Our next AGM is after the cafe on the 3rd March 2018. The agenda is:
1. Welcome by Vic O’Leary
2 Matters Arising from the last AGM.
3.update on any issues arising
5 Report from Chair. Long version on website. Short one to be read.
6. Questions previously submitted.
Annual Report March 2018
Wilbury Community Forum Full Report by Sue Lines, Chair. 3.3. 2018
St Thomas’s Hall, St Thomas’s Church, Bedford Rd, Letchworth.
Welcome everyone. This AGM is our fifth. You may have noticed that the
last AGM was in September 2016. This AGM is 6 months later because the
Trustees decided to make our AGM and our accounts tally with the Financial
Year. We also decided to move the cafe to the first Saturday each month to
make it easy to mark in our diaries.
1. I would like express warm gratitude to the wonderful group of people who
work behind the scenes and do the magic, once a month, popping up our
cafe from nowhere and then a few hours later making it vanish!
2. We would also like to thank St Thomas’s for the great conditions of their
buildings. Thanks In particular go to Kay Skingsley, a quiet presence who
makes sure everything is in order.
3. Thank to Tony Venezia who last year volunteered his services as our
secretary. Tony has taken over a number of jobs I used to do for which I’m
really grateful; and particularly for Tony’s attention to detail applying for
Lottery funding in October 2017.
4. The lottery funding has enabled us to use the St Thomas’s Hall for an
hour’s Family Play Activity with Cristina, a local resident and qualified play
leader. It’s great that every month there’s been an increase in the numbers of
young families. Glyn, another local resident volunteered his help and has
also brought back the pre-loved school uniform, cleaned and ready for a new
child. The lottery has financed an hour’s pay for Cristina and for her to buy
equipment and a range of games. I know that. Cristina and Glyn hope that
they will be able to expand out of doors in good weather. We will need to
have safeguards against the busy road if this is to happen. Thank you
Cristina and Glyn for your contribution.
5. After the Family Play Activity, Yoga For All is run by Idunn, a qualified
yoga teacher. Idunn encourages each person to work within their physical
limits. The numbers have not grown as we would like. If you think an hour’s
careful exercising will do you some good, please join us.
6. The cafe continues to offer everyone cuppas and cake. Thank you to the
Cafe team with Tony, Judith, Lauren, Rosie and Andy and to Marion and her
family for manning the Pennies and Pounds.
7. Thank you Sarah and helpers Erica, Dawn, Gilly, Mary, Joanna and Seema
who every month present a fresh idea for children and parents to make a
craft activity that can be made in the space of an hour although not
uncommon to see crafters hard at work for much longer! Thank you too for
the effort you put in collecting the materials that have so far cost the Cafe
8. Chris and the knitting group continues to flourish.The group have knitted
children’s jumpers which are taken out to Lesotho on a regular basis and
have also contributed knitted squares which are then made into blankets for
the Homeless in the area. They are happy to accept any donations of yarn
and knitted goods for Charity and would love to have more people join
them. Chris coordinated the secret knitting of squares creating two baby
blankets for Sarah’s baby’s birth last May. This was a well kept secret until
the last cafe before Alfie was born, when Sarah was duly presented with her
gifts by Gary Grindal, Councillor for Wilbury Ward.
9. Thanks to the additional friends and organisations who contribute to each
cafe... like today’s Samba session. Other times we’ve had CAB, Transition
Town Letchworth and friends who are conscripted to bring something
different to each cafe.
10. Thank you, everyone who contributes to keeping the cafe running;
Donna who manages the hall, Lynn who goes wherever needed, Michael
who puts up and takes down the tables, Lena with her mathematical
challenges; Frank with his bike surgery; Peter willing to play chess; Kirsten
taking photos; Sarah producing the monthly posters; Tony, Erica and the
post people who distribute the posters. Last of all, my thanks to Tony, Vic
and Lynda as trustees for helping me with the behind the scenes work.
I hope I haven’t neglected to thank anyone. It is all about pulling together to
make our lives in Wilbury richer. Thank you everyone.
Report of the WCF AGM held on Saturday 11 September 2016 in St Thomas’s Hall.
Preface to Report:
In the last year, the Trustees decided to move the AGM from the autumn to the spring and hold it at the end of the normal financial year. this means that there was no AGM in September 2017. From now on, AGMs will take place in February or March.
The Trustees, Sue Lines, Chair, Jane Bird, Treasurer, Vic O’Leary Governance Trustee, Andy Frankland and members the forum attended the AGM in September 2016 after the cafe.
Sue gave a report of the varied activities that had taken place during the year. She thanked all helpers - from the essential jobs of putting up and taking down the banner on the church and schools, putting out chairs and tables, teaching kids to play chess, baking cakes, washing up, setting out the kids' and adults' clothes, face painting, helping with Arts and Crafts, knitting, pushing a broom round afterwards. Wilbury Youth Council mucked in and especially Immy who led them and arranged for amazing events such as white water rafting. This was not a complete list.
We had tried to incorporate activities for children with Imajica running children’s fitness fun. We had several sessions of zumba and a ‘NHS MOT’. Through CVS several of us took the opportunity of going to London by coach and meeting with Oliver Heald M.P. who also visited during the course of the year. We were well supported by a range of ages both with children and adults.
We were grateful to The Letchworth Heritage Foundation who funded our hall hire. Some governors came on Saturdays and seemed pleased with what we were doing.
We had unplanned questions from the floor about payment and these were settled after the AGM.
Andy Franklin during the course of the following months resigned. Andy had looked after books and Pennies and Pounds in his lock up. The loss of his involvement was a sad loss to the Forum. Sadly Andy has health problems and no longer lives locally.
Wilbury Community Forum Annual Report 2015-2016
Thank you to all helpers!
It's been a very full on year. Thank you to all helpers - putting up and taking down the banner on the church and schools, putting out chairs and tables, teaching kids to play chess, baking cakes, washing up, setting out the kids' and adults' clothes, face painting, helping with Arts and Crafts, teaching knitting, pushing a broom round afterwards. This list is not complete but gives a picture of what it takes to run a cafe! I'm including the Wilbury Youth Council who muck in and Immy who leads them.
Last year NHDC funded Boogy Woogy Fun with Imajica for children to get exercise and learn about healthy hearts. Imajica did us proud with a great panto and children's tea last Christmas. Thank you Imajica and thank you NHDC for the grant. We are now funded for Zumba starting at the October cafe for young and old alike.
What seems like ages ago Ingrid worked with a graphic artist and students at Fearnhill School to create the WCFlogo. Thanks to Sarah who has taken it forward . Our website is up and running . At the Summer Fair, Oliver Heald attended and launched it for us. We have still to start making really good use of it. Today’s reports will all be on the website.
The Youth Council
The Youth Council has held regular fund-raising for us with donations from Inmmy’s family run at the Cafe, offering fun activities, Lordship School continues donating goods from their Fairs recycled to families via the Café, Immy and family organised 2 events at the Letchworth Festival with 3 WCF Volunteers and ran very successful stalls alongside a Herts Music/Youth Music free Recycled Instrument drop in in the town which Ingrid to organised and funded. This has been largely Immy’s initiative on top of school work and family matters. Thank you Immy.
Immy was asked to nominate a key member for the Comet Awards nominated Sarah who out of hundreds of nominations got down to the final 4 and was invited to the Award Ceremony plus Jessica won the Young Achiever Award for her work on WCF Youth Council. The Youth Council now is in a new phase with Heather and Donna supporting the huge need in Wilbury for a youth club with more out of school regular events. It’s great to see Wilbury young people excelling.
Gavin has been encouraged by PCSO Mandy Aylott to start a Neighbourhood Watch. He has been going house to house in Archers Way to get neighbours on board. If residents in other roads are interested in starting a Neighbourhood Watch, go and talk to Gavin.
Room hire and grants
Every time we use these facilities, we pay room hire from grants that have to be applied for.We are very fortunate to have the Heritage foundation who mainly pay our room hire and are now subsidising The Seated Exercise class on Wednesdays for 20 weeks. Because of local authority cuts, all the other funders are under greater pressure so more groups go to the Heritage for grants, The Seated Exercise Class previously £1 a session - now is £3. I'd like to hear if you know anyone for whom this increase will prevent them attending. I can't promise we can help but this information helps us make the case for more financial support.
Future concert plans
In December we intend to have a cafe for an hour and then to pile into the St Thomas's Hall for a community concert. If you can juggle, sing a song or know someone or a local group we ought to include, we'd like to hear about them. The Fair we usually hold in December will be part of our January cafe. Donna has agreed to take on some of the responsibility for the Fairs and has agreed to do this with help from the rest of us. she also plays an important part with the youth council.
As Trustees we hold infrequent Trustees' meetings of Chair, Secretary (Lynn Bridgeman) absent today, Treasurer (Jane Bird ) Vic O'Leary with his background with the Black Squirrel Credit Union, Andy who helps guide the direction of the cafe and looks after our unique library. Legally Immy who is under 18 can’t be a trustee but we appreciate the work she puts in and have asked Donna to be her point of contact with the Trustees.
The activities at the cafes rely to the Activity Coordinators and their teams. Chris Taylor has run theWilbury Knitters since the beginning. Together with other groups she is involved with, over 150 ‘fish and chip’ jumpers with tiny hats, have been taken by Julie Hone to Lesotho, plus 8 blankets, 6 pairs baby’s bootees, 8 Baby/Premature baby blankets. 32 Scarves - some with Immy for a Womens Refuge to Germany, Over 60 Premature baby hats and many more little items. An impressive record!
Arts and Crafts
The arts and crafts has grown amazingly thanks to the exciting and different ideas dreamt up by Sarah. Is it a children’s activity? - Adults seem to release their inner child there. Thanks Sarah, Dawn and Erica!
“Pennies and Pounds”
Marion has supported our one fund raising activity “Pennies and Pounds” from the start with clothes, uniformsand homeware. This brings me to a question I would everyone to answer. We’vehad comments about activities creeping in that require money. We started up as a free cafe and I want to clarify our position so I have printed a sheet called Draft Principles for Cafes and Fairs. Please take, read and let me have your written comments. The trustees will share the job of deciding the future course of cafes with regard to charging for activities..
I hope you will agree that compared to the mild inconvenience of getting up early one Saturday a month, the reward is an ENJOYABLE MORNING and a sense of achievement. Tell your neighbours, friends and family. You are our best advert! If you don't already help in some way, will you help? Make cakes (p'raps not every month. We can reimburse the cost of ingredients), join in where you feel you fit in, and if you think you don't fit but could do something we don't already offer, PLEASE share your ideas. (e.g. gardening, dress making and mending, DIY?)
Support from NHCVS
Our special feature each month; the Health M.O.T. in February was funded and largely organised by NHCVS, the subsidised trip to the Houses of Parliament; and today’s Badminton event have happened because we have been building a strong relationship with North Herts C.V.S. who like what we do and have funded us. Michal Siewniak and Rebecca at NHCVS have been brilliant in their support and enthusiasm for what we are doing in Wilbury.
Three years ago when WCF started, it was because a number of us saw how government funding was going to be cut every which way especially at the less well off. It's against this back drop that WCF exists; to bring us together once a month, maybe develop a skill or just enjoy get to know more neighbours at little cost. Where does it start? With a cuppa and cake of course! All rolled out by Jane, Rosie and their team who are brilliant.
If you have an idea for a cafe feature or know any feature and who might present it, let one of us know. This is our organisation. We have a very simple aim: to build community- to extend our friendships and to enjoy living in Wilbury.
Standing down and thanks
Ingrid Horgan started as a Trustee and then stood down to take on the voluntary responsibility for getting our grants - a huge job and I’m very grateful for her huge contribution. She has now decided to stand down entirely. I have a huge debt of gratitude for the help she has given us and know that we will still see her at cafes… a big thank you.
Councillor Gary Grindal has been a trustee from the start of WCF and has now decided to stand down. I'd like to thank him for helping WCF to get on our feet from when we started. He will still be coming to cafes for his local surgeries. Remember he attends to hear what WE need his support for.
WCF Chair, Sue Lines