Friends of Blundell's (FOBs)
Friends of Blundell's, (FOBs), was formed in 1996 and exists to support the ethos and strengths of the Blundell's community and its endeavours. The committee comprises parents, the Head and the Second Master and others interested in Blundell’s, who kindly volunteer their valuable time. If you would be interested in joining the Committee, or helping with FOBs activities, please contact the present Chair, Heather Corden, a former parent, who also teaches in the Drama Department. email@example.com or 01884 820566.
- Since 1998, FOBs have organised and run the Leavers’ Ball attended by the Sixth Form, their parents and members staff, and is held in the marquee on the evening after Speech Day.
- FOBs also organises the Second-Hand Uniform Shop (located in the Music School), open on Leave Weekend Saturday afternoons and on specified dates in the school holidays. (Notified in the School Summer Mailing).
- We organise Chapel and Concert flower arrangements and refreshments for the Advent Carol Service.
- We purchase additional items for use by pupils in the Houses and to support their activities.
- In addition, in recent years, FOBs have funded an Audio/Visual installation in Big School and the creation of the FOBs Room.
Friends of Blundell's have access to the tennis courts, if they are not already in use.
The Annual General Meeting is held in October in the Friends of Blundell’s Room and we welcome all parents to attend and take the opportunity to meet other parents and the current FOBs Committee, over conversation and refreshments.
Annual General Meeting
Tuesday 21st October 2014
Again, as in previous year's as I give this Annual Report, I find it hard to believe that another year has passed, since the last Annual General Meeting.
It is the nature of being in the school environment, with timetables and future planning always on our minds, that time seems to fly by.
However, having said that, we have had another good year. Our committee comprises parents from across the school and those of past pupils, also the Head, Mrs Nicola Huggett and Mr. Bart Wielenga, Second Master. We continue to be fortunate enough to have the Administrative support of Mrs. Patricia Thompson, who works from home.
We have a faithful supportive committee, however it has reduced in number. We would welcome new members from parents across the school year groups.
Steve Nash has continued in his valued role as our Honorary Treasurer and Malcolm Lock our former Treasurer audits our accounts. Unfortunately, owing to pressure of work, Steve is unable to continue, so we are saying goodbye to Steve after several years’ service.
The Second-Hand Uniform Shop is running as efficiently as ever and is a great fund raiser for us and a good service to parents and pupils. Located in the Music School and open on leave weekend Saturdays and on some dates in the holidays, it is organised by Nikki Hamilton. Nikki's husband Charlie, is Housemaster at FH, so Nikki is on site for queries and problems. She is very accommodating to parents and is on hand, so that the proceeds from sales can be processed as quickly as possible. We are very grateful to Nikki and her team for the time they volunteer to keep the second-hand shop going for us.
We still fund and organise the provision of Flower Arrangements for special occasions around school.
For the Choral Concert we offer buttonholes for Andrew Barlow, our Director of Music and for the first Violin. Also bouquets for the female soloists and champagne for the male soloists.
We supply and serve refreshments after the Advent Carol Service, here in the FOBs room.
Each year we allocate funds to the houses, to spend on whatever the pupils and houseparents feel appropriate. However, this year we had feedback and insight from pupils that indicated they had particular preferences.
Quite a few years ago FOBs bought portable barbecues for use as when houses wanted to borrow them. They were used for Bonfire Night last year for the first time, a really good evening, that we donate £300 towards the fireworks each year. The houses get a lot of use out of their barbecues, we bought them.
We are planning to give the houses a plumbed in water heater in their larger common room kitchen areas, like the one in Ondaatje Foyer. This should speed up break time drinks making.
For several years now, Friends of Blundell's have financed a chilled bottle water supply in the Drama Department, which has been hugely appreciated by staff and pupils alike, with lessons where energetic output is a pre-requisite. As this has become really expensive, a drinking water fountain has been purchased by Friends of Blundell's and is being installed over half term.
At some time in the near future we have a project is to fit water fountains in two new locations on campus. One outside Art, near Popham and one close to the Science blocks, near Biology. They will be installed as soon as new roadways are installed over there.
Last year, we organised the manufacture of new triangular display towers for art work to use in the Ondaatje foyer and in the Popham corridors. This have worked really well and can be re-painted for new project display. The lighting in the foyer has been inadequate for some time, not showing the art work off to its best. New spot-lighting tracks have now been installed and are up and working. They can be used at any time not just for art display, so interval refreshments will also be better lit!
There has been another additional speaker in Big School positioned at the back of the stage. This means that any amplified sound going forward into the hall can be heard by anyone on the stage.
As a Committee, it is our brief to administer our funds as evenly as possible, to ensure that whatever we provide, has the potential to benefit all, or a majority of the pupils at some time or another in their school career.
The main event of the year that we undertake is the Annual Summer Ball. It is a great evening, which we feel runs well and know is greatly enjoyed and appreciated by parents and staff, but most importantly by the pupils who attend. It is a Ball and not a Prom and the girls have again responded to our requests to dress accordingly and this year sported sensible footwear or brought something to change into if the killer heels proved too much! Our stock of glasses and table linen are stored here in the FOBs room storage and we also accumulate our stock in time for the evening of the Ball.
As round tables are preferred for dinners and social gatherings in Big School for Gaudies and other events, it was decided to purchase a number of these, rather than hiring all the time. Friends of Blundells has shared the purchase of these with other committees in school. This also means that fewer need to be hired for the ball.
The change over from Speech Day to the Ball is pretty seamless now. This year, the year nine pupils were really good, helping to get all the Chairs collapsed and stacked in record time.
The weather this year was not great and the year nines did not fuss while clearing the chairs, in sixteen minutes! The larger entrance marquee helped again at welcome time. The photographic studio again went well. The paid help we receive from the kitchen staff, serving Buck's Fizz and Elderflower fizz, clearing and washing up frees us up to concentrate on hostess duties.
We are grateful to the Maintenance and Porter Staff too, who are always willing to help us sort problems at events.
The time and energy commitment from everyone makes such a difference to the success of this event and other things we help to do throughout the year.
The core Friends of Blundell's committee has decided that after upward of fifteen years for some of us, we would like to pass on the running of the Ball.
Amber Oliver in the Development Office is forming a Social Committee comprising parents from across the school. It is anticipated that members of this group, under Amber's leadership will organise social events for parents during the year and run the Ball now. Some aspects that we have included, such as the magicians, caterer, the new band Vegas and the photographer will continue.
We have really enjoyed all our years of running the event, but feel it is time for others to carry on.
We hope to continue running the old Friends committee, administering funds as we do now.
We would love to welcome new members to the Committee. Some of us have been here for quite a few years now. Some members are just with us for the time their children are in school. The Ball has always been our main event and the Advent Carol Service.
Help is always appreciated. Sometimes, easier if your children are not at the event!
We have two meetings a term and sometimes an extra one closer to the Ball.
We also welcome ideas for other events that we could host, although we need to plan quite well ahead, as the school calendar gets very full, very quickly.
Friends of Blundell's exists to support the ethos and strengths of the Blundell's family and its endeavours and. Would like to thank everyone for coming this evening and for the continued support in all the varied ways that the Friends of Blundell's offer to our school.
Please print and return this form if you wish to opt out of FOBs membership.