AGM 2011 Group Affiliation Team Report

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Shortly after Freegle was launched in September 2009, an Interim Group Assessment Team (IGAT) was formed to deal with requests for new groups to affiliate with Freegle, and for groups to move from existing re-use groups (primarily Freecycle) to Freegle.

Initially, there was a moratorium on affiliating new groups in an area already covered by a Freecycle group, but this ended in February 2010. In March 2010, the Reps decided that the team should become permanent, and be known as the Group Assessment Team. In February 2011, the name was changed to Group Affiliation Team, as it was felt this was a better description of the work.

GAT is a closed team, and currently consists of Barbara, Esther, Jane, Jo, Ruth, Sian, Saira and Tina, with Ollie as Rep Observer. Previous team members have been Kath, Adam and Stuart. GAT works to a set of policies and procedures which can be found on the Freegle wiki. New policy or changes to existing policy is discussed with, and then recommended by, the Freegle Start|Start Working Group to the Freegle Reps|Reps and to Central.

IGAT/GAT has dealt with 409 cases and has approved 76 new groups for listing, and 53 groups moving from other re-use networks. Only 3 applications have been rejected, on the basis of an unsuitable applicant. The remainder are mainly applications which were either withdrawn, or where the applicant stopped responding to our emails.

The main challenges we have faced have been:

  • The lengthy processes we have to follow for each case, made worse by time delays due to consultation/28 day emails not being answered (Freegle and FC).
  • Individual cases which are brought to Start/Central – this takes up huge amount of GAT time, and tends to reduce focus on other cases.
  • Periodic low numbers of team members available, so casework backlog builds up, coupled with the time needed for a fair recruitment process
  • The annual appraisal process, which caused a lot of speculation and bad feeling.

We have been very happy with volume of cases we have managed to process, and the generally positive feedback and good relations with existing groups; 99% of existing and new groups are happy to work with GAT on agreeing core areas; it is also good to now be able to approve Specialist groups. While it takes time to recruit the right people, this has resulted in us being very satisfied with the quality of people recruited into GAT.

Back To: AGM 2011