Guidance & Resources for Admins
You are here because you are either thinking about becoming an admin of a Bluetit flock, in our amazing Social Swim Community, or you are already and are looking for some extra guidance.
Here you will find resources from HQ to help you to run your group effectively so that it remains fun for you with a minimum amount of hassle, and keeps all Bluetits safe.
If you have a question that is not covered, please post in the Top Tits group on Facebook. We might not have thought of it and it may need adding to this page! If you think something is missing or out of date please let us know so we can make sure everyone has the information that they need.
Whenever we make a decision about The Bluetits, we always have our core values in mind. Have a read of them here, and take them with you on your adventure of becoming a Bluetit admin!
What do you need to be an admin?
A love of The Bluetits and cold water dipping!
This is a voluntary role and we want you to love what you do and get enjoyment from being part of our community of admins.
People new to cold water swimming can be nervous, sometimes nervousness shows itself in strange ways. Be prepared to offer words of kindness. Not everyone in your group will always agree on everything, expect this, but know you always have your fellow admins to support you.
Confidence using Facebook
Either you or you co-admin needs to be quite confident using Facebook as its currently where everything happens.
Here is what do you need to know
Running a Facebook Group
Your Facebook profile
You must use your own Facebook profile in order to be a Facebook group admin. It's preferable that your profile picture is a picture of yourself, this helps people to get to know you and supports inclusivity as some people struggle with the confidence to turn up to a swim having never met anyone.
Your role as admin
As an admin, you’ll have the ability on the group to alter the group description, change cover and profile pictures (please do keep your logo in the main header image though) and accept members into the group. Your posts in the group will have an ‘Admin’ badge after them, which makes them more noticeable.
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers will also be an admin on the group, so we can help if needed. We may also dip in to tweak a group description, post about an upcoming event or share some promotional posts about challenges or merchandise..
The groups are informal spaces where any Bluetit can plan a social swim. The admins aren’t responsible for organising all of the swims by any means! People in the group are to be encouraged to post their own swims. As with any group, friendships form, schedules align and you may find that Debbie swims most often at X Beach in the morning with Jane and Simon, whereas another group may prefer evenings at Y Harbour. This is to be expected and is all part of the fun.
Accepting New Members
Reasons to decline a request to join your group - pretty much none even if they don't answer your questions). If you are declining people you need to keep a record of why you are declining people (whilst we think it is unlikely - we may need to ask you about it if someone comes to us with a complaint so a record will help aide your memory). This also applies to any member posts you delete.
The joining questions are standard across all the groups please do not change these.
Admins & Moderators
Please limit the number of admins on your group to two (plus HQ), in exceptional circumstances where a group covers a large geographical area and has active groups at different swim spots we may allow an additional admin - please get in touch.
You and your co-admin will be members of Top Tits, where admins can ask one another questions and we post discounts or early event releases. If any more than two of you would like to be involved in the running of the group, they can be added as moderators, it's helpful if they also have a read of this guidance.
Adding/Replacing an admin
From time to time you may need to add a new admin or replace one if someone steps down. (Max 2 admins per group). Please follow these steps:
- Share the link to this page so that they can read the information and sign the agreement.
- Ask them to attend a training session (coming soon)
- Invite them into the Top Tits Facebook group (they will only be allowed entry once the agreement is signed).
- Add them as an admin in your group.
- Remove the admin status in your group for the person that is leaving/stepping down.
- Let us know so that we can remove the admin that is leaving from Top Tits.
Dealing with Issues, Complaints and Blocking
As can sometimes happen in a group of any kind, you may encounter the odd hiccup, or someone behaving in a way that you're not comfortable with. Should such an issue arise you can often get help and support from your fellow admins in the Top Tits Facebook Group. Try not to take anything personally, take a deep breath and see if you can see it from their point of view.
You are not alone, as well as your Top Tits group you have us here at HQ, please get in touch with us if you feel that a situation is escalating so we can support and advise you. If you do feel the need to remove or block a member you must contact us first, (you can put them on post approval whilst you contact us) we will not necessarily override your preferences, but there are processes that we must follow in line with our inclusivity values. If you don’t contact us before removing someone so that we can document the situation we may have to override the decision.
Please do not ever block a member of the HQ team! This will result in you being temporarily removed as an admin. When you block people your profile becomes unavailable and appears as if you have closed your account. Disagreements do happen and we hope that with communication these can be easily resolved, however if for any reason you have an issue with anyone in our team please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org so we can resolve any issues.
Types of posts
Our general thoughts are that as a social swim community it's important that we keep the conversation focussed on swims but we understand that people make friends and it gets chatty too.
Couple of things we don't allow
We do not allow any selling or promotion in the groups at all without prior approval. The bigger the organisation becomes the more people will get in touch wanted to use our groups to advertise. We don't allow selling or promotion of any kind unless it has been approved, feel free to direct them to Gail our Finance Director at email@example.com
We are not currently allowing fundraising posts. Again this is because the number of posts and enquiries we were seeing was overwhelming. Again we want to keep the groups focussed on swimming and we wouldn't want anyone to feel uncomfortable because they are unable to contribute or because they are a beneficiary of a charity.
Please note that each group should remain solely on Facebook. We've got the Bluetit presence on Instagram covered, and ask that you do not create any Instagram accounts using the Bluetit name or logo.
Non Facebook Groups (Messenger, WhatsApp etc)
We do not consider these groups to be part of The Bluetit Social Swim Community for a number of reasons. The main reason being they are not fully inclusive and the second reason is that we have historically encountered issues with these groups and we are unable to assist admins as we don't have any access.
Once these groups exist there is a tendency for swims to not be posted in the Facebook groups, not because people don't want to share but because its harder to remember to post in two places, what this means is that new people joining the group miss out on swims. By all means have a chat group with your friends the whole idea is to meet new people and make new friends but please make sure that some swims are being posted in the main group that everyone can attend.
To avoid any confusion with official FB groups if you do have separate groups please do not use the name Bluetits in the name of your WhatsApp or Messenger group.
When joining a group it can be daunting, and it's nice for a newbie to be able to see a recognisable face, so it is expected that an admin will attend some swims. However, it is not expected of you to offer them swim advice. You can, of course, share your experiences and what you have learnt but ultimately they must make their own decision about swimming and consider the risks for themselves.
We recommend encouraging your members to share their own swims the idea of the groups is that people can find swim buddies and not have to swim alone.
Swims are informal meet ups, rather than organised events, during which everyone takes responsibility for themselves. It is not up to the admins to take responsibility for sea safety etc, and we ask that you do not issue any safety advice either within the group or at a swim. Feel free to signpost your Bluetits to our safety resources.
When you post a swim on the group, we advise that you do not create a ‘Facebook Event’, create a poster, or anything that may falsely imply that it is an organised swim event.
Break Away Groups
This will happen, so try not to be too upset when you see it. People will make friends and decide that they sometimes want to have a quiet swim with their new buddies. Encourage people to keep sharing some of their swims so that newbies can find swims to attend, we were all new once and without the support of the group I'm sure many of us would have never got in the water.
As your group grows people will want to organise fun events. Organised events need insurance, risk assessments and safety cover. If your group is thinking of organising an event please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
There's a code for admins to purchase flags at a discounted rate that can be found in The Top Tits Facebook group.
We don't expect you to buy a flag in anyway so please do not feel pressure to do so, the flag is available because quite a few people requested them.
The Bluetits Chill Swimmers is a not-for-profit organisation and the swim groups are intended to be informal groups. Learn more about what happens to the money we make here. We need to keep it informal or we get into the tricky area of responsibilities and insurance!
One thing that makes it not informal is taking money from people especially if someone could argue that it was a membership fee.
SO as a rule of thumb, please do not take any money from your group.
Gail is our finance director, and when it comes to money, there ain’t much she doesn’t know - and that ain’t worth knowing! Please get in touch via email directly to email@example.com.
When The Bluetits began in 2014, and for the first few years, all of our groups were a mix of genders. Our values contain one of inclusivity, and this is in regards to race, age, ability, sexuality and gender.
Reasons to decline a request to join your group - pretty much none If you are declining people you do need to keep a record of why you are declining people (whilst we think it is unlikely we may need to ask you about it if someone comes to us with a complaint so a record will help aide your memory). This also applies to any member posts you delete.
Wherever Bluetits swim, we tend to get noticed, and this does often lead to the media getting in touch. We are now adept at dealing with filming companies, journalists, celebrities (dahhling) - the lot really - so as with organising events, get in touch with HQ when such enquiries arise. We have a fantastic marketing and PR manager who can help you with any questions and liaise on your behalf if needed.
We've noticed recently a trend of production companies contacting swimmers individually with the hope of not having to pay for your time and expertise. Make sure you contact us so we can make sure that you are being treated fairly.
No organisation has the authority to use our name without our permission so if you are contacted get in touch with us or let them have our email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
We adore our Bluetit, it has been with us since very close to the start. It is the emblem of this group and all that it represents. The logo is trademarked, and so if you would like to use the Bluetit for anything please ask HQ.
Giving Cold Water Swimming Advice
New swimmers can be nervous, and may ask you for your advice about cold water.
The best response to this is to share your experience, make it clear that this is your experience and theirs could be different, ask them to do their own research and listen to their own body (you can of course point them in the right direction for this and we have some resources for this too.)
Ultimately you want people to make the decision for themselves and take responsibility for the risk that they take, because there is a risk. You don't want someone saying 'but I only got in because the admin told me it would be fine'. As always we are here to support you, we don't expect you to know everything, and nor do you need to it's all about having fun whilst staying safe!
Resources to Share with the Group
While we encourage you to be careful with taking on any responsibility for others’ safety in the water (or out of it for that matter!) we do recognise that Bluetits may turn to their admin for advice about things like tide times, sea conditions, what to bring to a swim etc. Head here for some fantastic resources to share with the group (perhaps even in your group description) that can help your Bluetits keep themselves safe.
It's really important to us that you enjoy your role as admin so make sure you take the time to enjoy your swims too!
Please make sure you are following The Bluetits Chill Swimmers on Facebook, as this is where we post news and updates. We ask that you share these into your group from time to time!
Thanks for reading! Before we create your group, please fill out this form which includes a link to the Volunteer Agreement - then we can welcome you to the Top Tit community!