CoDA

CoDA UK Home Group Service Guidelines

Should you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please email them to CoDA UK via the main Enquiries email address

ABOUT PROVIDING SERVICE

‘...Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern’. (Tradition 2)
A CoDA group cannot function without the efforts of trusted servants. Service work starts at group level. Service positions can range from a month-long commitment to set out the refreshments at each meeting, to a maximum two-year commitment to represent the group at regional and/or national CoDA UK meetings.

‘A CoDA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions’. (Tradition 7)
Service is encouraged as an integral part of recovery.  It is a healthy way to give back to, and sustain, the group and enrich recovery through applying CoDA principles, especially the Twelve Traditions, in the process of doing service.

‘ .... Directly responsible to those they serve.’
(Tradition 9)
Taking a service position is making a commitment to the group and to adhere to the wishes of the Group Conscience.

‘Each group should remain autonomous ....’ (Tradition 4)
The following guidelines are suggested to those considering service, and to groups. These guidelines are suggestions only, for each group to adapt to their own purpose according to their Group Conscience.

GUIDELINES COMMON TO ALL SERVICE POSITIONS

It is suggested that members in service positions:

•    Read these Service Guidelines before they begin their service;

•    Provide the group with contact phone numbers and swap numbers with others in service (a record-keeping chart is available);

•    Identify at the beginning how long they would like to take the position for (e.g. one month, one year maximum), unless the role has a specific duration;

•    Commit to attend every week and to find cover if they cannot attend;

•    At the end of their service, work with the next person taking on the role in order to ensure continuity;

•    May end service early if necessary, by telling the group and by giving notice (if possible);

•    Regularly attend group consciences:

- ‘For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority - a loving higher power as expressed through our group conscience ...’ (Tradition 2);

- ‘Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on CoDA unity' (Tradition 1);

•    Raise at group conscience any difficulties experienced in carrying out service.

If a member in service does not attend meetings for a prolonged period with no notice, the group agree to contact the member, and then reopen the role at group conscience if necessary.

SERVICE POSITIONS

SECRETARY

Role Description
•    Ensures the meeting starts and finishes on time;
•    Runs the meeting using the script provided or as modified according to Group Conscience;
•    Is responsible for ensuring the meeting is in keeping with the guidelines and traditions of CoDA;
•    Tries to ensure all service positions are filled and does not assume all services positions;
•    Keeps a track of the meeting schedule (eg topic, reading, chair etc) and is responsible for the group’s folder;
•    Shares responsibility with the Group Service Representative for conducting regular Group Conscience meetings and records items for the agenda;
•    Keeps a record of Group Conscience decisions for members to refer to;
•    Reminds the group of Group Conscience decisions if/when appropriate;
•    Calls or facilitates an extra Group Conscience if one is required by the membership.

CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that the Secretary:
•    Has been regulalrly attending CoDA meetings for at least a year;
•    Has a full understanding of the steps, traditions and guidelines;
•    Has held at least one other service position;
•    Is willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 6-12 months.

If no-one is available who meets these requirements, the Group Conscience will decide how to best fill the role. Some groups may prefer to have co-secretaries instead of a single Secretary.

TREASURER
Role Description
•    Collects the 7th Tradition funds each week and ensures the group is fully self-supporting, ie that all expenses are covered weekly;
•    Pays rent to the meeting facility for use of the meeting room, and acts as liaison person for the venue if necessary;
•    Disburses 7th Tradition funds in accordance with Group Conscience decisions, e.g. literature, tea & coffee,  surplus funds to the region/CoDA UK. Seeks Group Conscience approval before making any disbursements;
•    Keeps accurate financial records of the group, and regularly reports to the GC regarding income, expenses, and prudent reserve. (NB: a prudent reserve is determined by the Group Conscience, it is usually 6-10 weeks’ worth of group expenses);
•    Notifies the Group Conscience immediately of any financial shortfall;
•    The treasurer is not financially responsible for the group but is accountable to the Group Conscience for the management of the group’s finances.

(Please see the News Update section on the front page for CoDA UK bank details and how to make donations.)

CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that the Treasurer:
•    Has been regulalrly attending CoDA meetings for at least a year;
•    Has a full understanding of the steps, traditions and guidelines;
•    Has held at least one other service position;
•    Is willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 6-12 months.

If no-one is available who meets these requirements, the Group Conscience will decide how to best fill the role.

GROUP CONTACT(S) (1 or 2 per group)
Role Description
•    Answer practical questions on the telephone from newcomers who are making enquiries about attending the meeting;
•    Agree to their first name and telephone number being published on the website and on any other material relating to the group, to enable newcomers to contact them in order to obtain practical information about the meeting.

CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that the Group Contacts:
•    Have been regulalrly attending CoDA meetings for at least 6 months;
•    Have held at least one other service position;
•    Are willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 6-12 months.

If no-one is available who meets these requirements, the Group Conscience will decide how to best fill the role.

KEY HOLDER
Role Description
•    Arrives early and lets members in, and locks up after the meeting. This is sometimes a role shared with set-up person.

CoDA Experience
It is suggested that the Key Holder has a minimum 6 months’ attendance at the home group.

SET-UP PERSON
Role Description
•    Arrives early to set up the room for the meeting
CoDA Experience and Commitment
No minimum period of attendance at meetings is suggested. This might be a good role for a newcomer, unless the role requires the member to be a keyholder, in which case a minimum 6 months attendance applies

GREETER(S)
Role Description
•    A practical role which involved welcoming all-comers to the meeting;
•    Arrives early and positions themselves near the door;
•    Introduces newcomers to regular members of the group or the newcomers’ rep, who can explain to them the format of the meeting;
•    Directs newcomers to the literature table and refreshments.
CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that Greeter(s) have a minimum 6 months’ attendance at the home group and are willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 6 months.

TEA PERSON
Role Description
•    Arrives early to set out the tea & coffee, boil the kettle, arrange the cups etc;
•    Ensures a selection of drinks are available and purchases milk & biscuits on a weekly basis as required;
•    Reclaims expenses weekly from the Treasurer on presentation of a receipt;
•    Ensures all tea items are cleared away at the end of the meeting.
CoDA Experience and Commitment
No minimum period of attendance at meetings is suggested. This might be a good role for a newcomer.

NEWCOMERS’ REPRESENTATIVE
Role Description
•    A spiritual role, about welcoming newcomers to CoDA;
•    Is available to spend time with newcomers after the meeting;
•    Is familiar with, and so able to explain, the Traditions, Steps, format of meetings and CoDA recovery as a whole;
•    Explains the various methods and issues of sponsorship in CoDA, which may differ from newcomers’ experiences in other fellowships;
•    A mixed group may choose to provide both female and male reps.

CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that the Newcomers Representatives:
•    Have been regulalrly attending CoDA meetings for at least 6 months;
•    Have held at least one other service position;
•    Are willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 6-12 months.

If no-one is available who meets these requirements, the Group Conscience will decide how to best fill the role.

CHAIR FINDER
Role Description
•    Finds speakers – known as ‘Chairs’ – to share their experience, strength and hope at the meeting through an extended share, usually between 10-20 minutes;
•    Attends other meetings sometimes to meet new speakers to invite to the group;
•    Notifies the secretary of the name of the Chair, or if one has not been found for a scheduled chair meeting.

CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that the Chair Finder:
•    Has been regularly attending CoDA meetings for at least 6 months;
•    Has held at least one other service position;
•    Is willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 6-12 months.

If no-one is available who meets these requirements, the Group Conscience will decide how to best fill the role.

LITERATURE PERSON
Role Description
•    Attends early each week to put CoDA-endorsed literature out on display for purchase before and after the meeting;
•    Refers newcomers and CoDA members to available CoDA literature;
•    Sells CoDA literature at meetings and passes any proceeds from sales to the Treasurer each week;
•    Orders Literature on a regular basis to maintain consistent stock levels. Literature is ordered after having obtained agreement of the Group Conscience to do so and first having obtained funds from the Treasurer to pay for the order;
•    Is accountable to the group conscience for the management of the group’s literature and associated finances.

CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that the Literature Person:
•    Has been regularly attending CoDA for at least 6 months;
•    Has held at least one other service position;
•    Is willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 6-12 months.

If no-one is available who meets these requirements, the Group Conscience will decide how to best fill the role.

GROUP SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE (GSR)
Role Description
•    Liaises between the home group and the wider fellowship of CoDA UK, taking the Group Conscience decisions to regional and national level, and feeding back to the home group from the regional and national meetings;
•    Is a regular attender at the home group and Group Conscience’s and is familiar with the Group Conscience’s decisions and wishes;
•    Attends regional fellowship meetings (where they exist) or passes on any communications or concerns from the home group conscience to the region if attendance is not possible;
•    If there is no regional fellowship body near the home group, GSRs to be open to the idea of liaising with other nearby groups to create a regional body, or to strengthen fellowship connections through other forms of service;
•    Attends, where possible, National Steering Committee (NSC) meetings (i.e. the AGM and the other three quarterly meetings, or passes on any communications or concerns from the home group conscience to the NSC if attendance is not possible;
•    Ensures that the group is in electronic contact with the region/NSC by signing up to the newsletter on the CoDA UK website and taking print-outs of it to meetings, signing up to any emailing lists produced by the region/NSC, and printing out relevant announcements and flyers from the website regularly for the home group;

NB: The home group is responsible for reimbursing relevant expenses incurred in the GSR’s attendance at regional and NSC meetings. If the GSR is then voted into a service position on the NSC, the NSC becomes responsible for the expenses.

CoDA Experience and Commitment
It is suggested that the Group Service Representative:
•    Has been regularly attending CoDA meetings for at least a year;
•    Has a good working knowledge of the Steps, Traditions and Guidelines;
•    Has held at least one other service position;
•    Is willing to commit themselves to service in this role for 1 year.

If no-one is available who meets these requirements, the Group Conscience will decide how to best fill the role.

February 2009