WAY Widowed and Young (referred to as WAY hereinafter) exists as a mutual self-help group, supporting one another through bereavement at a young age. Each member’s grief is unique to them and all members will be at different stages of grief with their own way of coping. Since WAY was founded, members have shown an amazing capacity to help each other though peer to peer support by sharing their own understanding of grief and pain.
1. Joining WAY
1.1. Membership Eligibility
Membership is open to UK residents, who have been widowed under the age of 51 years at time of death of their husband or wife or partner of either sex and/or any sexual orientation.
1.2.Membership Application and Fee
1.3. Membership Benefits
One of the things WAY’s members appreciate most is being able to talk to others who have been through a similar situation. As WAY relies onmutual self-helpand the goodwill of members to organise events, there is variation in activities dependent upon locations within the UK.
Membership benefits are kept up to date on the website and typically include;
- A secure, members' only website with forum and chatroom, the ability to contact other members nearby and all over the country, and an events calendar.
- Access to a free, confidential 24/7 telephone helpline, offering counselling support, personal legal advice and financial information, as well as health advice across a range of medical and wellbeing issues.
- A member exclusive newsletter and monthly e-newsletter.
- Social activities in regions across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for adults, children and families.
- Weekend trips and holidays across the UK and abroad.
- An AGM held in different parts of the country each year.
- Information about other organisations and counselling groups.
Please note that additional costs may apply to take part in activities and events.
2. Members Code of Conduct
Members generally get on well and form valuable friendships. WAY assumes that most people are well-intended, and we are not inclined to tell people what to do. However, we want every WAY encounter, whether in person or online, to be a safe and caring environment for everyone. To that end, this code of conduct spells out the behaviour we support and don’t support. The core of our approach is this: we don’t condone harassment or offensive behaviour.
WAY trustees would like to voice their strong, unequivocal support of appropriate behaviour by all WAY members. We invite you to help us make WAY a place that is welcoming and respectful to everyone, and we will not tolerate harassment of members in any form, in person or online.
The Code of Conduct outlines simple, common courtesies that we ask members to show each other in order to ensure that WAY continues to provide an inclusive, safe and supportive environment for all members, whether they meet in person or online.
2.1.Be supportive and respectful of each other
WAY is a mutual, self-support group and members are expected to be understanding of each other’s needs and to recognise that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. In order to maintain a supportive environment, members are expected to behave appropriately and to refrain from abusive, aggressive or threatening behaviour, or from harassing or bullying other members in any way. This is the case in whatever way you are brought together, either online, at local meetings, at national events or on holidays.
WAY is about helping each other by sharing experiences and discussing problems. Speak personally and say what you feel but remember that others might use a different approach or deal with things at a different pace. Respect each member’s right to deal with their grief however they wish. This respect should extend to cultural, religious, educational and social differences.
Remember that a newly bereaved member’s outlook, thoughts and ideas will be very different from those of one who has been bereaved for several years. Try to be sensitive to newly bereaved members during group meetings and use your experiences to encourage and support them. Equally, it should not be assumed that any member bereaved for some time is no longer grieving or struggling with facing new difficulties that life brings.
2.3.Privacy and Confidentiality
The safety and security of our members, and their information, is very important to us. It is imperative for membersto respect confidentiality, and not to talk to anyone about what you hear in group meetings, or to misuse confidential information in any other way.
If a member has given you their personal information, youmust notshare this with others without their consent. Please bear this in mind when passing on information in different formats. For example, if emailing a lot of members at once, use the BCC function to hide the addresses from others.
Please be mindful of tagging other members on social media in posts and in pictures, we recommend that you have their consent prior to doing so.
2.4.Personal safety and security
Thankfully there are very few problems within our group. However, it is important that members remain aware of their own safety and security.
- Please keep your account details private and do not give your login details to anyone else, members are responsible for keeping their passwords confidential.
- Take care when travelling to/from meets.
- Take care as to what you write online.
- Do not respond to messages or emails which cause offence and bear in mind that widowhood strikes all members of society – not just the good or kind ones.
- Only share your personal information if you are happy to do so.
Communication that members participate in outside of WAY is the responsibility of those individuals, and not that of WAY. This includes, but is not limited to; SMS, Phone calls, video calls, and private messaging via social media or other App’s.
Please be mindful of sharing the details of holidays or weekends away on Social Media, especially if you ‘Tag’ other people in your post, as this could alert someone to the fact that the others are away.
With regards to your personal security, please ensure that you keep all of your belongings safe when attending events, and if going to an event alone at night take extra care when getting home, or better still, go with another WAY member you know and trust where possible.
If you do decide to meet someone in person, make sure you meet them in a busy, public place and that someone knows where you are, any details concerning the person you are meeting and how long you will be with them.
Any meet ups organised and attended is/are the individual’s responsibility and not the responsibility of WAY.
Members are asked to be respectful when online. Virtual conversation does not lessen the need for consideration of what is being written. Users should show respect for others at all times and should not post anything aggressive, deliberately inflammatory or derogatory, either in posts or as a reply to another member’s post, in chat rooms or in private messages.
Be aware of the content in online posts, comments, messages or email. It may be useful to re-read before pressing ‘send’ as the written word may be misconstrued. However, please also be aware that if a member is struggling to cope, they may not have the presence of mind to proof read their message before posting it. Perhaps re-read their comment first to ensure you understand their point of view before replying with haste – unfortunately, many an argument has begun this way after a simple cry for help.
Users of WAY online must not post material that:
- Is or is likely to be, discriminatory, hateful, false, inaccurate, threatening, defamatory, abusive, obscene, indecent, seditious, offensive, pornographic, harassing, profane, sexually oriented, invasive of a person’s privacy, liable to incite racial hatred, menacing, scandalous, inflammatory, blasphemous, in breach of confidence, or which may cause annoyance or inconvenience or otherwise be a breach of the law.
- Is copyrighted material unless the copyright is owned by the user or unless the user has all necessary licences and/or approvals.
- Is considered unlawful, misleading or maliciousand would constitute or encourage conduct that would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, or otherwise be contrary to the law of or infringe the rights of any third party, in the UK or any other country in the world.
- Constitutes an advertisement, chain letters, pyramid schemes or any other form of solicitation.
- Would be technically harmful (including, without limitation hacking, the introduction of computer viruses, logic bombs, Trojan horses, worms, harmful components, corrupted data or other malicious software or harmful data).
- Constitutes market research; this includes questionnaires, surveys and consultation. This may invade privacy rights of fellow members and takes away from the peer support focus of our site.
- Compromises another person’s privacy, confidentiality, safety or security.
Views expressed in WAY online forums and chat rooms are purely the views of the members and as such don't constitute professional recommendations or advice or the opinions of WAY- Widowed and Young.
WAY does not have access to private messages within the website. We ask if you receive a private message that you feel breached the Code of conduct, not to respond, but to report the matter immediately to WAY.
Whilst we are not obliged to do so, we do try to monitor a proportion of the posts and information posted using this forum facility to ensure that the code is being complied with.
We have the ability and the right to remove objectionable posts and information that we find posted on the website and we will make every effort to do so in a timely fashion.
Your assistance in this matter does help us so, if you consider that any post, including private messages within the WAY Website breaches our code please do let us know by filling in the complaints form on the website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We will endeavour to remove any post that is in breach of the code within a reasonable time frame, if we determine that removal is necessary. Removal is a manual process so please realise that we may not be able to remove or edit particular messages or information immediately.
The contacting of a poster directly to object to a post they have made is neither encouraged nor allowed. Contacting the poster in a situation such as this either by one or multiple persons could be construed as bullying and will not be condoned under any circumstances – please make sure that you make all representations to the online admin, staff or trustees of WAY.
WAY operates a number of social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Instagram. WAY cannot take responsibility for matters beyond our control posted within these sites, we may be limited as to what action WAY can take, dependent upon the terms and conditions within each individual site. We understand that a number of members develop their own sub-pages/groups on social media, WAY has no responsibility for such pages/ groups.
Whilst it is truly lovely that many of our members form lasting relationships with other members, we do ask that anyone in a new relationship is respectful of other members who may find this situation difficult, and wherever possible refrain from excessive public displays of affection both online and at meetings.
2.7.Sending and Receiving Gifts and Money
We recommend that members do not personally send gifts or money. We also ask that members not to request gifts or money from other members. WAY cannot be held accountable, if members choose to exchange gifts / money.
We politely remind members that WAY has a helpline that will offer information regarding financial matters. WAY members can access the helpline 24/7, 365 days a year on 0800 107 6147.
2.8.Harassment, Bullying, or Intimidation
It is mercifully rare, but occasionally WAY members have behaved in ways that other members have considered to be harassment, bullying, or intimidation. Where this has been brought to the attention of the Trustees we will ask people to stop doing so, even if they do not consider their behaviour to be particularly offensive. These behaviours can be compounded by the vulnerable nature of some members. Members who continue behaving in this way will have their membership suspended and the WAY formal complaints procedure will be invoked.
WAY will not tolerate racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism or other forms of hate-speech or content that could be interpreted as such. Harassment and threats of physical violence will result in permanent ban, and may result in matters being reported to the police.
3. Visitors / Non-Members
A visitor, is a non-member and may be a relative, partner, friend, colleague or acquaintance. Meetings and events are intended for WAY members, the exception being The Big Picnic, which is a public event where anyone is welcome. On Occasion we understand that members may wish to bring along a visitor, we set out terms below.
3.1. Visitors at Local Events
Social events vary greatly from region to region. On occasion, a member may wish to have a visitor to accompany them to a meeting or event. Visitors are welcome where it has been agreed by all attendees of the group at least 24 hours in advance. If it is decided to hold an event including non-members, it must be well publicised to all members.
3.2.Visitors at the AGM
WAY has a duty to consider all delegates, many of whom are attending an AGM for the first time. Therefore, non-members are excluded from the AGM and all activities associated with this event. The only exception to this is; Non-Member Trustees, Staff, Speakers or Facilitators.
3.3.Visitors attending Holidays
There may be WAY holidays arranged as a large event (i.e. Centre Parc’s) which is also open to the general public. If this is the case, then non-members may be able to attend provided it is by prior arrangement and the organiser ensures that all those attending are aware of this situation.
Any event involving non-members must also be publicised to all members that there may be some friends of WAY members at these events, so they can choose whether they wish to attend based on this.
Members must be able to choose whether or not they share accommodation with non-members. When arranging smaller WAY holidays, the organiser should consider the nature of the event, and whether or not it is appropriate to include non-WAY members.
3.4.Visitors at Subsidised Events
Where an event is subsidised by WAY or by members’ fundraising, the non-member would be expected to pay full price, or give a reasonable contribution/donation.
3.5.Visitor Access to WAY Goods / Services
Non-members are not entitled to the goods and services supplied by WAY.
3.6.Visitor Associate Membership
There is no facility at this time for Associate Membership.
3.7.Visitor Code of Conduct
Members are ultimately responsible for ensuring this policy is adhered to. Any members bringing guests along to an event or holiday are advised to make the non-members aware of the WAY Code of Conduct before attending, and to ensure they act appropriately.
If we happen to receive a complaint about a visitor brought along to a meeting, you may be asked not to bring them along again. If someone is a ‘frequent visitor’ who is actually eligible to be a member, we will request that they join as a member and pay their subscription, or not to come along to any further meetings as this is not fair to the rest of the members who pay.
Changes to this policy
We may change this policy at any time, in which case the amended policy will be posted on our websites and will apply from the date we post them, please check the policy regularly.
The format and content of our website changes constantly. You should refresh your browser each time you visit our sites to ensure that you access the most up to date version.
Our Contact Details
We can be contacted in the following ways: WAY Widowed and Young, Suite 14, College Business Park, Uttoxeter New Road, Derby, DE22 3WZ or email email@example.com
This policy replaces previous WAY policies named: Membership Policy, Members Code of Conduct, Age Policy and Non-Members Policy.
Agreed by WAY Board of Trustees, Meeting Date 1st June 2019