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Frog's Chair Report & AGM Minutes

14 Oct 2021

Dear Parents/carers,
Thank you to everyone who attended the AGM on Friday. We had a lot to celebrate over some cream cake and non-alcoholic prosecco!
Please see the Chair’s report below for an overview of our fundraising activity over the past 12 months. The full minutes of the meeting are attached for your further information:
FROGS Chair’s Report 2021
It has been another year of challenges for fundraising activities due to the ongoing pandemic, which has meant that we have had less opportunities to hold our usual fundraising activities once again. This, coupled with the additional stresses and strains of living through a worldwide pandemic, means that our focus has quite rightly at times been on the health and welfare of our family and community.
However, the support we have received from our local community this year has been unprecedented, with a
record-breaking figure from donations received this year alone! In what would have otherwise been a very challenging fundraising year, our local community has rallied around us and carried us on their shoulders to help us realise our dream of raising enough money to fund the classroom build that will see the class 4 children finally welcomed into the heart of our school, whilst also still being able to provide enriching equipment for the school which will benefit all the children throughout their school lives.
Due to a combination of this generosity, along with the diligent work of our committee to source grants, and a small flurry of fundraising activities, we have managed to raise an incredible £25k!!
This means that we hope we will be able to finally realise our 8-year ambition to start work on the classroom build, so that we can move our class 4 children out of their ancient portacabin and develop the portacabin into an intervention, meeting or quiet study room as required. FROGS has been tirelessly fundraising to achieve this objective for over 8-years, and it is incredibly exciting to have this within grasping distance.
Fundraising Activities:
Our fundraising calendar started a little later than usual with the “All my own work” project at Christmas, which was coordinated by Charlie Worswick, Janet Simpson and Lucy Mawer. Many thanks to their hard work and support, especially to Janet and Lucy without whom it would have been impossible for us to run the project due to our inability to access school premises amidst the second wave of the pandemic!
We also participated in the “Big PTA Christmas Raffle” which is a nationwide raffle run by Parentkind (a membership organisation that supports PTA’s and friends’ groups for schools, of which we are a member), which was another welcome source of income via a pandemic-friendly virtual event.
I managed to have a good clear out before we moved house, and raised some money for the school by selling unwanted items on Facebook marketplace, which evidently is a very profitable way to de-clutter whilst killing two birds with one stone!
We’ve also had the continual trickle of income from online shopping via the Easingfundraising/ The Giving Machine/Amazon Smile Apps or websites, and the Rag Bag clothes collection bin in the pub car park. Thank you to everyone who has donated clothes or signed up to the Easyfundraising scheme, and an even bigger Thank you to those of you who remember to access your usual shopping websites via the App or web page and regularly manage to generate donations from their online shopping (especially Mrs Acheson who is our Top Supporter on our leader board!).
We finished the year with the prestigious Fountains 10k Race, which has been running for over 21-years to raise funds for Fountains School. It has grown in size and success every year, and this year was the first year that it was organised as a joint venture between both Fountains and Grewelthorpe schools, working together as a federation. We made the difficult decision to postpone the event from its original date in May, to July 18th, in the hope that social distancing restrictions would be lifted to allow us to run the event under more normal circumstances. Unfortunately, the final stage of lifting lockdown restrictions was delayed, which meant that we still had to abide by a plethora of COVID security measures to ensure that we were able to run the event in a socially responsible way that did not jeopardise the progress of the ongoing lockdown and vaccination programmes. Thankfully, the event went very smoothly, despite the heatwave which provided additional challenges to those dedicated folk who came to take part on the day! Much fun was had by all, and we managed to raise over £7500 for the federation which was split evenly between the two schools.
Community Support and Engagement:
We are incredibly grateful for the support that the local community has shown us over the past 12 months, and our eternal thanks goes out to two very generous local benefactors who have between them donated over £15k to our cause this year. Our Rag Bag clothes collection bin has been used by our local community more this year than any other, with £422 of income generated from this alone.
Swinton Park have once again supported us with their donations of prizes for the Fountains 10k Raffle.
We were also supported by a handful of generous local businesses who provided cash sponsorship for the Fountains 10k race, including:
  • Dales Water Services
  • Kettlewells Fuels
  • Norton Interiors
  • Picture News
  • Hutchinson & Buchanan
  • David Wade Fine Art
  • Lunns Blinds
  • Dickinsons Boarding Schools
  • All Action Sports Ltd
  • Jacksons Electricals
  • Atkinsons Coaches
From the money we have raised, we have funded the PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) Jigsaw programme, which is a comprehensive Programme for Primary PSHE including statutory Relationships and Health Education, in a progressive and fully planned scheme of work, giving children relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others. It is underpinned by mindfulness philosophy and practice, and has been warmly received by teachers and children alike.
Each class also got £50 to purchase a class Christmas present, which usually includes a communal game or additional craft supplies.
And due to a large anonymous donation to buy IT equipment, we were able to buy some more lap tops and tablets for the children to use in school.
Concluding statement:
It has been another challenging year on many levels for all of us. And whilst our impressive fundraising total this year is largely due to the generosity and kindness of our local community, it is still important to acknowledge that none of this would be possible without a dedicated team of volunteers and passionate people who work incredibly hard to support our school to be the best it can be to help nurture and inspire our children.
It is these passionate people whose hard work and determination inspires other people to think: “What can I do to help their cause?”.
And when passionate people have inspired enough other people to ask themselves this question, that is when amazing things can happen.
Like building a new classroom!!!!!!!
However, I am also acutely aware that FROGS is so much more than just a method of raising essential funds for the school. It is a way of helping parents to feel more connected with their children’s education, whilst also playing an essential role in strengthening relationships within the school and local community. I am aware that new families who have joined the school during the last 18 months have had less opportunity to get to know other people in our school community, and have missed out on those important opportunities to meet people and build a network of parents to support them. I therefore hope we can push forwards over the next 12 months to try to include old and new families in our social and fundraising activities over the next academic year, to the benefit of both the school and our community.
Once again, I wish to express my heartfelt appreciation to both our committee, and all those parents who have assisted with the planning and running of all of our events over the last academic year. And, of course, a massive thank you to all the parents, grandparents, carers, neighbours, friends, teachers and TA’s who support, sponsor, donate and contribute to our events throughout the year.  
Finally, I would like to finish the Chair’s report by thanking everyone for attending and wishing the new FROGS committee elected at this AGM today even greater success in the future. I truly believe that if we continue to work together, with each of us contributing in our own way, we can continue to achieve amazing things to the benefit of our children and the entire school community.

  -AGM 2021 minutes.docx-  

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