Constitution, Protection Policy and Equal Opportunities

CONSTITUTION of NORWICH COMMUNTIY CHOIR 
1) Name 
Norwich Community Choir 
2) Objectives 
The objectives of the Choir shall be: 
a) To promote Norwich Community Choir within the city of Norwich 
b) To promote co-operation and mutual support between choir members 
c) To share and enrich wider community life through our singing 
d) To encourage and facilitate personal creativity through the shared experience of singing together 
3) Membership 
a) Membership of Norwich Community Choir shall be open to all that share and are interested in furthering the objectives of the Choir. 
b) The Social Committee and the Musical Director will hold the list of members. 
c) A copy of the constitution will be available on the website and by e-mail to members on joining.  
4) Officers and Committee 
a) Norwich Community Choir will be managed by the Musical Director with guidance from the Social Committee. 
b) The membership of the Social Committee shall be by invitation and will be as far as possible representing the general choir membership. 

5) Meetings and Proceedings of the Committee 
a) The Social Committee shall meet every four to six weeks. 
b) There shall be a quorum when at least 50% of the members of the Committee are present. 
c) All members of the choir are eligible to send representatives to ordinary Committee Meetings but will not be allowed to vote. 
d) Members will be informed of the dates, times and venues of meetings either through the minutes of the previous minutes (if a date has been fixed) or by email. 
e) Items for Committee agendas and A.O.B. must be submitted to the Chair or Musical Director, on or before the meeting. 
f) Every matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the members of the Committee present and voting on the question, but in the case of equality of votes, the Musical Director shall have a second or casting vote. 
g) The Committee shall keep minutes of the proceedings at meetings of the committee and shall ensure that these are stored safely, and that they are available for inspection as required. Copies of minutes will be sent to member choirs via email. 
h) The Committee may from time to time make and alter rules for the conduct of their business, the summoning and conduct of their meetings, and the custody of documents. No rule may be made which is inconsistent with this constitution. 
i) The Committee may appoint one or more sub-committees, consisting of three or more members of the committee, for the purpose of making any enquiry or supervising or performing any function or duty which, in the opinion of the committee, would be more conveniently undertaken or carried out by a subcommittee: provided that all actions and proceedings of any such sub-committee shall be fully and promptly reported to the Committee. The sub-committee may co-opt one or two members of the Choir to join them. 
j) No activity shall be undertaken in the name of the Choir without prior agreement from the Committee. 

6) Finance 
a) A banking account has been opened in the name of the Norwich Community Choir and cheques may be signed by one of three nominated officers. 
b) The income and property of the Choir however derived shall be applied solely towards promoting the objects of the Choir as set forth above. Funds shall be paid or transferred to any member of the choir in payment of legitimate expenses incurred on behalf of the Choir. 
c) Decisions involving extraordinary expenditure must be approved at committee meetings. Expenditure of a routine nature up to £20 may be incurred with the agreement of two officers without prior authorization by the full committee and a receipt for these should be presented to the treasurer. 
d) An inventory of items owned by the Choir should be kept by the treasurer. This inventory is to be presented for annual audit with the accounts. 
e) Any recompense for specific tasks carried out on behalf of the committee shall be agreed in advance by the committee. 
f) Neither the Committee as a whole, nor any member of the Committee, nor any ordinary member of the Choir shall have any power or authority to commit the Choir, nor its members, to any financial obligations in excess of the funds actually held by the Norwich Community Choir. 
7) Alterations to the Constitution 
Alterations to the constitution may occur as the life of the Choir evolves. 
Dissolution 
The Choir may at any time be dissolved by a resolution passed by the Musical Director. Such a resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Choir, provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, such property shall be given or transferred to a similar organization as determined by a majority vote at the Committee Meeting. 
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This constitution was adopted by Norwich Community Choir at their meeting on 14th May 2015 and will be reviewed December 2016. 

Norwich Community Choir Protection Policy:

The welfare of everyone who attends our choir is of the utmost importance. 

Children and vulnerable adults may only attend our choir practices and/or performances following an appropriate risk assessment. They may only attend with their parents and/or carer who will be solely and completely responsible for their charge whilst at choir practice or any choir event.  However if any member of the choir see any actions or neglect which are harmful to a anyone’s well-being and welfare we all have a duty of care to report this to the relevant authority.  The named person for Protection / Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults at Norwich Community Choir is Meg Turpin (she is CRB checked).   However, all our committee members are aware of this policy and would report to Meg.  In her absence, please report to any committee member of any untoward behaviour.

Equal Opportunities Policy 

Meg Turpin has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy and for ensuring compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and for observing relevant Codes of Practice. 

Purpose and scope 

The purpose of this Equal Opportunities Policy is to communicate our commitment to equality of opportunity with the aims of ensuring that all choir members are treated fairly and equally, and the environment is free from all forms of discrimination. 

This policy is available on Norwich Community Choir’s official website and new choir members are encouraged to read it.  Any questions about the policy should be directed to Meg Turpin or a member of the Social Team.

The policy is regularly reviewed [every two years] and may be amended at any time. 

Policy statement 

The Choir is fully committed to providing equality during choir rehearsals to all members fairly and irrespective of age, disability, gender, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race including colour, ethnic or national origins and nationality, religion or belief or sexual orientation (“the protected characteristics”). We aim to create an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment in any form, in which all members are treated with dignity and respect. 

We will not unlawfully discriminate in the arrangements we make for choir members and where necessary, we will take reasonable steps to avoid or overcome any particular disadvantage these may cause and to promote equality. 

Specific Responsibilities 

Meg Turpin has overall responsibility and all choir members also have a responsibility not to discriminate or harass other members and to report any such behaviour of which they become aware to Meg Turpin or a member of the Social Team

Forms of discrimination 

The following are forms of discrimination that this policy aims to avoid: 

1. Direct Discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic that they either have or are thought to have. Direct discrimination can also occur by way of association, which is when a person is treated less favourably because, for example, their spouse or partner or other relative has the protected characteristic. 

2. Indirect Discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice is applied equally to everyone, but has a disproportionately adverse effect on people who share a particular protected characteristic. A person with the protected characteristic who is disadvantaged in that way has the right to complain. 

3. Victimisation occurs where someone is treated unfavourably because he/she has raised a complaint under this policy or taken legal action, in relation to any alleged act of unlawful discrimination because he/she has supported someone else in doing this. 

4. Harassment is unwanted conduct that violates an individual’s dignity or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. Harassment can take many different forms and may involve inappropriate actions, behaviour, comments, emails or physical contact that causes offence or are objectionable. 

Harassment may involve a single incident or persistent behaviour that extends over a period of time and can occur even if someone did not mean to cause offence. It also means that a person can be subjected to harassment by behaviour that is not aimed at them directly but which they nonetheless find unpleasant. 

Harassment is always unacceptable and where it relates to a protected characteristic it will amount to an unlawful act of discrimination. 

5. Discrimination arising from Disability - In addition to the above, it is unlawful to treat a person unfavourably because of something that is the result, effect or outcome of their disability, unless the treatment is necessary and can be objectively justified. Furthermore, we have a duty of care to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled members are not substantially disadvantaged. 

Creating equal opportunities 

There are a number of ways in which we aim to ensure equal opportunities , including: 

Membership and Environment

Membership will be free from bias or discrimination. We will consider making appropriate reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled members are not substantially disadvantaged.  In doing this we will take into account the practicability of making the adjustment, the financial cost, the extent of any disruption caused.

All individuals have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and, in the event of a complaint, we will take appropriate action to prevent, as far as possible, a further occurrence. 

All members are encouraged to report any incidents of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour at during rehearsals or that occurs on or off premises, including at social.

Raising a complaint of discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against, you should raise the matter with Meg Turpin or a member of the Social Team.
Any member who is found to have committed an act of discrimination, will be asked to change their behaviour and if necessary to terminate membership of the choir.
We will also take seriously any malicious or, in its opinion, unwarranted allegations of discrimination and will take appropriate action where necessary.