No group should state ‘Group now full’. No mention should be made in the newsletter of waiting lists as this discourages members from contacting that group.
If the group is unable to accommodate an additional member, there are various actions the Convenor can take: the first one being to invite them to a group meeting so that they can decide whether or not it is a group they actually wish to join!
The Convenor can place the member on a waiting list if there is some hope of there being a space in the group in the near future. The Convenor should then contact the member fairly regularly to see if they are still interested in the group and to let them know where they are in the queue.
If there is no realistic possibility of the member joining, or, if there are several members waiting to join a group (or similar groups), it may be better to encourage them to form a new group. New groups can be set up by the Convenor or by the Group Co-ordinator or by a combination of both. You could invite prospective members to a meeting so that they meet each other, and offer help to get a new group going. Practical assistance could be provided by:
- drafting an advert for our newsletter
- encouraging members from the established group to attend the first one or two meetings of the new group to help them get established
- giving support/advice if they run into problems
Whenever you have members waiting to join your group, please inform the Group Co-ordinator or any committee member who will offer help. It is important that we continue to make members feel welcome in the groups and that we do our best to accommodate them.
We recognise that it is not always possible to attend every group meeting – owing to illness, for instance, or holidays and other family commitments. However, if a group member misses three consecutive meetings without apology or explanation, the group convenor is free to conclude that the member has relinquished their place in the group. Where groups have waiting lists, the convenor can offer that place to someone on the waiting list. Where there are no restrictions on numbers, the convenor can use their own discretion about removing members from their contact lists after three un-notified absences