Another British Horse Society c**k-up

JanetGeorge

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I don't understand that at all. Surely the group is to discuss the improvements that people would like in a non censored and accessible way. Sacking volunteers? Wow. Did you get that from the people concerned?

I also don't understand why they would not answer the questions. If it were my company I would prefer to be in the group to see what people were saying. But then, I would have a more open official forum on FB anyway. Not to allow nastiness but nothing wrong with exchanging views on what works or does not work.
I most certainly did, Red-1. And the people even included elected officers of local and regional committees! I think it was Edmund Burke who said: "The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing." And in just 2 weeks, nearly 800 BHS Members have joined the FB Group.


I also think BHS COULD learn something important from Bill Gates.

Bill Gates.jpg
 

Red-1

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I think there is a difference between being sacked because you joined a certain group and sacked because you have said something that means your position is untenable.

For example, if someone said the CEO "is corrupt" or similar, then this is personal and different than if someone said "I don't like what the CEO is doing."

Being sacked because you simply joined a group is something akin to the people who started the war.

Being sacked because you publicly disagree with how someone does something is wrong, but understandable (if not justifiable).

Being sacked because you publicly accuse someone of being corrupt, I get that. That is personal, not critiquing their policies, just them personally.

I do think that the BHS has to change. I don't like the way it has been run, I have been victim to their policies costing me money unnecessarily. I don't like the "Old Boys" or girls way of running things.

But, I think to be heard with clarity, people would be wise to speak out carefully. Not saying that you or other individuals who have been in the centre of this have not, but there is an element of crowd getting feverish and details getting muddied in all the excitement. In that way the real arguments can be lost.
 

honetpot

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I think most of us have tried to keep things factual. Its trying to get to the facts that is the hard part.
I have not posted the contents on things I have found on the on internet on here or the contents of emails I have received because like most of us I think of the BHS and part of my family and I want them to make the right choices, and we are trying to do it in a positive way. Choices that do not cause people distress, that continue the work that many people, with little money have carried out over many years and support new volunteers to continue that work in a supportive environment.
If the BHS is a family, lets hope it doesn't end up in divorce.
 

JanetGeorge

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This thread has been running for a long time - and had a lot of views. And it was via this thread, that many members became concerned about the 'secret' meeting to change the BHS Constitution (5th January) and the had those proposed changed put on hold. There is still a risk of the meeting being held - again at short notice. The only notice might be given by e-mail and the e-mails to members system seems to be less than efficient!! Please - if anyone gets an e-mail about a new meeting - and if you share our concerns - please post it here or on the FB Group set up after the Meeting. https://www.facebook.com/groups/membersBHS/members/ That Group now has very close to 900 members - in just 3 weeks.
 

PAK

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Oh dear, I like to hear anyones point of view, if we do not exchange ideas we can not understand.

Its just a shame you use words , 'angry' and 'personal axe to grind' , 'sour grapes', I have non of these. I just want to know that the money that I have essentially donated to the BHS over the last 30 years is being spent wisely and so far I have no evidence of that. In fact the more evidence I find the chances are its been wasted. Until someone can show me in the accounts that is not so I will kept asking questions. The BHS Trustee and Management team do not want to answer those questions.
Absolutely agree!
 

PAK

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I received a message from Eve Equine - We asked for a response by today from the BHS Board. Sadly we have not received a reply to our letter and members’ concerns that you contributed to and supported. We now ask for your suggestions about next steps. Please comment here.
 

JanetGeorge

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One suggestion I have made on our FB Group is that as many members as possible ring the Membership Department tomorrow and IF you get through, ask if anyone can give you a good reason why you shouldn't stop your membership after x-years? If there is an attempt to give you a reason, then ask another question (like: 'but what about - X - Y _ Z. ) When you get bored, say: 'Mmm, I must give this a bit more thought. I will ring you on Monday morning if I decide I DO want to leave." Perhaps that will concentrate the minds of the Board that the members ARE important. After all, if just 200 members left, that would be a fat dent in the BHS wallet.
 

JanetGeorge

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We now have proof (from the horse's mouth) that the proposed changes to the Articles of Association had NOTHING to do with meeting Sport England's requirements regarding governance of organisations receiving funding from Sport England/UK Sport. So the primary 'excuse' for the proposed changes is untrue.
 

JanetGeorge

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Would it be worth arranging a meeting face to face with someone high up in the Charity Commissions so that these problems can be talked through.
It certainly would be, onemoretime. Problem is, the CC are currently 'looking in to it' and if/when they want a meeting, there will be one. But they make the rules re if, who, when and where.
 

honetpot

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The Charity Commission England have quite narrow guidelines in how they will become involveed, and investigate chairities. In most cases you have to prove you have tried to reslove the problem with the charity inless you thinks some serious offfence has taken place.
The BHS accounts are so basic, they keep telling us the have a turnover of £11m, but have managed to make a loss, despite an increase in membership, which is their main source of income. One does wonder what they have to hide?

They have incresed their staffing, again, which is a huge cost, but seem to want to discourage volenteers, which apart from training for free. Some volenteers who have been working for the charity for many years have left because they are so disheartened.

Members are shareholders they seem to forget this and they need to know why this, amoungest other things , why this is happaning. So I suggest that anyone that is a member write to the Trust Board and ask questions.
The email adress is, trustee.contact@bhs.org.uk
Please do not the Trust Board think that no one cares.

They seem to think that we are a small number of people with an axe to grind. I certainly am not. I am someone who wants to know, in detail, how the money is spent, why is more not being spent on welfare and access, and why their very basic accounts are showing a loss? And how are they going to stop spending they haven't got.
I do not think a converted horsebox, I think its supposed to be for education, who knows, which has no disclosed budget, that has no loo, and very poor disabled access, is money well spent. Oh and lets not mention the folly of the puppet, as one welfare officer said, 'it looks like it has laminitis' and is so poorly that it has been on 'box rest', for most of its short life.

We have a Facebook group where concerned members and past members can look at the documents, and just generally inform thermselves about the issues.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/membersBHS/
 
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Members Options

To date, 900+ members, supporters and volunteers have voiced concerns, questions and opinions via social media and face to face. These concerns were presented in 150+ questions and made known to the BHS via a letter with an accompanying list of questions.



We have now received a response from the Board offering to meet with some members; this was an option we had offered in the covering letter, to take voting members who can listen to the board, help explain the concerns raised and feed back to all members.



The communication came from ‘Eve Equine’. A small group of us collated the information and sent it in Eve’s name as a voice for members. This information was shared with members before we sent it to the Board, Chairman and The Charity Commission.



Many of you have asked what next and suggested the following options were open to us: -



Option one - Accept the meeting - As some of you may be aware, events have led us to have concern about personal reprisals to the individuals attending and we will seek assurances on this front before progressing.

Therefore, we need you, the members, to trust the Eve Equine team to select a group to attend the meeting and we ask for your continued trust to act in the best interests of all members, as we have done to date. We in no way class ourselves as leaders; but rather the voice of members and stakeholders. We have aimed to ensure professional, informed, passionate, caring and unbiased facilitated communication. We will put together a group of people balancing the following criteria:
  • Geographic spread across UK
  • Expertise on financial matters
  • Expert knowledge of Articles of Association, as well as the AOA of other charities
  • Experienced equestrian within the sector
  • Ex-employee & Volunteer
  • Welfare, Access, Education and Safety
We will report back on the content of the meeting and seek input before continuing.


Alternative options that were considered:



Option two - Decline the meeting and petition for EGM. This carries the risk that we do not achieve the majority of “yes” votes required, resulting in no change.


Option three - Wait for the Board to announce plans to reconvene the general meeting adjourned on 5th January with a currently unknown approach to the ‘constitutional’ changes. They may not even schedule a further meeting. Again there is a risk of no change.



Option four - Wait and hope for an investigation by The Charity Commission. Timeline unknown, risk of no change.


Option five - Wait for June/July when 3 Trustee terms end. Ensure the selection of member-oriented candidates by some form of a “use your vote wisely” campaign. “Eve Equine” and members will have no control or influence over the candidates to go forward to the vote/co-option by the BHS Nominations Committee. Likely outcome would be a risk of no change.



The Eve Equine team felt it was important to follow a reasonable way forward and accept the offer to meet as was requested in the original letter sent to the BHS. Please continue to trust us to do the best we possibly can for you.



Note

About Eve Equine Profile – this open public profile was created to ensure that members and interested parties that don’t meet the admission criteria for the BHS Members’ page were engaged and had equal access and input to this process. The Eve Equine team is working independently of the admin of the BHS Members’ page, to ensure there is no bias and that all information is shared for the page admin to share.
 

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JanetGeorge

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Please be aware, Eve Equine is a puppet - who was used initially by the Members' Group to communicate with BHS. Her puppet master has apparently decided she knows best and Eve Equine is NOT now the public 'face' of the Group and is acting without considering the possible consequences of 'splitting' the Group and not getting the Group's agreement to 'her' actions. We are trying to get this mess sorted.
 

Surbie

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The Eve Equine thing IS weird. Apparently a team but no clue who they are, yet they are asking people to trust them to lead a conversation begun by the members group. Personally I don't place my trust in those who aren't up front about who they are.

They have taken all the cumulative work put together on the members group, which is a closed group and whacked it up on a public profile. And they feel free to speak to the BHS on behalf of the members group without consulting them. It's just not right.
 

Red-1

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I did not like the idea of a closed group in the first place, it is in no way private as anyone can answer the 'entry' questions in any way, with no way to check. You have people joining who you don't know.

I bet the CEO has had a friend join (as I presume the CEO would not have been allowed to join?) and has answered the questions to your satisfaction (if I were CEO I would think it was my duty to know what was going on!).

So, whatever is being said is not private, so why have the group as closed?

As for a faceless "puppet" called Eve Equine, I am surprised that the BHS responded to that at all. Surely a letter signed by a good number of people (electronic signatures fine) would be the less cloak and dagger way to go?

It is hard to tell the BHS to be accountable and up front when the people urging this action are using a closed FB group and a faceless 'puppet' to broach queries.
 
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Leo Walker

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This whole thing is a farce. My news feed is full of posts saying people are leaving and/or asking whats going on.

There is far too much cloak and dagger stuff going on, and far too many comments that seem to have a personal basis. I've not really engaged with the group as I joined and saw a load of inappropriate ranting, so backed carefully away. I'm not the only one that feels like that.

It seems like a tiny handful of people are running the show from behind the scenes and now that group has split into 2 who are bitching and fighting, although to be fair eve equine has only posted the factual stuff, its the other group thats full of bitching and speculation, but thats the nature of closed groups it would seem. Its putting people off and you are losing members hand over fist though

The only real difference being the other group is now doing things and everything seems to be open.
 

Red-1

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I think that the idea of a group on FB was a good one. But, there was no point in being secretive, TBH I would have made it open and rejoiced if the CEO or any other staff from the BHS had made use of the platform to engage with people.

It could have been a place for discussion and exchanging views, without BHS censure. The only censure it needed was for swearing, bullying, libel, anything that contravenes FB rules.

The idea of Eve Equine asking for 'friend requests' is creepy. My FB profile is private, thank you. I certainly won't be befriending a faceless entity and allowing perhaps my friends' data into the unknown too. That is what "pages" are for, is it not? So people can 'follow' as opposed to befriend? If Eve Equine has been set up as a person then can this not be reported to FB as a false ID? I believe it would soon be closed down then, as people have to use their correct names on FB, rather than a 'puppet' name.

I also found the constant whipping up of numbers was distracting and unnecessary. Also the letters or whatever they were. It became a circus of people being incited to join the circus rather than a forum to discuss how people feel.

I can see that good points too, where documents were catalogued so people could see the current rules of the BHS as it seemed that they are not easily accessible on the web site. I see it as useful to discuss and develop ideas. I see it as useful if someone needs signatures to bring about change.

I just don't know why it can't be done on a proper page, where you can choose to browse or follow to comment. No secrecy.
 

JanetGeorge

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Red-1 - you make some good points. to answer some of them - not using 'quote' as that can get confusing.(To me, at least, lol.)
The reason we went with 'private' was to ensure that only people who have a real interest and share our concerns would have easy access to any planning. And yes - we knew the risks of a 'mole'. There have been several attempts to 'dig in' by staff/friends of the CEO. Member requests were accepted or declined based on several factos other than answer to questions. A check with a staff/Board list (none of those who tried answered the questions, of course.) We filtered for 'friends in Group' and 'mutual friends'. And a bit of gut instinct too. It was interesting that very few of those who didn't answer questions had friends in the Group. SOme had some friends in Group AND mutual friends - they got a reminder about questions. After all, without the questions we would have had at LEAST 3 times more members - and at least some of them would be totally disinterested or addictive joiners of groups.

I agree you with the whipping up of numbers - that was one thing I tried to stop. The member of the Admin team who did it is now a puppetmaster for Eve Equine.
 
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Please be aware, Eve Equine is a puppet - who was used initially by the Members' Group to communicate with BHS. Her puppet master has apparently decided she knows best and Eve Equine is NOT now the public 'face' of the Group and is acting without considering the possible consequences of 'splitting' the Group and not getting the Group's agreement to 'her' actions. We are trying to get this mess sorted.
A mess indeed, how can anyone now trust your ‘group’, puppet masters, secrecy, underhand tactics, and you are trying to accuse the BHS of being secretive... oh dear, oh dear.
 
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The Eve Equine thing IS weird. Apparently a team but no clue who they are, yet they are asking people to trust them to lead a conversation begun by the members group. Personally I don't place my trust in those who aren't up front about who they are.

They have taken all the cumulative work put together on the members group, which is a closed group and whacked it up on a public profile. And they feel free to speak to the BHS on behalf of the members group without consulting them. It's just not right.
The Profile has been turned into a page that is open to all, Eve Equine is a small team, but you can clearly see 2 of us as admin, due to various reason not related to BHS issue, we need to protect the identities of the other members of the team.

I hope you and others will take the time to read Patricia statement, that she heartfelt gave today. The small Team of Eve have worked very hard over the last 2 week, using there professional skills to collate the data from many sources, as they were all coded, we know that only 20 were generate form original comments from the members page.

Hope you find the information useful on the page, which can be freely viewed without joining or befriending
Read more at https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/threads/bhs-meeting-update-signpost.771332/#z2MHqE0lUx0TyADA.99
 
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Red-1 - you make some good points. to answer some of them - not using 'quote' as that can get confusing.(To me, at least, lol.)
The reason we went with 'private' was to ensure that only people who have a real interest and share our concerns would have easy access to any planning. And yes - we knew the risks of a 'mole'. There have been several attempts to 'dig in' by staff/friends of the CEO. Member requests were accepted or declined based on several factos other than answer to questions. A check with a staff/Board list (none of those who tried answered the questions, of course.) We filtered for 'friends in Group' and 'mutual friends'. And a bit of gut instinct too. It was interesting that very few of those who didn't answer questions had friends in the Group. SOme had some friends in Group AND mutual friends - they got a reminder about questions. After all, without the questions we would have had at LEAST 3 times more members - and at least some of them would be totally disinterested or addictive joiners of groups.

I agree you with the whipping up of numbers - that was one thing I tried to stop. The member of the Admin team who did it is now a puppetmaster for Eve Equine.
I think that the idea of a group on FB was a good one. But, there was no point in being secretive, TBH I would have made it open and rejoiced if the CEO or any other staff from the BHS had made use of the platform to engage with people.

It could have been a place for discussion and exchanging views, without BHS censure. The only censure it needed was for swearing, bullying, libel, anything that contravenes FB rules.

The idea of Eve Equine asking for 'friend requests' is creepy. My FB profile is private, thank you. I certainly won't be befriending a faceless entity and allowing perhaps my friends' data into the unknown too. That is what "pages" are for, is it not? So people can 'follow' as opposed to befriend? If Eve Equine has been set up as a person then can this not be reported to FB as a false ID? I believe it would soon be closed down then, as people have to use their correct names on FB, rather than a 'puppet' name.

I also found the constant whipping up of numbers was distracting and unnecessary. Also the letters or whatever they were. It became a circus of people being incited to join the circus rather than a forum to discuss how people feel.

I can see that good points too, where documents were catalogued so people could see the current rules of the BHS as it seemed that they are not easily accessible on the web site. I see it as useful to discuss and develop ideas. I see it as useful if someone needs signatures to bring about change.

I just don't know why it can't be done on a proper page, where you can choose to browse or follow to comment. No secrecy.
The Profile has been turned into a page that is open to all, Eve Equine is a small team, but you can clearly see 2 of us as admin, due to various reason not related to BHS issue, we need to protect the identities of the other members of the team.

I hope you and others will take the time to read Patricia statement, that she heartfelt gave today. The small Team of Eve have worked very hard over the last 2 week, using there professional skills to collate the data from many sources, as they were all coded, we know that only 20 were generate form original comments from the members page.

Hope you find the information useful on the page, which can be freely viewed without joining or befriending
Read more at https://forums.horseandhound.co.uk/threads/bhs-meeting-update-signpost.771332/#z2MHqE0lUx0TyADA.99
 
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