Category Archives: Decisions

Great Open Day and AGM

Thanks to everyone who came along on Sunday for our Open Day and AGM. It was really positive with excellent suggestions made for how we could improve the Hub and a chance to share in some of the fantastic activities that are happening here.

The DRAFT minutes from the AGM are here: AGM draft minutes 2017-02-26

You can read (and comment on) all the reports here: 2016 Reports

In the future we aim to put on my informal, social events for members like this.

Making a plan: responding to Members’ suggestions

At last month’s Members’ and Users’ Meet Up we collected loads of comments, ideas and suggestions. The Board have looked at all of them and will be adding them in to the plan for the Hub. You can see below what is happening with each suggestion.

Many of them are marked ‘This can happen if someone is willing to organise it’, the reason for this is our core team of staff and volunteers are already pretty much at capacity, so whilst these are great suggestions, it will take time to get round to them, unless someone else volunteers to take them on.

What’s going well in the Hub?

Comment Person responsible Action Action by What’s Happening Now
Events: enjoyable and exciting None required
Festivals: Have some aimed at people with learning disabilities & carers Community Manager (Glynis) Talk to organisations that may be able to put on these kinds of events. March 2016 Discussions are ongoing with Equals Training about events for this group.
Positive comments from visitors, on the whole – they find the space/building warm and relaxing None required
Lovely place, lots of good things happening None required
Feel proud when visitors praise it None required
Pretty much everything except need more ££ and more people actively involved in the general co-op meetings (like this one) Promotion (Asher) Promote share offer and new meeting style Focussed on when lease is signed

 

What opportunities is the Hub missing?

Comment Person responsible Action Action by Whats’ Happening Now
Running activities for people with learning disabilities Community Manager (Glynis) March 2016 We are working with Equals Training to look at providing some arts based workshops, but this will take time to organise and fund.
Engage parents with babies and toddlers better Youth Engagement (Nefertiti) This is already being done informally in the café, by staff and volunteers and through Facebook.

Monitor to see if more needs to be done.

Ongoing We had a Baby Fest in July and are just about to start Baby Massage and Baby Yoga as well as all the other activities that already happen. NCT twice a month, P&T group 2 x a week, Friday Music etc.
Hiring for Christmas/ functions and clubs for people with learning disabilities See above
Menu suggestions: Stews, Egg sandwiches, Meat, Pizza, Chips, Ready made sandwiches (made in our kitchen before opening – that can be sold quickly), cheaper, more healthy living food Café Managers (Thor, Renee) Consider these suggestions when planning the menu November 2015
A photo on the banner at Lordship Lane gate would help people to find the Hub (it’s hidden by trees if you don’t know the Rec) Joan Create a hard sign (A2?) with a map and photo. November 2015
Notice on Adams Road gate – including vehicle access info with Hub landline Joan Create a small (A2?) hard sign with these details November 2015
Advertising meetings further in advance Publicity (Asher) Send out meeting notifications 2 weeks and 2 days in advance

Put meeting dates in Calendar

Ongoing
Meetings not on a Sunday Board Agree whether we should have some meetings on weekday evenings November 2015
Christmas raffles Louis Arrange a Christmas raffle December 2015
Workshop on allergies Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it and find a reputable trainer When someone volunteers
Can’t think of any, we’re pretty much doing what we always set out to do None required

 

Events and activities

All of the ideas below that are marked as ‘This can happen if…’ are great ideas. The Community Manager will draw on them as she makes the plan for the year, but her time is as limited as our ability to buy in trainers and facilitators. All of these activities have a place in the Hub, but the surest way to get any one of them to happen is to volunteer to organise and/or run it.

Comment Person responsible Action Action by What’s Happening Now
Events for pre-crawling babies Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it.

We already have NCT, babies singing, Parent and Toddler (to which babies are welcome).

When someone volunteers We did the Baby Fest in July and will repeat next year.
Book club or newspaper discussion Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it. When someone volunteers
Chess club (or other games) Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it. When someone volunteers
Craft Fair Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it. When someone volunteers We are helping organise a craft fair on 5th December as we have done annually, with SPAC and WALR
Evening meals for special occasions Café Managers (Renee and Thor) Consider how this can work in relation to staffing, etc. November 2015
Mark all special days in some way (Halloween, Fireworks, Valentines, Christmas, etc.) Community Manager (Glynis) It makes sense to use these as celebration and marketing opportunities. but there are quite a lot of possible events we could celebrate, it would take quite a lot of time to do anything big for each occasion. We have to be selective. November 2015 We already recognise these days in a small way at least.
Bric a Brac Sale Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it. When someone volunteers
Bouncy Castle Finance (Asher) Look into whether this would be affordable, safe and storable November 2015 One of our regular customers has already offered the use of one of these. Arrangement need to be formalised.
More gentle exercise classes (in addition to yoga) Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it. When someone volunteers We are in competition with Fusion on BWF, so it is quite difficult to find something that they don’t already offer.
Various art groups (e.g. glass painting) Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it. When someone volunteers Tottenham Art Classes already do a variety of workshop covering different styles of art materials. We would need to raise significant funds to supports subsidised activities.
Singing sessions Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it.

There is already the Hub Circle.

When someone volunteers
OAP lunch club Café Managers & Community Manager Consider whether this would be a good idea, when it could happen and how to promote it November 2015 We are already in talks with a lunch club currently using a centre near Downhills Park, they are looking for a new venue and so I have already discussed this idea with the Café Managers re costing and days etc.
Various sessions for people with learning disabilities: Finance & Budgeting; Food (checking dates); Independent Skills, Other workshops Community Manager Discuss with Haringey Mencap and other organisations March 2016
Police safety training: how to deal with the people with learning disabilities This is not really within our remit. This should be suggested to the Police, but we could host it.
Homework Club Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it.

 

When someone volunteers
After school activities for kids Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it.

 

When someone volunteers Whoever took this on would need the relevant security checks and insurances. It is quite a regulation minefield when dealing with young people and children.
Nature walks for kids Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it.

 

When someone volunteers

How do we attract new people

Comment Person responsible Action Action by What’s Happening Now
Get our name/photo/logo recognised further afield; e.g. there are books/magazines/websites about ‘Best Café in London’ etc – but we need to get operations a bit smoother first Publicity (Asher) We are already entered for the Time Out Awards.

Enter ourselves for more of these.

October 2016
Outside noticeboard Community Manager (Glynis) We have some boards in the store room that we could start using October 2015 This is a task that Carola is actually in the process of   doing with Joan.
More customer pampering Café Managers (Thor & Renee) Training of staff and volunteers on customer service Ongoing
Ask people what they like Everyone This is happening Ongoing
Tell people about the Hub Everyone This is happening Ongoing
Carry info sheet and give out Everyone Those who want to should collect a small pile from the Hub Ongoing
Talks by well-known people on interesting topics Whoever wants to take this on This can happen if someone is willing to organise it. When someone volunteers We are trying to get a programme together for this but needs topic/ speaker suggestion.
Do a park brochure with Hub Info on the back We already have a Hub brochure – not sure that this would be very different
Some sofas or armchairs to encourage quiet sitting and chatting Buildings (Alyson Bradley) Consider whether there is space and finance for this November 2015
Talk to Mencap about hiring for functions Mencap don’t really work in this way.
Share art work from Mencap in Café Joan See when this would fit with exhibitions March 2016
More work with schools

+ School tours

Community Manager (Glynis) This is already part of what the Community Manager will be focussing on. Ongoing We are putting gin a funding application to run some more schools classes using the park and Hub as a base.
Involve people in workshops to make Hub decorations and wall hangings Joan See if Nina is up for this and organise with her November 2016 We already have some fantastic autumn/Winter Bunting so will be looking to add to that theme.
Pop-ups Café Managers (Renee and Thor) Consider how we make money from pop-ups run at times when we are otherwise quiet or closed November 2016
Distribute ‘What’s on’ to libraries, cafés, day centres, etc. We need people to volunteer to do this We will get enough printed if people commit to doing this When people volunteer We already post in local social networks, on Haringey What’s On, Streetlife, but it is quite time consuming. Also there is a cost implication.
Mother and baby clubs We already have quite a lot of these
OAP walks and teas and coffees Café Managers & Community Manager Consider whether this would be a good idea, when it could happen and how to promote it November 2015 Please see info about lunch club.
To get people involved we need to continuously explain our ethos (re: collective empowerment and community spirit) at all opportunities Everyone Ensure this is central in marketing and publicity as well as informal conversations Ongoing
More picnic tables for dog walkers Café Managers and Finance (Asher) Consider whether there is the space and money for this November 2016 Also Joan is putting in a funding application which includes these.

What issues have been bugging you about the Hub?

Comment Person responsible Action Action by
Needs more colour Community Manager (Glynis) Door frames and other wood work is being painted as time allows December 2015
Look more hygienic in toilets All staff Ensure that there is a toilet checking rota in place and that it is adhered to November 2015
Difficulties in keeping the building looking good – repairs floors need attention, etc. Community Manager (Glynis & Buildings (Alyson) Ensure required repairs are logged, prioritised and addressed Ongoing
Needs more diverse backgrounds among active co-op members & Board (e.g. ethnic diversity, wider age range) We need people to volunteer to step up All are welcome to become volunteers and join the Board. Ongoing
Café floor, tables and surfaces not cleared. Café Managers Ensure there is a rota for clearing tables and sweeping up and that it is stuck to. November 2015
Bad smell in Community Room last week Whoever notices this needs to report it to a member of staff Staff will investigate and address where possible Ongoing
What’s on leaflet is good, but what is capoeira? The leaflet is very small, it’s impossible to explain everything on it.
Change the art exhibition in the café after a set time Joan – but we need people to offer to exhibit Consider what would be an ideal length of time for each exhibition November 2015
Gates not being opened All staff Consider whether this could be added to opening/closing routine November 2015
Not listening to people with learning disabilities (sometimes) All staff and volunteers We have organised and sent many Board members, volunteers and staff on inclusivity training. We will continue to do so. Ongoing

 

AGM draft minutes – 25/1/15

Minutes and reports can be downloaded here: meeting files >>>

Meeting type: Annual general meeting

Date and time: Sunday 25/1/15 – 11.00-13.00

Venue: Lordship Rec Eco-Hub, Tottenham

Chair: Alyson Brewer

Secretary: Asher Jacobsberg

Attendees: Alyson Brewer*, Dave Morris*, LRUF* (through Dave Morris), Mark Applegate*, Asher Jacobsberg*, Nina Prieto*, Edgar Jacobsberg*, Karen Ahmed*, Gary Whittam*, Aya Hosokawa*, Louis Fisher*, John Atkinson*, Alyson Bradley*, Lucy Colbeck*, Glynis Kirkwood*, Ebony Riddell-Bamber*, Joan Curtis*, Ruth Green*, Friedrich Ernst*, TWRG* (through Friedrich Ernst), Paul Wheeler*, Tottenham Bike Club* (through Paul Wheeler).

* = Member with a vote

Draft minutes

1.      Apologies and Declarations of Interest

Apologies from  Chloe Doherty, Sunil Kapur, Gloria Lakshman, Nefertiti Marriot

Declarations of interest: Glynis Kirkwood is an employee of the Co-op.

2.      Welcome and introductions

All attendees briefly introduced themselves.

3.      Membership and election of Board

Several Board members will stand down as required by our rules.

Any Co-op members may propose themselves as Board members.

Alyson Brewer, Alyson Bradley and Asher Jacobsberg stepped down from the Board as required by our rules.

Alyson Brewer explained the role and workload of the Board.

Dave Morris proposed Alyson Brewer, Alyson Bradley and Asher to the Board.

Glynis seconded. Karen and Louis were proposed by Glynis and seconded by Alyson Brewer.

Alyson Bradley, Alyson Brewer, Karen Ahmed, Louis Fisher, Asher Jacobsberg elected unanimously to the Board.

Alyson Brewer was proposed by Dave as the Chair and seconded by Asher.

Alyson Brewer was elected unanimously as Chair.

4.      Minutes of last meeting

The AGM minutes were agreed.

Action: Minutes of last General Meeting will be checked at next General Meeting (March 29, 2015)

5.      Summary of the year

See attached written report.

There has been an enormous amount of work by the Board, volunteers and staff to set up policies and procedures to ensure the Co-op is run transparently and in the interests of the whole community.
Louis brought up the idea of a group where fathers could meet with kids.

Joan suggested that we should provide space, but that it’s about suggesting to people that we will support them to set up their own group. Joan suggested that the noticeboard could be used to help organise these kinds of things.

Action: Fundraising meeting on 1st Feb 4-5pm – anyone interested is welcome.

6.      Personnel

Alyson Brewer gave a brief summary of how we have managed our employees over the year and our intentions for the coming year.

In September we recruited a Café Manager and General Manager. We then recruited a cleaning team as a Job share in October.

Unfortunately the Café Manager appointment didn’t work out. Claimed qualifications were not produced despite repeated requests. In the interests of the Co-op this employment was terminated.

A part-time replacement was appointed and all the hours are now covered with temporary appointments.

We were only able to manage because of huge dedication of volunteers and the general manager.

We have now expanded the cleaning team so the building is fully cleaned every day.

We discussed whether more volunteers would help alleviate pressure on staffing. More volunteers are always welcome and would help, but it can’t be a solution on its own.

We discussed the ethics of volunteers who are coerced (e.g. through threat of benefits being removed if they don’t volunteer). There were strong feelings expressed on both sides. Currently our policy is to only accept volunteers who are not in any way coerced.

7.      Finance

Asher presented financial performance over the last year will be presented. See attached written report.

Ruth questioned whether it is sustainable for us to employee 4 full time staff. Asher feels it is if we can meet our income targets. Ebony and Alyson Bradley pointed out that this will be under review and we check these projections and adjust our plans accordingly.

Joan suggested that we may have access to more government funding if we employ more people.

Karen asked if we could include month names in future reports and consider aligning our financial year with the calendar year (or other financial years).

We have appointed an accountant, who is formally preparing our accounts and will give a full report at next year’s AGM when our income will be bigger.

8.      Building

Alyson Bradley gave a brief summary of the maintenance and works we have undertaken in the building and the plans we have for 2015 (see attached written report).

Glynis pointed out the huge amount of work Alyson Bradley had done in unpicking all the mess of info we have about the building and figuring out where there are gaps in the documentation.

9.      Co-operative and legal

Dave Morris gave a brief summary of the current state of our legal negotiations with the Council to take on the lease of the building.

We managed to persuade the Council that we were the right people for the job. We have been keeping up the negotiations, but hadn’t been provided with a lease before the summer. We negotiated a licence to operate over the summer. We are still operating under this whilst negotiations on the lease continue. The substantive points have all been agreed but it is having to be negotiated to make sure there are no tax implications.

We are grateful to Slaughter & May for the excellent pro bono support they have given us.

One of the Council staff we were negotiating with has since been made redundant and is joining the Co-op to help us with the final stages of negotiation.

10.   Promotion and communication

Dave highlighted the recent bulletin from the Friends of Lordship Rec (FLR).

A lot of the strength of the Co-op comes from the fact that it grew out of the FLR.

There are still on-going works in the park to finish off the work that the Council’s contractors did not finish.

The park user groups are flourishing thanks to having a space to use. FLR membership has doubled over the last year because people sign up in the Hub. Friends now has a mailing list of over 1,200.

Glynis pointed out that we are on local social networks as well as Twitter and Facebook.

Ruth suggested that it would be a good idea to have notices about the Hub in each of the noticeboards.

We need a Board member to drive the communication and promotion strategy forward.

Action: Board to discuss notices near gates. We need more promotion around the local area (28 Feb 2015)

11.   Volunteering

Ebony Riddell-Bamber gave a brief report on the number and range of volunteers and volunteering opportunities.

ERB thanked everyone who has volunteered at the Hub over the past year, but also apologised for their not being a full support package in place until now. A volunteering policy and role descriptions have been agreed and new and existing volunteers will now be fully inducted.

We have had overwhelming interest from the local community on volunteering in the Hub – some 60 people have left their details. However, in terms of actual time contributed so far, we have a core group of 10-12 volunteers that have enabled us to keep the Hub open for the community. They have done a fantastic job, but we need more.

Going forward, we are working on an outreach programme to try and build up a formal as well as an informal strand of volunteering. This has involved discussions with Haringey Volunteer Centre (HAVCO) and Age UK so far. We also want to get more young people taking up volunteering opportunities and gaining experience at the Hub.

Training opportunities are an important part of volunteering support, and we will have our first session on Equalities and Diversity in February.

As a board we are keen to ensure open channels of communication and accountability between volunteers and the board. As such, we will be working who our volunteers to start up a volunteer forum for those involved in the Hub to get together, share ideas for improvement, initiate volunteer-led activities, make requests to the board and decide how they would like to engage with the board on an ongoing basis.

Glynis emphasised work with HAVCO, Age UK and Duke of Edinburgh Award to develop volunteering.

Joan highlighted that volunteers are not just giving time to staff the Hub but also need the opportunity to share ideas and contribute to decision-making.

John suggested a volunteers’ notice board would be a good idea and this was agreed.

Nina enquired about young volunteers and whether we had the right safeguarding processes in place. Glynis confirmed that we did.

Dave highlighted that the Hub should not get involved in any coercive volunteering practices, such as that being pursued at Job Centres in response to central government policy. It is clearly stated in our volunteering policy that we do not support anything other than consensual and supported volunteering.

12.   Café

We need a board member to take this forward and so there is no full report.

Joan reported that the Café has become an incredible success. Several times a day people are full of praise for the building, the food and everything else.

On the weekends we are often full to capacity.

Nina asked whether we are still having pop-ups on the weekend as the café is now running successfully.

Glynis suggested that we will, but in a different way: we will be serving and taking the money, but with food provided by the pop-up chefs.

13.   Any other business

Quorum – we discussed the current quorum and agreed to keep it as stands for another year.

Membership age – we discussed whether we should drop this. We need a proper proposal on it.

Action: Asher to put a proposal for the next meeting (March 29, 2015)

14.   Date of next meeting

Sunday, March 29th, 11.00-13.00

Groups being members

We encourage all park user groups and any other local groups with an interest in the success of the EcoHub to join the Co-op.

We need your group to make a formal decision to join, but then you can do so through this simple form: Group membership

In line with our co-operative principles each group has only one vote, no matter how many members it has. Groups can send a representative to vote on their behalf, but each person may only vote on behalf of ONE group at any one meeting. If that person is also an individual member she or he may also vote on their own behalf. This could mean that people at some meetings may get to vote twice: once for themselves and once on behalf of a group they are representing.