Date & location
Old New Inn, 4:00pm Sunday 20th March 2022
- Project updates/discussion
- 20-minute neighbourhoods
- Community fridge
- Moving materials from the workhouse
- Gardening at the school
- PAVO Social Fund
- Repair Cafe
- Cain Valley River Group
- Finance updates
- Membership discussion (continued from the last meeting)
- Membership ideas (benefits, costs, pledges)
- Examples of memberships from other groups
- Aims and purpose of group
- Event on 15th April
- All other business
- Alison Alexander
- Colin Hargis
- Lesley Sweet
- David Brandreth
- Gwen Brandreth
- Sue Dolman
- John Dady
- Fiona Slater
- Alan Bridger
- Paul Mason
- Diana Allen
Alison has spoken to Deo at Resources for Change, and there is a team available to help with this. The project will focus on several key areas:
Resources for Change mainly want help from BRACE to disseminate the questionnaire that they will be supplying, of which there will be an online and an offline version. The questionnaire will be accompanied by a mapping exercise, which is mostly desk-based and will be carried out entirely by Resources for Change. Once both parts have been done, there will be a public discussion.
The questionnaire should be finalised by the end of March. Distribution of the questionnaire and the mapping exercise will take place in April.
The distribution focus of the questionnaire will be on Llanfyllin, and Resources for Change are keen to get this to as many people as possible, particularly by involving existing community groups such as sports clubs. The emphasis is not strictly on raw numbers though, but on ensuring that the recipients represent as broad a demographic range as possible.
Lesley volunteered to pull together a list of places that the questionnaire should be distributed to, with input from the rest of the committee, and to potentially organise some informal meetings where people can discuss it and fill it in. John is happy to remain as a point of contact for the project and to collate questionnaires returned to him. Since the questionnaire will apply to all study areas, some sections may not be relevant to Llanfyllin, but John will aim to give feedback on this.
The funding offer for this is in. Kerala and Bobby need to submit responses to this, including a timeline. They will be having a meeting with Alison and the Cross Keys on Monday 21st to discuss this further.
Kerala and Bobby have already approached local businesses and a WhatsApp group has been set up to coordinate people who are interested in the project.
It would be good to keep an ear out for funding offers that could be used for cookery courses. Alison will talk to PAVO about this.
Moving materials from the workhouse
We are waiting for feedback from the school before we can go any further with this. It’s not worthwhile to move the remaining materials until the school have responded and we can get everything done in one go. Sue has sent repeated emails to the school, without answer so far. Sioned Hughes, Deputy Head at the school is the contact. It’s probably worth someone calling to follow up.
Gardening at the school
PAVO Social Fund
The last remaining workshop is the Soil Health workshop scheduled for 27th March, but this will have to be cancelled. From the financial update (see below), it appears that there is a large amount of funding left from this.
The Oswestry Repair Cafe happened on 12th March. It was well supported and went really well. The only area for improvement is that there was insufficient take-up on the clothing repairs. Since it went so well, the consensus is to try and keep to the same formula, perhaps building in a bit more flexibility for participants to turn up on the day, and maybe removing the need for bookings for textile repairs. Alison and Fi should perhaps run publicity materials past Colin before publicising to ensure that the tone is right, and the balance between bookings/flexibility is right.
Diana is apparently keen to simplify the cafe side of things, and to find someone to take over responsibility for the cafe in Oswestry. There were lots of offers from the committee to help with the cafe element.
The next cafes will be on 23rd April in Llanfyllin and 14th May in Oswestry.
Cain Valley River Group
We are still awaiting the transfer of funds from the River Group. We may need to check the BRACE insurance to ensure that it covers the additional numbers and activities of the River Group. The money from the group should be enough to cover any additional costs with this.
The River Group has no activities planned at the moment, but is looking to organise some. The walk up the river was very well attended in the past. Volunteer events were less well attended.
There may be training available for river monitoring. David has also enquired about nitrate and phosphate testing kits so that the group could monitor the run-off from specific farms. Wales has declared itself a nitrate-free zone, so there may be some political appetite to tackle this.
The finances have been reconciled with the bank.
There is £1266.81 left of money allocated for the PAVO Social Fund. There was discussion around whether we could book and pay for workshops ahead of time to spend the money in time, and whether we could use this money to pay for cookery and nutrition workshops connected to the Community Fridge. This needs to be discussed with Diana.
Other workshop ideas included bee-keeping with Will Denne and a bread-oven building workshop with Bex. Lesley will speak to Bex about this.
There was also discussion about putting the PAVO Social Fund money down as a liability on the financial reporting, given that this needs to be spent in a specific way. There was agreement that it would be good to show ring-fenced funding on future financial statements. We should also be documenting the fact that the Repair Cafe insurance comes through Repair Cafe Wales. There was a suggestion that project-coordinators should be responsible for informing Gwen about the funding and expenditure for each group.
Another point raised was about the utility of documenting volunteer hours. These may be useful for grant applications. We should also know who the volunteers are and how many there are for insurance purposes. Lesley volunteered to look up some time-sheets that we can use to sign volunteers in with.
There was some brief discussion of this, and a vote on the possibility of a membership fee. There were no votes in favour of a membership fee. There was also a vote on the idea of requesting donations through the website as part of the sign-up process. There were two abstentions from this, and everyone else was in favour.
Alan volunteered to work out a mechanism for this and to get it set up. This can be implemented on the website and sent out via email.
The point was raised that donations may impact BRACE’s relationship with the Charities Commission, and it may be necessary to change the organisation’s structure at some point. We just need to keep an eye on income and review annually.
Event on 15th April
Pete Beresford’s band has been lined up to play. There was a feeling that only one band is needed. There will also be a seed-swap, which Sue is organising. Dolydd Gobaith is keen to have a stall. Rosie is happy to offer willow bird-feeder tuition, and Anja may also be interested in a craft stall. There is a poster available and ready to distribute, and an announcement has been sent to the Chronicle. Alison volunteered to set up a separate WhatsApp group to coordinate the organisation.
All other business
The Montgomery Wildlife Trust are able to offer invertebrate monitoring and pollinator tuition. There was consensus that we should accept these offers and organise these.
David volunteered to organise dates for a visit to Bloom & Berries in Cwm Nant Y Meichiaid.
There was discussion about the format of meeting and more engagement for other BRACE members. There was consensus that we should organise regular general meetings, perhaps every fortnight to help keep up engagement. We could revert to the previous format with break-out groups for the different projects. The format should be flexible though and we will need to experiment with this. Perhaps we could also mix these in with webinars from external speakers.
Alan volunteered to contact the Cross Keys about hosting the regular meetings there, and to set up a Doodle poll to send to BRACE members to work out which evenings would be best for the maximum attendance at these.
Actions to be taken
- Lesley to pull together a list of distribution targets for the 20-minute neighbourhoods questionnaire.
- Alan to check the BRACE insurance regarding the Cain Valley River Group members and activities.
- Lesley to speak to Bex about a bread-oven building workshop.
- Lesley to look up some time-sheets with which we can sign in volunteers.
- Alan to research donation options and implement one for the BRACE website.
- Alison to set up a WhatsApp group for the event on 15th April.
- David to organise dates for a visit to Bloom & Berries in Cwm Nant Y Meichiaid.
- Alison to send the link for the award video to Alan to put on the website.
- Alan to contact the Cross Keys about availability for general meetings, and to create a Doodle poll to try and work out which evenings would be best for these.
- Sue to call Natasha about nutrition sessions.
To be confirmed. The plan is to reinstate regular general meetings, which would reduce the need for such regular steering committee meetings.
Community fridge meeting
Kerala and Bobbie gathering paperwork to get the grant money released. Next step: more meetings with businesses and planning next steps ready to start a working group.
Cae Bodfach celebration
Posters are going to John Dady for placing around town. Press release has been sent to all local media. Monique to contact people she can think of to invite.
PAVO Social Fund
Response from Diana regarding the training budget: funder very vague. Diana is going to try to get sessions lined up in the hope of keeping it all.
Gardening at the school
Our emails to the school ended up in spam. We’ve now had a response, and the project is still going ahead.