Minutes from BPGW Green Woodworkers meeting 29/07/18
Facilitation (Jo) and minutes (Dave and Jo) from London Green Wood.

Present: Melody, Laira, Keith, Lucie, Katie-Jane, Hafren, Jo, Robin, Marco, Matt, Tony, Oz, Becky, Ivan, Paul, Cat.

Expectations for the meeting

There is a clear feeling that Paul has been shouldering all the responsibility and this is not sustainable. People are also frustrated with a lack of clarity over when the workshop is open, who can come and access to tools. Those who have been involved for some time would like to be able to use the workshop regularly for their own projects. There are also lots of people who would like to get involved, inc. people at this meeting for whom this is their first time at the group.

People would clearly like to get more involved in all aspects of the group.

From Lucie representing the trustees- there is a desire from the trustees of BPCG to both support the Green Woodworking group and to receive support from them.

Aims of the BPCG GW group

1. Sustainability
– where the wood comes from
– reducing waste wood
– better use of all resources

2. Collaboration
– with each other
– with the local community
– with BPCG

  1. Making stuff from trees
    – developing skills
    – access to workspace
    – green woodwork and related crafts
  2. Supporting BPCG (can this be combined with aim 2?)
  3. Education (can this be combined with aim 3?)
  4. Community & enjoyment

There is consensus over these broad aims amongst the group.

Questions to answer:
– How do these fit/feed into aims of BPCG?

– Are we making stuff together for the site or for ourselves, or a bit of both?

– Can we sell work to raise funds for the group?

– How can we reduce wastage further?


Decision making and relationship to BPCG
Possible decision-making processes for the group

  • Director- an individual leader takes all responsibility and decisions for the whole (self-selected or elected).
  • Management Committee- Responsibility and decision making is delegated to a small group (self-selected or elected).
  • No hierarchy, full participatory democracy- all members shared responsibilities equally (although each may take on a different responsibility) and are fully involved in decision making processes.


Above are 3 options on a scale of delegation- involvement. There are many other options in between.


In any structure temporary working groups can be formed to come up with proposals to take to the wider group, or given responsibility to make certain decisions.


Any of the above structures could be a cooperative if the membership has voting rights on key issues.

Most options require the membership to be defined.


No one wants Option A. We are somewhere between Options B & C.

Operational issues
1. Activities

Current Activities Potential Activities
– Making stools and chairs together for the site and for ourselves

– Sourcing wood

– Courses

– Club Sundays

– Intro course, aims to bring in new people

– Sculpture

– Other groups using the space (insurance and H&S issues here if no responsible person from BPCGGW group present)

– Bowls


– Define each of the activities currently offered, inc. who it is for, how it is advertised/ accessed and capacity.

– Shared google group and calendar so there can be some activities that are only advertised to people already involved in the group.

– Can more people be insured, or get group insurance, so not reliant on Paul to open the workshop.

– Make a gallery of objects that people can make in green wood to inspire new people.

  1. H&S
Concerns Suggestions
– Need more people to be able to give advice and open the site if Paul is unavailable

– First aid training

– Organisation of space

– Tool storage


– Signage
– Other people teach Intro sessions
– Start each meeting/ session with a Health and Safety share
– Agree safe knife grips- Link to resources
– Review risk assessment

Involve regulars in reviewing risk assessment

– Set a safe capacity for the GW site/ for different activities


  1. Roles, responsibilities, tasks
    – Wellbeing
    – Teaching
    – Keyholders/ responsible people (first aid/ insurance/ agree a list of responsibilities)
    – Clear out GW area
    – Sourcing wood
    – Fundraising for tools
    – Sharpening tools
    – Inventory of tools
    – Other fundraising?
    – Finance/ budget
    – Strategy
    – Communications
    i, public

              ii, membership

 iii, with BPCG

– Partnership with BPCG
i, governance

              ii, practical

– Other partnerships?

Next steps
Ivan, Becky, Katie-Jane, Hafren, Paul unanimously elected to form a working group to come up with proposals on the following, which will be brought back to the wider group:

1, Aims

2, Structure

3, Define activities

4, More keyholders/ responsible people

5, Partnership with BPCG

Proposals and updates will be brought to another meeting on Sunday 30th September.

Interim plan
Workshop to be open on Sundays ‘club Sunday’ through the summer when Paul is available.

Robin, Ivan, Becky, Katie-Jane and Oz offered to assist Paul in the day-to-day responsibilities on those Sundays. Paul will arrange dates for each of them to assist.

Next meeting
Sunday 30th September.

Closing thoughts from the group- what everyone is looking forward to
Creative, enjoyment, relaxed, communal, can I turn up? Chill out, new faces, understanding, work with BPCG, learning, team work, making things out of trees! Release Paul, discussion, output, get together, new people.