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PATCH life

Updated: Oct 18, 2023

Have you ever wondered what it's like behind the scenes at PATCH?

Perhaps you've thought about volunteering but you weren't sure what to expect, or maybe you're just curious about what we get up. So... here is your chance to have a sneeky peek into a day in the life of some of our volunteers as we gear up for a busy season of Halloween and Christmas events, with the first in our series of 'PATCH life' blog posts.

So, welcome to the world of PATCH as you look through the keyhole, and meet some of our team along the way.

Friday 13th October

What better way to start a grey, drizzly day than with a visit to our wonderful Stamshaw Infant school?

You might have seen two of the founders and trustees of PATCH in the library this morning as they joined you all for Community Friday. Bryony (picturerd) is our secretary and has been with PATCH since the very beginning. Bryony says "Being part of the PATCH team has given me a fantastic group of friends who are now like family, all whilst building community links, meeting new people and raising much needed funds for our wonderful schools. A great sense of achievement is felt from what we have achieved in such a short space of time." She was joined by our current chairperson, Tanya, this morning as they popped into the infants community morning to offer any help and support with accessing our wonderful new website or purchasing tickets to the ever popular 'Spooktacular' disco.

Bryony Ellis - Secretary

-If you haven't got your tickets yet, don't worry... there is still time! Ticket sales for the infant school discos close at midday on Monday, so click below or pop on over to our events page to buy yours now.

Our friendly PATCH team are always on hand and happy to help so please do get in touch if you need any support with anything PATCH related (or anything else we may be able to help with).

Bryony also manages our fantastic Vinted account. Pop on over and give us a follow... we have some lovely items available and all money raised goes straight to support our schools.

Next up was a spot of shopping...

and at PATCH we don't do anything by halves. Tanya Stevens - Chairperson

Here is Tanya with not one trolly, not two trollies, but THREE trollies full of goodies for our upcoming Elfridges shop and just a few decorations and props for our Christmas Fayre. Tanya says "Elfridges is my favourite event of the year. I love shopping throughout the year for little bargains for this amazing shop of wonders. The children all love coming in and carefully choosing gifts for their loved ones before wrapping them. Seeing their happy smiles and joyous giggles makes all the hard work worth it." Tanya is another of our trustees and a founding member of PATCH. She says "Being part of PATCH is such a joy. I love being a part of our PATCH and Stamshaw Schools family and being able to help our schools with fundraising. But it is our families, staff, community and most of all children that make it such a magical thing to be a part of. I am so very proud of our wonderful little team and everything we have achieved in the last 18 months."

But it's not all glitz and glamour!

Here you can see Tom, our treasurer, mucking in and helping to organise our garage and make room for the Home bargains haul. Tom took on the role of Treasurer at our AGM in September but has been involved with PATCH as a volunteer (and on many an occasion, the PATCH childcare) since we began. Tom says "I love being involved with PATCH and the whole community spirit that surrounds it. Seeing the children enjoy our events makes me proud to be part of such a wonderful team."

Our PATCH team spend many hours hidden away in the garage sorting the generous donations we receive, prepping for clothing collections, sorting vinted stock or getting ready for events.

Tom Stevens - Treasurer

Wayne Cannings - Raffle Co-ordinator

volunteers sorting donations and stock for our upcoming events

A break in the rain...

This afternoon, a little break in the rain gave the perfect opportunity to sort out our stock for the upcoming Elfridges events. Here you can see Wayne joining in the hard work to make sure we have lots of lovely stock ready for the children to do their Christmas shopping. Wayne has been a PATCH volunteer for a few months now and in September took on the role of raffle co-ordinator. What a fantastic job he has done too, securing some AMAZING prizes- from a £250 voucher for a Brittany Ferries holiday, to festival tickets, a hotel stay, Smyths Toys voucher and so much more. Look out for your tickets coming home soon!

Wayne says that "being on PATCH feel like having a little family outside of our main family" and we couldn't agree more.


while Bryony, Tanya, Tom, and Wayne were hidden away in the garage, our wonderful (but camera shy) Sasha was off out collecting an amazing donation from one of our local Co-Ops.

Sasha has been a vital cog in team PATCH almost since the start getting us set up with tech to help run smoothly and helping to plan and co-ordinate events. This year she has taken on the role of Infant School link on our committee and you will see her around at the infant school most school runs. Sasha says "I like being part of PATCH because it has been amazing to bring the community together and do good for the schools. It has also been sooo lovely to see the community come together over the past 18 months."

Look at all these goodies donated by Northern Parade Co-Op ready for our Haunted School Trick or Treat event on the 31st. Sasha will be back to pick up some pumpkins later in the month and will also be paying a visit to our other local Co-Op on Twyford Avenue who have also kindly offered us some donations too.

We are so grateful for the support we get from our local businesses and we couldn't do what we do without them. THANK YOU!

A little bit of admin!

Next up was a little bit of admin. Whilst we had spent the day meeting, shopping and sorting, our wonderful Mrs Eastman in the school office was busy printing and chopping letters for us ready to come home with the children.

Mrs Eastman is one of our PATCH trustees and has been on hand to help with all our letters, admin, baking and so much more since, and she does it all with a smile. Thank you Mrs Eastman!

We headed back to our garage armed with a stapler to begin attaching our books of raffle tickets to each letter and it was soon time to pack up and pick up our PATCH kids from school.

But the work doesn't stop there...

Here is the lovely Kim spending some time this evening working on our social media to make sure our posts reach all the right audiences. Kim is fairly new to PATCH, joining the team in September as one of our social media team and our School Lottery ambassador.

Kim says "After seeing my own children happily experiencing all of the wonderful events PATCH have organised and seeing the hard work that goes into everything behind the scenes, I wanted to help support them and both schools with future events and social media promotions."

Kim Etheridge - Social Media team

Bryony has also been busy photographing and advertising our Halloween costume donations which will be available for a suggested donation of just £1. We are big believer in re-using and recycling here at PATCH and we love being able to help our families out with affordable costumes whilst also raising so much needed money for our schools.

If you have any outgrown Halloween or Nativity costumes lying around at home, why not consider donating them to PATCH. We have some lovely costumes available over on our Facebook page in a range of sizes.

Tom has been busy updating our accounts after our Elfridges stock shop and keeping track of all those disco ticket sales!

It's definitely not a glamorous job, but it is certainly an important one... it's a good job that Tom likes numbers and spreadsheets.

And now he's off the computer, I can jump on and finish this blog post!!

So... there you go! Just a little look into the world of PATCH and what our volunteers get up to in the run up to events. You have met some of our team but there are still more to meet and everyone plays a vital role in making sure PATCH runs smoothly so watch out for our next 'PATCH life' post coming soon. If you are interested in getting involved in any way, we would love to have you. Please get in touch with us through out contact page, email or speak to one of the team.

And with that, it is 9:50pm and I am signing off!

Have an amazing weekend,

Love Team PATCH xoxo

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