Together Everyone Achieves More
We held our AGM on Tuesday the 24th July, along with a thank you social evening for all of you who have made our PTA a success this year - we couldn't have done it without you.
To show our appreciation, we hired a space off-site and provided food and drink to celebrate your hard work.
Friends of Woodheys – Chairpersons Report 2017 - 2018
Welcome to our Annual General Meeting – welcome to all the existing committee members on whom we depend to support and organise the various PTA activities and events and welcome to any new members attending for the first time to see what we do and perhaps join in.
This year has been a spectacular year of working with Friends of Woodheys. I have been genuinely moved by everyone’s contributions of ideas, time, cakes and other fabulous donations which have paved the way for a strong year of fundraising.
We live to serve the school community, and although it isn’t our only focus, we agreed to a stretching target of contributing £15,000 towards replacing the school AstroTurf this year.
We know that not all Woodheys pupils are sports mad, and have tried to fund some additional projects to ensure our support is accessible to all. We have committed some funding towards the EYFS outdoor area, as well as supporting some maths and science challenges. In addition to this Lucy secured an extra £4,867.53 of funding from the Coop at the end of last year (in this year’s budget) and we hope to hear back on our more recent application to cover replacement of the school’s trim trail.
We’ve also proved this year that matched funding through employers works – we’ve had our first £500 come in through one of our parents' employers who matched pound for pound the money he raised on the bar at this year’s Christmas fair. If we could develop this who knows how much more we could raise?
This has been a fantastic year for fundraising, we usually average around £12k – we’re currently look to have raised £18k for school initiatives, and as such are pleased to be able to pay our commitment to the Astro Turf in full this financial year.
What’s been new this year?
As many of you will be aware, I stepped in last spring as joint chair with Zoe, and began chairing Solo since last September in our AGM. At this point, we decided to move our AGM to the end of the year as it is an overwhelming first meeting for new parents joining our PTA – we will run our accounts for this up until the beginning of the next school year subject to agreement today.
At the beginning of this year I set out to make some changes, working with our fabulous team. We’ve made some great progress this year as a PTA, not only in how we raise funds but how we organise, market and staff events, updated governance procedures and improvements to our presence on the Woodheys Website.
What we agreed on this year is that in order to get people helping us, we needed to provide some clarity on what’s involved, and as far as possible to strip back the expectations for each position. This has involved creating some role specs, and also a lot delegating to our great team. What a task force you have proved to be!
We’ve drafted the following roles to help this out, these are available for your review and input, as well as a session to nominate and elect these positions.
We’ve taken a strong steer from feedback after each event, carrying out a lessons learned session after each event, and we believe this has enhanced the success of events both from a logistics perspective, as well as improving enjoyment and profitability at each event. This has led to some record breaking profit margins, with the Christmas fair profiting at £4,561 and our recent Summer Fair at £3,700. Most notably has been the outstanding support from some of our members and the wider parent community, for this I am immensely grateful.
We tried to optimise the events calendar this year to avoid people being as thinly spread all the time, and have tried to focus on making the events we run more profitable. We have increased some prices in key areas, whilst retaining a low price on child food and activities to ensure that our events remain inclusive as possible.
Janine our Treasurer resigned officially this year after 6 years of supporting us – I would like to extend our thanks for all she has done. Julie has been doing a great job of covering the position for us in the interim, we hope to see someone take up the mantel over the summer and run with the position into next year.
Lucy – the backbone of our PTA has also served 6 years and is stepping down from the end of the year. Without her organisation, drive, calming nature and can do attitude we may never have got half of our events off the ground. I am so grateful for her relentless support and wonderful character – I hope you enjoy being on the other side of the bar Lucy.
What should we do next year?
I think the challenging target has focussed our fundraising and has really encouraged innovation – I hope the school can present us with a suitable challenge to stretch us next year. We have the ball to look forward to in November thanks to our great team for organising this.
Based on other feedback, we should start planning events a lot earlier, and also in September we need to refresh what we’re offering, so that families who attend year after year do not get bored.
Next year, I think it would be really helpful to assign one or two new roles to assist with the smooth running, including a Raffle Coordinator and Marketing Officer to improve the following:
Whilst we do want to make fewer demands on our team’s time, it has been acknowledged that we spend most of our meetings planning events, and have little time to improve our overall strategy and direction. I would like to see us planning for the future much more next year so that we can continue to grow and improve what we do.
This has been a great year for fundraising and for some key changes to come to fruition. I hope to see us continuing to grow and adapt to our school’s changing needs. It has been a pleasure serving our PTA this year.