1. Name of the Scheme
The name of the scheme shall be Widnes Vikings Independent Player Support (Widnes VIPS)
The objectives of Widnes VIPS are:
a. To promote the growth and development of Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club through raising funds to provide financial support for player recruitment and retention.
b. To identify, understand and promote the interests of its members.
c. To provide a scheme whereby members pay a monthly sum to Widnes VIPS as a donation, which can then be aggregated and paid to Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club.
d. To organise fundraising events in co-operation with Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club, the proceeds of which are paid to Widnes VIPS before being aggregated and paid to Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club.
e. To act co-operatively with our members and Widnes Rugby League Club to provide information to represent supporters' views.
f. To provide an effective communication strategy with an active, current website and social media presence.
Widnes VIPS committee shall have a standing objective to work to increase membership. a. Membership of Widnes VIPS shall be open to all.
b. Membership is automatic from the date a donation is received and shall run from month to month with no minimum term.
c. Membership shall end once monthly donations cease to be made.
d. Each member has a single vote, regardless of the donation amount under 2.b, which can be exercised on any proposition at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).
e. The committee shall have the power to expel any member whose behaviour is deemed, by a majority of two-thirds of the committee, to be contrary to the objectives of Widnes VIPS, by informing such member in writing of their decision.
All funds of Widnes VIPS shall be banked with financial institutions which are members of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).
The financial year - end for the accounts shall be 31st March. The completed accounts shall be subject to annual scrutiny by an independent examiner appointed by the committee. The examined accounts shall be published on the Widnes VIPS website prior to the AGM with copies available at the AGM.
6. The Committee
a) The committee will consist of a chair, vice chair, secretary, treasurer, membership secretary, PR/media officer and fundraiser, a maximum of 7 (seven) members. These posts shall all be of an honorary nature. Committee officers shall be elected at each AGM.
b) Committee members cannot receive any payment from Widnes VIPS other than for bona fide expenses agreed by the committee and approved in advance. Expense claims must be submitted to the treasurer at least 7 (seven) days before the next committee meeting and must be claimed in the financial year in which they are incurred.
c) The committee has the power to effect business as decided at a general meeting and to take decisions on matters as described in section 2 above.
d) Committee members shall declare any potential conflict of interest and withdraw from discussion and voting where appropriate.
e) The quorum for committee meetings shall be 3 (three) committee members. This quorum should also be applied when making decisions other than at meetings.
f) The committee has the power to make decisions using electronic media outside of committee meetings. Any vote held by electronic or other means must be logged and recorded by the secretary and formally approved at the next meeting (general or committee).
g) Committee meetings may be called by the chair and secretary, or at the request of one third of committee members. At least 7 (seven) days’ notice must be given.
h) A minimum of 4 (four) committee meetings will normally be held in each calendar year.
i) There is an expectation that committee members will attend every meeting, but where this is not possible, committee members must advise the secretary as soon as possible and provide a short update on actions in hand.
j) Notice of committee meetings and an agenda shall be issued to committee members electronically or in writing not less than 14 (fourteen) days before the meeting. Minutes of committee meetings should be produced and circulated to committee members in a timely manner.
7. Duties of Committee Members
a) All the officers and committee members have a duty to further all the aims of Widnes VIPS.
b) The chair shall conduct the meetings of Widnes VIPS. If the chair is absent, the vice chair or other committee member will take over.
c) The secretary is responsible for convening all meetings and giving the relevant notice to members. The secretary shall ensure that a proper record is kept of all meetings of Widnes VIPS in the form of minutes. Minutes should be made available to committee members at the earliest opportunity after each meeting. The secretary shall keep a record of all correspondence, consultation and activities carried out on behalf of Widnes VIPS, and provide them as required by the committee or general meetings.
d) The treasurer shall oversee all banking and financial arrangements, be responsible for keeping proper accounts of income and expenditure and report on Widnes VIPS financial matters to the committee and AGM. Accounts should be open to inspection by members on request. Bank account(s) must be opened in the name of Widnes VIPS. Cheques, transfers and other banking instruments or instructions must be signed by any two committee members from the chair, secretary, treasurer and any other nominated committee member. Signatories must not be related to, or be members of, the same household.
e) The membership secretary is responsible for all matters relating to applications for membership, enquiries and cancellations. They should promote membership and provide support both online and for those unable to access technology. Records of all members should be kept up to date and reported to the committee.
f) The PR/media officer is responsible for dealing with enquiries from the public, the press, and related organisations. They should produce marketing materials such as newsletters, social media posts, and press releases and ensure the website is up to date.
g) The fundraiser is responsible for organizing events, raffles, auctions and similar activities as agreed with the committee. They should liaise with Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club regarding venue and event promotion and report the outcome of all events at committee meetings.
h) Any person delegated to represent Widnes VIPS in consultation with any other body shall act on the instructions of Widnes VIPS and shall report back to the committee or general meeting whichever is the sooner. The named person for consultation will be responsible for ensuring that when responses are made they are representative of the views of Widnes VIPS and not those of an individual. The named person will keep a record of responses and provide them as required by the committee or general meetings.
All committee members will have to pass a basic disclosure check (former CRB Check).
In order to be a signatory on the bank account, signatories must be able to pass fraud prevention and anti-money laundering (AML) checks with the bank.
Annual General Meetings (AGM)
The date of the AGM shall be set by Widnes VIPS Committee, as soon as possible after the financial year end and no more than 15 (fifteen) months shall elapse between one AGM and the next. The purpose of the AGM is to:
a) Agree the minutes of the previous AGM.
b) Receive reports from the chair, secretary, treasurer and membership secretary, together with the previous year’s examined accounts.
c) Elect officers, examiner and committee.
d) Deal with any other business.
e) A quorum at AGM’s shall consist of a minimum of 9 (nine) voting members.
Formal notice of the AGM shall be issued to members electronically or in writing not less than 28 (twenty eight) days before the meeting, together with a copy of the accounts for the financial year just completed. Failure of members to receive such notification will not invalidate the proceedings. Additionally, notice of the AGM shall be published on the website and by Widnes Rugby League Club not less than 21 (twenty one) days prior to the meeting.
Agenda items for consideration at the AGM shall be lodged, in writing, with the secretary, not less than 10 (ten) days before the date of the meeting.
Extraordinary General Meetings (EGM)
The committee or a minimum of 6 (six) members of Widnes VIPS may, at their discretion, call an EGM at any time, giving not less than 14 (fourteen) days’ notice, using the same means as the AGM and specifying in writing the object to which discussion shall be solely confined.
All members are able to exercise voting rights at the AGM or EGM. In the event that a member is not able to attend, but wishes to vote, they must advise the secretary a minimum of 3 (three) working days before the meeting, of a nominated proxy, who will act on their behalf.
A quorum at AGM’s and EGM’s shall consist of a minimum of 9 (nine) voting members.
In the event of a tie of the vote, the chair of the meeting shall have the casting vote.
Proposals which are rejected at an AGM or EGM should not be brought back to another AGM or EGM for 3 (three) years if they are the same or substantially the same matter.
Any Other Business: following the completion of the agenda and at the chair's discretion, members shall be given the opportunity to raise relevant, urgent matters not covered elsewhere in the meeting. There shall be no vote on such matters.
11. Access Statement
Widnes VIPS is a completely inclusive scheme, which welcomes members with different abilities or special accessibility requirements. We will do all that is reasonably practicable to enable members with accessibility issues to attend events.
Widnes VIPS will establish and maintain a website, email addresses and social media accounts.
No personal views or expressions are to be posted on these channels.
Only committee members may respond to communications that come through these channels.
A postal facility to have post delivered to DCBL Stadium will be made available. All post sent to Widnes VIPS should be sent to the DCBL Stadium Postal address.
13. Fundraising Regulator
As essentially a fund-raising organisation, Widnes VIPS has adopted The Fundraising Promise (produced by the Funding Regulator) as our guiding light and we will always strive to operate by the guidelines of this, which has been adopted by thousands of fundraising organisations throughout the UK. A copy of The Fundraising Promise can be viewed here https://www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk/more-from-us/resources/fundraising-promise.
We collect and process data specifically and only to undertake the role of a membership organisation. We do this in line with the General Data Protection Regulations 2018. For further details on how we handle data please see our privacy notice.
The Fundraising Regulator can provide services to review constitution documents and provide advice on them. It is the intention of Widnes VIPS to have this constitution reviewed ahead of it being formalised and published..
14. Changes to the Constitution
Any proposed changes to the constitution shall be presented by the committee, explained clearly and submitted for approval by the AGM or EGM.
Widnes VIPS will operate within all applicable laws.
“In the event of the dissolution of Widnes VIPS;
any income remaining shall be distributed to Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club.
Widnes VIPS shareholding in Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club will, in the first instance, be offered for sale to the Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club board.
If this offer is not taken up, the shareholding will be passed to another fit and proper fan-based or fundraising organisation, supporting Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club.
If neither of these last two options are available, the shareholding will be sold on the open market.
Any monies raised by these actions will be paid to Widnes VIPS, to ultimately be paid to Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club.
In the event of the dissolution of Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club, all of the aims, objectives and actions detailed in this constitution shall continue to be effected for the benefit of any new properly constituted entity providing professional rugby league in Widnes.
In the event of the dissolution of Widnes Vikings Rugby League Club and no new entity taking forward professional rugby league in Widnes, any income or property remaining shall be distributed to community rugby league clubs within Widnes.”