2016 AGM Chairs Report

January 2016

Dear FCN member

Welcome to the 2015 Furzedown Community Network Annual Newsletter.

To download newsletter with pictures click here 2015 FCN Annual Committee Report

As a member we value your support and participation in the events that we arrange throughout the year. Each paid membership enables us to continue to promote a sense of community within Furzedown.

In 2015 we had a busy and exciting timetable that provided activities and occasions for all members of our local community and we hope that you found something that encouraged you to come along and join in the fun.

We began the year with our Annual General Meeting on January 31st 2015 where we elected the officers and members of the FCN Committee. It was a well-attended meeting during which our local MP Sadiq Khan presented our outgoing Chair, Suzanne Ellis, with a Wandsworth Community Hero Award for all her hard work within Furzedown. She received this award alongside Sue Clarke, another FCN committee member and Vicar of St Paul’s, who had received her Community Hero Award in December at the House of Commons.

2015 was particularly exciting as it was an election year and to encourage debate within the ward we organised a Hustings at Mitcham Lane Baptist Church in April. All five candidates attended and answered a variety of questions. Ably chaired by Pastor Phil Barnard, the church was full to capacity and live tweeting enabled a wider audience to participate.

2015 also saw a slight change in our Furzedown Festival; instead of a two week extravaganza, we decided to widen its scope and hold a Summer Season to incorporate other organisations within the ward, starting in style with the Pied Piper Story Walk on May 9th. This was the second year that Alison Royce produced a storywalk with two separate groups arriving on the Common for an afternoon of fun, games, food, music and other attractions. FCN was delighted to support this event and we had old-fashioned games, a lucky dip and encouraged people to think what ‘community’ means to them and comment on a mood board.

The theme for this year’s Furzedown Season was ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to coincide with the 150th anniversary of that publication. The brilliantly designed posters picked up the Alice motif as you will have seen on the Season Newsletter which was delivered to every home within Furzedown by an army of volunteers.

The Big Day Out in June continued this theme and as well as all the usual ingredients – live music, bar, good food, sport and art activities for adults and children – there was a special Alice storytelling event which went down well with all ages!

As in previous years we were lucky with the weather and an estimated 2,500 people came along to enjoy the day including our local MP Sadiq Khan and the Mayor of Wandsworth Nicola Nardelli. All three local councillors also attended and Nick Clegg was spotted enjoying a glass of Pimms! Wandsworth Arts Department contributed to the day with some lively performance art – a spectacular event by Acrojou on the Friday evening before the BDO and again at the BDO itself left many spectators open-mouthed in wonder as their wheel rolled along Moyser Road.

The closing event for the 2015 festival was another performance by the South London Jazz Orchestra at Jazz on the Lawn in September. Held in the lovely grounds of Streatham Park Bowls Club an enthusiastic audience enjoyed the sound of swing while eating delicious meals from our BBQ queen Jo or being tempted by all the home made cakes on offer.

The other staples of our calendar – the Quiz Night and the Christmas Market were also well attended and successful events. The Quiz on 21st November was full to capacity and a fun and lively event as usual. Quizmaster Paul had set another round of questions that had people scratching their heads and arguing in good spirit. The winning team in what was a very close contest was Cllr Candida Jones’s Quiz Team Keeler.

Moyser Road was lit up for the Christmas Market on Saturday 12th December.  As in previous years there was a wide selection of stalls selling everything from Christmas cakes to candles, jewellery and home furnishings. There was mulled wine and mince pies and at least three different choirs singing carols to get everyone into the Christmas spirit. Santa and Mrs Claus were in attendance in the Project delighting children and adults alike; Santa welcomed over 150 children to his specially constructed grotto. This was by far the best attended Christmas Market yet.

2015 finished as it started with an award for a FCN committee member. Peter Ramell was honoured at Wandsworth Town Hall when he was presented with a very well deserved Wandsworth Civic Award in recognition of his many years of involvement in community activities.

Throughout the year Furzedown has been able to keep in touch through Facebook, Twitter and the amazing chat group. Over 2062 members posted 7558 messages and our marvellous moderators read and processed each and every one. Our local MP, councillors, police and local businesses all posted so that we were always up to date on developments in the area. Items were offered, services were recommended and there were appeals for everything from phone chargers to blow-up beds! Trending topics were poor mobile phone signals, the future of Dr Johnson Avenue, missing cats and what we expect from a local pub. A huge thanks to Suzanne and Vijay for their time and patience!

Thanks also to all local businesses and organisations who continue to support us and allow us to display our posters on their premises. In particular we are grateful to Beresfords Residential who sponsored the Big Day Out and the Christmas Market with their marketing boards and to Sainsburys Local on Mitcham Lane who kindly donated over 200 mince pies to our Christmas Market.

For 2016 we have another busy and eventful year. A joint activity with FACE is planned, the Furzedown production of Peter Pan is a not-to-be-missed one-off extravaganza on 28th, 29th and 30th of January at Mitcham Lane Baptist Church and of course there is 2016’s Big Day Out on June 18th.

We are happy to see you at the AGM or any meeting so we can show what great things we have planned for Furzedown in 2016. Your continued support is invaluable and much appreciated. Should you wish to be more involved we are always looking for extra help and there are a range of tasks that require many hands from delivering flyers to serving beer at the BDO. Or perhaps you might consider joining the FCN Committee? All volunteers and local residents, the Committee of 4 officers, 12 full members and 4 co-opted members meets once a month. These meetings take place on the second Sunday of the month at the Furzedown Project and are open to all Furzedown residents.

Finola Williams, Chair, FCN