Rainbow 13+ Arch Club


Updated version approved at AGM 11th April 2017.

Section 1: Name of Club

Section 2: Aims & Objectives

Section 3: Membership

Section 4: Subscriptions/Donations

Section 5: Volunteers

Section 6: Committee

Section 7: Annual General Meeting

Section 8: Finance & Accounts

Section 9: Affiliations

Section 10: Health & Safety

Section 11: Right to Privacy & Confidentiality

Section 12: Insurance

Section 13: Changes to the Constitution & Dissolution of the Club



  1. Name of Club


  • The club shall be known as the Rainbow 13+ Arch Club (‘Club’).


  1. Aims & Objectives


Main Aim & Objective


2.1 The advancement of community welfare of individuals with special needs by the provision of a Social Club for such individuals from the greater Dublin area aged 13 years and over (13+), where they will have the opportunity to participate in recreational and learning activities, interact with each other and develop new skills. This will be achieved by providing organised social activities in a safe and friendly environment.




Subsidiary Aims & Objectives

2.2 To provide a safe venue at which properly supervised activities, appropriate to the skills and capabilities of the Participating Members, can take place.

2.3 To advance personal development of Participating Members through greater leisure and learning opportunities, by promoting personal choice and independence and encouraging their full participation, inclusion and involvement in the Club and community.

2.4 To raise awareness of intellectual disability in the community.

2.5 To liaise with other groups, both those involved in the area of intellectual disability and others, where similar interests exist.

2.6 To consider the development needs of Participating Members as they mature and change and facilitate their changing needs through educational and leisure programmes.

2.7 It is the policy of the Club to safeguard the wellbeing of all Club Members by protecting them from physical, sexual, emotional harm and neglect, while participating in activities with the Club.

2.8 The Club will, where appropriate, adhere to the National Standards for Volunteer led youth Groups.

  1. Membership

3.1 There will be 3 categories of Members who will be collectively called ‘Club Members’, as follows:

– ‘Participating Members’ –  comprised of individuals with special needs from the greater Dublin area.

– ‘Parent Members’ – comprised of Parents/Carers of the Participating Members. (A Carer is a legal guardian or care giver who is the designated legal carer for a particular Participating Member).

– ‘Volunteer Members’ – comprised of the volunteers and helpers who support and assist the Participating Members partake of the Club’s activities.

3.2 Parent Members will form a Committee to run and administer the Club. They will be entitled to sit on Committee and are entitled to vote on issues pertaining to the Club.

The Committee will ensure that the views of the Participating Members are sought and taken account of in considering decisions regarding the Club.

3.3 Participating Members must be 13+ years of age to be eligible to join.

3.4 Application for membership of the Club shall be made to the Committee in writing by way of completion of an Application form. Applications are subject to the approval of the Committee, at its absolute discretion, having regard to the applicant’s  needs and the needs of the other Participating Members of the Club.

3.5 The Committee shall be entitled to operate a waiting list for membership.

3.6 The Club shall meet on dates and  times decided by the Committee in consultation with the Club Members. It is expected that Participating Members will regularly attend these meetings. Parent Members shall inform the Club if the Participating Member cannot attend the Club for a certain period of time.  Without this notification membership may automatically lapse and in such circumstance the Committee will be entitled to fill the vacancy created.  This should only occur if there is a constraint on membership places available.

3.7 In the event of a major disruption to the Club by a Participating Member, the Committee will meet and discuss the issue involved.  The Parent Member shall be informed that this meeting is taking place and must be allowed to state their side verbally and/or in writing.  A quorum of the Committee members must exist, with 70% of those present in agreement with the action to be taken.  The Committee shall, acting reasonably and having regard to the principles of natural justice, have the authority to decide on all disputes involving Participating Members which arise for whatever reason.

3.8 The Participating Members will be given a simple set of rules and guidelines and will be reminded of these rules on a regular basis.  The Parent Members will also be made aware of these rules and the stated disciplinary procedure. All Club  Members must abide by the rules of the Club as set out by the Club’s Code of Behaviour and abide by the Committee’s decision in all disputes.

3.9 Where possible, a ratio of 6 Participating Members to each Volunteer Member shall not be exceeded. In this context Parent Members may act as Volunteer Members as required.

3.10 The Club may seek to designate a person to organise and coordinate the activities for Participating Members. This person will be known as the ‘Coordinator’. The Club will be entitled to provide reasonable and proper remuneration to any such person, who shall not be an Officer of the Club,for services rendered to the Club.

  1. Subscriptions/Donations

4.1 The Club will accept subscriptions and voluntary donations from Club Members and their families at each Club meeting attended or at any time during the year.

4.2 An annual Membership Fee of €50 will be payable by each Participating Member together with a Subscription payable at each meeting of the Club, the amount of which will be decided by the Committee. For those Participating Members regularly attending the Club meetings, the Membership Fee will be incorporated into the Subscription.

4.3 The Membership Fee paid by the Participating Member will be deemed to include the Membership Fee from the Parent Member.

4.4 The Membership Fee payable by Volunteer Members will be deemed to have been paid by the Club.

4.5 A master list of all Participating Members will be retained by the Committee as will a list of Volunteer Members. These lists, together with all Parent Members, shall be the definitive record of all Club Members.

  1. Volunteers

5.1 Proposed Volunteer Members will be interviewed by a Committee or Sub Committee Member(s) designated for that purpose by the Committee.

5.2 The proposed Volunteer Members will be required to undergo the formal vetting procedures in place at that time (Garda clearance etc). The newly recruited Volunteer Member will undergo an induction process by the Coordinator or a Committee Member nominated by the Committee for that purpose.

5.3 All documents required for the recruitment of Volunteer Members will be held by the Committee. This documentation must be held on file and may be accessed by the Committee at any time, subject to normal rules of confidentiality.


  1. Committee

6.1 The business and affairs of the Club shall be managed by an elected ‘Committee’ comprising of Parent  Members, collectively known as ‘Committee Members’. The Committee shall be the controlling body of the Club. Proceedings at Committee meetings are confidential to the Committee Members.

6.2 Parent Members shall be proposed and seconded for election to the Committee at the AGM. The Club will strive to have a minimum of 6 Committee Members, including a minimum of 3 Officers.

6.3 The Officers of the Committee shall be proposed and seconded for election by Parent  Members at the Annual General Meeting. If the Officers are not elected at the AGM, the incoming Committee may, from their number, appoint the Officers.

6.4 The Committee shall be comprised of the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer (collectively the ’Officers’) and such further numbers (the ’Ordinary Committee Members’) as may be necessary.  Once elected at the AGM the Committee shall have the option of co-opting Ordinary Committee Members and sub-committee members throughout the year. Should an Officer resign during the course of his/her tenure the Committee may appoint another Committee member to occupy the role left vacant and if unsuccessful may co-opt a Parent  Member to the role.

6.5 The Officers will undertake the role of Charity Trustees for the Club. The position of Officer shall be vacated if an Officer ceases to be qualified for the position of Charity Trustee under Section 55 of the Charities Act 2009.

6.6 The Committee shall appoint Sub Committees as required.

6.7 The Committee shall meet no less than 5 times during the year and more frequently if required. A quorum shall be constituted by 3 Committee Members, of which at least 2 shall be Officers of the Club.  In the event of a situation arising where there are not sufficient Committee Members present to form a quorum, any proposals will be held over until such time as there are sufficient members present, or in an emergency situation non-attendant Committee Member(s), sufficient to make up  a quorum, may participate by way of telephone/teleconference.

6.8 The Committee shall administer the business and affairs of the Club and property under its control in accordance with the “Aims & Objectives” of the Club. Decisions at Committee will ideally be by consensus but where this is not possible will be by way of majority of those present, with the Chairperson holding a casting vote if required.

6.9 No  Committee Member shall be appointed to any salaried office of the Committee or any office of the Committee paid by fees, and  no remuneration in money or monies worth shall be given by the Committee to any Committee Member except repayment of out of pocket expenses. .

6.10 The Committee shall observe the terms of the Constitution and  develop specific policies as required.

6.11 The Chairperson shall preside over all meetings of the Committee and in his/her absence the Committee may elect a member present to preside at the meeting.

6.12 A Committee Member who is absent without apology for more than 3 consecutive meetings will be deemed to have resigned.

6.13 Any person who is not a Parent  Member may be co-opted to serve on any Sub Committee which requires their expertise.

6.14 Any Committee Member wishing to withdraw from the Committee must give formal written notice to the Secretary of the Committee at least 3 weeks in advance of such withdrawal.

6.15. Participating Members may attend Committee meetings as appropriate.

6.16. The Coordinator may be invited to attend Committee Meetings where appropriate.


  1. Annual General Meeting

7.1. The Annual General Meeting (‘AGM’) of the Club shall be held within 3 months of the end of the Club’s financial year (or as near as possible thereafter) at such time and place as the Committee shall determine.

7.2. The Secretary shall give at least two week’s notice of the meeting to all Parent  Members of the Club. Notice can be in writing, by electronic means or by way of text or similar means.

7.3. The following business shall be transacted at the AGM:

  • Approval of Minutes of the previous AGM
  • Chairperson’s/Secretary’s Report
  • Treasurer’s Report and Approval of Accounts
  • Election of Officers and Committee Members
  • General Business

Voting on proposals at the AGM will involve a proposer and seconder and require at least 50% agreement, by show of hands, from those Parent Members present. Parent Member(s) shall have only 1 vote per their Participating Member. The Chairperson shall hold a casting vote should that be required.

The Chairperson shall preside over all meetings and in his/her absence the Committee Members present may elect another Committee Member present to preside at the meeting.

The Quorum for an AGM shall be 8 Full Members, which may include Committee Members.

7.4 Any other General Meeting of Parent Members of the Club shall be known as an Extraordinary General Meeting (‘EGM’). Notice, Quorum and Voting arrangements (other than where Section 7.6 below applies) shall be the same as apply to AGMs. The Committee may convene an EGM at any time.

7.5 The accidental omission to give notice of a meeting to, or the non-receipt of notice of a meeting by, any Parent Member shall not invalidate the proceedings at the meeting. This applies to both AGMs and EGMs.

7.6 Changes to the Constitution may be made at an AGM or an EGM subject to the following: The Secretary shall furnish to each Parent Member notice in writing of the time and place of such meeting and the proposed changes to the Constitution, at least 21 days prior to the meeting. Resolutions passed at such meetings may only be passed by a 75% majority of those Parent Members present.

7.7 The Club must ensure that the Charities Regulator has a copy of its most recent Constitution. If it is proposed to make an amendment to the Constitution which requires the prior approval of the Charities Regulator, advance notice in writing of the proposed changes must be given to the Charities Regulator for approval, and the amendment shall not take effect until such approval is received

  1. Finance and Accounts

8.1 The Club shall raise funds by whatever legal means decided by the elected Committee and such funds shall be used to further the Aims and Objectives of the Club. The Club funds shall be invested in accordance with the directions of the Committee of which an entry in the minutes of the Club shall be conclusive evidence.

8.2 The Committee shall strive to conduct its affairs in good faith and in accordance with accepted practices of accountability and transparency.  The Committee shall fund, organise and implement plans in accordance with the aspirations outlined in the Aims and Objectives above.  The Committee shall maintain proper books of accounts and shall report on the financial position of the Club at the AGM.

8.3 Signatures of two Officers of the Committee shall be required at all times on cheques and withdrawal slips from current or deposit accounts. The Treasurer shall report to the Committee on a regular basis regarding the finances of the Club.

8.4 The Club’s current account may be overdrawn up to a maximum limit of €500. The Committee must be kept informed of an overdraft and the reason for such.

8.5 The handover from outgoing to incoming Treasurer shall be entire and complete.  The final duty of the outgoing Treasurer is to hand over completed sets of accounts, all documents current and historical and books of accounts.

8.6 The income and property of the Club shall be applied solely towards the promotion of the Main Aim and Objective as set forth in this Constitution.  No portion of the Club’s income and property shall be paid or transferred directly or indirectly by way of dividend, bonus or otherwise howsoever by way of profit to Club Members.

No Charity Trustee* shall be appointed to any office of the Club paid by salary or fees, or receive any remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth from the Club.  However, nothing shall prevent any payment in good faith by the Club of:

  1. reasonable and proper remuneration to any Club Member or servant of the Club (not being a Charity Trustee) for any services rendered to the Club;
  2. interest at a rate not exceeding 1% above the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor) per annum on money lent by Charity Trustees or other Club Members to the Club;
  3. reasonable and proper rent for premises demised and let by any Club Member (including any Charity Trustee) to the Club;
  4. reasonable and proper out-of-pocket expenses incurred by any Charity Trustee in connection with their attendance to any matter affecting the Club;
  5. fees, remuneration or other benefit in money or money’s worth to any Company of which a Charity Trustee may be a member holding not more than one hundredth part of the issued capital of such Company;
  6. Nothing shall prevent any payment by the Club to a person pursuant to an agreement entered into in compliance with section 89 of the Charities Act, 2009 (as for the time being amended, extended or replaced).

*Charity Trustee as defined by section 2(1) of the Charities Act, 2009

  1. Affiliations

9.1 The Club shall be affiliated to the National Federation of Arch Clubs, CDYSB and whatever other Association(s) decided by the Committee.

  1. Health and Safety

10.1 In accordance with its aims and objectives, the Club is committed to provide a safe environment, in every respect, for Club Members. The Club will develop and maintain appropriate policies in areas such as Child Protection, Anti Bullying, Health & Safety etc.

  1. Right to Privacy and Confidentiality

11.1 The Club recognises and respects the Club Members right to privacy. Any personal information on record or volunteered will be treated in accordance with accepted levels of confidentiality.

11.2 All information gathered by the Committee in relation to Club Members will be held safely and securely by the Committee. Any information imparted to Volunteer Members, in order to assist the Participating Member, will only be done in agreement with the Participating Member (where appropriate) & Parent Member.

11.3 Photographs/Videos of Club Members may be used or uploaded by the Committee onto a Web site, Facebook or any social network site related to the Club or the National Federation of Arch Clubs.

11.4  A Club Member can request, at any time, that a photograph of them is not to be used for publicity or distributed in any other way without their written permission.

11.5 No Club Member will upload or place photographs, other than of oneself, of the Club or Club Members on any social network site such as Twitter, My Space, Bebo, Facebook etc.

11.6 No Club Member will make comments on the Club or Club Members on any social network site such as Twitter, My Space, Bebo, Facebook etc without the permission of the Committee, such permission to be recorded in the Minutes of the relevant Committee meeting agreeing to same.


  1. Insurance


12.1 The Club is protected under the insurance of the Arch Federation and must comply with their requirements.  A copy of the “Guide to insurance for Arch Clubs” (as issued by the Arch Federation), will be held by the Officers of the Club who must be aware of its contents and should ensure that all activities planned by the Club are compliant with the Aims and Objectives and must ensure that, where appropriate, the insurers are made aware of any extra activities.

  1. Changes to the Constitution & Dissolution of the Club

13.1 Changes to the Constitution may be made at an AGM or an EGM as outlined above.

  1. 2 The Club shall only be dissolved by resolution passed by a 75% majority of those Parent Members present and voting at an EGM properly convened in accordance with this Constitution.

13.3 If upon the winding up or dissolution of the Club there remains, after satisfaction of all debts and liabilities, any property whatsoever, it shall not be paid to or distributed among the Club Members. Instead, such property shall be given or transferred to some other charitable institution or institutions having main objects similar to the main Aims and Objectives of the Club. The institution or institutions to which the property is to be given or transferred shall prohibit the distribution of their income and property among their members to an extent at least as great as is imposed on the Club under or by virtue of Clause 8.6 hereof. Parent Members of the Club shall select the relevant institution or institutions at or before the time of dissolution, and if and so far as effect cannot be given to such provisions, then the property shall be given or transferred to some charitable object with the agreement of the Charities Regulator.  Final accounts will be prepared and submitted that will include a section that identifies and values any assets transferred along with the details of the recipients and the terms of the transfer.