News and blog

From our Circle of Friends

From our Circle of Friends

Firstly, thank you to all the members of the Circle of Friends who have helped Emma Dunn along with the year.

I think we have achieved an awful – despite it effectively coming to an early fundraising end! We have continued to successfully meet throughout the lockdown via Zoom which has brought us all together, albeit virtually! 

Our achievements from 2019/20 are:

Welcome tea party 

In September we hosted the annual welcome tea party: aimed at welcoming girls and parents back after the summer holidays. Not only an event to introduce staff and ourselves to new parents, but also for them to introduce themselves to other parents (and daughters alike). 

It was a great success, lots of hard work – thanks to everyone else who baked cakes – handed teas out etc. We had a good number of Junior School parents and girls, plus new Year 7 families. 

View our welcome tea gallery

Fun Run 2019Charity fun run 

In October we all braved the run to help out at the annual charity Fun Run on Lammas Land. This year the Circle of Friends ran the stall as we have agreed with the Junior School PTA to take it in turns to run on alternate years. 

It was a great fun event despite being wet, very wet!  However, despite the “rather inclement” weather we had a fabulous display of cakes and bakes – selling out.

It is another great way to meet and to talk to parents. Emma and the Circle of Friends would like to thank all who baked and helped sell (and move the tables about three times to avoid the downpour)!

Christmas wreath making workshop 

On a dark November evening about 20 of us from both our Senior and Junior Schools turned up to a fabulous wreath making workshop hosted by Leoni Stockdale who bravely, and very ably, took us on and ensured that we all left with beautiful Christmas Wreaths that we really had made ourselves.  

We held it in the library and had two hours of completely self-indulgent fun and creativity! Who knew what you could do with a bit of wire, some greenery and a few baubles! 

A massive thank you to Leonie Stockdale and also to the school and the cleaners too for the use of the Learning and Resources Centre.

Christmas Fair 

In December we held the annual, traditional St Mary’s Christmas Fair. It was an amazing event and were delighted that it did very well in boosting our fundraising levels. The room was buzzing. Huge, huge thanks to the team for delivering before, during and clearing up after the event. It was a real show of amazing teamwork as it was a very long day.

We would like to offer special thanks to Sarah Alderton for somehow magically finding some fabulous prizes and organising the Raffle which was a big contributor to our overall total of funds, just shy of an overall £4300 profit. Thank you also to Emma Hanbury for picking up the reins and for organising us all. 

Coffee mornings 

Throughout the year, up to lockdown, Year Reps have organised and we have hosted coffee mornings on a year-by-year basis which has been very successful. Thank you to all for taking the time to organise and help our community come together. 

Second-hand uniforms 

The second-hand uniform sales go from strength to strength led by an amazing team – many thanks to Katrina, Teresa, Dona and Fiona for being there month in, month out. 

Making a difference

Through our fundraising we have supported the school through providing funds this year for:

  • Year 9 to participate in the Natwest National Enterprise Challenge (Inspirational Learning Group)
  • Two second-hand single sculling boats to support the rowers development and racing of the St Mary’s School rowing squads
  • An ergo for the 6th Form
  • A computerised embroidery machine for the Textile Department
  • Provision of benches and plants for the Cortile Garden

Sadly, we have had to postpone the planned School Quiz due to Covid-19. Once school is back again physically, not virtually, so will the Circle of Friends, with new plans for the coming year! 

Many thanks also go to Katrina for counting the money and keeping us in order and to Emma Piper for tirelessly taking the minutes of the meetings and being able to make some sense of discussions! And finally, to Emma Hanbury for being our vital link to the school.