The Friends of St Michael’s Association exists to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. In its time the Friends Association has raised thousands of pounds, which has been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education experience and the school’s facilities.
The Committee meet on the first Tuesday of every month during term time with smaller working groups meeting as necessary when we are planning larger events. Our Annual General Meeting is held at the beginning of the academic year and provides an opportunity for all parents and staff to come along and hear in more detail about the work of the Friends Association, the events we have run, the funds we have raised and how the money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new committee members.
We have a growing list of Friends Association volunteers who commit some of their time to helping the committee. Every little helps, so just one hour assisting at an event would be invaluable.
Like most PTAs, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. We aim to host at least one event per term – the Christmas Fayre, Easter Bonnets and Buns, and the Summer Fayre. We always try and respond to the children’s requests; it is great to see them having fun at the events or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that the Friends of St Michael’s has donated.
We raise money in other ways too. Donations from parents are extremely important. You can donate time, money, items for sale, raffle prizes and offers of services and skills.
How We Spend Funds
Following a fundraising event the money is banked straight away. It is at our Friends of St Michael’s Committee meetings, that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed. Usually, Mrs Sexton will have a ‘wishlist’ of items that the school would like the Friends Association to consider funding. Sometimes this will be as a result of the children asking for something, for example, in January 2016 we provided a large box full of board games for each class to use during wet play, at the request of School Council.
At other times it will be for resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment. For example, we paid for the new markings on the playground. The Friends of St Michael’s funds are spent on the ‘extras’ that are not provided by the school’s budget, thus making our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting.
The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting our school, your children will feel the benefit, along with everybody else.
The Friends of St Michael’s have a regular slot in the school newsletter which you will receive each week by email. Following a Friends Association event, we always write to let you know how much was raised, and if we can, we tell you what the money will be spent on.
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the Friends of St Michael’s. If you would like to do so, please give your details to the school office, and a member of our committee will contact you.
Offering to help before events or at other times during the year is so valuable. It doesn’t matter if you can’t help on a regular basis, or even if you cannot come into school. There are always 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 behind the scenes help that we receive.
You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use, everything is potentially valuable to us.
If you would like to be more involved you can volunteer to be a Committee Member. Or you can simply support the AGM and give us your ideas for fundraising events. This is also the time to ask questions or voice your opinion.
And finally, we are always extremely grateful to receive donations of goods and services in the run up to events as mentioned before.
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