HEN feels it’s important to be transparent about how we run our events and excursions, and where your money goes.
All HEN events are organised by volunteers. If you are having trouble booking, or have questions, please try to ask several days before bookings close. If your question comes at the last minute, it may not be answered as volunteers are not always available. If there are changes to an event, we will contact registered participants via email, and will post on Facebook or amend the calendar entry for events where there is no registration. It’s your responsibility to check your email or the HEN calendar prior to departure.
When you are contacted by a volunteer, please reply promptly. It should not be necessary for them to send multiple emails and reminders. Families attending a HEN event are expected to follow attendee guidelines. Anyone who does not follow the guidelines, or the requests above, may automatically be placed on a waiting list for further events, or in certain circumstances not permitted to attend.
Volunteers receive no special treatment for their child/family. However, if a volunteer is attending an event purely in an organisational role (without participating children) they may have their expenses reimbursed. Any money paid for an event is used to cover the cost of a location/event. There is no premium added to the prices charged by providers, other than for rounding (to the nearest dollar), and covering PayPal or booking fees.
Some excursions have free ‘teacher’ spaces which are provided on a pro rata basis. Where a set number of students are attending an excursion, the teacher discount is shared pro rata between those attending. In cases where numbers are not capped, and it’s not possible to calculate the pro rata amount before setting attendance costs, HEN may make a small profit. This is balanced by the times when HEN makes a small loss, for example where minimum numbers are not quite reached. If HEN runs incursions, the fee charged covers hire of the hall, and the cost of the facilitator. Facilitators, like excursion providers, are usually running events as a business.
The vast majority of HEN events provide discounted entry. One consequence of discounted entry is a lack of flexibility, such as tickets that can only be used on a given date, or by the original purchaser. Refunds or exchanges are not normally offered unless an event is cancelled or postponed. If you are unable to attend an event, the normal procedure is to contact the organiser. We are sometimes able to give refunds if we can pass tickets on to someone on our waiting list, or if an invoice is not finalised. Please do not give/sell tickets to others without informing the organiser, as this is unfair to those on waiting lists. Many events are for HEN members only, and tickets cannot be given/sold to anyone who is not a member. Most events will go ahead in all weather, unless we are advised it’s unsafe to continue. If an event is weather dependent, it will be mentioned in the booking details.
For HEN member events, you may only buy tickets for your immediate families. You may bring extra children only if you inform the organiser, and if those children’s parents are also HEN members (and their membership number is provided). If you or your child has a support worker, please contact the organiser before booking tickets.
Families should only sign up for events they intend to attend. It’s common for people to put their name down for free or low cost activities, and then not turn up. A free excursion will usually have limited places. If you don’t intend to add an event to your calendar, and prioritise it over last minute social plans, then it’s probably not the event for you. We understand that sickness and other life events affect the best laid plans, please take the time to let the organiser know. If you are able to give some notice, that’s even better, as there may be a waiting list.
School group pricing is given because venues expect HEN groups to be similar to school groups. This involves having one contact person, paying one invoice, arriving together and on time, and ensuring participants behave appropriately. Please do not contact the provider directly. If there are parameters for an excursion (particularly age/grade ranges) they are there for a reason; please do not ask for accommodations. It is often, but not always, possible to work around any specific needs but please discuss this with the organiser in advance. If you have questions about an excursion, contact the organiser directly via phone, email or Messenger.
HEN has built relationships with certain providers, and is working hard to create additional opportunities.To ensure that our community has the best possible chance of continuing to benefit from existing arrangements, and of creating new ones, it’s important that we and our children act appropriately at organised events. Clearly an academic class has different expectations than a water park visit, but there are some consistent guidelines. We aim to make behaviour expectations clear for individual events, and if you are unsure please ask the organiser and always consider whether an event is a good match for your child’s needs and interests. Be courteous at all times, and ensure that your children’s behaviour is appropriate. Where concessions are given, such as permitting additional adults in a class, we need to be aware this is a gift, not an entitlement.
HEN volunteers work hard to create opportunities for our community. Please treat them respectfully.