See the corporate history for The 300 Group; 1980-c.2002
The 300 Group (1980-c.2002) was established in 1980 by parliamentary researcher Lesley Abdela as an national, apolitical, voluntary organisation to campaign for more women into Parliament, European Parliament, Local Government and public life.
Membership was open to anyone aged 15 or over who agreed with its aims, namely: 1) to work towards equal representation of women in Parliament, 2) to encourage women to seek and hold public office and 3) to encourage women to participate in decision making processes at all levels. In order to achieve this, its objectives were defined as a) to provide regular training, such as 'political schools' for aspiring councillors, MPs and MEPs and skills and policy training supplied by 300 Group trainers, in all the skills essential to achieving success in public life, b) to set up regional branches throughout the United Kingdom, c) to generate a supportive network of women through political receptions and other social events etc, and d) to create a climate of opinion which regards as natural the participation of women in public life.
In addition to the national group and its programmes of development and networking events, local groups or branches were also formed with their own programmes of training, seminars and speakers. The group's activities were funded through members subscription, large funding raising events - most prominently the annual Lady Astor Dinner, and profits from workshops. Major sponsors included British Telecom and The Joseph Rowntree Social Service Trust Ltd.
A National Executive Committee was elected annually by the membership. There were also sub-committees which organised events, training, fundraising and the production of a newsletter. National policy decisions were made by a Board of Directors elected by members who in turn annually appointed a Chair, Vice Chair and Finance Director as well as a Company Secretary. Male and female MPs could become Friends of the 300 Group. A separate Educational Trust was founded in 1988, with the aim of focusing the group's work in schools and universities.
Lack of funding caused the the group to decline in the 1990s. The 300 Group seems to have disbanded c. 2002.