Friends of Fairways

Why Do We have Friends of Fairways?

Friends of Fairways (previously Fairways Parents Association) has been an integral part of the school community for many years.  In its time it has raised many thousands of pounds, which have been spent on improving equipment and resources to enhance children’s education and the facilities in school in general, over and above those items provided as part of the National Curriculum.

It is an excellent way to bring staff, parents and friends together socially in support of the school, working towards a common goal. 

….  And it’s very rewarding!!!!

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 parents and carers are automatically members of Friends of Fairways when they join the school.

We are extremely conscious and proud of the ethos and morals of the school, and we try very hard when organising and planning events to respect this.                                                 

Why Are We a Registered Charity?

The Charities Act 1993 required organisations with an annual income in excess of £1,000 to register with the Charity Commission.

As a Charity we must abide by Charity Commission rules and regulations and are bound by a Constitution.  Our Constitution lays down rules about how we operate and how we conduct ourselves.  A full copy is available on request.

Being a Registered Charity gives us extra benefits.

*  We are able to apply for Gift Aid, which can earn us an extra 25p in every pound donated to FOF.
*   We can raise funds more easily from local businesses etc.

Role of The Committee

The Committee consists of a number of  Officers including Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  We also have other Committee members to make up the full Committee. 

The Committee meet on a regular basis, usually once a month, with smaller working groups meeting as necessary to organise bigger events.The meetings are usually held at a  Committee Member’s house, and anyone is welcome.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

As part of our Constitution we have an Annual General Meeting held at the beginning of the autumn term.  This is an opportunity for all parents to come along and hear in more detail about events run and funds raised, and how the money has been spent. It is also the occasion when we elect our new
Committee and update our list of Volunteer Helpers.

Volunteer Helpers

Volunteer Helpers play a very important role in school. Experience has shown the amount of funds raised at any given event is often directly related to the number of Helpers.

Volunteer Helpers are parents and carers eager to help but due to other commitments, such as work and childcare, are restricted with the amount of time they are able to offer. A Helper’s role is so varied that if you have half an hour a year to spare the Committee can make vital use of it!

Support from NCPTA
(National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations)

FOF is supported by the NCPTA, which is the national charity that advances education and supports PAs.  We pay an annual membership fee to NCPTA which gives us lots of member benefits, including a comprehensive insurance package.

How We Raise Money

The majority of our funds are raised through the events that we run.  Some of our most popular events are the Children’s Discos, Cake Sales, Tombolas and Bazaars. 

We always try and respond to the children’s requests for events, and it is for these that donations are particularly important.  These can be time, money, items for sale, donations for raffles or offers of services and skills etc.

Friends of Fairways sources good quality second hand uniform for a small donation.

The children are encouraged to recycle clothes, ink jet/laser cartridges and mobile phones. FOF can sell these to companies for profit.

Gift Aid

We are very conscious that with a relatively small school community, the demands are often not as widely spread as in larger schools, and because of this, we try to raise our funds from as many different sources as possible. 

Friends of Fairways is registered with the Inland Revenue to enable us to raise money through Gift Aid from sponsored events.  Gift Aid is tax claimed back from the Inland Revenue from donations made to us out of your earned income. 

If you are employed and pay income tax, we may be able to claim 25p in every pound that you donate to FOF. The issue of Gift Aid is taken on trust and we do not, and are not required to, divulge your personal information to the Inland Revenue.

Friends of Fairways fully supports anything that makes ‘The Tax Man’ pay-out instead of the other way round!

Parents that pay income tax at the higher rate of 40% can also claim some further tax relief for themselves.  They claim this by entering the actual donation in the Gift Aid section of their annual tax return.

100 Club

In early 2006 FOF introduced its own One Hundred Club.
Parents and carers are able to purchase a number for the year for £12.  At the end of each month a draw takes place with cash prizes for the first three numbers drawn.  An application form is enclosed with this booklet should you be interested in supporting the Fairways 100 Club. 

How We Spend the Money We Raise

Money raised from events are banked straight away.  It is at Committee Meetings to which all parents are welcome that  decisions on how to spend the money are taken.

We are committed to donating £200 each term directly to the school.  Teachers and children always have ‘wish lists’ of items that the school would like to purchase.  Sometimes the School Council which is run by the children for the children will approach FOF for funding.   In the main our funds are for the ‘extras’ not provided by the school budget, that make our children’s learning experiences so much more fulfilling and exciting.

Funds are not generally spent on improving the fabric of the school building, as this is the responsibility of the school Governing Body. We always endeavour to spend our funds in ways that will benefit all our children across all areas of the school and curriculum.

In the past we have supported big projects such as the Adventure Playground, books for the new library, playground items and Book Week when we funded a famous author to spend a week at Fairways. Whilst saving for these we have still managed to find funds for small items such as club netball and athletics kit, thanks to the generous support of our parents and carers.

How We Get Information To You

All letters we send home are printed on gold paper—so we are easily recognised!  Every child is given one to place in their book bag, so each afternoon please check their bags.

Notices are posted on the notice boards which are situated just inside the front and side gates, and on the wall between the two playgrounds.

How You Can Get Involved

There are numerous ways you can support Friends of Fairways.

Offering to help before, during or after events 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, baking cakes, preparing raffle tickets etc. Perhaps you can make a few crafts to sell.

You can of course if you feel able, volunteer to be a Committee Member.

You can attend the AGM held at the start of the autumn term and give us your ideas for fundraising events.

Do you have any contacts or skills we could use?

On behalf of all the children, thank you for your very valuable support which enriches their learning experiences and helps make their time in school so enjoyable.