FODS (Friends of Diseworth School) Committee Members:
Sandie Clark - Acting Chair
Laurie Marlow - Treasurer
Catherine Baker - Secretary
Beth Hodgkinson - Committee Member
Lynne Heath - School Representative
Chris Hills - School Representative
Gerry Lloyd - Member of the local community
Alison Woffindin - Head Teacher
Charlotte Mountain - Committee Member
Owen Hender - Committee Member
Aimee Ridler - Committee Member
You may have heard references to “FODS”, but what is it and what does it do? Friends of Diseworth School, (FODS), is fundamentally a Parent Teacher Association, but actually it’s much more than just that; it’s an organisation set up to allow parents, teachers and the local community to support the village school in a variety of ways. Anyone from the following groups is automatically a member: parents and families of children at the school; teachers and school staff; members of the local community who have an association with the school.
Friends of Diseworth School has existed for some years, but over the last couple of years, it has been rejuvenated, additional committee members have been recruited and, (in a moment of community spirited enthusiasm), I volunteered to chair the committee. I’ve already been incredibly impressed by the passion, energy and dedication which the staff and many of the parents have demonstrated in their involvement with FODS.
Friends of Diseworth School has a formal constitution, but it’s aims are simply:
In a small school such as this, there is always likely to be a shortage of cash and resources and we need the help of parents to organise events and raise funds for activities which will benefit the children. Last year, we struggled for support; many parents simply don’t want to become involved. The result: fewer events and higher costs for parents.
Financially, the intention is to raise sufficient funds so that FODS may support regular extracurricular activities which are beyond the scope of the normal school budget, such as Christmas theatre trips and residential courses.
FODS members also help to organise school events. For the last three years Friends of Diseworth School has organised the school Sports Extravaganza. These events have been huge successes, despite the challenges of weather and have also raised several £000s. Put the date in your diary early for next year!
Friends of Diseworth School, has a vibrant facebook page which publicises events and activities. I’ve been immensely impressed by the it’s effectiveness. Many thanks to Beth who has agreed to take on running the FODS facebook page and has put considerable effort in to it recently. (There’s link on the school website.)
We have achieved charitable status and we’d like to capitalise on that to enhance the profile of FODS and build our financial reserves. Ultimately, it would be great if we could fund all school events and activities and help to balance the books, without asking parents to pay for anything, but we need your help to achieve this.
It’s our intention to involve local businesses and ask them to support the school. There has already been some significant activity and positive feedback from several large organisations, but we need to put more effort in to this initiative. FODS is also registered with the Fundraising Regulator.
Friends of Diseworth School is also a conduit between parents and the school. We have an excellent relationship with Mrs Woffindin and the school staff. Feedback from the Governing Body is passed on at our meetings.
How can you help?
All these activities need your help and support, especially if you have a talent for anything, particularly charity fundraising. At the moment FODS is run by a relatively small number of people. We have an effective committee, but are always in need of extra hands to help and fresh ideas. Please keep your eye on the school noticeboard, school newsletters, the facebook page and the school website.
The meetings are on the school calendar: usually the first Thursday of the month. Please come along and share your views - we normally have a glass of wine and have had quite a bit of fun so far: come and join in!
You can reach FODS via the school office or by using the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading this far!