Membership - Frequently Asked Questions Membership - Frequently Asked Questions What does it mean to be a membership organisation? Like lots of other community food initiatives, Edinburgh Community Food is a membership organisation, a charity and a company (legally, we are a company limited by guarantee with charitable status). This means that we have to make sure we comply with company law, and with the rules and regulations set out by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). We send reports to both Companies House and OSCR every year, to reassure them that we are being run properly, and that we are doing what we say we will do. What is a company limited by guarantee? Being a company limited by guarantee means that our members have limited liability - this means, in the very unlikely event that Edinburgh Community Food has to close down, and there are some outstanding debts, you may be asked to pay £1 towards meeting these debts. What is the Memorandum of Association? The Memorandum of Association is our governing document - our set of rules - which lays out: what we are set up to do the powers that we have (as a company) to do certain things Any changes to this must be approved by the Members and OSCR. What are the Articles of Association? The Articles of Association outline how we should be overseen and managed how decisions about these are made Any changes to this must be approved by the Members and OSCR. Do I need to be a member to buy from you? No. Our aim is to get healthy food into people and people into healthy food so you do not need to be a member to buy from us. What happens to the data I provide? It's important we know who our members are – we want to be sure that our membership represents everyone we work for and with. We will ask for your name, email address, postal address and some membership specific questions. This information will be stored securely in our membership database. It will be used to keep a record of all members and, to communicate to you about membership and keep you informed about the work we are doing. We will not share this information with any other company, partner or business. How long does my membership last? Memberships are renewed annually in April. We will be in touch with you about this at that time . We hope this doesn’t happen, but should you decide at any time that you no longer want to be a Member, you can cancel your membership by emailing us at [email protected], by phoning us on 0131 467 7326 or by writing to us at 22 Tennant Street, Edinburgh, EH6 5ND. Is there a cost to be a member? There is no cost to be a member, All we ask is that you attend and vote at our Annual General Meeting (our AGM). If you cannot attend the AGM you are able to vote by proxy (see below for what this means). What skills or experience do I need to become a member? There is no set skills or experience required to become a member. If you share our aim, and live or work within Edinburgh or the surrounding area, you can apply to become a member. What if I cannot attend the AGM? If you can't attend the AGM or any other General Meeting we hold, you are able to nominate someone to vote on your behalf. This is called voting by proxy. When meetings are called information about proxy voting will be provided. You can nominate someone else to attend on your behalf - someone else in your organisation (if you are a member representing an organisation, or someone you know. What commitment is required to be a member? The most important thing is that, as a member, you have a say in how Edinburgh Community Food (ECF) is governed. The best way to do this is to attend and vote at our AGM and any other general meetings held throughout the year. Our AGM is usually held in September or October - , if it’s possible to hold it ‘live’ ,it will be We may, very occasionally, hold other General meetings which members are asked to attend (this hasn't happened in the last 3 years). Who are the Board of Directors and how are they elected? Our day-to-day work is carried out and managed by our staff team. The responsibility of our board of directors is to ensure we comply with company law and OSCR’s rules and regulations, and that we are running properly. As a member of ECF, you can put yourself forward to stand for election and become a board member. Board members are chosen by member vote at the AGM. We want more of our members to think about putting themselves forward to become a director. More information about what our board does, and about becoming a board member, can be found here, or contact us on [email protected] , or on 0131 467 7326. Where can I find out more? If you would like more information about any of the above, or have any other questions about being a member of ECF, please get in touch - on 0131 467 7326 or at [email protected] How do I become a member? To apply as an individual, complete our individual membership form. If you represent an organisation, complete our organisation membership form to become their nominated representative.