Promotion of Volunteering Bill

Promotion of Volunteering Bill in Parliament

Hi every body... I've forwarded this from another list because this truly does effect anyone arranging or taking part in public events and it needs our support.

Please feel free to send it to your friends

Subject: Promotion of Volunteering Bill

I know most of us are opposed to the idea of being sued.

There's a bill going to The House in the near future to suggest that people running events for free (like us) should be able to rely on those they run events for to act sensibly and take responsibility for their own exposure to risk. The Bill looks to bring back the idea of informed consent which has, over recent years, been eroded in law. I hate the legal position I might be in when I run events - so assumed some of the rest of you might as well. Especially if you are an organiser or even a steward or site safety officer.

Here are the details as best I know them:

The Bill is receiving its third reading on Friday 16th July so we have some time to reach as many MP's as we can.

The excerpt below is from Early Day Motion 1125 in support of the Promotion of Volunteering Bill. What you need to do is write to your MP expressing your support if you agree with the sentiment.

"EDM 1125 Promotion of Volunteering Bill... That this House welcomes the Promotion of Volunteering Bill to protect volunteers from unreasonable litigation, particularly in the areas of sport and adventure training; welcomes the concept of statement of inherent risk as a means to reintroduce the idea of informed consent and to acknowledge that accidents can happen without contributory negligence; deplores the increasing cost of liability insurance which threatens the viability of many sporting clubs and societies..."

Despite receiving support from all corners of the House, Government has felt unable to support the Bill, which will have its third reading on Friday 16th July. It is unlikely to become law in its present state but, given enough support, it is hoped Government will take note that such legislation would be welcome and in time, will introduce its own version of the Bill.

You can find a list of MPs with mailing, as well as e-mail addresses at:

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If you wish to download the full text of the Bill, access:

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When writing to your MP, please keep your message short and to the point - if it goes over three paragraphs or onto a second page, it's too long! A few lines expressing your support for the Bill and the consequences of excessive litigation will suffice.

Alternatively, use the text below.

"Dear (MP)

I write to express my support for the Promotion of Volunteering Bill, introduced by Mr Julian Brazier MP.

As a volunteer exhibitor at public events, I have benefited from the knowledge and support of other volunteers who organise and run the events I attend. It is a reflection of our increasingly litigious society that we are now facing the risk of having to insure against a claim for damages, suffered as the consequence of a bona fide accident whilst practising a hobby which carries inherent risks.

Combined with the spiralling cost of insurance, and the confusing legal accountability of hobby volunteers, this threatens to impose limitations to my activities and may even cause the decline of a hobby I currently enjoy.

I for one would welcome a common sense Bill that reduces the risk of unreasonable litigation and recognises that accidents do happen.

Yours sincerely


ps;The Bill is currently being pushed forward by sports clubs - but we'd benefit just as much. It is, after all, only a matter of time before someone, somewhere, sets the precedent of successfully suing over an organisers "negligence".


Kim Siddorn,

Reply to
J K Siddorn
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it's hard to believe that the political beurocrats that created this type of society are actually contemplating passing some common sense laws for a change.......


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This bill is obviously aimed at protecting the organisers of adventure activities rather than our shows. However, as Kim says, it could benefit us as well. Having read the proposed bill, it does require the preparation of a "statement of inherent risk". Basically this says that XXX activity is inherently risky. It must also give the qualifications held and training completed by the person who will be involved in providing the activity. It must say that people must do as the organiser tells them. The person then accepts a share of the risk. Here's the crunch. They are required to sign that they agree to the risk. That's everyone who enters the show in our case. More paperwork I'm afraid. If it reduces the chance of being sued though, it's probably worth it.


Reply to
John Manders

Very timely! Thanks for bringing this to our attention, shame its too late to get something into SEM. Do you imagine that the idea of informed consent would extend to event visitors as well as participants providing appropriate information on risk is prominently displayed around the site and/or printed on the back of tickets (as it is at motor racing circuits)?

The unfortunate part is - "It is unlikely to become law in its present state but, given enough support, it is hoped Government will take note that such legislation would be welcome and in time, will introduce its own version of the Bill" Parliamentary time is always short and one wonders how many useful bills get shelved as available time is soaked up debating esoteric stuff which really has very little impact on the man in the street.

I shall write to my MP and hope that good sense prevails.

BTW no one has answered the question posed in the previous thread on this subject as to how the USA gets away with so little control?

Reply to
Nick H

Naturally, this came up the pipe from my Other Hobby, but as Nick said it's very timely. I've passed it on to GW more or less as it was seen here.

I suspect that the litigious atmosphere in the US makes organisers more aware of the risks they take and that they take precautions against such risks on a less easy going manner than one might in the UK.

When one applies to exhibit at a rally etc, you have to send off for a form to complete, sign and return with an SAE. This is a definite, positive step and it would be a simple matter to add a rider indicating that, by signing to accept the booking, one also accepts the risk. There'd need to be a similar thing for less formal club crank ups, but that could be included as part of the annual renewal form.


Kim Siddorn, Daily updated anti-virus software was used in the generation of this e-mail and any attachments, but it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that their incoming mail is virus free.

Reply to
J K Siddorn

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-- MatSav

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