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I'm in deep doo-doo and can't stop crying

(25 Posts)
Ripeberry Fri 14-Mar-08 14:09:43

Last October our Grants Co-ordinator moved away so we had to have a new one and no new parents even came to our AGM so basically i was bullied into doing it.
Now i'm being blamed for the grant NOT being paid as some forms were not filled in.
The previous person just gave me a file (that was in a right mess) and told me to read it to get the gist of it.
Thought i had done it all right and even got it off in time and put it recorded delivery (remember i'm just a parent volunteer).
Anyway, today the playleader says she had not been paid her wages and the treasurer has had to pay her out of her own money because of ME!
WTF! we had a committee meeting only 2 days ago and no-one said a word to me about any of these problems and now they want me to sort if out.
Just want to know, is it possible to resign from a committee because you just can't cope with the task they have given you?
My mum is very ill at the moment and i don't need this stress on top of everything else.
I've been crying all afternoon about this and can't even get in touch with the treasuer.
She has the copies of the forms i completed. If she's lost those i'm up shit creek as i may have to pay out £5000!! out of my own money.
I just want to run away and take my DD2 out of the playschool and tell them to stuff it.
I've really had enough of it.
Let this be a lesson to you all ####NEVER, EVER VOLUNTEER AT AN AGM#### ITS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH!

posieflump Fri 14-Mar-08 14:11:47

I would ring Ofsted
None of that sounds right

Ripeberry Fri 14-Mar-08 14:12:46

AB, i don't even have £1000 in savings and they would have to sue me! I mean if you are grant co-ordinator, are you legally liable for any probs.
Because if you are, then i'll take them to court for not even giving me a contract spelling out my rights and responsabiliies.

MoreSpamThanGlam Fri 14-Mar-08 14:12:53

Oh you poor thing.

I was on the PTA type thingy at our school (but it was a fundraising commitee) and the egos were atrocious. The stress was just not worth it. I worked really hard and made a lot of money for the school but in the end they all bitched about tiny things.

F*ck em.

chin up girl - tell them you quit.

Ripeberry Fri 14-Mar-08 14:15:40

That's the thing, if i quit then the playschool HAS to close as no other person wants to take this on and i'll forever be public enemy #1 around the village.

brimfull Fri 14-Mar-08 14:20:23

phone up hte PLA ,they may have some suggestions.
I would be surprised if you're liable for the money
Is their a chairperson of the committee?

Btw I was chair of pre-school I know how crap it is.

TotalChaos Fri 14-Mar-08 14:21:52

oh dear what a shitty position for you to be in. I think best for you to phone up council or whoever pays out funding to try and find out wtf has happened, and if they think they have paid out or not, and if not why not.

Miggsie Fri 14-Mar-08 14:23:07

There is no way you could be liable out of your own money. You are a volunteer.
They are trying to bully you.
The paid officials will be liable if anything.


If you feel you still want to do something ring the local council who hands out the grants, they will have an early years finance officer who distribute this kind of money.
Explain the issues to them.
You will probably be able to fill the forms in and get the money paid in retrospect.
Legally you can claim back 6 years of grants so it CAN be sorted out.
But I would quit and get the treasurer to deal with it.
She sounds incompetent to me.
If this finance gap was not mentioned at the AGM then they are just picking on you IMO, she should have reported this as a serious cashflow crisis...she is at fault not you.
Who audited the accounts?
They sound a real shower that you are better off without.

TheAntiFlounce Fri 14-Mar-08 14:25:02

You will not have to pay, that's insane. tell them to shove it up their arse!

alardi Fri 14-Mar-08 14:26:17

The whole of the committee is liable for the money dues, the treasurer and anyone else re-elected to committee at the last AGM is in as deep doodoo as you fear you are, AB!

Moreever the staff and any other creditors can't sue you for the money unless they can prove active willful negligence (very difficult to prove). In reality you're not as endangered as you thought (trust me, I had a long chat with Charity Commission about all this, once).

Ring the LEA to see if you can still put in a claim, throw yourself on their mercy and talk up what a nightmare it would be for parents if your preschool suddenly closes due to this admin oversight. Do you still have the receipt for the recorded delivery?

I have done lots of preschool committee jobs, too, agree it is a nightmare! Don't get me started how much...

brimfull Fri 14-Mar-08 14:26:25

If it's anything like the preschool commmittee I was on there is NO paid officials.It was entirely run by parent volunteers.Completely crazy but true.
Where is the treasurer and chair in all this.
Do't panic you will not have to pay anything.
Great reason to throw the towel in and walk away..the way they've treated you.

OrmIrian Fri 14-Mar-08 14:27:13

Poor ripeberry. What a horrible situation.

I really don't see how you would be liable. I think that someone's is offloading their responsibility on to you.

alardi Fri 14-Mar-08 14:28:42

Sorry, not sure where I got 'AB' from, meant RB.

Ripeberry Fri 14-Mar-08 14:28:58

Thank you Miggse, i did think it strange on Monday when we had our meeting, that our Treasurer was faffing around when she gave out the February accounts and it seemed quite low, but not a single memtion about any problems.
They were just moaning about parents who had not paid for months (but that's another thing).
I'm SO GLAD to have Mumsnet to turn to for advise, i can't even speak to my Mum anymore (she had severe Dementia) and i'm feeling alone.
My poor girls downstairs have even had to do their own lunch (bless them) cos i'm a wreck.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 14-Mar-08 14:30:06

Is it the NEF money Ripeberry?

alardi Fri 14-Mar-08 14:30:16

All community run (charity) preschools should be taken over and administered by LEA. End of story.

VanillaPumpkin Fri 14-Mar-08 14:31:45

As a committee member / trustee you do have legal obligations BUT you should not be held liable for this. What crap. Even if this were the case it would be the whole committee not just you. Our preschool manager deals with this sort of thing not the parent volunteer trustees.
Don't panic. The group should have insurance and a contingency fund too and there must be some sort of way of claiming this money.
Sorry you have this stress, it is not fair at all sad.
Without volunteers like you these groups would not run and then the gvt would be in the shit for promising all these nursery places.
You should be able to get help from the PLA or your council. Our council are great and we have a Child Services employee we can contact directly. Do you have anything similar?

Ripeberry Fri 14-Mar-08 14:37:28

The only "paid" member on the committee is the Treasurer, everyone else is a parent and the Chair is the husband of the Playleader (no-one wanted his role either).
I've sent and e-mail to the Treasurer and i'll get her to meet me at home, she used to do this grant co-ordianating and at the EGM, she just looked so pleased to be rid, but maybe i just can't do it, but i tell you next time she better help me out, cos otherwise i will quit and i'll have to find another pre-school.
I think it's on its last legs anyway as it's been the same people on the committee now for 4yrs and it's getting back-stabby!
Thank you again for all your advise, i'm feeling a bit better.
And i felt all happy this morning too!

Califrau Fri 14-Mar-08 14:38:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

alardi Fri 14-Mar-08 14:45:06

I don't understand how treasurer can be paid, she is either paid and not on the committee or on the committe and unpaid -- committee members are volunteer trustees, so by definition they can't be paid.

The committee officers (treasurer, Chair, secretary) are more liable than everyone else. Oh, and whoever was named on the last return to Charity Commission is technically who is liable... see how messy it gets if anybody wants to sue for monies owed? It sounds like a lot of people are more liable than Ripeberry can possibly be.

Our constition didn't allow anyone to stay on the committee longer than 3 years, either, I thought that was pretty standard.

VanillaPumpkin Fri 14-Mar-08 14:45:11

God this makes me sooooo angry. These nurseries should not be the responsibility of people like us. I am (like you I suspect) a keen parent who wanted to help. Some of the situations I have been in and had to deal with I wouldn't have wanted in a paid job. There is little training and little thanks, and then you get landed with this. Our chair tried to resign and no-one would step up, so she has had to stay hmm. What a ridiculous set up the whole system is. The thing is she has been there 8 years and seriously done her time and legally has to go by 10 years so then what????
I agree with who said the LEA should take on the responsibility. Our council seriously have loads of help and assistance available (they even sent me and another lady on a committee roles course which was very interesting. Please call your council and see if they have any advice and call the PLA too. It is so wrong and I am so angry on your behalf.
I am hanging on until we move (dh is forces) and I will not be volunteering for any nursery or toddler group committees ever again.

alardi Fri 14-Mar-08 14:45:44

(pretty standard if using PLA model constitution, anyway).

VanillaPumpkin Fri 14-Mar-08 14:47:00

hmm Our pla model said 10 years max......

Ripeberry Fri 14-Mar-08 15:04:04

Its all a bit comlicated on our committee, the treasurer at the moment is NOT on the committee and is paid.
Another parent is named as Treasurer and IS on the committee (with me so far?), but somehow she is not liable as our paid Treasurer is the one named with the Charity Commision.
The Chair (man) can't leave as othewise his wife and daughter will have no job, it gets better, our Secretary finds it difficult to get to meetings due to her work (police officer) and so sometimes i do the minutes as well.
Just had some good news on the e-mail from the Treasurer, It was one of the forms that did not have ONE child's name on it.
We weren't even sure if he was coming to the pre-school or not, she is sorting out the money that she had to pay out for wages and it looks like the grant is being paid.
All of this just because of one poxy name!
I've asked her to sit with me next time to make sure i'm doing it totally right, as this grant co-ordinating is very time consuming as confusing!
I'm going to have a nice bottle of wine tonight! have one on me!

Orinoco Sun 23-Mar-08 21:27:25

Message withdrawn

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