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Girona Grapevine started in 1999 as a group of mothers with children and then I think it split into two and part of that became what it is now: a weekly coffee morning for English-speakers (but not necessarily with English as their first language). And because it is during the day, it attracts many expats who are retired. But then lots of other people found us on the internet and came along to say "hello". So we started up the Meetup group.
When I took over running GG four years ago I was warned, "don't make it a formal group becase then it will have to pay taxes to the Ajuntament de Girona". So it has no committee, no "democracy" (not that it has helped Spain very much!) The person running it depends on the members for feedback but often there is not a clear message so ultimately he (in this case!) has to make decisions. Soon after I took it over, the techie withdrew the free website and so I now take care of both the social side and the technical side. Having said that, the regular coffee mornings tend to run "on auto" with the same people coming each week.
There was a time, when someone joined Girona Grapevine, they were asked for a one-off payment of €10 but now the costs of running the group are covered by advertising and therefore membership is free.
So, what defines a Girona Grapevine member is simply to be on our email list. That is all we ask. And currently that stands at around 100 members. Some are not able to come regularly to coffee, but all the same, they are members. And their opinion is important.
And what defines the person who runs Girona Grapevine? The answer is similar. The mailing list is carefully guarded and held by one person. It is the key to the membership.
Steve Brown - 3 Sept 2016
if you have opinions to the contrary, please don't hesitate to contact me.