HOW IT WORKS
MEMBERSHIP, DECISION MAKING & MEETING FORMAT
The Haven is a community of people with lived experience of addiction, mental health issues or trauma. The only requirement for membership is identification with this. We ask that people have a commitment to their own wellness journey however they define it and seek to connect with the land and community as a route to this.
No drugs or alcohol are permitted on site. Anyone who is intoxicated will be asked to please return at another time.
We strive for a flat structure of concensus or democratic decision making, mutual support and equality and we require that people have autonomy and awareness of their own recovery needs. We are not support workers, service users or volunteers, here we are all community members. We recognise that those of us who have been members for the longest times usually carry the greatest responsibility and endeavour to share this equally, accountably and transparently.
The Haven has a board of trustees, minimum of 3 people and maximum of 7. (An odd number is preferable in the interests of definitive decision making where the democratic system is used though a concensus will always be sought first ?)
This board of trustees will function as the directors if the Haven becomes a CIC. In line with our constitution one member will offer to step down each year to make a space available to someone new. They may stand again and can be re-elected to the role. Any prospective trustee should give a resume of why they want the role, what they can offer and what relevant experience and previous commitment they have.
The trustees will oversee the administrative, financial and legal structure of the Haven and ensure that governance is observed and all obligations are met.
The Haven has a Shared Agreement or Code of Conduct, all members should familiarize themselves with this and agree to uphold its principles.
Please be non-judgemental, encouraging and appreciative of others contribution.
The Haven is open on Tuesday and Friday each week from 11am until at least 3pm. Keyholders volunteer to open up and close the project.
Community members become keyholders if they want to be actively involved with the responsibilty of opening up or closing the project at these times or if they are growing particular plants that need watering and tending regularly. A member can request a key at the Steering Meeting explaining why they want one and seek a group agreement.
There are many tasks that need participation from general tasks like weeding, keeping brambles away from the roundhouse, gathering wood, making tea, lighting the fire to more specific interests like annual veg and flower growing, perennial forest gardening, wildlife conservation, maintaining paths and trees to governance related activities beginning with chairing and minute taking and progressing to administration or fundraising. Everyone can find what suits them and where their skills can best be offered into the mix.
Find your passion.
How do you want to connect with the land and community?
If there is something you want to do discuss it with a couple of other people, find out if anyone else is interested in the same sort of thing, slowly seek out the support and encouragement of other people as you find your way.
Conservation and wildlife are to be honoured and we strive to improve the bio-diversity of the site ongoing. Please do not use pesticides except under exceptional circumstances and with the agreement of the Steering Group.
There are monthly steering meetings on the first Sunday of every month which anyone can attend who has been coming to the community days for 3 months, it is suggested that at your first few meetings attend to observe.
Steering meetings have a minute taker and a chair nominated at the end of the previous months meeting.
The Meeting begins with a group check-in for a couple of minutes each to support individual and collective wellbeing.
Other opportunities for roles within the steering meeting are time keeper and co-facilitator.
Meeting roles are on rotation and community members are encouraged to volunteer to chair or take minutes once they feel comfortable to do so and understand enough about the life of the project.
The role of the chair is to compile the agenda by gathering items in the week leading up to the meeting.
Submissions can be requested via the Whatsapp group chat or in person.
If you propose an agenda item be prepared to offer information to inform the community with the necessary background prior to the meeting so that everyone who wishes to can be included in discussions and decision making.
The agenda will be closed on Friday 5pm to allow the chair to compile submissions and publish the agenda.
Members may nominate a proxy to vote on their behalf on issues which they have an interest in or wish to be involved in if they are not able to attend in person. Proxy votes should be submitted to the haven email by Saturday 5pm on the day prior to the Steering meeting
At the meeting the chair leads the group through the agenda.
The first item after check-in is always actions from the last meeting with reference to the previous meetings minutes.
Opening up rota for the next months Tuesdays and Fridays is a regular agenda item.
All active sub-groups mandated with specific tasks will feedback their progress monthly to the Steering committee meeting.
The meeting usually begins at 12noon and aims to last around 2 hours.
The minute taker takes notes of all the important points in the agenda apart from check-ins which are confidential.
The minute taker pays particular attention to recording decisions and actions. The minute taker types up the notes and circulates them via whatsapp, email and facebook group within a week of the meeting.
There should also be a paper copy in a box file in the stable and a copy sent to the Haven email address email@example.com.
Sub committees can be created for specific tasks e.g governance, finance, building projects. They will have terms of reference and be accountable to the steering meeting via monthly updates.
We aim for a concensus decision making process wherever possible and to reach compromise when we can. When this is not possible a majority decision will be taken
We recognise that some decisions need to be made on the ground on a daily/ weekly basis, or in the moment in order to keep the projects momentum and responsiveness to the needs that are present with the dynamic of current attendees. A group conscience can be taken on the ground for small scale decision making with whoever is present and the whatsapp group can be used to check for agreement in order to keep the project moving. e.g Have an idea, find 2 or 3 people to check it out with e.g if you want to dig over a patch ask around to see if anyone knows what else might be planted there or planned for. If unsure take a photo & ask on the Whatsapp group. Communication is key
The Haven receives no regular funding and has no paid staff other than a book keeper for a couple of hours per month. We make a small income from the rental of the site which pays for insurance, sundries and general maintenance.
Funding is applied for on an ad-hoc basis. Community members can devise projects to deliver sessionally and fundraise for this themselves. Capital bids e.g for building work, tools and plants can also be made at any time. Community members can be paid for some roles on an hourly basis when necessary or paid on delivery an agreed amount for a specific piece of work. Outside support and advice can also be paid for from experts in e.g finance, conflict, legal when required
Individuals should seek a mandate from the group before applying for funding. Individuals should seek a mandate from the group to act on behalf of the Haven or carry out work for the Haven, this includes establishing sub-committees and sessional projects. This is in order to maximise transparency not to seek permission in an authoritative context. Communication is key and all activities on behalf of the Haven must be responsible and accountable to the steering committee made up of all or any members of the Haven community.
All members should make a commitment to creating a safe space: Be comfortable calling out behaviour that is upsetting, e.g use of language that offends, 'joking' is not an excuse for sexism, racism, homophobia or bullying.
Try to be receptive rather than defensive if someone calls you out and to see things from their point of view without taking offence if you can. A greater understanding of our differences builds stronger community.
Self awareness of the shit we bring and tolerance for other peoples shit is encouraged if not essential. However that is not a green card for bad behaviour. Please use the conflict resolution processes to create a healthy culture where issues are heard and reflected upon when they occur. Respect for each others experience, feelings and needs is an important part of being in community.
The Haven is best suited to people with low to medium support needs
people with medium to high support needs should attend with their support worker