Chairman’s Report for 2018
Over the past year, SMPCA has very much been taking baby steps, after adopting its constitution at this very meeting last year (2017). In that time, we have been deciding what our priorities need to be, and where to start by way of delivering our aims and objectives.
As most projects require funding, we have managed to secure funding from Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Council for running costs, and through donations from other charities we have been able to meet all other running costs. In June of last year, three of our committee attending a fundraising workshop in Belfast run by NICVA, which was helpful.
One of the main opportunities in which SMPCA can fulfil its aims and objectives is through the “Boys To Men” project, which was initially piloted in Edenderry School, during the spring and summer of 2017. This proved to be very successful and was welcomed by both pupils, teachers and parents alike. The result was that the programme was extended at the beginning of September 2017 to take in three P7 classes in Millington and because of the sheer numbers of pupils, it was decided to only do the programme with the boys in each school totalling almost 75 boys meeting every week for an hour in class. Second year funding was secured for a total of £8000.00 from the Church of Ireland Board of Education and the Church of Ireland Priorities Fund to run the programme and a plan was put in place to try and run and after school 2 hour programme for both boys and girls as a pilot scheme from Easter until the summer break and that is proving valuable and popular. This has meant that we have had to support Tim with extra help, and we have been very blessed to have Miss Emily Smith help out in a paid support role, which was budgeted for in the successful grants highlighted above. One of the main objectives moving forward would be to secure the funding necessary in order to employ either a full time or part time worker to run the Boys To Men program and to develop it in other schools and beyond P7 into after school secondary school meetings.
As SMPCA seeks to move forward, it is essential that we make the right decisions as to what the community needs us to do on their behalf. One of the ways of discerning that is to have special family fun days simply to let the town and community know that we exist. Last year in September we hosted a “Back To Church Family Fun Day’ on the plaza in Portadown which proved very rewarding and enjoyable by all the passers by. Following on from that in the run up to Easter this year, SMPCA organised a full week of special events ranging from a day trip to Co. Down finishing up with walks and a tour of the National Trust property at Mount Stewart. On the Tuesday evening we part funded the local community to attend the cinema for half price to watch the movie “Peter Rabbit” and we had over 35o parents and children who turned up for the event. And then on the Saturday morning we ran two events simultaneously, the first another Easter Family Fun day & Easter Egg Hunt on the plaza in Portadown and then in the grounds of ‘The Meadows” we hosted a “Show, Shine & Sound” Motor festival where 31 cars and their proud owners showed off their pride and joy. All of these events were successful in that they achieved what we set out to achieve in letting the community know that SMPCA now exists and is taking baby steps as was noted at the beginning of this report.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Committee for all their hard work and for those funders and support charities who have helped us financially over the past year. As we step into the future, I pray that the Lord of the harvest will help us to discern His will, help us to be fruitful, and to see the blessing of God upon this community in whom we seek to serve.
Crashing forward in Him
Rev. William Orr (Chairperson)