What do the Friends of Monks Risborough Do?
We are very fortunate at our school to have a parent teacher organisation called the Friends of Monks Risborough which is and has been an integral part of the school community. In its time the Friends of Monks Risborough has raised thousands of pounds which have been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education and the school’s facilities.
All parents and members of the school community can get involved if they want to, even if they only have a small amount of time available. All families are automatically members of the Friends of Monks Risborough when their child joins the school.
Role of the Committee
Our Friends Committee consists of 3 Officers (2x co-chairs and a Treasurer). We also have between 3 and 6 other regular committee members to make up the full Committee. The Committee meet on a regular basis, usually once or twice per term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary when we are planning larger events.
How we raise money
As in most schools, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Some of our most popular events are the Summer Fair; Christmas Fair, Auction of Promises, Quiz and Curry Night, Triathlon/Campathon, Children’s Discos and Children’s Film Clubs. We always try to respond to the children’s requests for events and it is so rewarding to see them having fun at our activities or enjoying using a piece of new equipment that the Friends has donated.
How we spend the money we raise
Following a fundraising event, the money is banked straight away. It is at our Friends Committee Meetings that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed. Usually, the school will have a ‘shopping list’ of items that they would like the Friends to consider purchasing. Sometimes this will be as a result of the children asking for something such as new data loggers. At other times it will be for resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment.
In general, the Friends funds are for the ‘extras’ not provided by the school budget that make our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting. However, we also fund some much needed central resources (please see list below).
Our Constitution commits us to spending money on things that will benefit the children directly. We always endeavour to spend our funds in ways that will benefit all our children across all areas of the school and curriculum.
The money we raise is usually spent fairly quickly. That way, you can be sure that in supporting the school, your child will feel the benefit. There are times when we have a big project underway that we need to save money for. As an example, we saved money to improve the reception and key stage 2 outdoor areas and have also redecorated and refurbished the school library. Whilst saving for these, we have still managed to find funds for smaller items thanks to the generosity and continued support of our parents.
Examples of what we fund
• We support the year 6 leavers party
• We provide funds to each class at the start of the academic year to spend on items which will enhance our children’s learning
• We pay for prizes for the school’s golden ticket pupil reward scheme
• We have helped to fund a science club
• We have paid for egg hatching kits
• We provide funds to the school’s gardening club
• We have funded the purchase of over 30 chrome books
• We have funded new line markings in the key stage 1 and key stage 2 playgrounds
• We have funded a much need renovation of the Reception and Key Stage 2 outdoor areas
• We have redecorated and refurbished the school library
How we get information to you
Friends letters are sent home via ParentMail, the school’s main communication system, giving forthcoming dates for events, plus requests for help when we are planning large events. Following a Friends event, we will always try to let you know how much was raised and if we can, what the money will be spent on.
We also have a very active Facebook group ‘Friends of Monks Risborough’ which families of the school can join at any time. This will keep you up-to-date and allows you to post your own suggestions.
How you can get involved
There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through the Friends. 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 can’t come into school. There are always little 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.
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.
You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use. Everything is potentially valuable to us!
What you can do to help immediately
You can raise money for the school every time you shop online at big retailers like John Lewis and Amazon. How? Before going directly to a retailer’s website, log into easyfundraising first and click on the retailer you want to shop with. You’ll then be taken to the retailer’s website where you shop as you would normally. But because you visited easyfundraising first, your cause gets a donation.
You can also switch out your Amazon app to Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile is identical to Amazon in every way, with the added benefit that it allows you to select a charitable organisation (Friends of Monks Risborough). The Amazon Smile Foundation will then donate 05% of eligible purchases to our school! This is a way to help raise funds for the school whilst doing your regular online shopping.
Your Amazon account credentials do not change and you can continue to use your prime membership as you do now. The only thing you do differently is navigate to: smile.amazon.com or use the Amazon Smile App rather than going to Amazon.com direct. Once you have entered smile.amazon.com into your browser, when asked to select your chosen charity please select Friends of Monks Risborough School. Then you are all set to shop away! You can also change your Amazon App to Amazon Smile really easily too by going to settings on your current Amazon App, selecting AmazonSmile under Programmes and Features, then following the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and select Friends of Monks Risborough School as your chosen charity.
Charity Matched Giving
Charity matching is a very simple practice. Companies or businesses pledge to donate to a charity such as ourselves an amount of money relating to the amount that an employee(s) donates or fundraises for us. We have recently been helped enormously by this type of donation and there are several benefits to both ourselves and the company involved.
• Employees’ morale is boosted by having their efforts supported by their employer.
• The company benefits from having charitable donations written off against taxable profits
• The company can endeavour to get publicity for their giving.
• Our charity benefits from receiving perhaps double what we have raised at an event.
If you think that your employer has a match giving scheme already in operation or if you would like some more information about setting up a scheme in your workplace, please talk to one of the Friends committee members.
Feel free to contact any of the committee directly whenever you see us. You can also reach us via firstname.lastname@example.org. The current committee is:
Co-Chair – Lynsey Everett (Year 2)
Co-Chair – Cassie Kielkowicz (Year 2)
Treasurer – Rhona Baxendale (Year 5)
We hope this information is useful and we hope to see you at either one of our committee meetings or one of our events soon.
The Friends of Monks Risborough