Rainbows Across Borders Constitution

1.0 Name

The name of the group shall be Rainbows Across Borders, hereafter referred to as the Group.

2.0 Objects

2.1 To develop and sustain a supportive caring and campaigning group for LGBT people who are seeking or who have gained refuge in the United Kingdom from persecution and harm imposed upon them by oppressive regimes and civic institutions solely on the grounds of their sexual orientation.
2.2 To develop and sustain services and activities that support LGBT people in their application to the United Kingdom Government for refuge and protection against persecution and harm.
2.3 To provide access and information about voluntary and statutory services on issues concerning mental and physical health. In addition arrange as appropriate activities and events that are therapeutic to members who have suffered mental and physical trauma due to the treatment received in their countries of origin.
2.4 To campaign against countries and institutions that pursue policies that persecute and harm LGBT people.
2.5 To provide opportunities for members to express their creative talents through literature, drama, dance, song, sport and similar activities.
2.6 To invite and receive contributions and raise funds where appropriate to finance the work of the Group.
2.7 To publicise and promote the work of the Group and organise meetings, training courses, events, seminars or conferences.
2.8 To work with groups of a similar nature and exchange information, advice and knowledge with them, including co-operation with other voluntary bodies, charities, statutory and non-statutory organisations.
2.9 To undertake research and evaluate the effectiveness of services and activities provided.
2.10 To employ staff and volunteers (who shall not be part of the Committee) as are necessary to conduct activities to meet the objects.
2.11 To develop, sustain and action equality working practices concerned with age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability and faith.
2.12 To protect and keep safe confidential personal information of members and staff.

3.0 Powers

In furtherance of the objects, but not otherwise, the Committee may exercise the power:

3.1 To raise funds.
3.2 To open and manage bank accounts.
3.3 To receive contributions through a membership fee.
3.4 To organize campaigns.
3.5 To provide therapies.
3.6 To develop and organize education and training.
3.7 To employ staff or recruit volunteers.
3.8 To conduct research.
3.9 To work in partnership with other organizations.
3.10 To buy or rent premises/equipment.
3.11 To take any form of action that is lawful, which is necessary to achieve the objects of the group.

4.0 Membership

4.1 Membership shall be open to LGBT people who are fleeing persecution and harm from their countries of origin solely on the grounds of their sexual orientation, and to those that have already been granted refugee status on this basis by the Government of the United Kingdom who assist the Group in achieving its objects and are willing to adhere to the rules of the Group.
4.2 Where it is considered membership would be detrimental to the aims and activities of the Group, the Committee shall have the power to refuse membership, or may terminate or suspend the membership of any member by resolution passed at a meeting. Members shall have the right of appeal via an independent adjudicator determined by mutual agreement of the Committee.
4.3 Any member of the association may resign his/her membership by providing the Secretary with written notice.

5.0 Committee

5.1 The Group shall be administered by a Committee of no less than three (3) people and no more than fifteen (15), who must be at least 16 years of age. Registered members will be elected for a period of up to one year, but may be re-elected at the Group’s Annual General Meeting.

5.2 Officers
The Group shall have a Committee consisting of:

  • The Chairperson
  • The Treasurer
  • The Secretary
  • and any additional officers the Group deems necessary to carry out the required activities.

6.0 Meetings

6.1 The Committee shall meet at least three times a year. Two thirds of Committee members must be present in order for a meeting to take place.
6.2 General Meetings shall be held at least twice a year to enable members to vote on actions and review developments.
6.3 One of the General Meetings shall take place no later than three months after the end of the financial year and shall be known as the Annual General Meeting (AGM).
6.4 In all other cases registered members shall be given at least fourteen (14) days’ written notice of when a General Meeting is due to take place, unless it is deemed as an emergency.
6.5 It shall be the responsibility of the Chairperson to chair all meetings or a designated deputy in his/her absence. All meetings must be minuted and accessible to interested parties.
6.6 All registered members are entitled to vote at General Meetings. Voting shall be made by a show of hands on a majority basis. In the case of a tied vote, the Chairperson or an appointed deputy shall make the final decision

7.0 Finance

7.1 Any money acquired by the Group, including donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Committee in the name of the Group. All funds must be applied to the objects of the Group and for no other purposes.
7.2 Bank accounts shall be opened in the name of the Group. Any deeds, cheques, and any other financial form relating to the Group’s Bank Account shall be signed by at least two (2) of the following Committee members : Chairperson; Treasurer; Secretary.
7.3 Any income/expenditure shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer who will be accountable to ensure funds are utilised effectively and that the Group stays within budget. Official accounts shall be maintained, and will be examined annually by an independent accountant who is not a member of the Group. An annual financial report shall be presented at the AGM. The Group’s accounting year shall run from 1st April to 31st March.

8.0 Alteration of the Constitution

8.1 Any changes to this constitution must be agreed by a majority vote at a General Meeting
8.2 Amendments to this constitution or dissolution of the Group must be conveyed to the Secretary formally in writing. If the Secretary and other officers fail to do so within four weeks (28 days) any registered member shall be entitled to call such a General Meeting.
8.3 In the case of dissolution any assets or remaining funds after debts have been paid shall be returned to providers or transferred to local charities or similar groups at the discretion of the Committee.

9.0 Adoption of Constitution

This Constitution was adopted at the Annual General Meeting held at the Croydon Voluntary Action Resource Centre, West Croydon on Friday 4th April 2014.