PDA

View Full Version : UK-Centric - Is the GCN doing anything for you?



Art Is Resistance
24-01-2009, 17:12
Hi chaps,

This will only really be of any interest to those in the UK, and for that I apologise!

The GCn (Gaming Club Network) was setup a while ago by GW to control the clubs that were spinging up around the UK to play GW games.

A few years ago, it became independant of GW, but GW still require any club that wants to be advertised in GW, or who wish to run a table at GDUK to be GCN affiliated.

My quesiton is:

Does this shadowy organisation do anything for your club? Have you ever had contact from a GCN council member? Have they helped you with your club insurance, or your CRB checks?

Did you know that the GCN AGM, which all GCN affiliated clubs should have an invite to attend, it tomorrow (25th) at Warhammer World, Lenton?

Or is it just run by a small elite of clubs, who then dictate to others?

I'm genuinly interested in the answer, as I believe, that given that the GW 'hobby' is truly an international one, a UK only 'quango' of this type is outdated, and unecessary - but am I alone in this? Should GW look to supporting clubs worldwide?

I would prefer that this didn't become a slanging match, rather that it was a collection of statements - otherwise I'm sure it will become locked!

Cheers,

IJW
24-01-2009, 17:33
They paid for all our CRB checks, and the AGM items that needed voting on were sent to us in a letter so that we could vote by proxy. They also sent us a couple of free tickets for Games Day.

I've always been slightly suspicious of the GCN, but we've had no problems with them and it's saved us about 100 on CRB checks.

Art Is Resistance
24-01-2009, 22:23
IJW - you do realise that they ge tthe CRB checks done for free? At the moment, there is no cost attached to them as long as they complete a certain amount.

And that the GDUK tickets are sent by GW, from the list of contact details only supplied by GW?

IJW
25-01-2009, 09:40
I'm not sure how the GCN getting the CRB checks for free is relevant - if we had to do them ourselves (and you can't sanely run a games club without them for the officials) it would still cost us around 100 which we don't have.

You asked if they'd helped us and I replied that they had - why the aggressive tone?

Aaron
25-01-2009, 19:45
Our club never joined because GCN had a requirement that each club must have Public Liability Insurance. The insurance ran to something just over 100 a year and we decided in the end that the money was better spent advertising the club in other ways (club website, online adverts, etc.).

I don't know if it's still a requirement though. The chaps running the GCN seemed like decent enough guys.

marv335
25-01-2009, 22:45
As has been said, We get free CRB checks (mandatory if you want to have under 16s in the club), cheap insurance (and you need that if you're going to run a decent club) and advertising.
plus games day tickets.

So far I've not noticed any "shadowy control"

And yes, we knew about the AGM. Lenton is just a little too far for us to travel though.

Osbad
26-01-2009, 11:40
I've heard nothing but good from the GCN. Decided not to go down that route ourselves, but had we aimed at recruiting youngsters and being larger it would have been very helpful. As things stand we decided to remain an elitist band of grumpy old men meeting in our own homes with no committee or any of that malarky. Basically because we were too lazy, had too many bad experiences of kids and clubs in the past, and couldn't be bothered any more.

However, its very easy to get into a nasty mess running a club these days (everything from child protection legislation to income tax issues, insurance cover and the prevention of fraud), and the GCN gives some very sound advice if you are considering running a larger club.

The kind of money you'll pay through their minimum criteria are only things you *should* be paying out for as a responsible club anyway and could end you up in trouble if you do not do them. If you are a member of a largish club that meets in public premises and has child members you may want to ask yourself why they are *not* a member of the GCN, as they could be storing up problems for themselves.

Basically if you are a club of a decent size, have kids and meet in a public building then there should be no extra expense involved as you should have CRB checks and PL insurance already. And if you do not your friendly local authority (or whoever runs the building you hire) may have something to say about it... or even the police...

The GCN makes it easier to access these things, and offers GW advertising on top.

OK from GW's perspective it means they know they aren't going to be sued for promoting a dodgy club that was (say) really a front for a paedophile ring. But from the potential members' point of view it really is a badge of quality saying the club has been set up along responsible lines and its save to get involved in it.

That's not to say clubs that are not GCN-affiliated are all dodgy (as I said, my own club is not affiliated) but if you are GCN-affiliated you are not likely to be dodgy.

Whitehorn
26-01-2009, 11:49
Tamworth Games Club received the same benefits as IJW (regardless of the technicalities).

kris.sherriff
26-01-2009, 15:41
I set up a club about 18 months ago and one of the first questions I had to ask the few people who were going to be putting in the grunt work with me was "Do we want to be a GCN club or not?"

After a long chat we decided that we should do it as it would give us free national advertising through white dwarf, cheaper Insurance and all it cost us was that we had to get CRB checks done which the GCN paid for.

After out first AGM I am still chairman and have had contackt with folks at the GCN and although we have not been able to get doen the Warhammer World for any of the AGM's we have been sent all the information and voting forms.

When I enquired about setting up the club in the building we used we were asked about insurance and when I informed here about how much it was costing us she said that that was very good value. We then planned to hold an event at an airshow (running an AI game) and were asked about our insurance and when I presented the paperwork to the organisers they said that the level of cover we had was better than they could have offered us through their even insurance. It cost us 75 for the year and the one off even cover if we had not have had it already would have been 40 for less.

All in I don't think there is anything underhannded about the GCN and they do have a lot of advice for culbs and people wanting to run them, they even advise on wether you need to be a GCN club or not. At the end of the day they are a bunch of blokes who try to ensure that there is a network of clubs with a minimum standard that they would be happy to let their kids go to.

Kris

Anaris
09-02-2009, 09:44
Stirling Wargamers is also a member of the GCN and enjoy the cheaper insurance and benefits of getting supported by GW (ads in stores, White Dwarf etc).

My only criticism of the GCN would be the speed at which they respond to important matters, mainly CRB checks.

It was the Stirling Wargamers AGM last month at which, a few committee changes were made, needing new checks. I've sent letters and e-mails and am still waiting.

yabbadabba
09-02-2009, 09:56
I believe that GW pay for all the CRB checks on behalf of the GCN.

In some way AIR I do agree with you, the hobby is international and this is a british quango. But it won't go International unless foreign clubs/club groups come to the GCN and vice versa.

In another I dont agree. As far as I am aware, the aim wasn't to control clubs, but to give GW an outlet for the gamers they were producing. As has been said, it saves GW from being sued for promoting a dodgy club. Like any voluntary establishment, I bet their organisation and decision making processes could be as organised as spaghetti, but there you go.

Selorian
10-02-2009, 11:07
We just had our AGM during which, we discussed the lack of help from the GCN and our local Games Workshop stores.

Rekmar
10-02-2009, 11:45
Our club has been trying to become part of the GCN for about 18 months and only now is suceeding at the something like the third attempt.

The first two attempts failed due to the GCN firstly losing all the paperwork that we sent them and then the second time the completed CRB forms where misplaced and had to be redone.

Have to say that our local GW store (which I won't name here as we are the only club within 5 miles of it) has been less than helpful. They refuse to have anything to do with us until we are registered with the GCN. When asked what they could do when we eventually became registered, one member of staff told me that there wasn't anything that they could do as our club night didn't fit in with what they had planned at the store on that night and we would be in competition with them.

Sorry got a bit ranty there about GW.

The GCN membership, when it happens, will hopefully increase the club membership as we are running short on numbers as we have lost several of our players to university and the credit crunch recently and really need some new blood.

neathleanan
11-02-2009, 17:41
Hi guys, I've watched this thread with quite some interest, although given my position, I'm rather bias.

The same as most volunteer organisations, you get out what you put into the GCN, so if you wish to help and improve our organisation, then please volunteer!

Anyway, if anyone's interested there's a list of member club benefits here (http://www.gamingclubnetwork.org/modules/abtGCN/benefits.php). I would stress that despite the fact we work closely with Games Workshop, we are very much an independent organisation (and have been as long as I can remember) and too my knowledge GW has never had any intention of controlling clubs, not that it ever could.

Anaris/Rekmar/Selorian, if you need help, please contact me directly and I will try my best to assist you (my email is the one on the top of the GCN Contacts list here (http://www.gamingclubnetwork.org/modules/abtGCN/contacts.php)).

Richard

P.S. As a point clarification GW do not pay for our CRB checks and the organisation is run by volunteers voted in by our member clubs. We are also looking at encouraging GCN type organisations in other countries. If anyone outside the UK is interested, please get in touch.

yabbadabba
11-02-2009, 19:19
P.S. As a point clarification GW do not pay for our CRB checks and the organisation is run by volunteers voted in by our member clubs. We are also looking at encouraging GCN type organisations in other countries. If anyone outside the UK is interested, please get in touch.

Sorry Richard, heard someone talking about it and thought it was rather generous of GW, hoped it would help people see that it wasn't a Big Brother attempt at control.

Thanks for clearing that up.

warhammergrimace
11-02-2009, 21:13
Rekmar- regarding the CRB checks, do the people who filled the forms in now have a copy of the certificate, because if they don't then no CRB check has been done.

I'm a teacher/youth worker so I have CRB's done on a regular basis, the organisation that you have the CRB donr through don't keep or hold your CRB. The certificate is sent directly to the person whom has been checked, ie if I fill a form in, but the school sent it. The certificate is sent back to me.

If your guys don't have a certificate, then you need to chase this up, becuase the likely hood is it hasn't been done. The reason why I have asked is that I have known a few GW staffers, who believed they had been checked, they had sent forms etc, but had never received a certificate back.

The only person who should hold the certificate is the original person who was required to complete the form, the reason being is that you can be asked to produce that certificate at any time.

I hope this makes some sense, writing late at night...

thinkerman
11-02-2009, 22:02
Rekmar- regarding the CRB checks, do the people who filled the forms in now have a copy of the certificate, because if they don't then no CRB check has been done.

I'm a teacher/youth worker so I have CRB's done on a regular basis, the organisation that you have the CRB donr through don't keep or hold your CRB. The certificate is sent directly to the person whom has been checked, ie if I fill a form in, but the school sent it. The certificate is sent back to me.

If your guys don't have a certificate, then you need to chase this up, becuase the likely hood is it hasn't been done. The reason why I have asked is that I have known a few GW staffers, who believed they had been checked, they had sent forms etc, but had never received a certificate back.

The only person who should hold the certificate is the original person who was required to complete the form, the reason being is that you can be asked to produce that certificate at any time.

I hope this makes some sense, writing late at night...

The CRB check is a major major issue with GW in my experience.

I worked at GW for a year, i filled in 6 CRB check forms and recieved nothing back in return.

That smacks of criminal neglect on behalf of GW - If no CRB checks are performed anyone could be working with young children in a GW store. There could be paedophiles, child abusers, criminals or anything working inside a GW store.