The Chairman's Report to the AGM 2023
FRYERN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING FRIDAY 8TH September 7.15PM
Our Constitution requires us to report on our activities, present our Accounts and set out our plans for the coming year.
All residents of Oakmount, Peverell’s Wood, Scantabout and the wider area of Chandler’s Ford are welcome to come to this meeting. A warm welcome is extended to them as well as those people who have kindly consented to be on our database, and who form the nucleus of people supporting our morning, afternoon and evening events.
Tonight, is your opportunity to talk to committee members, fellow residents and friends, and to have your say on the activities that the FCA has offered over the past year.
The FCA is able to use the Fryern Pavilion on a Friday. During that time, we put on a wide range of activities for the benefit of the local community. It is not limited to one activity, it is welcoming and open to all, and we seek to provide a wide range of activities for people to enjoy.
It is not a club; it is drop-in activity with no obligation to come and no subscription to pay. It is also important to note that we are entirely separate to the Parish Council Office who also reside in the Fryern Pavilion. They support us but are not part of the FCA. We have supported the Parish Council by screening the Royal Coronation and participating in Funtasia, We also were in the forefront of the Warm Room initiative so we try to help each other.
FCA is currently in the process of renegotiating its licence to carry on providing community activities. Although it will mean changes for the Fryern Community Association, we hope there will be no discernible difference to those of you who come to our activities.
Safety at our Events
Covid 19 has not gone away and is not likely to do so, so we endeavour to limit the numbers attending our events and hand gel and wipes are always available.
As stated above we do restrict the number of attendees to 40 wherever possible. This also enable us to cater adequately for the number of people attending, particularly if we are providing food. It is therefore important that you book for our events, to avoid the risk of being turned away, as increasingly , many of our events are over-subscribed .
As Chairman I am indebted to Bernice, Sylvia and Anne who run the morning sessions at the Pavilion. The table tennis table continues to be very popular and there is a group of people who come regularly to play, take turns to play and chat when it is not their turn.
It is possible to play Scrabble, Rummikub, Canasta and Cribbage on a Friday morning and we regularly have members of the Chandlers Ford U3A who attend on a Friday morning to make use of our facilities.
It is not intended that U3A form part of the Fryern Association, but we are pleased to provide a safe and welcoming place for them to meet.
The latest addition to our Friday morning activities is Mahjong. We are indebted to Monique Hill who initially brought in her own Mahjong set to teach interested parties to play. She is incredibly patient and knowledgeable and there has been a good take up for this new activity. So much so that we have invested in our own Mahjong set so that it will always be available.
We are able to offer hot or cold drinks with biscuits and a smile to complement the morning activities. Some of our visitors do not join in any of the activities but simply come in for a chat and have a drink, which is paid for by donation.
We are trying out new activities where we can, and the latest initiative is a taster Balboa dance session. This is very much a trial, but we will be pleased to extend it into a regular feature if there is sufficient interest in this group.
Jayne Howells runs our Happy Bunch activities in the afternoon. Up to 25 people over 70 years old come to these events and enjoy a variety of entertainment arranged by Jayne. Not only does Jayne arrange entertainment but she also arranges transport for those attendees who might otherwise have difficulty in getting out and joining in these activities.
Our liaison with The Happy Bunch started during this term of office. The liaison with The Happy Bunch is one of the success stories of the new Fryern Community Association. We are delighted to have them within the Association and hope this will continue for some time to come.
A new addition to the afternoon activities has been the introduction of a Ukulele group run by Sylvie. After helping in the morning session, Sylvie transfers over into the Clanfield Room to encourage and coach people who want to learn to play the Ukulele. Again, no obligation to come so numbers fluctuate, but it has proved to be a welcome addition to our range of activities.
Under normal circumstances, the Happy Bunch use the larger Greenways room but on August 8th, Jayne vacated the room, so we took the opportunity to offer a film for the children, Matilda. This was a free event and included refreshments and ice cream. During a wet and miserable summer holiday, the FCA was mindful of being able to provide some entertainment for the younger generation and it is hoped that we will be able to hold further events for families during school holidays. Suggestions for future events are always welcome but our capacity to put on events is limited, and any help from parents would be appreciated so that we can provide a safe and controlled environment and abide by the terms of our licence to the Parish Council.
We employ a policy of providing a supper night which includes a film for £5 per head. James Duguid runs these evenings with the help of a dedicated band of helpers in the kitchen. It is intended to continue these evenings every six weeks.
We have also offered some music nights. We recently held a Jazz night which was very popular, as well as a Country and Western Night, with music provided by Happy Bunch favourites John Rowdy and Laredo. Another popular event was Kim Garner who wowed the audience with her chat and lovely voice.
This year we have incorporated a music night into our AGM night, We are pleased to welcome Utter Buskers who will bring their own brand of folk music for you to enjoy, and we have plans for more folk acts next year.
The music nights also cost £5 and again light refreshments are provided. You will be in for a treat when they play. We will be having more music nights. Your suggestions for new acts are always welcome.
The forthcoming Folk acts are the suggestion of Joy Ruff who often supports us, and we are indebted to her for her valuable suggestions.
To date we have run regular quiz nights, which also includes a raffle with some fun prizes. These run between September and May have been well attended by a largely different group of people who come to our other events, and it is intended they will continue.
The Christmas quiz, which you will see on our Schedule of events will be a light-hearted fun night with an emphasis on Christmas spirit.
New players are welcome to test the existing teams who come regularly.
We have plans for another Cheese and Wine Tasting night, as well as talks with the aim of providing as varied a programme of evening events as possible.
The talk about Rennie Mackintosh and Amsterdam was very well attended and we also enjoyed an interesting talk about Garden Wilding by Steve and Jane Page. Look out for a talk about the Royal Train, and another about using the Concessionary Bus Pass to travel to Gretna Green which promises to be very interesting.
The website offers a facility to book for an evening event. I would encourage you always to book if you want to come to an event.
Website and Facebook and other Publicity
We do our best to publicise our events to our database as much as possible. Shelagh sends out regular updates and reminders about our events, and Peter has created a web page that we are proud of (the-fryern-community-association.org )
So, it is possible to find out what we are doing in various ways.
We have also introduced a publicity postcard that we distribute around the local area, it is not possible to cover every house in every road in Chandlers Ford, but we have covered as large an area as we can. This plan has brought us to the attention of a number of local residents who did not know of the existence of the pavilion or of the Fryern Community Association,
We plan another postcard drop in the autumn.
With energy prices and the cost-of-living soaring, the FCA feel that it is important that we offer a safe, warm, and friendly environment for our attendees. To date, we have managed to limit the ticket price of all evening events to £5 and it is hoped that this will continue.
We have managed to donate some money to some deserving charities, and again, it is intended that will continue.
We are constrained to some extent in what we can offer by the numbers of people who can help at events. We are fortunate that we have a committee who have embraced the task of providing good quality entertainment during the morning, afternoons, and evenings.
They are supported by Shelagh our secretary, Peter who runs the website, and Anne who makes sure we are financially secure and legal. They all do much more than these tasks and regularly help in the mornings and evenings.
We would love to have more volunteers join the committee so that we can continue to provide a good range of entertainment.
It is not our policy to charge for attending an AGM. For this AGM we are also offering a fun folk night. If you want to attend the AGM and not stay for the music, you are very welcome to do so, and you will not be charged. We very much hope you will stay and enjoy the music and some light refreshment and as always that charge is £5, with a donation please if you want any drinks.
Thank you for coming tonight and I hope to see you at our events moving forward.
Philip Heller (Chairman FCA)