FOCSS

Welcome to the Friends of Collier Street School – FoCSS

Who we are

We are a registered charity, run by volunteers, that aims to support the education of all the children in the school. We exist to fundraise for the school, in order to provide additional funds for the school to use at its discretion. There are twin aims of providing facilities, equipment and experiences that advance education, but to do this through events that offer enjoyment along the way.

We are fortunate to belong to a PTA that has been an active and integral part of the school community for many years. Over that time, we have raised thousands of pounds to enhance the children’s education and support the school, and in the process provided exciting and engaging activities for pupils. We also serve as a link between the parent population, the children and the school, aiming to enhance the community spirit and relationships in the school.

There are five committee officers for 2023/24:

  • Chair – Kelly Rigden
  • Vice Chairs – Emma Howard and Gemma Elliot-Dunn
  • Treasurer – Hannah Sibley
  • Secretary – Martha Montagne

All parents are automatically members of FoCSS, but we are also fortunate to be supported by the wider community, governors, villagers, grandparents and other family members, so please do let your family know they are very welcome to come along to our meetings and help at our events. The more people who support us, the more we can do.

What we do

We run events throughout the year for the enjoyment of the children and their families. Our two big fundraisers are the Summer Fair & Pet Show and the Christmas Fair.

We also have a series of smaller events such as quiz nights, pizza and cookie nights, the popular Krispy Kreme doughnut sale, Easter Egg hunt, Christmas Wreath making, pamper events, school discos and a camp out.

We tend to meet monthly, in term time, to plan future events. These are fun social meetings, normally in the pub, at school or at people’s homes. The meetings are open to everyone and a really good way of getting to know other parents and staff.

Of course, not everyone comes to every meeting, and we welcome the varying levels of involvement. Beyond the planning meetings, we also always need more hands to help out on event days: setting up, manning stands, dismantling and clearing up. We would like to encourage everyone to get involved, however much time they might have to offer. We thrive on the diversity of our interests and in the intersection of the skills we bring.

 How we spend the money

All money raised goes towards activities, events and equipment to benefit the children’s learning experience at the school.

In the past this has included:

  • New books
  • A skipping rope for every child after a visit from a skipping expert
  • Contributions towards trips for every class
  • Panto and theatre visits
  • £5,000 towards the new spiritual garden
  • £10,000 towards the new trim trail

How you’ll hear from us

  • You’ll hear from us through ParentMail when your child starts school
  • You can sign up for email updates (please contact info@focss.org.uk)
  • Join our WhatsApp group – email us your phone number
  • Follow our Facebook Page – search Friends of Collier Street School and look for our logo
  • At school, we often have stalls, sign-up sheets, posters, notices on the FoCSS blackboard

 Why should you get involved?

  • It’s a great way to meet other parents and members of the school community
  • You can have a say over the events that are run
  • We can put on more fun events and raise more money to have a bigger impact
  • Without new members FoCSS will not be able to continue

 How you can support us

Strapped for time?

  • Follow our Facebook page and share our posts on social media
  • Join our WhatsApp group and share our posts with other parents you may know
  • Check if your workplace has a match funding scheme – these can really help boost our fundraising
  • Ask if your workplace would donate a prize for summer and Christmas fairs
  • Support our events by coming along
  • Sign up for FoCSS on easyfundraising.org.uk and earn money for us while you shop

Happy to get hands-on?

  • Come along to our committee meetings
  • Support our events by volunteering at them
  • Check if your workplace has a volunteering scheme and use your hours to help FoCSS
  • Approach local businesses for raffle prizes for summer and Christmas fairs
  • Volunteer your skills and expertise – ie can you help make games for the summer fair, design posters etc?

Full PTA mode?

  • Become a committee member
  • Take a non-committee role (ie social media marketing, poster design, school uniform sales)
  • Organise an event for us
  • Help with planning for our Christmas and Summer Fairs
  • Find grants to apply to for FoCSS

 Finally, do remember the other ways you can raise money:

Easy Fundraising:

Raise money while shopping. Let’s say you want to buy a new pair of shoes or a sofa from M&S. If you use the Easyfundraising website to access the M&S website and make your purchase that way, M&S will then make a donation to FoCSS – of up to 3% of your purchase price. (There is also a plug in for your browser or phone that reminds you when you are shopping on sites eligible for a donation.) Do check out their website as they have a surprising number of companies signed up….

Matched Giving

Many large companies support their employee’s charitable giving by matching their charitable donations (it’s tax efficient for them), it is always worth asking your employer whether they run a matched giving scheme…

One-off donation

We understand that not every parent will be able to attend all, or indeed any, of our events, life is busy! If you would like to donate as a one-off at any time during the school year, that would also be very welcome.

By definition, FoCSS only exists and functions through the work of its volunteers. Which means parents like you!  Why not join us at our next meet up?

Learning as we grow. Growing as we learn. Rooted in Jesus.