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Riverside Players is registered with the UK Charity Commission - Charity Number 293095

Riverside Players – Rules

1.     The name of the society shall be RIVERSIDE PLAYERS.


2.     The object of the society is to educate the public in the dramatic arts, to further the development of public appreciation and taste in the said arts.


3.     The membership categories of the Society shall consist of:

a) Family of three or more living at the same address
b) Family of two living at the same address
c) Individual
d) Senior - aged 60 or over at 1st April each year
e) Student - in receipt of full-time education at 1st April each year
f) Junior - aged under 18 at 1st April each year
g) Friend
h) Youth Group

Members in categories a) to f) aged 16 and over at 1st April each year are entitled to vote at any general meeting of the Society.

The subscription rate will be agreed at each annual general meeting of the society.  Subscriptions are due on 1st April each year.  The committee has discretion to admit members on an honorary basis, i.e. without payment of a subscription.  The number of members in each category will be reported to the society at the annual general meeting.

Membership shall incur no liability beyond the amount of the annual subscription.

The name of any candidate for membership must be forwarded to the membership secretary.  Acceptance of subscription shall constitute election to the society.

Membership may cease at the discretion of the committee upon:
a)    non-payment of appropriate subscription within three months of the due date
b)    resignation in writing submitted to the secretary
c)    expulsion approved by two thirds of those eligible to vote and attending a meeting called for the purpose.


4.    The financial year shall run from 1st April to 31st March.


5.    All powers of management shall be vested in the committee who shall be solely responsible for the control of all the affairs of the society.


6.    The committee shall consist of nine elected members of the society who will serve initially for a three year term.  They are then eligible to re-stand and, if elected, may serve a further consecutive three year term.  Following this, they must stand down for one year after which time they are eligible for re-election.  There is no limit to the number of terms a member can serve, providing they are duly elected and stand down for one year after each continuous period of six years.

An exception to this rule will be in the event of a quorum of committee members standing down in any one year, either by choice or under the current Rule 6.  In this case the membership may elect existing committee members, who would otherwise be required to stand down, to remain in post for a further year to ensure quorum continuity.


Rules governing the voting procedure are set out in the separate voting and election procedure document.


7.     The officers of the society shall be a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, a Treasurer, a Membership Secretary and such other officers as the committee deem, from time to time, desirable.  The officers will be elected from those members who serve on the committee and by members of the committee.

Representatives can be co-opted at the discretion of the committee in the event of failure to fill all vacant posts at the annual general meeting or in the event of the departure of a committee member mid-term. All such appointments shall be effective only until the end of the year in which they are made and members appointed in this way shall be required to step down at the next annual general meeting. They shall be entitled to offer themselves for election for a three year term at that meeting, and to serve for a total period of six years before having to stand down for one year, in accordance with the terms of Rule 6.


8.     Sub-committees may be formed at the discretion of the committee and may include committee members, society members and society non-members.  There shall be at least one committee member sitting on any sub-committee.  The sub-committee shall have powers only to report their findings and recommendations to the main committee.


9.     A quorum of the committee will be five.  The standing orders of any sub-committee shall be subject to approval by the committee.


10.  An annual general meeting will be held once a year within three months of the end of the financial year. Twenty-one days’ notice of such a meeting will be given in writing.  The following business must be transacted:

a)   the election of the committee
b)   the presentation of the audited accounts for the previous year
c)   the election of the honorary auditor
d)   such other business as may have been advised to the members with the notice of the meeting.


11.  An extraordinary general meeting may be called following the written request to the Secretary by at least ten members of the society or by a majority decision of the committee.  Notice of such a meeting shall be given as in rule 10.


12.  These rules may, from time to time, be repealed, amended or added to by agreement of two thirds of those eligible to vote and attending a meeting called for the purpose, provided that no alteration to rule 2 (objects), rule 13 (dissolution) or this rule shall take effect until the approval in writing of the Charity Commissioners or jurisdiction shall be made which would have the effect of causing the society to cease being a charity at law.  Notice of such a meeting must be given as in rule 10.


13.  The society can be wound up at an annual general meeting or at an extraordinary meeting called for that purpose.  A simple majority of those eligible to vote and attending such a meeting is sufficient to confirm the winding up.  All assets of the society, after payment of all liabilities, will be given to a registered charity having an object compatible with rule 2 and agreed at the meeting.


Amended June 2010 - Rule 6

Amended June 2011 - Rule 6





Child Protection Policy Statement



This policy has been developed in accordance with the principles established by the Children Act 1989 and related guidance including The Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families and Working Together to Safeguard Children.

This group takes seriously our responsibility to promote the welfare and safeguard all the children and young people entrusted to our care.

The designated member of the group is Lynda Newton who has overall responsibility for overseeing the child protection practice within this group.

As part of the ethos of the group we are committed to:

  • Maintaining children’s welfare as our paramount concern
  • Providing an environment in which children and young people feel safe, secure, valued and respected; confident to talk openly and sure of being listened to
  • Providing suitable support and guidance so that children have a range of appropriate adults who they feel confident to approach if they are in difficulties
  • Using the opportunities for increasing self awareness, self esteem, assertiveness and decision making so that children have a range of contacts and strategies to ensure their own protection and understand the importance of protecting others
  • Working with parents to build an understanding of the group’s responsibility to ensure the welfare of all children including the need for referral to other agencies in some situations
  • Ensuring all staff are able to recognise the signs and symptoms of abuse and are aware of the Production Company’s procedures and lines of communication are in conjunction with KCC guidance
  • Developing effective and supportive liaison with other agencies



Riverside Players hereafter known as the group

The group is responsible for ensuring that all action taken is in conjunction with Kent’s Child in need/Child Protection procedure.  This process implemented in April 2001 follows the requirements of the central government guidance contained in the Framework for Assessment of Children in Need and their Families and Working Together to Safeguard Children.  The child protection process is now incorporated within a comprehensive policy and procedures for all children in need.

The role of the group within this procedure is to contribute to the identification, referral and assessment of children in need including children who may have suffered, or suffering or who are at risk of suffering significant harm.  

All adults have a role to play in relation to: protecting children from abuse, promoting the welfare of children, and preventing children from being harmed.

The role of the group in situations where there are child protection concerns is NOT to investigate but to recognise and refer.

Designation Named Person – Lynda Newton

Is responsible for:

  • Liaising with other agencies
  • Ensuring that locally established procedures are followed including reporting and referral processes
  • Acting as a consultant for all members to discuss concerns
  • Making referrals as necessary
  • Maintaining a confidential recording system
  • Representing the group when appropriate at inter-agency meetings or Child Protection Conferences
  • Organising training for all members
  • Liaising with other professionals



This section gives an opportunity for members to identify the specific ways in which child protection issues are addressed within the group, policies and guidance or through school/community initiatives. This may include: anti-bullying strategies, complaints procedures, health and safety, and risk assessments.



All members should be aware of the definitions and signs and symptoms of abuse.  There are four categories of abuse; these are physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and neglect.

Useful information is the Department of Health Guidelines “What to do if You’re Worried A Child Is Being Abused” which is also available on the Website: www.education.gov.uk/publications


Concerns for a child or young person may come to the attention of members in a variety of ways for example through observation of behaviour or injuries or disclosure.  Any member who has a concern for a child or young person however insignificant this might appear to be should discuss this with the designated member of the group as soon as is practically possible.  More serious concerns must be reported immediately to ensure that any intervention necessary to protect the child is accessed as early as possible.

  • If a child makes a disclosure of abuse to a member of the group they should:
  • Allow the child or young person to make the disclosure at their own pace and in their own way
  • Avoid interrupting except to clarify what the child is saying (attentive listening/reflective feedback)
  • Not ask leading questions or probe for information that the child or young person does not volunteer
  • Reassure the child or young person that they have been heard and explain what you will do next and to whom you will talk
  • Record the conversation as soon as possible
  • Inform the group’s named person



Members can play a vital role in helping children in need or at risk by effective monitoring and record keeping.  Any incident or behavioural change in a child or young person that gives cause for concern should be recorded on an incident sheet copies of which are kept by Jack Morris. It is important that records are factual and reflect the words used by the child or young person.  Opinions should not be given unless there is some form of evidence base, which can also be quoted.  Records must be signed and dated with timings if appropriate.  It is important to remember that any issues are confidential and members should know only on a ‘need to know’ basis.


  • Child’s name and date of birth
  • Child in normal context e.g. behaviour, attitude, (has there been an extreme change)
  • The incident(s) which give rise for concern with date(s) and time(s)
  • A verbatim record of what the child or young person has said
  • If recording bruising/injuries indicate position, colour, size, shape and time on body map.
  • Action taken

These basic details are vital to the information gathering process and do not constitute an investigation.  Written information should be passed to the group’s named person,   who should always be kept informed of any significant issues.


The group will ensure that records relating to concerns for the welfare or safety of children are kept separate from other files and are stored securely.  Information will be shared on a strictly need to know basis and in line with child protection policy guidance.


It is the responsibility of the designated member of the group to decide when to make a referral to the Social Services Department.  To help with this decision s/he may choose to consult (anonymously if appropriate) with the Social Services Children and Families Duty Service,  who offer opportunities for consultation as part of the Child in need / child protection process.  Issues discussed during consultations may include the urgency and gravity of the concerns for a child or young person and the extent to which parents/carers are made aware of these.  Some concerns may need to be monitored over a period of time before a decision to refer to Social Services is made.  In all but the most exceptional cases parents/carers will be made aware of the concerns felt for a child or young person at the earliest possible stage and in the event of this becoming necessary, their consent to a referral to Social Services will be sought.

Referrals to Social Services will be made in writing where time allows for this.  In situations where there are felt to be urgent or grave concerns a telephone referral will be made and followed up in writing.

If a child or young person is referred, the group will ensure that relevant members are informed of this.

If after consultation with the designated member of the group team, the person who raised concerns feels that appropriate action is not being taken in respect of his or her concerns for a child s/he should consult with or refer directly to Social Services. The group should be informed of this decision.

Concerns involving members of the group:

Any concerns that involve allegations against a group member should be referred immediately to the group, who will seek further consultation with the Local Authority Designated Officer or Social Services to discuss and agree further action to be taken in respect of the child and the member .  


All members should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with relation to child protection.  It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults.  Physical intervention should only be used when the child is endangering him/herself or others and such events should be recorded and signed by a witness.  

All members should work towards providing an environment and atmosphere for children and young people to enable them to feel safe to talk.  However, members should never promise a child to keep certain information confidential.  It must be explained that members have certain duties to help keep that child safe, which may involve informing others.


Any member of the group affected by issues arising from concerns for children’s welfare or safety can seek support from the named person.

The named person can put members and parents in touch with outside agencies for professional support if they so wish.


The named person is responsible for ensuring members including him/herself receive training in the area of child protection.


All members will have a copy of this policy and will have the opportunity to consider and discuss its contents.

The policy forms part of the group’s development and will be reviewed annually.

All members should have access to this policy and sign to the effect that they have read and understood its content.


Riverside Players Equal Opportunities Policy

Riverside Players welcomes all members regardless of age, race, gender, ability, sexuality, religion, marital status, class or income.


None of the above factors have any bearing on a member’s ability to take part in the group’s activities if they so wish.  The only requirement of membership is a desire to share the aims of the group, which are to educate the public in the dramatic arts and to further the development of public appreciation and taste in the said arts.  Sharing the aims can be as a supportive ‘Friend of Riverside’ or as an active member.


We make every effort to facilitate attendance by the physically disabled or disadvantaged, such as assistance with transportation and the presence of an Emergency Aider at all performances. Our regular venue is fitted with a hearing induction loop and has priority seating and access to sanitary facilities for the chairborne disabled. In order to promote social inclusion, we occasionally offer concession price tickets to senior citizens, the unwaged and students, and also special flexible reductions for family tickets.


The performing arts is often considered as a medium in which those who are, or perceive themselves to be, disadvantaged or discriminated against, can find a level playing field.  At Riverside Players we endeavour to provide this platform.


Adopted June 2001, amended July 200


Election and Voting Procedure

1 - Where a rule is referenced, this shall relate to the “Riverside Players – Rules” set out in the Constitution.

2 - Elections to Committee will take place at the Riverside Players Annual General Meeting.

3 - To stand for Committee, the candidate must be a member of the society under rule 3 a) to f) and be aged 16 or over on the date of the election.

4 - Candidates must submit a signed nomination form proposed and seconded by members of the society. This must be lodged with the Secretary at least seven days prior to the election.

5 - The person conducting the vote and the count will be known as the Returning Officer.

6 - The Returning Officer should be the chairman of the meeting.

7 - The Returning Officer will be assisted by least one Committee member who is not standing for re-election.

8 - If the chairman of the meeting is standing for re-election, another suitable representative from the Committee, who is not standing for re-election, must be appointed as the Returning Officer.

9 - Where the number of candidates is less than or equal to the number of committee vacancies, the election is considered uncontested and all candidates will be elected without a vote.

10 - Where there are more candidates than vacancies, a contested election will take place. A contested election will be decided by a process of voting.

11 - Only members eligible under rule 3 and attending the meeting may vote. Proxy votes are not permitted.

12 - Ballot papers listing all candidates will be issued to eligible members at the meeting. Eligibility to vote must be verified.

13 - Members will be instructed to vote for up to the total number of committee vacancies.

14 - All completed ballot papers must be collected in a single ballot box. Before the collection of ballot papers begins, the ballot box must be certified as empty by the Returning Officer.

15 - Vote counting must take place in private but at the same meeting.

16 - Any member who is standing for election may witness the count process and must be notified at the meeting of this right.

17 - There must be at least one non-committee member present to witness the count. Where necessary, the Returning Officer will select a volunteer member from the meeting.

18 - In a contested election where two or more candidates receive an equal number of votes, the Returning Officer will have the casting vote.

19 - Once a result has been agreed by all parties present at the count, the Returning Officer will announce those elected at the meeting. There is no requirement to announce the number of votes for each candidate.

20 - This procedure does not alter the process of co-option as set out in rule 7.









Last Updated on Saturday, 01 March 2014 15:40