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Spice - Frequently asked Questions

There are many things to take on board if you have joined Spice recently or are considering joining. We have put together answers to some of the more frequently asked questions here. If you do have a query that has not been covered, please contact us on 0121 353 6161

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Overview

What is Spice?

Spice is the UK's premier adventure, activity, sports & social, leisure group for adults. Founded in 1981, there are over 15,000 members nationwide and 3500 members in the West Midlands area, all living life to the full.

Spice gives you the opportunity to 'live your dream', by trying hundreds of exciting events and gives you the chance to meet lots of like-minded people.

Whether you are an adrenalin junkie, or looking for new friends to socialise with, there's something for everyone in our ever-changing programme of events.

Where are Spice West Midlands Events Held?

Spice West Midlands is one of the eight Spice groups within UK,  it is the largest Spice group having about 3500 members in the West Midlands area. Most of our evening and day events are within this area as are many weekend events. We spread out the events so that they are easily accessible for everyone and we hold similar events in different locations to allow everyone to enjoy them.

A number of the weekend events are further afield, we also share some events with other Spice groups.

Unique to Spice is the Transport Share Lift system, which allows you to see if anyone in your area is booked onto the same event. This gives you the opportunity to contact members local to you to share transport to the events, and cutting the cost of petrol and parking.

Can I come to events on my own?

Although Spice is not a singles club, about 75% of our membership is single and 25% are couples so it is very acceptable to come to events on your own. You will find Spice is very friendly and that people are very open to chatting to everyone else regardless of whether they’ve met them before. As such Spice is a great way of meeting new friends and trying new things whether you’re on your own or coming with a friend for support.  One thing to remember is that everyone was once a new member, and feeling anxious about their first few events.  You'll soon get in the swing of it, and looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends.

Can I bring my children on events?

Unfortunately not. Spice insurance only covers over 18s and is costed around adult insurance premiums. Instructor to participant ratios are also much higher for children. One of the attractions of Spice for some members is that it is adults only so it gives them a chance to have a weekend away from the children.

Occasionally we can offer events that take children if the suppliers insurance overrides ours and these events state that children can be taken on them.

What do I get?

You will be a member from the date of joining and receive regular newsletters which detail literally hundreds of events which you may attend.

Our events are competitively priced as we are often able to arrange group discounts which we may pass on to our members.  Many events are unique to Spice, for example our fire-eating workshop!

In addition you will receive details of special discounts which have been arranged between Spice and various prestigious retailers, holiday companies etc.

Most importantly, Spice membership opens the door to the opportunity of meeting new people, making new friends and increasing your social circle in a way you could not have imagined.

Membership

How do I join Spice?

Joining Spice West Midlands is really simple.

Click here to join online now. All you need is a debit or credit card and a passion to 'live your dream'.

Alternatively you can call the Spice office on 0121 353 6161  if you can't wait to get started. Office hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm.

You can also join at one of our Preview Evenings, where you'll meet your local Coordinators.

Quaterly subscription by Direct Debit

Paying quarterly by Direct Debit allows you to spread the cost of joining. It also means that you can cancel your membership at any time without penalty.

Our policy is to keep your Direct Debit payment rate unchanged for as long as your membership period continues unbroken. The only circumstances where we might have to review this policy would be an economic climate of very high inflation. Any changes to your Direct Debit will be notified to you in writing.

The current rates are as follows:

  • Standard (one member) £36
  • Couple (two people at the same address) £54

Please complete the Direct Debit section on your application form and return it to us with an original signature. Your subscription will be debited to your account automatically on the 15th of the month (or as soon as your bank receives the instruction) and then every three months on the 15th of the month.

Please note that the option of quarterly payments is only available to those paying by Direct Debit. Those who wish to pay by any other method may only take out an Annual Membership

Annual subscription rates

Those who prefer to pay by credit/debit card can pay for a full year at the following rates. For express membership, you can even join over the telephone on 0121 353 6161:

  • Standard (one member) £144
  • Couple (two people at the same address) £216
Personal Accident Insurance

Your subscription fee includes liability insurance on all the events you take part in with Spice, so if you damage any property or equipment or accidentally injure another member you are covered. Your subscription also includes personal accident cover whilst taking part in any Spice event or traveling to or from it.

Satisfaction guarantee

If you decide within the first three months of your membership that Spice membership is not for you, we guarantee to return all membership monies to you without question.

I've just joined - what do I do next?

You've taken your first step and joined Spice, and the next step is to come along to your first event. I know this can be a daunting prospect when you don't know anyone else in the group, but there's no need to be apprehensive - Spicer's are a friendly bunch!  Most of us come along on our own to events, so we are used to meeting and welcoming new people. We also remember what it was like turning up on our first event and not knowing what to expect! Just tell your VC or supplier it's your first time and they can introduce you to everyone in the group, they'll soon have you laughing and feeling at ease.

I've booked my first event - what should I expect?

There's no need to be worried about anything in Spice - we're all very friendly and welcoming. We all remember that the first few events can be daunting for a new member.  If you have any questions, just call the Spice office on 0121 3536161 and we'll do our best to help. And don't forget to speak to your co-ordinator when you're on an event - they really enjoy meeting new members and it’s a great reward for them to see new members enjoying themselves after an apprehensive start!

Another tip is to take a newsletter with you - you can ask the advice of the longer terms members on which events to try.

What if I move away from the area?

Just let us know where you are moving to and we can transfer your membership to your nearest group. Your current membership rate will continue with your new group.  Remember, if you join quarterly by Direct Debit, this amount remains unchanged for as long as you maintain continuous membership.

If you are away for a short period, or working in another part of the UK, you are welcome to attend events run by other Spice groups. You'll have to book direct with that group by telephone as your Spice West Midlands membership number is unique only to our group. All Spice groups, including Spice UK are listed in the back of your bi-monthly newsletter.

Events

When do I get a Newsletter?

The Spice West Midlands newsletter is produced bi-monthly wich includes all our events.

As new events are added throughout the month, you don't have to wait until your newsletter hits your doorstep to book on any new events. Just keep checking the Events List for updates.

We aim to have the newsletter land on your doorstep on the 1st of the month. We are however at the mercy of the printers and the postal system, so please bear with us if it's a few days late.

We also publish regular updates and post additional events online so check the home page and 'Events Diary' links for the latest information.

How do I book events?

Once you have decided which of the numerous events you wish to attend, just pick from the following methods to let us know which events you are interested in:

You can telephone us on 0121 3536161. Office hours are Monday-Friday 9am-6pm.

Or you can book online at any time to suit your convenience.

What if I cannot attend an event?

Provided you give us enough notice you will usually receive a full refund less a nominal cancellation fee.

However cancellation policies vary on upon the event, details of which will always be given in the newsletter.

Please see the Spice cancellation policy.

Do I need special equipment?

Most of our events are aimed at the beginner unless stated otherwise. As such all specialist equipment and instruction is provided and no prior knowledge is required. This gives you the chance to try an activity and see if you like it before spending hundreds of pounds on something that will end up as just another fad.

You will be sharing your experiences with other like-minded people and gain the advantage of support from the group. All our instructors are fully qualified and used to calming the nerves of even the most timid - so that you have an enjoyable and fun day.

Some events and weekends may require equipment or clothing as a prerequisite please read the event write-up in the newsletter carfully.  In some cases a suggested kit list will be sent with joining instructions a few days prior to the event.

For rambles and walks, we do recommend you invest in a good pair of walking boots and waterproofs. We ask that you do not wear jeans on rambles as they can get cold and heavy when wet and will cause discomfort.

For horse riding, you will need to wear boots with a small heel and smooth soles.

For cycling and mountain biking events, you will need to bring a helmet and you will not be allowed on the event if you are not wearing it.


Can I bring a friend?

Guests are very welcome on events although they will pay a guest price, which is detailed in the write-ups. As we are a membership group, we ask that guests attend 3 events, after which we will expect them to join.  Sorry, but ex-members are not allowed to book as guests as it is unfair on our members who are paying their membership fees.

If you do come along with a friend, do make sure you introduce them and integrate them into the group. I know it's tempting to just stay with your guest, but you will get more out of Spice if you come out of your comfort zone and interact with your fellow Spicers as well.

Do I need a car?

You will need transport to get to the various events. However members often travel share and you will have access to the Transport Share List once you have booked onto any particular event.

If you wish to attend an event and think that you might have a problem in getting there, just call the Spice office for some additional advice and guidance.

I don't want to bungee jump or skydive!

You don't have to be an adrenaline junkie to join Spice!  We have lots of social and leisure events, such as rambles and town walks to meals out and party nights.  You can do whichever events you choose - it’s your choice. You never know, you may find with time that you expand your own limitations and try something that you never dreamed possible.

Do I have to go on a certain number of events per month?

No. Spice is there for you to dip in and out of as you choose. You may do five events one month and then nothing for another month - it’s entirely up to you. Some members join just to do the weekends or the holidays.

Tell me all about rambles

All Spice rambles/walks are designed to be fun, enjoyable, and above all, safe. All our walk leaders are fully trained and experienced, carry first aid and emergency equipment, and are properly equipped for the conditions.

Any Spice Ramble, Winter/Summer Stroll or Night Hike may involve walking over open country, not necessarily over well defined paths, so please wear the appropriate clothing. This should preferably be in the form of several layers, and we recommend you bring waterproof jackets and trousers and ideally walking boots (trainers are not suitable as they may get wet and muddy). We do not recommend jeans which get heavy and cold when wet.  Accidents and injuries are extremely rare but most 'injuries' are caused by ill-fitting boots or inappropriate socks, so no trainers, please. A relatively minor injury can result in the walk being curtailed, so please ensure that you are happy with your equipment, for your own comfort.

Bring liquids and a packed lunch. Even if the write up suggests a convenient pub stop, please do not take this for granted. Pubs have been known to be full or even closed.

Most walks start from small country car parks, so do consider car sharing to reduce the number of spaces taken by Spice members and as a consideration to other members of the public using the facilities. Please ensure that you take sensible precautions to protect your car and belongings.

Sorry dog lovers, but we do not allow dogs on any of our rambles or town walks. We take up to 40 people on our rambles, times this by 40 dogs and I'm sure you'll understand that chaos will inevitably ensue!

Do I need to be fit for the active events

Our walks and bike rides can be a great way to improve your fitness most of our day walks are suitable for those with average levels of fitness. Some walks may require more effort than others and you shouldn't assume it will be 'a stroll in the park' as there will usually be some small hills to climb.

Other events like mountain biking, some of our weekend walks, activities like climbing need greater levels of fitness and you should be used to doing some exercise regularly if considering these events. If you are in any doubt please contact the office.

If you have a medical condition which may affect you on an event you may want to talk to your GP before booking and then the Spice office, in addition it may be a good idea to let the event leader or co-ordinator know at the start.

Am I insured when on a Spice Event

Yes, as part of your membership package we include personal accident insurance for each member, covering you going to and from Spice events and whilst you are taking part in any of the Spice activities in the unlikely event of you being involved in an accident. Our suppliers have separate Public Liability insurance.

Can I book an event with another Spice group

At Spice we are one big family, you are welcome to get involved and book events with other Spice clubs.  However you cannot book on-line, please phone the Spice group who's event you wish to book, tell them which Spice group you belong to and they will make the booking for you.