What’s all this then?
So why do you need a club admin page containing things that you might typically find on the clubroom noticeboard then?
Well, I once worked with someone who was a great pragmatist. On the wall of his office, he had a quote (oh how I wish I could remember it word for word), the gist of which was this: Things have now become so complicated that it is impossible for ordinary folk to deal with things on their own, they must all cooperate or drown in a sea of bureaucracy. The surprising thing was that this gem wasn’t written in this century or the last; it was written somewhen in the 1850s and is almost a direct quote from something found somewhere in classical Greek or Roman literature. Anyway, cutting back to the chase, we often get asked how we deal with things like the road signs for the exhibition or data protection/child protection issues. To answer those questions, we decided that we would publish helpful things like this here so that others can plagiarise them for their own use. To begin with, the list will be sparsely populated because there is simply too much going on, but it will grow over the coming months.
Before we start, a comment directed at the sceptics as to why we are doing this. I was involved in a conversation at an exhibition where we were discussing the new child protection policy. When I said that we were actively developing a policy with our local CVS, I was told that I was wasting my time. The people tried to work out a generic risk assessment for a model railway exhibition. The stock answer is this.
- To do a risk assessment and get it right gets you a gold star.
- To do a risk assessment and get it wrong only gets you a silver star, but you can use it as a defence by saying that at least you tried but didn’t foresee a stupid fool doing that particular piece of stupidity – but only if you have written it down at the time you did it.
- To not do a risk assessment – or to do one but not record it – gets you nought out of ten and a slapped wrist (or worse, a prison sentence) when the board of inquiry sits.
That’s why we are doing this, and we are setting out to put our house in order, and we are happy to share our experience with the railway modelling community in the hope that in return, you will share your experiences with us.
Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy
Download a Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy document
Following a question by a member about child protection for which the club committee was unable to provide an answer the member found acceptable, we approached our local Council for Voluntary Service, Fareham Community Action, for help in preparing a child protection policy. The PDF document behind the link on the left is the result.
Our basic approach to Child Protection is to ask the parent or legal guardian to accompany, supervise and take responsibility for their child at all times whilst they participate in club activities. This may seem overly simplistic, but it does comply with the spirit of the law and the fact that it is our “stated policy” means that it complies with the letter of the law as well. The alternative would have been to make every member of the club undergo a CRB check, and the CVS took the attitude that to make a clean CRB disclosure a condition of membership would be a gross infringement of member’s human rights. They also pointed out to us that one logical extension of the “CRB Check everyone” approach would be to insist that anyone who went to a cinema at which there were unaccompanied minors must first produce a CRB certificate to the manager before they could be allowed in – clearly a stupid idea – thank God for pragmatism.
Our advice to any club that has not already done this is to approach your local Council for Voluntary Service and ask them to help you tailor a policy to meet your exact situation, and please feel free to download and print a copy of our policy to take with you.
Exhibition Road Signs
You may like to download the following documents:
Ever since we started to market our exhibitions at Fareham Community Centre seriously, we have had a reputation of being the show that it is impossible to find. Initially, we had some “unofficial” road signs that we put out, but the council would very often go round behind us and take them down. Clearly, this is not an acceptable solution, and we have even heard of one club locally who were threatened with court action for doing this.
Our solution was to formally approach our Highways Authority after a lengthy discussion and ask them to consider the problem – see the initial paper in the left panel.
After some verbal back and forth, we lodged a plan with the Authority for signposting events at the Community Centre. Thereafter, we wrote requesting permission to signpost each year. After a couple of years, we extended the scheme to include traffic approaching the show from the North, which was also accepted. Once the plans were accepted, we simply wrote each year giving the dates, requesting permission and confirming that we would have the requisite insurance before the event.
For information on the Data protection Policy for other elements of the clubs business can be found in our Data Protection Policy document.
Electrical Safety and Portable Appliances Testing
Geoff and Elliott are qualified & PAT certified to test electrical equipment.