New Group Support Procedures

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Adopted by the Board at their meeting of 29th October 2014

Freegle emphasises mutual help and encouragement. The purpose of this procedure is to provide support for a brand new group's owners to build their groups and to minimise the chances of groups being abandoned by the new owner soon after affiliation. If a group is abandoned within the first six months of affiliation or the owner no longer wishes to run it and has not found another owner, this procedure allows Freegle to be able to keep the group running until a new owner is found.

a. Definition of New Group

A New Group is a group set up from scratch with new Moderators to Freegle. This procedure doesn’t apply to groups moving from other reuse networks, or to existing Freegle Moderators who start a new group if they have at least six months experience of running a Freegle group.

b. Group Mentor Support

We require brand new groups to have a minimum of two owners, one of whom should be a Group Mentor (GM) assigned by GAT.

The newly affiliated owner is responsible for running the group. The GM is there to advise and support the newly affiliated owner(s) and may not make rules for the group.

GMs will have ‘sleeping’ owner status on the group. They will not represent the group, have rights over the membership, or be involved in running the group unless expressly requested by the owner. If the group is abandoned by the ower with no contact with the GM, the GM will consult with GAT on how to proceed.

The GM is able to offer help with the practical running of the group, including using the ‘playground’ group Freegle Freshers.

c. Duration of Group Mentor Support

The GM will stay on the group for six months from the date of affiliation and then remove themselves, unless a newly affiliated owner asks them to stay. The GM must remove themselves whenever asked after the six month period has elapsed unless the group has been abandoned. We strongly advise that groups have at least two owners and that a newly affiliated group's owner arranges this before the GM leaves.

d. Terms of Group Mentor Support

A newly affiliated Owner may request a change of GM at any time without giving a reason.

The removal of a GM as an owner or the refusal to communicate with a GM within the six month period could be grounds for disaffiliation under the usual procedures.

All groups are encouraged to follow best practice guidelines. The GM should discuss best practice with the owners/volunteers if they feel the group is not benefiting from those guidelines. If the GM has ongoing concerns and owners/volunteers do not respond, the GM should report back to the Mentor Team, particularly if the group looks as if it might be effectively abandoned.

Once the Mentor Team are aware of these concerns, they will investigate and make a decision on what to do, including whether the group has been abandoned.

If the Mentor Team determines that the group is abandoned the GM will demote the original group's owner to moderator with limited privileges, and stay on the group, ensuring it is run on a day to day basis, until a new permanent owner is found.

The GM will stay on the group for a further six months from the date of the appointment of a new owner, unless at least one of the owners has six months or more experience as a Freegle moderator.

e. Group Mentors

GMs will be sought in the first instance from local Freegle Volunteers. If there is no-one suitable, a member of the Freegle Mentors Group will be appointed. GMs should belong to the Freegle Mentors Group They do not have to belong to be asked to be a GM but they should join as a condition of appointment, so they have a source of support in the role.


Amendment made to Section d. to shift onus from GAT to Mentor Team if group doesn't thrive. Agreed by Board October 2017, after recommendation from GAT and Mentors.