Who are we and why do we help Family & Friends of Mytchett Primary School (FFMPS)

⦁ Welcome to our school

On behalf of Family & Friends of Mytchett Primary School (FFMPS) we would like to warmly welcome all the new families and say hello to those of you who are already part of the Mytchett community!

If you have any questions that remain unanswered, please contact one of the committee members or your class representative.

2. Why do we have FFMPS?

We are very fortunate at our school to have a PTA that is and has been, an integral part of the school community for many years. Over the years FFMPS has raised thousands of pounds, which has been spent on equipment and resources to enhance our children’s education experience and the school’s facilities. This includes outdoor sails to give sun cover for the classrooms, a minibus, learn pads, PE shed, event sports PE kit, a PA system, gazebo’s, library books, leavers bookers, sand table, hose pipe for the gardening club, all to name but a few! Our current project is raising funds for IT equipment which includes the latest technology smart whiteboards and Learn pads. This project is estimated at a cost of £20,000 which we are on the well on the way to achieving by the end of summer 2019.

FFMPS is about much more than simply fundraising. We exist to provide closer links between home and school and it is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. It is fun too – just ask the children!!

FFMPS is a charity that works hard to raise funds for our school children. Our objective is to fundraise to further our children’s education and enrich their learning opportunities. We run events for the children, parents and the community throughout the school year. Not all of our events are run as big fundraisers; some are more about the children’s enjoyment than about raising funds. These include children’s disco, family bingo and the children’s Christmas Shopping Day; where they get the opportunity to choose and wrap presents for members of their family. These events are run with the aim of giving the children a good time!
We also run second hand uniform sales as a service to families.

All parents and members of the school community are encouraged to get involved, even if they only have a small amount of time available, as key events are divided into tasks. All families are automatically members of Family & Friends of Mytchett Primary School when their child joins our school. We are extremely conscious of the ethos and diversity of our school, and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this.

3⦁ Charitable status

Charity law requires voluntary organisations such as ours with an annual income in excess of £5,000 to register with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. As a charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and we are bound by a governing document referred to as our constitution. Our constitution sets out the rules about how we operate as a charity and how we conduct ourselves. If you would like to see a copy of the constitution, please contact one of the Committee members.

Being a registered charity enables FFMPS to:-

⦁ receive charitable donations from local and national companies
⦁ apply to grant-making charitable trusts; most charitable trusts will give grants only to groups formally recognised as charities receive donations made through payroll giving and company matched giving schemes

4⦁ Links with local community

We have, over time, developed strong links with the local community and are always well supported by both residents and businesses, for which we are very grateful. Many of our local businesses and pubs very generously provide sponsorship and donations for raffle prizes, auction items etc. We also have many talented parents who run businesses that are great supporters; several of these take part in our summer fairs and also donate items for raffle or auction. We are extremely grateful for this support as it has made a huge difference to our fundraising efforts.

5⦁ Role of the Committee

Our FFMPS committee consists of three or four Officers: a Chairperson, a Treasurer and one or two Trustees. We also have several ordinary committee members which make up the full committee.

The Committee meet on a regular basis; usually once per term, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary when we are planning larger events.

6⦁ Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Our Annual General Meeting is held at the end of the beginning of the academic year in October and is an opportunity for all parents to hear in more detail about the work of FFMPS, the events we have run, the funds we have raised and how the money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new committee members.

7. How we raise money

Like most charities, the majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run. Some of our most popular events are the Spooky Disco, Family Fireworks, Panto, Christmas Shopping Day, Adults Bingo Evening, May Fayre, Quiz night and have even had family camping!

We also ask for your help in raising free funds for us. How? By signing up to www.thegivingmachine.co.uk. Every purchase you make via the internet via this website gives Mytchett Primary School a percentage of what you spend. It takes 2 minutes of your time to sign up costs you nothing and benefits every child. The only difficulty is remembering to buy via www.thegivingmachine.co.uk website, but once you have done this a couple of times, it becomes second nature.

It won’t add anything additional to the cost of your purchase, yet it automatically generates a donation to our charity!

We raise money in other ways too. Donations from parents are extremely important. You can donate time, money, items for sale, raffle prizes and auction lots or offers of services and skills. As we are a registered charity, we are able to raise money through
Company matched giving schemes.

8. Company matched giving

Company matched giving is very simple. 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. This can help enormously 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 PTA benefits from receiving perhaps double what we have raised at an event

If you think that your employer has a matched giving scheme already in operation, or if you would like some more information about charity matched giving or setting up a scheme in your workplace, please talk to one of the PTA officers, or ask in the school office.

9. How we spend the money we raise

Following a fundraising event the money is banked straight away. It is at our Committee meetings, that the decisions on how to spend the money are agreed.

Usually, we will have a ‘wish list’ of items that the school would like FFMPS to consider funding. Sometimes this will be as a result of the children asking for something following a meeting from the school council such as playtime game equipment or it will be for resources to improve a particular area of the curriculum or school environment such as a new PA system or PE Shed. Each year the FFMPS funds a Christmas present from Santa for all the children and theatre and we contribute to the Year 6 Leavers’ gifts. The funds are spent on the ‘extras’ that are not provided by the school’s budget, thus making our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting.
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 our school, your child/ren will feel the benefit, along with everybody else.

Our aim of raising funds to improve and enrich our children’s learning is ongoing. So the level of commitment of you as a member is up to you; every little helps.

10. How we get information to you

FFMPS has its own website WWW.FFMPS.co.uk that will be regularly updated with newsletters which will include information on forthcoming events and dates, plus requests for assistance when we are planning for large events.

FFMPS information is also posted on our noticeboard which is situated in the dining hall.
We also have a Facebook page which we would love you to join:
https://www.facebook.com and search for Family and Friends of Mytchett Primary School. This is a closed group and your request will have to be confirmed.

We are just about to launch our GDPR compliant direct parent communication platform which when it is in full working order from September, all the events, payments, class to class communication, newsletters will all work all the information will be in one place.

11. How you can get involved

There are lots of ways you can help and support your child through FFMPS.

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 cannot come into school. There are always 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. This is also the time to ask questions or voice your opinion.

You can help by letting us know if you have any contacts or skills we could use, everything is potentially valuable to us.

Help the fundraising just by bringing any unwanted clothing for the Bags2School collections. You can donate your bags ANY time of the year, just put your bags in the dedicated wheelie bins at the back gate. We continually monitor and empty the bins. These bags are then stored until the next collection is made. We made approx. £600 last year just from this!

And finally, we are always extremely grateful to receive donations and for online shoppers to register with www.thegivingmachine.co.uk as mentioned before.

There is a brief questionnaire at the back of the booklet to fill in and return if you are able to help in any way, no matter how small. Don’t forget to include an email address if possible.

12. Support from PTA-UK

FFMPS is a member of PTA-UK, which is a national charity and membership organisation providing support and guidance for all home school associations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Our association is one of over 13,600 members in current membership of the PTA-UK. We pay an annual membership fee which gives us lots of member benefits including comprehensive insurance cover for all PTA run events, support and advice on running the PTA plus fundraising ideas and good practice hints and tips.

13. What FFMPS means to our school

Because FFMPS involves the whole school community we thought you would like to know what others think about FFMPS

“Being part of FFMPS allows me to give something back to the school in a way that is both fun and sociable.”

“I like the discos the best as I get to dance with all my friends.”

“The volunteers & teachers are amazing because they raise money to make us happy. They are very important to our school!”

“The Minibus enables us to go to events that we haven’t been able to go to before – its great!”
“Without FFMPS we wouldn’t have the extras we have.”

We hope you now know a little more about your FFMPS. On behalf of all the pupils we would like to thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experience and makes their time in school so enjoyable.