Proposal Board Clubhouse Europe

The General Meeting of Clubhouse Europe assembled in Amsterdam at the 14th European Clubhouse Conference in October 2016. The conclusion of the evaluation of the Board of the first 4 years of Clubhouse Europe was proposed and adopted.

The conclusion was that the ambitions set by Clubhouse Europe in the beginning and written down in the Statutes of the association are much too high and are leading to disappointment and frustration by member Clubhouses. Because the ambitions are very much the same as those of Clubhouse International, the existence of Clubhouse Europe worked out to be very confusing. Clubhouses generally do not have the resources to support another international organization in addition to Clubhouse International.

Therefore the Board of Clubhouse Europe proposes to transform and focus the activities and ambitions of Clubhouse Europe in a way that they really fulfill a need of the European Clubhouses. This concerns 3 domains in the European context of activity and ambition:

  1. In the first place and above all Clubhouse Europe will focus on advocacy for the Clubhouse Model.
  2. Secondly and connected to advocacy, Clubhouse Europe will focus on the search for funding possibilities for the development of Clubhouses and the Clubhouse Model. This concerns public funding (i.e. European Union and governmental) and private funding (i.e. funds and private persons).
  3. In the third place Clubhouse Europe will focus on putting the Clubhouse Model on the European research


These are domains that individual Clubhouses, Clubhouse coalitions and Clubhouse International cannot handle, because a legally registered European body is needed for these types of activities in Europe. As a legally registered entity Clubhouse Europe can be a member of relevant European organizations in the field of Mental Health (e.g. Mental Health Europe [MHE], European Association of Education for Adults [EAEA]).


In this way it becomes completely clear what European Clubhouses and coalitions get for their fee for Clubhouse Europe: a dedicated group of people working for them on a European scale that benefits for themselves on topics they cannot handle by themselves.


How to achieve this?

For the new term of the Board of Clubhouse Europe (2016-2018) we installed a single Working Group for Communication. Although we have some trouble in staffing this working group, Clubhouse Europe needs a group of people who take care of the communication. We need to inform the members of Clubhouse Europe on a regular base. So we will try to keep this working group running.


To cover the domains of Advocacy and Funding we will install a Working Group for Advocacy & Funding. We combine these two domains because they are strongly related. To concentrate all our energy on composing this group, we wait with covering the domain of Research till the Working Group for Advocacy & Funding is running properly.

Advocacy is about giving the Clubhouse Model in Europe a voice, and making sure that voice is heard!

That means that the Working Group Advocacy & Funding develops a strategy to make this happen. Because the group is only accountable to the Board of Clubhouse Europe, the Board has to approve this strategy. The group and the individual members of the group can speak on behalf of Clubhouse Europe in their work on Advocacy & Funding as long as it fits in the approved strategy.


The Board develops a profile for the members of the working group and is responsible for the search for candidates.

This proposal will be communicated in the summer of 2017. An information meeting will be held at the Clubhouse International World Seminar in Detroit in September. Right after the Seminar the Board will make the final decision and if the proposal is accepted the working group can start in October 2017. The first evaluation of this structure will be at the General Meeting during the 15th European Clubhouse Conference 2018.


The main reason to create a separate Working Group for Advocacy & Funding is to free this group from “association work” i.e. (organizing elections, controlling the budget, collecting fees, organizing (General) Meetings etc.). Advocacy work is a long-term activity. Sometimes it takes years to build up strong networks.


Wander Reitsma

Chair Clubhouse Europe

Amsterdam, May 2017