On Saturday the 24th of November, St Joseph’s played host to a spectacular Christmas Fayre that brought together both members of the school community and those from further afield. The school’s newly formed PTA did an outstanding job organising everything from the wonderful array of stalls on show to the food, drink and activities that made the day go so well.

The school Hall hosted the majority of the stall holders, selling everything to make Christmas such a special time of the year. Games, goodies, clothes and stunning art of all varieties, as well as local wine, books, and flowers meant there was something for everyone, ensuring all those in attendance left with smiles on their faces.

Local pasties and other foods were also on offer, along with delicious mulled wine that lent the dining room a very festive aroma. Meanwhile, the children were entertained in all manner of ways: face painting, candle making, biscuit decorating, teddy tombola, lucky dip and more besides. Sweetie cones ensured energy levels were maintained for the younger members of the school community, while a spectacular array of cakes ensured parental appetites were similarly sated. Artisan breads, homemade jams, chutneys and more meant everyone had the opportunity for a yuletide taste sensation.

The hall filled at 12:30 for the prize draws, with the raffle having proven the hottest ticket in town. With prizes including a stay in a luxury shepherd’s hut at Landrend’s, a spectacular Jo Downs mirror, £100 in Tesco vouchers and the opportunity to Win Christmas (a package that included a tree from Homeleigh Garden Centre, a splendid hamper and vouchers for Philip Warren Butchers) amongst many other prizes that had been generously donated, the winners all left happy.

The final draw for the Barrow of Booze was awaited by a packed hall: £1 tickets meaning the lucky winner went home with a beautiful bright pink wheelbarrow, filled to the brim with wines, port, champagne, fizz and all manner of other drinks that would last through any festive season. The prize was won by a very happy St Joseph’s parent – one of many who went home already looking forward to next year’s event.

Headteacher Mr Scott said “The success of the Fayre is a real tribute to the hard work of the PTA and the many parents and staff who freely gave of their time to make this happen. Particular thanks to Mrs Cara Amankwah for her hard work as acting Chair of the PTA, and Mrs Dickson and Mrs Weymouth for their roles on the committee. It is wonderful to raise funds for both the Cornwall Air Ambulance and play equipment for the children. Nothing succeeds without hard work and careful planning, and I was delighted to have so many lovely comments about the Fayre. Quite apart from their purchases, the friendly family atmosphere and sense of teamwork is what I want people to take away from today, something I want the children to experience every day in school. St Joseph’s is a special place to work and learn, and I am very proud of everyone involved in making the Fayre such a success.”

So here it is. My first blog post for the Friends of St. Joseph’s school. My name is Jess and I am mummy to Lili in year 1.

We moved to Launceston last August from London. I run my own businesses from home and have an inability to say no to getting involved with things. I got involved with the Friends of St. Jo’s at Christmas last year as I had offered to do photo shoots at the Christmas Fayre. My idea of hell is sitting in a room of people who all know each other but don’t really know me. I took a deep breath though and was pleasantly surprised.

Far from a cliquey group of alpha females, it was actually a group of lovely mums who all want to help the school through the Friends of St. Joseph’s committee. Since that first meeting I’ve managed to become more and more involved and my latest, warmly received, idea was that of a blog. So I’ve been volunteered to write a blog to keep everyone up to date on the behind the scenes activities and what we get up to.

Since Lisa took over as chair there has been a flurry of activity. She most definitely scores 100% on her enthusiasm and drive. Between her, Rhi and Katie there is a great positive energy about The Friends of St. Jo’s.

Out of their own pockets, Lisa, Katie and Rhi bought every child in the school a packet of smarties. A lovely way to introduce themselves to us parents and of course very popular with the kids! I became a little obsessed with 20ps and even now am finding it hard to spend any! Collectively we all raised almost £500 which is amazing.

You’ll all have seen the Summer Supper party posters up around the school, and hopefully received the email via the portal with the link to book your tickets. It’s going to be great fun with an informal ploughman’s supper, disco and bar. What you probably won’t know is that the committee have been working super hard to get local companies and businesses to donate food and drink, table hire, marquee hire and more. We’ve had an amazing response and we’re so grateful to all the companies who have pledged their support. What’s even more fantastic is that all these donations means that more of the money raised from ticket sales will go to the school.

At the last meeting we discussed the possibility of having a Friends meeting in the evening and not the afternoon, as more people can make that. It’s tricky with people like me, who run a business from home around the kids, and then there are others on the flip side working 9-5 and are only available in the evenings. However, an evening event I can’t attend wouldn’t stop me from volunteering and having “good ideas”! It would be great to see lots more parents get involved with the Friends meetings and events though. We’re a very friendly bunch I promise!

Friends of St Joseph’s