Macular Society Support Group agreement 2023

Thank you so much for setting up a Macular Society Support Group. We know that the only way to Beat Macular Disease is together. Whilst we fund research to ultimately find a cure, our groups are a vital way to provide social and peer support to people affected by macular disease, their families and carers.

This agreement sets out what you as a group agree to in order to ensure your group is run in a legal and safe way. It sets out what is needed to make sure you are covered by the Macular Society’s insurance policy.

This agreement is for all support groups whether you decide to have a bank account or not.

The three key areas of this agreement are:

  1. Finances and group information
  2. Safeguarding and inclusion
  3. Data protection of personal information

Finances and group information

Any money raised by your group under the Macular Society registered charity number must only be spent on activity to run the group, or towards research funded by the Society.  In addition, as the group is part of the Macular Society the Society must, by law, account for any money held by the group. If you decide to have a group bank account, you must have two designated signatories; Group Contact and Financial Representative.

At the end of the year we will ask the Group Contact to complete a ‘Groups End of Year Financial Return’ this will tell us how much money you group has received and spent in the year and how much you hold at the year end. Under the Charity Commission regulations you must complete this return even if you don’t hold any money as the return includes other important information relating to a group that is required by our annual audit. If there is no Group Contact the Regional Manager will submit a return on your behalf. This is reported in our Annual Report and Accounts which are audited and lodged with the Charity Commission. The Regional Services team will ensure that there is a record of this. At the end of each year we ask you to tell us how many people have attended your group in the year (as part of the Group’s End of Year Financial Return form).

If you decide to close any money raised will be donated back to the Macular Society.

Safeguarding and inclusion

Our groups are safe and inclusive places for all and we are committed to supporting all adults to participate in the group. It is the responsibility of everyone involved in the group (Macular Society, group volunteers and the group participants) to act appropriately to make sure that the group runs in a safe and inclusive way. Everyone involved with the group should understand what to do if they suspect or become aware of any safeguarding issues.

We will provide annual Safeguarding training and you must complete this training every year.

Data protection of personal information

In order to adhere to the Data Protection act you must attend annual data protection training.

Four times a year the Society will send the Group Contact up to date details of Society members who live in the area and who have agreed that their name can be passed on. This is so that they can be invited to the Group and told about the Group’s activities. It is important that the Group Contact looks after the personal information of group participants and follows the guidelines set out in our data protection policy to keep this information safe.

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