Friends of the school
The Friends of Caston School, Charity No 1045671
Who are The Friends?
The Friends is a group of volunteer parents / grandparents that organise fun events with a view to raise extra funds for the school.
The chairperson of The Friends is Amanda Jones, parent to two children in the school. She is supported by Mandy Nunn as Treasurer (and mother to two children in the school) and by Victoria Thomas as Secretary (and mum of two children in the school). Their additional help is from those parents able to attend meetings and discuss ideas, donate cakes and prizes and help to set up, run and clear away the organised events.
This is a flexible friendly group, open for anyone to join and have as much input as life allows – we are all busy / working parents that fit this fundraising round everyday life. All parents/carers and grandparents are invited to join in whatever way they can, even if they are not able to attend the monthly meeting, and can only help at some events, all participation is MUCH APPRECIATED.
What do they do?
The Friends host regular favourite events throughout the year, such as the traditional Easter Fair, the Christmas Fair, The Mother’s day gift shop, the July sports tournament and regular family bingo sessions etc. but also introduce new ideas all the time, such as A neon glow disco, a spring maypole celebration, sponsored events such as a sponsored bounce and sponsored farm walk, a quiz-n-chips Night, pop-up craft making and selling shops etc.
It’s not always about raising money though. We are a committed group of people who give up just a little of our spare time to do extra work round the school. Each year in the spring, we offer a couple of Saturday mornings to refresh the school’s outside areas for new learning opportunities for the children in the summer term – previously this has involved hard work round the wildlife pond, the repainting of the playground sheds and transforming one of these into a quiet area known as The Beach Hut for playtime use, the maintenance of the vegetable garden and most recently, the creation of The Reading Garden and improvements on the outside classroom spaces with new flooring, repainting of benches etc.
Where does the raised money go?
The Friends support the school all year round by contributing 50% of the travel costs for all school trips, paying at least 50% of the costs of workshops that come into the school to run sessions with the children (previously A Picasso drama workshop, a circus session, African Dance etc.) and paying for end-of-year presentation prizes.
However, on top of this, The Friends also make extra purchases for the school, which benefit the children. This has previously been a full set of waterproof clothing for the youngest class for water-play, 2 new laptops for computer studies, contribution towards a new smart screen in the set-up of a whole new classroom for the 2016/17 school year and most recently, a splash-out on an impressive piece of new play equipment on the school field, as voted for by the children at the beginning of 2017.
Hopes for The Future?
The Friends has always been an important part of Caston School, with events so well attended by the families involved here. We could only wish for this to continue, so that the children can benefit from extra facilities that this small school is lucky to have.
There is talk of an outside theatre stage for next year, and a pop-up science lab, as well as further investment in art supplies.
Please enjoy the photos showing some of the work that The Friends do.