Volunteer Meeting – October 2013

Volunteer meeting notes Wed 16th Oct 13:30 – 14:30. (With thanks to Katja for note taking!)

14 participants: Lucy, Jane, Chris, Jo, Jacob, Katja, Nicky, Douglas, Sue, Bob, Edward, Pete(r), later coming Ian and Diana

Q(uestion)1: Is Lucy’s job safe after March?

A(nswer)1 from Lucy: Current situation – no Lottery funding after March, we think£7000 a year needed to keep the project running, eco-build project is funded until June 2014

=> Wed volunteer day will still go on after March, but Lucy needs to do all the admin, advertising and other duties in that time. However, we have a good number of regular volunteers who have the skills to run without too much supervision from Lucy.

=> Lucy will not be able to run community groups on Wed and other days. The solution for the community groups is a £50 charge / year to have access to the garden, except on Wed and a Google calendar booking system. Pete will be in most of the days and if necessary groups that used the place can be tracked down by the booking system.

Q2: Other fundraising opportunities?

A2: more local fundraising, e.g. Pizza nights, renting out the place, selling compost, selling flowers, friendship scheme, internet crowdsourcing/crowdfunding will start next year but needs preparation using facebook, twitter, web site (11,500 views since its launch), short film has been created attributes we have for advertising: We are unique in what we do. We have built an amazing infrastructure that is accessible, with the compost toilet, solar panel …

Q3: How is the eco-build project going?

A3: Emma will be hired as a project manager/consultant. Over the winter all the planning will take place – design, materials needed, builders contacted/contracted. Actual work will start next spring, but has to be finished by June. The building will be an empty room.

Q4: What about a kitchen?

A4: => In the long run an outdoor kitchen at the current gathering place is planned.

=> Next year we are able to use the “Coexist kitchen” at Hamilton House for free for chutney making.

Q5: How do we manage in the future?

A5: => We need our own bank account. A volunteer has to look over it. The next year will show us how much we can fundraise and how much we actually spend for certain tasks. Excitingly, it will be the first year of independent management.

=> The current committee has 5 members: Lucy, Brian, Peter, Claire, Neil and Tim. New committee members are urgently needed, to take on responsibilities, but mainly attend every 6 weeks a meeting about managing the garden.

Q6: Can regular volunteers come more often, i.e. not only on Wed?

A6: Because Lucy will not run community groups in the future, volunteers are definitely needed to water plants more than once a week.

Q7: What about rewarding our hard work?

A7: => There are 2 awards we try to win at the moment:

1) Community Venue of the Year Award -> please vote for us and spread the word amongst your friends

2) Green Volunteers Award -> need to answer two questions for nomination
-> What was/is our biggest challenge? negotiating who does what
-> What was/is our biggest success? amazing infrastructure from accessibility, the frog, the toilet, the solar panel, hanging task board, sheltered spaces … Lucy will nominate for ‘Food’ related award anyone welceom to nominate for other awards

=> T-Shirts for regular volunteers. We leave them until next year, when we will know better about our financial situation.

Q8: What about the planning of our next event?

A8: Sat 2nd Nov we will have roof making from10-2pm, preparation for bonfire night from 4pm and the bonfire night from 6:30 – 8:30pm, no gardening on that day
=> Things to bring for the night: torches, jars for tealights, candles, thermos bottle
solar panel not wired to use for lighting the place
=> insurance needs to be sorted -> Lucy
=> sand/ water next to the bonfire, limitied access to dark areas away from the bonfire
=> 10-12 volunteers needed
=> soup and tea making
=> pizza making
=> advertising only to plot holders and mailing list of the community garden
=> discussion about a gazebo for the night -> Let’s try it out.

Q9: Can we buy tarp as shelter from the cold wind in the shelter?

A9: Yes, we can, but someone else than Lucy needs to look into it -> Bob volunteered.

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