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  #11  
Old 13-01-2010
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Bob Hatcher BobWessex is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

Thank you Mario,



You've explained it as well as I could, and from a new member I think that probably has much more impact than if it had come from me.



The only point I would add, and apologies if I missed it, is that by having an annual renewal fee we can ensure that the number of members is an accurate reflection of the numbers that we can deploy. We normally presume between 25% & 30% would be available at any time.
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  #12  
Old 14-01-2010
John Hudson John Hudson is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

[quote name="nigel leyland"]Do membership fees put off prospective members?



Well it seems they do...!



Given that responders have to be members, (insurance) and that the small fee that groups charge is used to run the club (which may be a charity) and in some instances is possibly subsidised......

the following may need to be addressed....



A. Do we want need members who feel that they should not "have to pay for the preiveledge of helping"?

B. Need to adjust fees (if possible)?

C. Need to state up front why the fees need to be charged and what the group provides to the member?



You're thoughts please.......



Nigel.[/quote]



As a prospective new member... I've got to say - Yes they do.



Particularly when itís not clear why they are being charged in the first place. Yes my feeling is why do I "have to pay for the privilege of helping"?



I hadnít heard of your group before this current weather "drama" and when I did hear about you guys it was from another forum and the view there also seemed to be it was a bit of a joke being expected to pay for the privilege of volunteering.



My local group would appear to be Wessex, whom I tried to contact before the weekend; the response I got from calling your published number was "Hello, what do you want?" I had to ask the guy on the other end of the phone to confirm that I had in fact reached the right number at which point I was informed he was a bit busy and could I phone back?



I appreciate that he might have been busy, but as I was calling to volunteer my services (FOC) the second impression wasnít a good one.





If you are curious about whom I amÖ Iím a biker with over 20 yearís experience. When I started, bikers stopped for each other and help out where they could (without thought of reward or herodom). This is something that has stuck with me even as a car driver, Iím more than happy to stop and help anyone out in any conditions.



A couple of years ago, while I was still living in their catchment area, I join SERV a bike group who assist the National Blood Service providing out of hours transport services 365 days a year. This group actually now run two dedicated bikes, they are always looking for volunteers and they are regularly called upon to provide their service. All they ask of their members in return is a one off £15 deposit to cover the cost kit thatís issues to each member.



Looking at the list of responders to this thread so far, you are all already members so obviously youíre all happy to keep paying a fee. Looking at the some of the responses, does it really matter if someone is a wannabe? You lot where all wannabes at one point and then at the point you actually got out and help someone, you became a hero in their eyes. Does it matter if your membership numbers donít reflect the actual active member base? In any group youíll only ever find a small core (clichť) that are always there, thatís life.



The third impression I got of your group was from the BBC report, where your driver was assisting in an MOT failing vehicle and when the reporter suggested 4x4 drivers must feel very smug about being able to get around in those conditions he agreed.



Itís only £20. Has it put me off joining? Yes. Has it put me off helping people? No. All I have done is to contact the local county council, police and ambulance services and offer my services directly.



Iíve got a reliable 4x4, class 1 business insurance, training and experience driving on and off road in a number of countries and a can do attitude? What more do I need?
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  #13  
Old 14-01-2010
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Robin Baldwin robin-baldwin is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

An organisation to back you up and support you!!!!
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  #14  
Old 14-01-2010
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Robin Baldwin robin-baldwin is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

An organisation to set up an insurance policy and to make and maintain contacts. Access to a vast range of expertise through other members of that organisation
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  #15  
Old 14-01-2010
John Hudson John Hudson is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

[quote name="robin-baldwin"]An organisation to back you up and support you!!!![/quote]



The lack of one hasnt prevented me from stopping to help people in the past and hasnt hindered me either.



Next?



[quote name="robin-baldwin"]An organisation to set up an insurance policy and to make and maintain contacts. Access to a vast range of expertise through other members of that organisation[/quote]



Ok, now you are getting somewhere, but as I already have Class 1 business insurance (which is all that was required for SERV) what additional insurance do I actually need?



Yes it makes sense to have a central point of contact, but as the aim is to offer help and assistance, why do I need to pay you to maintain that?



Access to a vast range of expertise? I have a vast range of expertise, but I would never expect to charge you for it unless it was clear that you wished to engage me on a professional basis. Do you really expect others to pay to benefit from you expertise?
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  #16  
Old 14-01-2010
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Robin Baldwin robin-baldwin is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

Like you John I have always stopped to assist anyone I see in trouble at the road side even well before I joined Rover Rescue.

As Deputy Controller I spend a lot of my time and money attending meetings and other work to support our group none of which I would ever expect to be reimbursed for, however, the fact that our members have paid a membership fee, however small, gives me the reassurance that what I am doing is for a real purpose as well as providing evidence of how many members we can potentially call upon when needed.
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Disco 2 TD5, 101FC Ambulance, LR 109 Series 3

Any thoughts or ideas expressed are my own and even I can't be held responsible for them anymore.
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  #17  
Old 14-01-2010
nigel leyland nigel leyland is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

Thanks for the responses thus far folks, it is apparent that current members are fully aware of what and why the membership fees are charged, what I really wanted was for someone to come forward with the alternate perspective....



It is evident that we do need to charge membership fees for a number of reasons and therefore we need to provide this reasoning to prospective members....which is why I posted in this section of the forum.



Maybe we should look at providing a quick reference FAQ for prospectives?



John, thanks for posting.....it is not that often that people provide constructive feed back, which can be taken onboard and acted on.....

I'm fairy confident that Wessex will be interested in contacting you....



Nigel.
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  #18  
Old 14-01-2010
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David Mallalieu David Mallalieu is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

In opposition to Johns view, as a potential new member, I would say I am not adverse to paying my way.



Fee's are charged at several of the charitable organisations that I have been a part of. Each area has its overheads to consider. What do you get back in return?



Well, access to a National network of response units. The ability to meet new people and to feel a part of a community. The communications network (websites, radio etc). Identifying trappings. And a whole lot of new friends I would hope. Not to mention the insurance and other running costs of such an organisation. Discount at certain vendors for being a part of the team.......



I take on board John's point, and for him, no, perhaps there is no tangible benefit, but for me, there is. It is a case of each to their own.



In contrast to John's experience however, I have found my initial contact with the local guys (and not so local Teresa!) to be very helpful and pleasant. People are already trying to help and assist me, with advice and direction, and even a bit of light hearted banter (which is always good for the soul). One perhaps poorly timed phone call should not put someone off. He could have been up to his eyes in kids, work, God knows what. This is not a service, it is a collective group of like minded people who have come together to help. I can't believe that in such a circle of people anyone would be deliberately rude. I am sure we have all picked up the phone whilst in the middle of something and been terse with the caller. I know I am guilty as charged on that one (probably more regularly than I should be as well!).



Anyhow, I am looking forward to meeting the Gloucester team on Tuesday, and see where we go from there.



David.
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  #19  
Old 14-01-2010
John Hudson John Hudson is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

Nigel, Many thanks for the opportunity to give the feedback. It was the fact that you'd posted the question in the first place that prompted me to subscribe to this forum and reply.



edit : sorry, I meant to also say that FAQs would be really useful.
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  #20  
Old 14-01-2010
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John Askew John Askew is offline
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Default Re: Membership fees?

I have had this question off many new members or those considering it in West Wales whilst

helping to setup a new core local group.



Although I did have a chat with MarkM on this, I think it does need to be made clearer in places.

Hopefully though just paperwork that we can build on and standardise in future.



Biggest concerns from most were insurance and in some cases fuel expectations/expenses.

I could use a tank of gas easy around here myself on a few calls which would normally last me

a months laning (example only as mine is a second car and not used for daily business) so I can

see where some are coming from.



Personally I think we need to entice people with other advantages of becoming a responder

aswell, discounted training and better driving skills, or for some perhaps the right pieces of paper.

I know all groups will differ and it is a lovely hi-viz



The hours some of you guys put in deserves a round of applause no doubt :!: I had a similar debate

from a GLASS perspective not long back, some people just want to be dead clear on what they are

doing and what is expected of them. Many have issues about time concerns and how much they can

commit.
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