Local Groups

West Sussex Humanists is an umbrella organisation of local affiliated groups.

Local groups can meet more easily. They reflect the needs of their community and can make contact with other local organisations, e.g. district council, schools & colleges, InterFaith network, hospital, etc.

A local group can be started with just two or three interested people, perhaps meeting in each others' homes or at the local cafe or pub. These early meetings can be used to generate publicity and plan the way forward, as well as be an enjoyable exchange of ideas.

Each local group will have its own area of this website. They will be able to publish their own articles, add local events to the calendar, take part in the forum, and contribute other content.

Please contact me if you are interested in forming a local group. Email Andrew or ring 01444 811413.

Here is a list of possible groups.

Bognor Regis

Burgess Hill

Chichester

Crawley

East Grinstead

Haywards Heath

Horsham (preliminary meeting held on 27th February 2010)

Littlehampton

Midhurst

Pulborough

Shoreham

Worthing (meets for the first time on 8th April 2010)

Group Action

What follows are some suggestions for running and participating in a local group. Progress will depend on the number of members, their interests and available time.

Local Area Information Website Pages

Humanist heritage in the local area, e.g. famous Humanists, historical events, buildings

List of local schools, colleges and universities, with links: community, religious, including private

List of local events that we could be involved in

Local organisations that we can have reciprocal ties with, e.g. Amnesty, Women’s groups, parent groups, CVS, student groups

Solicitors specialising in Human Rights and Equality law

Local InterFaith group (offer to give a talk)

Local authority contacts, e.g. equality officer

Hospital chaplaincy: does it support Humanist volunteers?

Humanist entries in local authority publications and websites

List of convenient venues

Humanist ceremonies

Humanist contacts

Schools, colleges and university

Introduce group to all local schools, public and private

Donate BHA books, send information pack

Offer free talks, activities, participation in youth events

Offer advice on inclusive assemblies and Religious Education

Start up a student Humanist group

Local government

Contact local councillors and MP; list those supporting Humanism

Attend surgeries and raise local issues

Take part in local consultations, including online

Search local government websites for inclusion, correct terminology, e.g. religion and belief

Current Affairs

Read the BHA website news (see Home page of WestSussexHumanists.org.uk)

Subscribe to the National Secular Society weekly email newsline (http://www.secularism.org.uk/)

Listen to the BBC Radio 4 programme Sunday (record podcast for mp3 players: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/sunday/rss.xml)

Listen to other relevant BBC Radio 4 programmes, e.g. The Moral Maze, Thought for the Day

Check the local press for articles on religion, human rights, equality, especially local issues, e.g. new religious schools/academies, discrimination

Research a topical issue for a local meeting

Media

Register local group at the library

Ask for Humanist publications in libraries

Advertise meetings and events in libraries and other suitable places (download a Word template)

Make contact with editors of local newspapers, magazines, parish newsletters, etc.

Write letters to the editor on local issues

Encourage editors to have a regular slot for religion and belief (their contribution to community cohesion)

Contact local radio stations

Events

Suggest events that will interest members and attract support

Hold events on topical issues

Create list of days to commemorate, recurrent events; add to calendar

Prepare materials, e.g. banner, stall

Find interesting speakers on relevant subjects, especially local issues

List of types of events, e.g. speaker, book review, stall, walk, meal, demonstration, debate, display

Take photos/video for website

Take part in national events, e.g. Pope demo, BHA talks, Remembrance Day

Meetings

Decide on frequency and best venue(s)

Create, post and email agenda

Take brief minutes and write up an interesting report for the blog (with photo?)

Handle inquiries from the public

Respond to emails and telephone calls

Learn how to represent the BHA consistently

Website

Website training for creating articles, adding events to calendar, etc

Write up events in blog

Write comments on articles

Take part in polls

Make suggestions for improving website, new content, report broken links

Update personal profile

Post in the forum, rather than send individual emails

Email

Respond to email petitions and forward to sympathetic friends, colleagues and organisations

Contribute to and read monthly newsletter for West Sussex Humanists

Other

Join BHA and NSS

Delegate tasks that interest members

Training for chaplaincy (hospital, college/university, hospice), public speaking

Attend SACRE

Finance: donations/subscriptions, post basic accounts on website, open a bank account

 

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