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Consultation on PAPYRUS Membership

29th July 2015

Dear Friends

BUTTONWe are currently consulting to see if you think PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide should continue to have the present model of membership as central to its governance arrangements. At the recent AGM we agreed to consult members and supporters about possible changes to our membership and constitution.

In recent years we have found it much harder to increase our membership, whilst support for the charity increases week on week. One possible reason is that with the advent of social media the concept of membership has less appeal. Although we routinely ask our supporters to become members we are seeing fewer wanting to do so. At recent conferences we struggled to attract enough members to hold an AGM.

Membership of PAPYRUS has never been about conferring specific benefits; people join because they want to do something to prevent young suicide. We support anyone who has been touched by suicide, particularly through the inquest process, we allow everyone access to our newsletter and publications and we want to open up our new PAPYRUS Forum to all our supporters.

As PAPYRUS has broadened its support across the UK we are exploring the possibility of modernizing the constitution so that we don't have to have membership as we do now. (No change would take place without the consent of the existing membership which we would probably seek via a postal vote.) One model used by other charities would have only the trustees as members. Under this model the trustee board would be regularly refreshed by trustees serving limited periods (as we already do) and the trustees appointing new members with appropriate interests and skills. We would still be required to publish our annual report and accounts each year. Currently a majority of our trustees have personal experience of having been touched by a young suicide.

PAPYRUS was founded by parents who had lost children to suicide and wanted to ensure that other young people did not go through the same struggle and that parents did not suffer with the same loss they had. They understood there was a unique contribution that those who had lost someone to suicide could make to suicide prevention. At the heart of our governance arrangements we need to ensure that the powerful voice of those who have been touched by suicide is not lost and still informs our campaigns and everything we do to save young lives. It may be that for this reason you believe that membership arrangements should stay the same or you may have another model which you believe should be considered. We are open to all suggestions but please bear in mind that we are struggling to make the current system work.

Please make your views known by completing this short survey by 1 September 2015.


You may also wish to check out others' comments in our forum

Kind regards



PAPYRUS Chairman


Be part of PAPYRUS    

Suicide is the biggest killer of young people - male and female - under 35 in the UK. Many thousands more attempt or contemplate suicide, harm themselves or suffer alone, afraid to speak openly about how they are feeling.

We are the national charity for the prevention of young suicide. We draw from the experience of many who have been touched personally by young suicide across the UK and speak on their behalf in our campaigns and in our work. We need more people who share our aims to join us to strengthen our voice - together we can save young lives.

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PAPYRUS will treat any information given here as confidential and will never use it for marketing purposes. We will store it and use it only to be able to contact our members and supporters and share information with them.

There are many reasons why people join us - for example, they may have been bereaved or affected by suicide in some way, have a professional interest in the area, or want to share their story and raise awareness.
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