Hello, my name is Jo Gordon and I am the current chair of the Friends of St Marks.
The charity that is the Friends runs alongside the school, and includes anyone with links to the children of the school. This includes the staff onsite, parents, carers, grandparent etc. We support school led events as well as organising our own, which are supported by the school. The funds created then go towards things like the building of the site shop, the hub, refurbishing the library and helping to start the allotment, things that could be outside the curriculum and our children may not be able to experience otherwise.
Volunteering can be as simple as sending in baked goods when requested, helping to sell or even buying them at the event. There are enough potential participants to mean once you’ve helped once you shouldn’t feel duty bound to help every time (unless you accidentally enjoyed yourself and want to participate more). Turning up at meetings with a clear head and a biscuit deficiency also isn’t compulsory – there is generally only one meeting per term, and some of those are simply organising how many people we need, what days, to do what. However, some of them are to gather ideas for future events at which point, the more people the better. None of it would be possible without the support of people like you. Even if all the participation you can or want to achieve is in purchasing the cakes and having a hot drink, please consider adding your email to the friends contact list, you would then receive the minutes with direct communication of upcoming events and requests for assistance. You can email the friends to be added here: firstname.lastname@example.org
What follows is a short description of a few events we run and how you could potentially participate.
These are split into two, due to the size of the hall. All 4 year groups at the same time wouldn’t leave any space to dance.
Years 3 & 4 start at 5.30 until 6.45pm followed by Years 5 & 6 starting at 7.00 until 8.15pm.
The children pay £1.50 entrance and can bring a little extra for the tuck shop. £1 is more than enough, a bag of sweets costs 50p (only one per child!) with popcorn, crisps and glow sticks also on sale.
Entrance for both discos is behind the hall through the Year 5 corridor doors. Pick-up is via the main school entrance by the office. Adults should collect the children and leave through the hall. No child will be allowed to leave unaccompanied.
Each disco needs a certain amount of setting up and observing to run safely. We need volunteers to arrive a little earlier to help set up the tuck shop and water station, be in the hall during the disco and help with clearing up at the end.
Each disco needs at least 10 volunteers.
The Christmas Draw
This starts before the winter half term, when the draw tickets go out to individual families, this is so the tickets can be offered out to family members if you see them during the holidays. A couple of days before the draw, children ‘pay’ for the pleasure of dressing in non uniform at school with a hamper gift -a packet of crackers, a bottle of wine, a jar of chutney, that kind of thing-, these are picked up from the classes by the Friends and the following day are sorted into 12 hampers, representing each class, we also make up extra little hamper prizes of relevant products and have a friends luxury hamper as well as a top prize of a sum of money plus other potential prizes. Voluntary help is needed for the afternoon before the draw to sort the hampers, wrap the boxes, display the goods etc, the following day at the draw, after lunch, the hall needs to be set up and the kitchen made into a refreshment area and sit folding raffle stubs ready to draw. After school, at the draw, volunteers serve the teas and coffees, sell extra tickets then disassemble the hall, clean the kitchen and hall floor. We also need cake for this event.
These are deliberately organised for a Friday evening and are run for adults, not children. £2.00 and a prize for the raffle (which can be aunts Flo’s last delightful gift or fermented grapes, whatever you grab on your way out of the door) buys a seat, you can pre-arrange a team of 8 or turn up and we will find a table of like minded souls to sit you with as you attempt to not be last, technically as long as you haven’t got me on your team, you stand a good chance of avoiding that accolade. Around half way through the quiz, we hold the raffle. Bring your snacks for the table, and your own drinks.