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Archive for the ‘Volunteering’ Category

A call for volunteers to join the committee of the Friends of the Fallowfield Loop please!

After many years of service, several members of the Friends’ committee are wishing to reduce their level of involvement and therefore there is a need for new members.

Please consider volunteering for one of these roles to help keep the Friends running! The present incumbents have helpfully provided a summary of roles which give an idea of what is involved; tasks are not excessively onerous and the committee rarely finds it necessary to meet other than at the members’ meetings every two months. If you would like to find out any more informally or just have a chat with someone from the present committee, please contact us.

The Friends’ Annual General Meeting will be on Monday 15 July 2019. Committee roles available are as follows (if you would like to be involved but not necessarily for one of the specific roles below, then please still get in touch as more general roles are also available).

Membership secretary

  • Deal with new member applications, either via email (from website), post (rare) or from stalls. Add new member details to our definitive list of members (maintained on computer file) and the MailChimp circulation list.
  • Remove details from the membership list and MailChimp system of those members who fail to renew their subscription (e.g. moved away, deceased, lost interest).
  • Send pro forma reminders to members whose membership subscriptions are due – by email or by post as appropriate. The majority of members have standing orders set up for their subscriptions, so this process only applies to two or three members each month.
  • Mail out the newsletter (once every two months) and occasional other notices to members via the MailChimp system, plus to those members (about 8) whose email systems have rejected the MailChimp method. Provide Honorary Secretary with computer-generated labels for those members not on email (about 10 currently).

Treasurer

  • Record payments into and out of our bank account. Payments out are easy because we only use cheques currently. Payments in are more complicated as members’ subscriptions (the overwhelming majority of receipts) include those by cash, by cheque, by standing order and by bank transfer. Currently we only get bank statements every 3 months.
  • Get cheques countersigned by a listed officer and sent off (usually by post) for our outgoing payments.
  • Pay cheques into our bank account (Co-operative Bank).
  • Prepare annual accounts for the Annual General Meeting in July each year. These are very simple – just income and expenditure summaries.
  • Deal with any occasional problems relating to payments e.g. banks making payments into our account monthly rather than annually.
  • Maintain and alter as necessary the list of officers who can countersign our cheques.

Meetings secretary

  • To attend and write the minutes for meetings of the Friends (once every two months), committee meetings (approximately twice a year).
  • To circulate draft minutes to all attending the meeting.
  • To ensure the Secretary has copies of final minutes.

Web and social media

  • To work with the chair and other committee members to maximise the potential of web and social media resources to publicise and encourage engagement with the aims and objectives of the Friends.
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Certificate of appreciation

Certificate of appreciation

Congratulations to the volunteers who have helped to look after and enhance the Loop over the last year, as they have won the Sustrans 2018 Group Award in the North West! This is for everyone who has been involved, in whatever way and whether as a signed-up Sustrans volunteer or otherwise.
Some of the volunteers were at a meeting at the Sustrans Charlotte Street office this week, talking with staff about what might be worked on over the coming months – when a big cake appeared and this certificate of appreciation was presented.
Well done everyone!

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An autumn clean-up of the Loop has taken place over the past weekend (20th and 21st October), almost exactly six months after a similar event in the spring.  Fortunately the weather was warm and dry on both days which made for pleasant conditions!  As previously, volunteers started from The Quadrants, Levenshulme on both days and headed east on the Saturday and west on the Sunday.  The task was over by 1 p.m. on each day which was partly due to the fact that the Whalley Range Scouts took responsibility for some of the Loop at the St Werburgh’s Road end and The Abbey Hey Neighbourhood Forum did the same for the Fairfield end. It was also helped by the fact that there was only about 40% of the litter collected this time and there were no blatant fly-tips to be dealt with. The detailed statistics were as follows (where the numbers in brackets are the corresponding numbers for the spring clean-up):

  • Number of volunteers participating Saturday = 15 (20).
  • Number of volunteers participating Sunday = 8 (17).
  • Number of volunteers participating more than once = 3 (8).
  • Total volunteer-days = 23 (38).
  • Total volunteers participating = 20 (29).
  • Number of bags filled on Saturday (Levenshulme to Fairfield) = 26 (61).
  • Number of bags filled on Sat/Sunday (Levenshulme to St Werburgh’s) = 28 (65).
  • Total bags of litter collected = 54 (126).

These figures only tell half the story as they don’t take into account the amount of litter picked up in the months prior to these events. Undoubtedly there was significantly less removed before this clean-up as compared to the previous one; we hope that this all points to the Loop becoming less littered!

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The FloopFest on Saturday 15th September was a huge success!  A lot of thinking and hard work had been put in by organisers Sustrans and by volunteers to ensure a fantastic day happened.

Bee ride - winners

Sustrans photo: Winners of prizes for their costumes in the Bee Ride (picture: Lorraine Taylor).

There were three hubs of activity along the length of the Loop, each with stalls, arts and crafts activities, local food and drink, live music and more.  A family bicycle Bee Ride also took place, covering the length of the Loop.

Big thanks to Sustrans and all who helped this to happen!

Don’t forget that Sustrans’ online survey, relating to this event and use of the Loop, remains live for contributions until the 30th September.

 

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HandleBards on the Loop

Yesterday and last Wednesday the Loop acted as a great venue for performances by the HandleBards, a troupe of cycling actors who carry all the set, props and costumes they need to perform extremely energetic, charmingly chaotic and environmentally sustainable Shakespeare plays!

The HandleBards have an all-male and an all-female troupe, and this summer both are touring the UK.  On 25th July the Loop therefore hosted the boys performing “Twelfth Night”, and on 31st July it was the girls’ turn to appear, this time to give us “Romeo and Juliet”.  Both evenings were blessed with good weather and the Levenshulme Quadrants were awash with bicycles as good crowds turned out.

A large number of volunteers helped everything to run smoothly, so huge thanks to all concerned – and here’s hoping for repeat visits in the future!

 

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A clean-up of the Loop took place over the weekend of 28th and 29th April. Thanks to organiser Charles for this update!

Volunteers principally from the Sustrans Volunteers and the Friends of the Fallowfield Loop took part in the event and over the two days filled bags and bags with litter and collected piles of un-baggable waste. These were left at the side of the track for collection by Sustrans staff with their truck. Fortunately the weather was dry and not too windy although it was unseasonably cold, particularly on the Sunday.

The statistics were:

  • Number of volunteers participating Saturday = 20
  • Number of volunteers participating Sunday = 17
  • Number of volunteers participating Monday = 1
  • Number of volunteers participating more than once = 8
  • TOTAL Volunteer-days = 38
  • TOTAL Volunteers participating = 29
  • Number of black bags filled on Saturday (Levenshulme to Gorton Reservoir) = 55
  • Number of black bags filled on Saturday (St Werburgh’s to Withington Road) = 14
  • Number of black bags filled on Sunday (Levenshulme to Withington Road) = 51
  • Number of bags filled on Monday (Gorton Reservoir to Fairfield) = 6
  • TOTAL Bags of litter collected = 126

(N.B. The bags used were large (100-litre) refuse bags equivalent to approx 1.3 bags as used by the council for litter collection.)

Unfortunately not many pictures were taken to record the event as we had our work cut out completing the route. The real record fortunately is on the Loop for everyone to see – it’s looking a real picture!

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Many thanks are due again to Sustrans and the Thursday volunteers who have continued, on the first and third Thursday of every month, to work hard to maintain the Loop and its habitats. Tasks in recent months have included:

  • woodland thinning at Abbey Hey.
  • clearing an area of brambles near Nelstrop Road North, to create a wildflower area.
  • installing the wildlife posts at several Loop entrances.
  • multiple activities at the Levenshulme quadrants (digging out rubble, removing the remaining stumps of small trees, pruning the large hawthorn and cutting back the surrounding undergrowth – all with a view to having a larger open grassy area that can be kept mown short, and so provide a more useful area for community activities).

For the first outing of 2018, the group was out this past Thursday clearing the already-cut brash that was lying around the Athol Road entrance and consolidating it into habitat piles.  As well as making the entrance more attractive, this will give the bulbs planted a year ago a better chance to see the light.

For more information about these task days, which run from 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., please contact us, then Sustrans or those co-ordinating the Thursday events will get back in touch!

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