of the club unless authorised. If you have ideas for publicity, or would like to discuss potential publicity, please contact the Publicity Officer.

No member may commit the club to any expenditure unless they are specifically authorised to do so in writing.

Supporting the club

GOC welcomes guests to try its events but if a guest continues to attend events they will be expected to contribute to the costs of running the club by joining as a member.

The club functions entirely on voluntary effort – no-one is paid for their work for the club. We encourage all members to support the club by helping to run it, which might be by organising an event; helping to run a group or helping the national committee.

Complaint Procedure

If you are not happy with the running of an event, you should take up the issues with the organiser at the time. If you subsequently have a complaint, it should be made to the coordinator of the group organising the event. If you are not happy with the resolution of the complaint, or do not wish to make it to the co-ordinator, you should make it to the Chairperson.

Clarification

If you are uncertain about anything in this code of conduct please contact the Chairperson to clarify it.

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