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Memorandum of Understanding


1.        Name

1.1. The name of the Working Partnership shall be: “NATIONAL FEDERATION OF SELF-HELP PARTNERSHIPS”, herein referred to as ‘The Partnership’. 

2.                Status


2.1.         The status of the Partnership is “a not-for-profit Voluntary and Community Support Network”. Each member of the Partnership shall retain   individual legal status and governing instruments. 

2.2.         Area of Operations:  locally, regionally, nationally, and as defined by members.

3.        purpose  

3.1.         The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding is to facilitate swift and helpful cooperation and communication between members of the Partnership, helping members to focus on their strengths and weaknesses, and positioning them to benefit from existing opportunities and manage potential risks.

3.2.         The Partnership core purpose is to assist in enabling partners to achieve their mission statements.

3.3.         The aims are to help create the conditions of trust, a culture of caring and sharing, in the interest of sustainable community development that meets the needs of the local community, where partners pooled resources for better management, efficient service delivery, avoidance of unnecessary service duplications, capacity building, sharing of expertise, and, for mutual benefits, present a collective voice to central government, local authorities, funders, policy makers and others as required.

4.        Partnership Philosophy 

4.1.         The PARTNERSHIP philosophy is based on the notion of 'Active Citizenship', which says ‘self-help for Community development,’ following the line that, given clear direction, information and proper guidance, the disadvantaged are likely to gain a sense of purpose and worth, and   motivate themselves to achieve   higher standards of living for themselves,  which will also  benefit  members of the wider Community.  The Partnership is based firmly on   equal opportunity policy, which rejects broadly unfair discriminations, on the grounds of age, colour, creed, political affiliations, disability, gender, marital status, race or sexual orientation.


5.    Membership

5.1.         Membership to the Partnership is open to registered and unregistered voluntary and community groups, co-operatives, small and medium sized businesses, including sole traders. Only bona fide and active groups, including those with a written governing document or recognised mandate, are accepted to membership.

5.2.          Applicants seeking membership of the Partnership must first be nominated in writing by a partner, seconded in writing by another partner, and gained a majority vote at a Partnership Committee meeting called for the purpose.


6.        Parties to the Agreement

6.1.         First members of the Partnership are listed in Schedule One to this Memorandum of Understanding and are listed in the Membership Book of Records.

7.  Specifics

7.1.          The primary objects of the Partnership are to create a culture of caring and sharing among members, including:  

(a)       Premises, administration,  ICT facilities and costs;

(b)       expertise;

(c)       staff – paid and unpaid, through secondment or otherwise;

(d)       funding strategies;

(e)       project management;

(f)        Education and Training resources;

(g)       filing gaps in service delivery;

(h)       relevant information;

(i)         advocacy and general support; and

(j)         Other operational aspects agreed from time to time by partners.


8.  Responsibilities

8.1.          A Development Committee   shall be appointed at the start of the Agreement of each Local Self-Help Partnership.  Members of the Development Committee are elected annually by the Partnership at its Local Annual General Meeting.

8.2.          Membership of the Development Committee shall consist of not less than two and not more than nine members elected by partners.  Partners’ representatives may be inter-changeable as necessary. All business of the Development Committee and general meetings must be recorded, circulated to members and agreed. First members of local self-help partnerships are appointed by the National Self-Help Partnership Steering Committee, on application, in the absence of an elected National Co-ordinating Committee.

8.3.          The Partnership shall Elect A National Co-ordinating Committee. Until such a committee is elected, a National Steering Committee will perform the function and duties as if it was the National Co-ordinating Committee.

8.4.          Members of the National Steering Committee and officers are appointed by the first members of the Partnership, who constituted themselves as the Partnership.  The National Steering Committee shall remain in place until the First National AGM of the Partnership. Members of all the Partnership’s committees must be bona fide members of the Partnership.

8.5.          Members of the National Co-ordinating Committee shall be elected chairpersons of regional development committees.   The National Co-ordinating Committee shall be responsible for the co-ordination and development of the national activities of the Partnership. Members elected to the National Co-ordinating Committee shall serve for a term of two years and eligible to serve for a further two terms, if elected, after which twelve months must elapse before he/she is eligible for re-election.

8.6.          Members of the National Co-ordination Committee shall elect officers from among their ranks, including a National Chairperson, Two Vice Chairpersons, a National Secretary, a National Treasurer and any other officers as the Committee deemed necessary for the proper and efficient conduct of the affairs of the Committee.  Each officer shall serve for two years,   who are eligible to serve another two terms. Twelve months must elapse before he/she is eligible to seek re-election.

8.7.          The National Co-ordinating Committee shall have a minimum of three members and a maximum of thirteen. The proceeding of the National Co-ordinating Committee are subject to the provisions within this Memorandum of Understanding.

8.8.          Meeting Attendance: Having received proper written notice, a partner is deemed to have vacated its position on any of the Partnership Committees, if its representative failed to attend three consecutive meetings, without proper reason for absence. The Committee shall fill the vacancy by co-opting another partner, who will serve until the next AGM.

8.9.          Appointment of Committee Chairpersons and Term of Office

8.10.        Local Partnership Development Committees are made up of local partnership members, and shall meet at least once monthly. The Chairperson of the Partnership Development committee is elected by members at a meeting called for that purpose, by a majority vote.

8.11.        After serving for two years, the Chairperson shall vacate the office. He or she is eligible to serve for another three terms, after which at least one year must elapse before he/she seeks re-election. 

8.12.        In the event of any of the Partnership committees delayed the appointment of a new chairperson and any of the committee officers, for good reason, and in the interest of continuity, the outgoing officers shall act in their capacity until the offices are properly filled.

8.13.        If the offices are not filled within three months, two thirds of registered members of the national, regional or local Partnership, whichever is appropriate, by signing a petition to the effect, shall call an emergency general meeting and appoint new officers.

8.14.        Regional Development Committees are made up of chairpersons of local development committees. A Regional Development Committee shall appoint from among their members a Chairperson and Two Vice-Chairpersons, and other officers as required for the efficient workings of the committee and shall meet at least every six weeks. Members of regional Development Committees shall be not less than three and not more than seven. The role of regional development committees is to support local partnerships in their relevant regions. Chairpersons of regional development committees are members of the National Co-ordinating Committee or The National Steering Committee, in the absence of a National Co-ordinating Committee.

8.15.        The National Co-ordinating Committee is made up of elected regional committee chairpersons, and shall meet at least once every eight weeks.

8.16.        AGM: Local partnership shall convene an Annual General Meeting (AGM) every twelve months. Regional Development Committees shall convene an AGM of regional members every fourteen months and the National Co-ordinating Committee shall convene an AGM of the Partnership entire members, every sixteen months. The business at AGM is to review the workings of the Partnership. The appropriate committee shall set the date and agenda of the AGMs, and appoint Chairpersons for the duration of the AGM.

8.17.        Quorum: The quorum of the Partnership committees, sub-committees, and working committees, is one third of the elected or appointed members of any committee. Where a committee or sub-committee has less than three elected/appointed members, the quorum shall be two. The quorum of the Partnership in general or annual general meetings is 50% of registered members. Where a Partnership has less than three registered members, the quorum shall be two.

8.18.        The Chairperson shall call meetings of the committees and shall have a casting vote at meetings.  

8.19.        In the absence of the Chairperson, a written request from any member of the Committee,       stating the reason, for the convening of the committee meeting, is enough to convene the Committee meeting.

8.20.        Only officially accredited representatives, listed in the Partnership Membership Book of Records, are authorised to participate in discussions of Partnership business.

8.21.        Members Attendance at General Meetings: Having received proper written notice, a partner who failed to attend two consecutive Partnership general meetings, without proper reason for absence, the partner’s membership is deemed to have been lapsed for the time being. New application for membership must be made to the appropriate local development committee.

9.    Terms of the Partnership

9.1.          The term of this Memorandum of Understanding is for a period of sixty  months from the effective date of this agreement and may be extended upon written mutual agreement annually thereafter, by a show of hands at  Partnership annual general meetings.

9.2.          The Partnership shall be reviewed by the National Co-ordinating Committee annually to ensure that the Partnership, locally, regionally and nationally, is fulfilling agreed purposes and to make any necessary revision, for the efficient working of the same.

9.3.          Any member of the Agreement may withdraw from this Memorandum of Understanding upon thirty (30) days written notice, stating reasons for the withdrawal request and ensuring that all previous commitments to the Partnership are honoured.

10.  central Management, Administrative and Support Services (CMASS)

10.1. If resources are available, the Partnership shall appoint from among its members, an Agent to provide Central Management, Administrative and Support Services (CMASS) to the Partnership in general, in accordance with an agreed Service Level Agreement between the Partnership and the Agent. CMASS shall delegate, where appropriate, responsibilities to Regional Management, Administrative and Support Services (RMASS) and Local Management, Administrative and Support Services (LMASS), for the efficient fulfilment of its tasks.  The Agent must be a regally constituted body.

10.2. The role of the Agent shall be to:

(a)   Support the Partnership, in organising meetings, taking minutes, distributing information to members, preparing reports, obtaining relevant insurances, and in the development and delivery of the Partnership Memorandum of Understanding objectives;

(b)   Support Local Development, Regional, Steering and National Co-ordinating,  Committees, in focusing on agreed direction and development of the Partnership;

(c)   Work with relevant committees in submitting funding applications on behalf of individual members and the Partnership in general, as required;

(d)   Hold in trust any funds specifically voted for the work of the Partnership in general, to be held in a separate bank account carrying the name of the relevant Partnership;

(e)   Assist with book keeping and recommend auditors as required by the Partnership;

(f)    Assist in the appointment and supervision of staff – paid and unpaid, including students and trainees, seconded to the Partnership;

(g)   Assist with monitoring and evaluation of members’ activities and provide written reports to that effect, as required;

(h)   Assist with promotion and marketing of the work of individual members and the Partnership in general; and

(i)    Assist in other ways as requested by the Partnership.

11.  Partnership Bank Accounts and Signatories

11.1. The Partnership shall appoint bankers, when necessary. To withdraw funds from the Partnership bank account(s), there must be two of any three signatures approved by the appropriate Partnership Committee, on a resolution of that Committee. Each signatory must be a member of the relevant Partnership Committee. 


12.      resolution of Disputes

12.1.        Any dispute between partners shall be settled by an independent arbitration panel of three individuals agreed by the disputing parties. The decision of the panel is final and binding on all the parties concerned.

13.      Dismissal

13.1.        A partner, who brings the Partnership into disrepute and/or failed to contribute to the progress of the Partnership, may be asked to resign from membership. Proposal to dismiss a member must be voted upon and approved by two third members of the relevant partnership committee. Before that decision is taken,   all allegations against a partner, must be presented in writing and properly discussed by partners, first at the relevant committee level and at an extra ordinary general meeting, called for the purpose, in the presence of the accused fully participating in discussions.

14.  Partnership Logo

      14.1       The Partnership shall have one universal logo. Each partner is entitled and expected to display the   Partnerships Logo on member’s stationery and approved publicity literature. Organisations resigned or removed from the Partnership List of Members are not entitled to display the Partnership Logo.

15.      Amendments

15.1.        This Memorandum of Understanding may be amended with the written agreement of two third members of the Partnership.  Any request for an amendment must be in writing and served on the partners twenty one days before the date at which the amendment requests will be discussed by members.  The National Co-ordinating Committee, in its absence, the National Steering Committee, shall consider the request for the amendment(s) and make recommendations accordingly to the Partnerships National General Meeting called for the purpose.

16.  Dissolution

15.1. In the event of the dissolution of the Partnership, any money and properties remaining after the satisfaction of outstanding debts and liabilities shall be distributed among active members which are registered charities with objects to support members of the community.




This is to certify that this is a true copy of the Memorandum of Understanding of the National Federation of Self-Help Partnerships, as agreed by First Members of the Partnership on 16 July 2008. First members were mindful of building on the successful legacy of the National Federation of Self-Help Organisations established in 1975.


 Dr. Vince Hines, MA, DSC(Soc), Chairperson of the Partnership National Steering Committee.

Name of Membership Organisation: The Vince Hines Foundation, Charity Registration No.269681, Established 1975.


Schedule One

national federation of Self-Help Partnerships Memorandum of Understanding

  Parties to the Agreement are listed in the Membership Book of Records