Hello, one and all and a Happy New Year to you. It has been decided that, in an attempt to disseminate information more effectively throughout the whole Club, I will write a regular newsletter which will be posted on the website, emailed out, included in match day programmes and pinned to the club notice board.
So here is the first bulletin, which serves as a "catch up' on what has been going and where we currently stand. Future editions will provide regular updates ...and shouldn't take as long to read !
New Changing Rooms, New Field and Extra Car Parking
A massive well done and thank you to Mark Blackwell and all those who helped to facilitate and fund these fantastic improvements to the clubs facilities. I think everyone would agree that these 3 things were sorely needed across the whole club:-youth, ladies and seniors, and that everyone is getting value from at least one of the new facilities. These improvements were funded by RFU grants and loans; grants from AVDC and to a large extent interest free loans from club members. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them personally.
The next phase of improvement is to be an extension to the rear of the clubhouse and rearrangement of internal usage. The bar will remain the same, but we will gain a much large kitchen (for which the youth and kitchen volunteers have been crying out for years!!); a small first aid room; a storage room within the bar area for trestle tables, chairs and cleaning equipment; and a new, larger, better placed, club shop. Gabby Mallett, from the youth section, is leading this project and she is currently finalising plans to ensure that everyone gets what they want from the development. Total cash required for this project will be in the region of £60K.
Obviously all these improvements cost money - as does the day-to-day running of the club and its facilities. There are many people who appreciate this fact; and special thanks must go to all those from the Kirk Nokes Memorial Fund (who have recently donated £10K to the kitchen project), Tiger Smith (who personally signed up many people to the 300 Club); to various VP's who generously donate or lend the club money to facilitate projects or tide us over in times of difficulty; and all club captains and committee officials (who tirelessly and often thanklessly collect match fees/organise fundraising events etc for the club).
However, there are some who think that the "rugby fairies" simply make these things happen and that they can use the club facilities as they please with no financial input to the club. Remember this is a members club and if you play, train or drink here you should be a member!! Playing, VP or Social.
Here are some areas of improvement which should help with fund raising:-
• JustGiving-The club has recently registered with JustGiving, which enables us to collect 25% extra Gift Aid (from the government) on donations to the club. We are able to do this as we are registered as a Community Amateur Sports Club. This will be utilised this year while selling Ball tickets, where ticket price will be reduced to £10, but we will ask for a voluntary donation of £60 to the club. I hope no-one will refuse to give the donation but I wait to be amazed!!
We will be looking at additional ways of using Gift Aid next season
• 300 Club -The club draw has been running now for a couple of successful years - ask the likes of Edward Lane, Michael Jarman or David Prosser; who have all won the grand prize of £1000. However, we still have not reached the 300 mark and there are many players or youth parent who have not yet joined. Remember for a fiver a month you can be in with a 1/300 chance of winning upto £1000 and help the club at the same time. Go to the website click on "Club Info" and then "the 300 Club".
• RFU Raffle - Same plea every year, sell your raffle tickets by mid February and get them back to your designated official. This can earn the club up to £4-5K, it just requires a little personal effort. In the years of doing this raffle we have only been achieving 30% of our capability.
• Club Finances The recent improvements at the club have obviously eaten into our cash reserves, and we have increasing monthly outgoings (eg repaying RFU loans). Additionally, the very harsh winter we previously had led to almost £20K remedial monies being spent on club pitches last year.
As a result the club is currently short of cash.
Please read these few paragraphs above and think where you can do your little bit to help.
Next Development on the Horizon - Increased Floodlighting
Due to the very large number of teams (U13 to Colts, Ladies and Seniors) who all train midweek, a need for more floodlit training space has been identified as an important development to pursue. Currently this is being pursued via a possible S106 grant from AVDC, linked with residential development around Buckingham. This has the potential to provide money to floodlight the MMPF pitch at the end of Avenue Road (S106 monies cannot be spent on private clubs but the MMPF is publically owned) We have been promised a decision by AVDC in the new financial year. If the answer is no we will have to raise the money ourselves, a project which I will personally undertake, however I will need your help!!
There are a number of potential upcoming social events in the offing. Currently, opinion is being sought from all teams captains as to the possibility of rearranging the Harper Day charity rugby event (which had to be cancelled on 27 Dec) to be played over the Easter Holiday ; we are investigating the possibility of putting on a real ale beer festival ; Ash McCormac has organised the first senior tour for 3 years to Spain and all involved are very excited (me included!!)
And of course the May Ball tickets will be on sale soon (date for the Ball is 28th May 2011). I would urge you to buy these ASAP both to avoid disappointment and to aid the club in its current financial position.
My final section covers volunteers at the club. The Saturday bar staff rota set up at the beginning of the year to cover the busy 1st XV home Saturdays is working well and can I take the opportunity to thank everyone who has done their bit, along with all the other volunteers who have given their time through the year(s) so far.
We have identified a number of key positions that will need filling in the near future:-
- Senior Fixture Secretary, due to Paul Carr stepping down from the position at the end of the season ; many thanks to him for his 9 years service in the role - Paul will assist the new incumbent through the initial summer period of getting into the role.
- Membership Secretary, to aid with collecting and managing club membership and subscription processes.
- 1st and 2nd Team Managers, to help with website, match day organisation and general professionalism of both sides - ideally suited to parent of player or "elder statesman" of club.
- Assistant Coaches, due to the massive success of Alan Lane our new senior coach we are looking for assistant coaches who can help on Thursday nights and travel with 2nd and/or 3rd teams to aid with cohesion/playing standards within the club.
- Bar Staff, either Saturday afternoon or Friday nights, we are always looking for people willing to put their names down on the rota list, usually only used once or twice a season.
- Occasional Maintenance, again we occasionally have maintenance sessions at the club and we need everyone from carpenters to paintbrush holders to put their names down to help
If you think you can help out with anything mentioned above, or just feel a little lonely my phone is always on !!!
07710 740 351.
Thanks for listening