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.
Horsham (preliminary meeting held on 27th February 2010)
Worthing (meets for the first time on 8th April 2010)
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
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
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
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
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
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 DayMeetings
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 consistentlyWebsite
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 emailsEmail
Respond to email petitions and forward to sympathetic friends, colleagues and organisations
Contribute to and read monthly newsletter for West Sussex HumanistsOther
Join BHA and NSS
Delegate tasks that interest members
Training for chaplaincy (hospital, college/university, hospice), public speaking
Finance: donations/subscriptions, post basic accounts on website, open a bank account