The Friends of Stamfordham First School
Chairperson: Emma Lim
Treasurer: Fiona Warren
Secretary: Kate Hughes
Siobhan Rix, Esther Cowan, Angela Baker, Mandy Watson, Tanya Merridew, Sarah Belton and … all parents with children at Stamfordham First School
A very, warm welcome to Stamfordham 1st School, we hope your time here will be a rewarding experience for both you and your child.
This section of the web site has been written by 'The Friends of Stamfordham First School' to welcome you to our school community. We realise it can be daunting and a little nerve-racking joining a school, and there always seems to be so many questions to ask. Please ask them!
HOW WE GET INFORMATION TO YOU
We contribute as necessary to the weekly school Newsletter and we send out letters for specific events, dates and requests for assistance when we are planning larger events. Following a 'Friends' event we will always let you know how much was raised, and if we can, what the money will be spent on.
HOW CAN YOU GET INVOLVED
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the 'Friends'.
Offering to help before events, or at other times during the year, is so valuable … it really is a case of 'many hands make light work'. It doesn't matter if you can't help on a regular basis, or even if you can't come to school. There are always little jobs that can be done from home if you have half an hour to spare, e.g. wrapping gifts, preparing raffle tickets etc. We really couldn't achieve what we do without the unseen 'army of help' that exists in school. You can of course if you feel able, volunteer to be a Committee member. You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use ... everything is potentially valuable to us. There is a brief Questionnaire in the middle of this booklet to fill in and return if you are able to help in any way, no matter how small.
If either or both parents complete the Gift Aid declaration form, your donations will be worth more to us. And finally, we are extremely grateful to receive donations as mentioned before.
Why do we have a 'Friends' Committee?
We are very fortunate at our school to have the 'Friends', they have been an integral part of the school community for many years. In its time the 'Friends' have raised thousands of pounds, which have been spent on improving equipment and resources to enhance our children's education and the facilities in school in general. But our 'Friends' committee is about much, much more than just fundraising. The 'Friends' exists to provide closer links between home and school, and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. It is fun too-just ask any of the 'Friends' committee members and helpers. Obviously as in any organisation, there are times when it is more 'challenging', but with the continued support of parents and staff, the 'Friends' have always succeeded in it's efforts.
All parents and members of the school community can become involved if they want to, even if they only have a small amount of time available, and all parents are automatically members of the 'Friends of Stamfordham 1st School' when their children join the school.
The 'Friends' are extremely conscious of the ethos and morals of our school, and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this.
WHY ARE WE A REGISTERED CHARITY?
The Charities Act 1993 requires organisations such as ours with an annual income in excess of £1,000 to register with the Charity Commission.
As a Charity we must abide by the Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a constitution. Our constitution sets out rules about how we operate as a 'Friends Committee' and how we conduct ourselves.
Being a Registered Charity gives us many extra benefits.
- We are able to apply for Gift Aid, which can earn us an extra 28.2p in every pound donated, out of earned income.
- We can raise funds more easily from grant giving trusts, local businesses etc.
- We can take advantage of charity matched giving schemes.
LINKS WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
We have, over time, developed strong links with the local community and are always well supported by both residents and businesses, for which we are very grateful. Many of our local shops, restaurants and businesses are very generous in their donations of raffle prizes etc, and some have taken part in our Christmas and Summer Fairs. This has had a huge impact on our fundraising.
HOW WE RAISE MONEY
Like most 'Friends' the majority of our funds are raised through the events we run. Some of our most popular events are the Christmas Fair & Soup Lunch, our 'home baked' strawberry cream teas at Sports Day, our monthly cake stalls and childrens’ discos. We have had sponsored events like a sponsored walk round Bolam Lake, also we have produced Christmas cards, Birthday calendars and T towels all with work from the children. We have held a 'Ceilidh', a dinner dance with auction, and we have produced our own cookbook.
So you can see there are lots of things going on. We always try and respond to the children's request for events and it is truly the icing on the cake to see them having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that the 'Friends' have funded.
We are fortunate however to have had other opportunities open to us to raise money. Donations are extremely important. These can be time, money, items for sale, donations for raffles or offers of services and skills.
As our 'Friends' is a Registered Charity, we are able to raise money through Gift Aid.
ROLES OF THE COMMITTEE
Our 'Friends Committee' consists of 3 main officers, Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. We also have between 4 and 10 ordinary committee members to make up a full committee. The Committee meet on a regular basis usually once or twice per half term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary to organise larger more -cornplicated events. A list of current Committee members is listed above, if you would like to become a committee member don't hesitate to talk to the Chair.
If you require any further information please leave your phone number with the school office and a committee member will be happy to call you.
Feedback from the children...
Year 4- “I liked the fun and games at the Summer Sports Day Fair”.
Year 3- “The 'Rock-it' Disco was really good fun”.
Year 2 - “I like having a go on the tombola”
Year 1- “I really enjoy eating all the cakes at the cake stall”.
Reception- “I enjoyed the Christmas Fair and I got a Christmas present from Santa."
.... And last but by no means least...Our Head Teacher Miss McKinney
"As a member of the team I am totally overwhelmed by the support and dedication of the 'Friends'. 'Friends' activities not only provide us with exciting social events, but also raise funds, which help to give the children such an enjoyable educational experience, through new resources etc. The 'Friends' contribution to the school community offers us acess to people with a wealth of different skills, innovation, creativity and collaborative working practices.
Our 'Friends' have achieved so much, and I look forward to continuing this valuable partnership in the coming years."
Thank you for taking the time to read this information. We hope you now know a little more about your ‘Friends Committee’. On behalf of all the children we would like to thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experiences and makes their time at school so enjoyable. And on behalf of the ‘Friends’ themselves for the social events and the new friends made.
From all ‘The Friends’.
*UPDATE MAY 2016 - Friends Constitution*
As a matter of good housekeeping, the committee of the Friends of Stamfordham First School would like to update our constitution in line with current guidelines.
The proposed new constitution, which we are putting out for 21 days consultation to all our members, can be downloaded from this link - Friends' Constitution.
This Constitution is a standard format taken, directly from the PTA Association, and the committee do not intend to make any changes to it.
Please advise Kate Hughes on email@example.com, if you have any objections to the proposed update by Monday 6th June 2016.
The Committee of the Friends of Stamfordham First School