What is “the Friends”?
The Friends of St Joseph’s is a registered charity as registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales (number 1158682).
Who are the Friends?
Every parent/guardian and all teachers at the school are members and therefore Friends. Grandparents and Governors may be invited by the committee to also be members if they so decide. The Committee run the charity and organise events with the help and support from other volunteers from the community of members. The AGM (Annual General Meeting) is held at the school and all members are invited to attend.
What do the Friends do?
The Friends are a group of unpaid volunteers who have committed their time and energies to raising additional funds to enhance the educational experience of our children while at St. Joseph’s. We are a fund-raising committee, which means that all profits raised go to providing additional facilities for the children here at the School.
How do they do this?
By organising a series of events throughout the school year such as cake sales, second hand uniform and book sales, school discos, Summer and Christmas fairs etc. These initiatives are fun for the children and their families and help support parents/carers. They also create a much needed sense of pride and community for our school.
What is the money for?
The charity’s purpose is to engage in activities to advance the education of pupils at the school in particular through:
- developing effective relationships between staff, parents and others associated with the school; and
- to engage in activities or provide facilities or equipment which support the school and advance the education of the pupils.
Funds raised through the Friends are intended to provide equipment or experiences that would otherwise be unavailable to the school. Projects, both large and small, are identified and agreed upon by the Committee in consultation with the Head. Once purchased, these items then become property of the school. Examples of items purchased with significant donations from the Friends include the MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) and trim trail and log climber in the playground as well as additions to the library.
What can I do to help?
- Volunteer: watch out for announcements from the Friends via the school in text and newsletter form which will announce an event and seek a “helping hand”. Being a part of the Friends Committee or a helping hand can be hard work from time to time but it is very rewarding. It’s a great way to get involved with your School, to meet new people and make new friends.
- Donate: a cake, old uniform, a bottle for the raffle etc in line with requests ahead of an event
- Attend: none of these events will be successful without support through good attendance where possible and the purchase of one or two reasonably priced items
What if I work full time?
We understand that every parent has different working patterns to juggle around family life and that it is not always feasible to take time off work to volunteer at every single event. Consider buying or baking a cake to donate to the event, supporting a weekend event (such as the Summer fair) with an hour of your time to volunteer at a stall or give your child/childminder a pound or two to buy a book or a cake on the day of the sale. Every single modest effort and contribution results in a great result.
Matched giving is a great way to boost the charity’s funds. If your employer is part of this scheme then every financial donation that you make and every sum that you help raise by volunteering can be matched pound for pound by your employer which is a great boost to the charity. A list of employers can be provided by the Friends if you are unsure.
Why join the Friends
- For the kids – being actively involved in your child’s school makes you an excellent role model for them. It encourages them to do their best
- It builds trust – it will help you understand the school and how it works and you will work with the school to make a real difference to the experiences of the children
- It raises welcome funds – the money increases the opportunities and experiences for our children at the school
- It gives you a voice – you can help decide where funds should be spent
- It builds the St Joseph’s wider community – through sponsorship and involvement of local businesses it extends our reach
- It is good for you – you’ll learn new skills, enjoy working as a team and watching the children smile after you make something happen.