1.0 NAME 

1.1 The Name of the Association shall be “The Friends of the Centre for English Local History” (hereinafter called “the Association”). A member of the Association is hereinafter called a ‘Friend’. 


2.1. The object of the Association is the education of the public by promoting, supporting, and assisting the study of Local History as taught and practised in the Centre for Regional and Local History (formerly the Centre for English Local History) at the University of Leicester (hereinafter called the “Centre”). 


3.1 The Association shall have powers: 

3.1.1 To provide bursaries and/or grants to enable courses of study and/or research to be undertaken at the Centre; 
3.1.2 To arrange and provide for, or to join in arranging and providing for, lectures, exhibitions, meetings, seminars, workshops, visits, conferences and other similar or related activities; 
3.1.3 To purchase furniture, equipment, manuscripts, printed books and other materials for furtherance of the same object; 
3.1.4 To raise funds and to invite and receive contributions from any person or persons whomsoever by way of subscription, donation, legacies or otherwise provided that the Association shall not undertake permanent trading activities in raising funds for its charitable object; 
3.1.5 To appoint representatives and delegates to any other bodies with whom the Association may be concerned; 
3.1.6 To support and co-ordinate publishing, education, research, advertising and other work for the furtherance of the said object; 
3.1.7 To take any other lawful action to promote or to assist in promoting the said object. 


4.1 There shall be four categories of Ordinary Members: 

4.1.1 Individual membership shall be open to anyone; 
4.1.2. Joint membership shall be open to individuals living at the same address, but only one individual shall be entitled to vote at any General Meeting and only one copy of any notice or letter shall be sent to that address. 
4.1.3 Group membership shall be open to any organisation, institution, company, school, or group who may nominate one representative to receive a copy of any notice or letter and to vote; 
4.1.4 Student membership will be granted by the Committee to any individual undertaking an undergraduate or post-graduate course or enrolled as a research student within the School of History, Politics, and International Relations at the University of Leicester. Student members shall not be required to pay any subscription, and may not vote on financial matters, but they shall be entitled to receive a copy of any notice or letter. 

4.2 The Committee may recommend to the Annual General Meeting suitable persons for election to Honorary Life Membership. Honorary Life Members shall not be required to pay any subscription, and may not vote, but shall be entitled to receive a copy of any notice or letter: 

4.3 The Committee in absolute discretion, shall have the right to reject any application for membership. 


5.1 The rates of membership for each category of Ordinary Member (except Student Members) shall be determined from time to time by the Committee. Subscriptions shall become due on the 1st day of October each year. The membership of Friends whose subscriptions are more than twenty-four months in arrears shall be deemed to have lapsed 


6.1 The Committee may designate as Patron any person who donates to the Association a sum of money (to be determined from time to time by the Committee) in addition to his or her annual subscription. 


7.1 The Committee may nominate a President for election at the Annual General Meeting, the term of office to be five years in the first instance. 


8.1 The Committee may nominate Vice-Presidents for election at the Annual General Meeting. 


9.1 The Committee shall consist of the following officers and members:

9.1.1 Chairman
9.1.2 Secretary
9.1.3 Treasurer
9.1.4 Membership Secretary
9.1.5 Editor of the Newsletter
9.1.6 Programme Secretary
9.1.7 A minimum of two and a maximum of six additional members 
9.1.8 One member of the Centre’s staff
9.1.9 Two student representatives
9.1.10 Information Technology Coordinator

9.2 The Officers and Committee members listed above, except for the Student Representatives who shall be nominated by the student body and the Staff Representative who shall be nominated by the Centre, shall be elected each year at the Annual General Meeting and shall be eligible for re-election providing no-one shall be re-elected to the same office for more than five consecutive years. All Officers shall be Friends. 

9.3 The Committee shall have the power to co-opt any person having special skill or knowledge but in relation only to the consideration by Committee of matters where such special skill or knowledge would be likely to be of assistance. Such co-opted persons shall not be entitled to vote. 

9.4 The Committee shall have the general management and direction of funds and affairs of the Association, and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing): 

9.4.1 May nominate any Friend to serve on another body; 
9.4.2 May pay the whole or any part of the reasonable out-of-pocket expenses of any Officer or Friend in or about the execution of his or her function and duties on behalf of the Association; 
9.4.3 May fill casual vacancies from time to time from its membership: 
9.4.4 May appoint from time to time such sub-Committees from its membership as may be necessary or desirable to carry out its business. 

9.5 No member of the Committee shall acquire any interest in property belonging to the Association (otherwise than as a Trustee for the Association) or receive remuneration or be interested (otherwise than as a member of the Committee) in any contract entered by the Committee. 


10.1 The Inaugural General Meeting shall be held on 11th of January 1996. Thereafter the Annual General Meeting shall be held in November each year. The Secretary shall give at least twenty-one days’ notice of the Annual General Meeting to all Friends. 

10.2 The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be to receive the Chairman’s Report and the Annual Accounts, to appoint an Independent Examiner, to elect Officers, and to consider any matters notified to the Secretary. 

10.3 A Special General Meeting may be convened by the Committee at any time and shall be so convened by the Chairman after receiving requests given in writing or using electronic communications from any fifteen Friends. The requisition shall set out in proper form the reason for such a meeting. In either case the Secretary shall give not less than fourteen days’ notice. 

10.4 The quorum for General Meetings shall be fifteen Friends. The quorum for a change to the Constitution shall be twenty Friends. 

10.5 Committee meetings shall be held not less than twice yearly. The quorum shall be five Committee members. 


11.1 Nominations for Officers, duly signed by the nominee, the proposer and the seconder must be in the hands of the Secretary at least seven days before the Annual General Meeting. If an election is necessary, voting will be by secret ballot. 


12.1 All funds and assets in the possession of the Association shall be held, paid, and applied as the Committee may direct within the object of the Association, and pending such direction shall be held in the name of the Association with such Bankers as the Committee shall from time to time direct. All cheques drawn on such Bankers shall be signed by any two of the Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, or an Officer specially nominated for that purpose. All documents requiring endorsement shall be sufficiently endorsed if signed by one of them. 

12.2 The financial year of the Association will commence on October 1st each year and terminate on the 30th September. 


13.1 An Independent Examiner, who need not be a Friend and who shall certify the accounts annually, shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting. An Officer may not be appointed as an Independent Examiner. 


14.1 No article of this Constitution shall be made, varied, or rescinded except by a resolution passed by no less than two thirds of such Friends as are present and voting at a General Meeting. The notice calling such a meeting shall incorporate a copy of the proposed alteration. 

14.2 In the event of the Association gaining Charitable Status, no alteration shall be made to clauses 2. (Object) or 16. (Winding Up) including all sub-clauses, or this clause, until the approval in writing of the Charity Commissioners or other Authority having charitable jurisdiction shall have been obtained: and no alteration shall be made which would have the effect of causing the Association to cease to be a Charity at Law. 


15.1 Notices to Friends shall be deemed properly served if delivered personally; sent by post in a prepaid envelope addressed to the member at his or her address; by leaving it at the address of the member; or by giving it using electronic communications to the member’s address. 

15.2 A member who does not register an address (postal or email) with the Friends shall not be entitled to receive any notice from the charity. 

15.3 A member present in person or joining an online meeting shall be deemed to have received notice of the meeting and of the purposes for which it was called. 

15.4 A notice shall be deemed to be given 4 days after the envelope containing it was posted or, in the case of an electronic communication, 48 hours after it was sent. 


16.1 The Association may be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two thirds majority of those Friends present and voting at a Special General Meeting convened for the purpose, of which not less than twenty-one days’ notice shall have been given to the Friends. Such resolution may give instruction for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association, provided that if the property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the Friends, but shall be given or transferred to other such charitable institution or institutions having objects similar to the object of the Association as far as the Association may determine and if and in so far as effect cannot be given to this provision then to some other charitable purpose. 

You can view/download a copy of the current (November 2022) Constitution here