Membership

Welcome to HAWOG, North-West London's best and most active outdoor group. Over 80% of our Members live in North-West London, and we have an equal proportion of male and female Members.

HAWOG is one of the oldest Youth Hostelling Association (YHA) and outdoor groups in the country with a history dating back to 1936.

We offer a range of opportunities for people of all abilities to explore the countryside within our events programme of walking days, weekends and weeks away. We organise events locally in the Chiltern Hills, the Thames Valley and the Surrey Hills, to longer trips across the UK and even international destinations.

Membership is open to anyone aged 16 years or over and we offer reduced prices for anyone who is on low incomes etc.

Everyone new can try our group for free for 2 months or 3 events (whichever is the shorter), with no obligation.

Below is some key information about our group:

Our Events

  • Participants should be interested in taking part in, and then as a Member organising, outdoor events. These can include countryside walking, cycling, rock-climbing, etc.
  • We try to offer a walking event each weekend, and a weekend away each month. Our day events often take place in the local area, and our weekends away will involve overnight stays at youth hostels, bed & breakfasts and campsites.
  • We colour-code events in our programme as a guide for participants: Green is 'easy'; Amber is 'moderate' and Red is 'challenging'. Everyone who is reasonably fit should be able to complete our Amber events. If you are not sure whether you should attend an event, you can ask the event organiser for guidance.
  • We organise a social meeting each month in central Harrow. These are great opportunities to meet Members and gain more information about the group. We also organise some evening social events, for example a visit to a local restaurant.
  • We encourage and support members to gain skills in basic navigation (map and compass in countryside locations).

Joining our Events

  • Most of our events can be attended without advance booking. A few events, mainly our weekends/weeks away, need to be booked and paid for in advance.
  • Most of the longer events can be booked and paid for online by responding to the organiser's email or using our Book Now online form. You'll be informed if a place is allocated for you and sent a link to pay any deposit. If you book a place and it is allocated to you then you are expected to pay for it.
  • Everyone new can attend our events for free for 2 months or 3 events (whichever is the shorter), without obligation. After this period, we expect participants to join.
  • We advise all participants to wear adequate footwear for countryside walking, including a good rain-resistant jacket and trousers. We recommend bringing a backpack, with water, snacks, first-aid essentials, and sun cream if appropriate. We often require participants to bring a packed lunch.

Communication

  • You can subscribe to our main email group, including a free weekly e-Newsletter here.
  • You can join our more informal free email forum for all other communications, such as car sharing, social notices, etc. here.
  • Members often write a short report of events they've organised, or submit photographs of events they've attended, which are published here.
  • For more information please visit our Frequently Asked Questions and Constitution pages.
  • Please feel free to contact us with any specific questions.

We look forward to meeting you at an event soon!

If you have never been a member of HAWOG before and you want to try us for free, then you are a 'prospective Member'.

As a prospective Member you can participate for free in events for either 2 months, or 3 events (whichever is the shorter), with no obligation.

You will be asked to provide contact details to the event organiser at any event you attend (your full name, telephone number and email address). This is necessary to help the event organiser contact participants on the day, should anyone get lost or issues arise. The organiser will also pass these details onto the HAWOG team, so that we can get in touch with you about future events.

You can drop in and meet Members at our monthly social meetings in central Harrow, which take place at Our Lady & St Thomas Of Canterbury Church Hall, Roxborough Park, Harrow, HA1 3BE (map). The hall is 5 minutes' walk from Harrow-on-the-Hill station. There is plenty of parking at the church or on the nearby residential roads. Please check our programme for upcoming meetings.

If you would like to speak to someone prior to attending an event, then please email us and we will respond as soon as possible.

If after trying our events you wish to join then you will only be required to pay membership for the remaining months of the group year. If money is an issue then please let us know (either in person or email as above). We endeavour to take personal circumstances into account and offer reduced price membership where appropriate.

Please be aware that everyone attending our events is subject to our Code of Conduct.

We look forward to meeting you at an event soon.

Once you have tried out our events as a prospective Member, we'd like you to join as a Member.

Costs

To receive Member benefits you need to pay our membership fee. The price of annual Membership is discussed and agreed by members at our AGM each October. The following prices were agreed at our 79th AGM on October 20th 2016:

  • New and rejoining Members: £10 per annum
  • If you are on a low income (e.g. students, carers, part-time workers, unemployed etc.) please contact us either in person or via email. We endeavour to take personal circumstances into account and offer reduced price membership where appropriate.
  • Members who wish to leave the group can claim a refund for any outstanding months' membership. Please contact us before the next month and we will organise a refund.

You can join us using PayPal here.

Membership benefits

  • Attendance at all day events, with no additional supplements (see below for supplements for other types of events).
  • Access to borrow and use group equipment (group shelter, books/routes, maps etc.)
  • Coverage under our public liability insurance (but not for personal injury)
  • A 15% discount on purchases from Cotswold Outdoor, and a 10% discount on purchases from Chelston Direct and Outdoor Look. Contact us for further information.
  • The ability to submit proposals and vote at our Annual General Meeting each October.
  • Use of our main email group and email forum for communications (subject to approval by the HAWOG team).
  • Opportunity to gain navigation and walk leadership skills at our training events.
  • Reduced YHA membership fee - only £5.

Membership obligations

  • To attend at least one outdoor activity each year.
  • To be aware of outdoor safety and protocol, not endanger the safety of others and manage risk appropriately.
  • After 12 months as a full member, to become a YHA member (click here for details).
  • Keep current with all group protocol and communications.
  • Abide by our Code of Conduct and respect our Constitution

Event organiser points

Points are awarded to event organisers as follows:

Type of Event Points Awarded - Event not on Meetup Points Awarded - Event on Meetup
Short walk or evening event - less than 6 hours 0 5
Day walk or event - 6 hours or more 10 15
Weekend break - 2 or 3 nights away 20 30
Extended break - 4 nights away or more, including longer breaks at one location in UK 30 40
Longer trip - 6 nights away or more at multiple locations or abroad 60 80
Committee member 30  
  • Events must be well publicised, have at least 2 attendees in addition to the organiser(s), and be followed by a report of at least 80 words within 2 weeks of the event.
  • Points are awarded after events are completed.
  • Day event points can only be earned by one organiser. Events involving two nights away or more can have joint organisers, in which case they get half the points each.
  • Points are awarded for being on the committee for a full year's satisfactory service.
  • Points can be used by members against: membership renewal; the entire cost of attending weekends or longer breaks, not just the supplement; training courses; buying equipment.
  • Points are valued at £1 each. Points cannot be redeemed for cash.
  • Points may be carried over from year to year, but expire if members do not renew when their membership expires.

Event supplements

Supplements payable for attending events are listed below. These apply to all attendees, including the organiser(s), and can be paid using a combination of cash and event organiser points (see above).

Type of Event Members Meetup
Short walk or evening event - less than 6 hours £0 £0
Day walk or event - 6 hours or more £0 £5
Weekend break - 2 or 3 nights away £5 £30
Extended break - 4 nights away or more, including longer breaks at one location in UK £10 £50
Longer trip - 6 nights away or more at multiple locations or abroad £15 £80

Membership lists

You can find a list of our Members here. You can find a list of Members and the events they contributed to our programme for past years here.

All members of more than 12 months are required to be a YHA member (click here for details) upon rejoining. Everyone joining our group should be aware of our constitution and member benefits and obligations.

New Members

If you're a prospective member (never been a full member before) who's tried us free for 2 months or 3 events (whichever is the shorter) and who wants to join, click the Pay Now button below to get the HAWOG membership package for £10.00 using PayPal:

Rejoiners

If you're renewing your membership, click the Pay Now button below to renew your HAWOG membership package for £10.00 using PayPal:

Low Income Members

Anyone on low income (might be student, carers, part-time workers, unemployed etc.) may pay a reduced price for membership - this is negotiable, please speak with Chair or Treasurer, we don't want to know your income etc. but will want to be assured that your lifestyle reflects your status. If your circumstances change during the year and you are no longer on a low income then we expect you to let us know and pay the full rate pro rata. Once you've agreed a price with Chair or Treasurer, click the Pay Now button below to join or renew your HAWOG membership using PayPal (be sure to choose the correct number of units of £1):

Methods of Payment

Whilst most membership, surcharges and events can be paid for online via our PayPal account, there are a few alternatives for attendees and events where online payment via our PayPal account is not possible:

  • Pay electronically direct to our group bank account.
  • Pay in person at a branch of our group's bank.
  • Get someone else to pay online for you.
  • Ask the organiser of events you need to pay for, if they will accept payment direct to them (and they pay group for you).
  • Occasionally, cash and cheques may be accepted at key events and dates.
  • Cash and cheques may be accepted for a small handling charge.

For all of the above, please ensure the Chair, Treasurer or event organiser knows how you will pay. Please email us for more information.