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Posted by Kim Winter, Wednesday 4th June, 2014

Brixton Windmill needs YOU!

group of brixton windmill volunteers

Image: Owen Llewellyn

Do you have a few hours a month to spare? Would you like to support one of Brixton’s best-loved landmarks? If so, we need your help.

At our Friends of Windmill Gardens Annual General Meeting on 26 June we will be electing a new executive committee and new officers for the Friends.

Each year all members of the executive committee stand down and this gives us a chance to encourage new Friends to come forward to stand for these positions.

There are 12 places on the executive, which meets once a month (except August and December) to take forward decisions made at our AGM and General Meetings. Currently meetings take place on the second Tuesday of the month from 7pm-9pm.

Within the executive there are several officer positions: Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. These are the officers we must elect at the AGM, according to our constitution. Here’s a brief outline of what they do:

  • Chair: Chairs meetings, liaises with the council on behalf of FoWG and represents the Friends in some other forums_ (20 hours a month)_
  • Vice Chair: Chairs meetings in the absence of the chair, and shares in representing the Friends with the council and promoting FoWG in other forums (5 hours a month)
  • Secretary: Takes minutes at executive, general and annual meetings, helps with FoWG correspondence and liaises with the Charity Commission (5 hours a month)
  • Treasurer: Keep FoWG’s accounts in good order and prepare reports to present to executive and general meetings. Needs some IT skills (5 hours a month)

Different members of the executive lead sub groups, which also include Friends who are not on the executive. The current sub groups are:

  • Comms: Look after website, produce monthly e-newsletter, help with PR, merchandising
  • Events: Organise the annual parade and festival and other community events in Windmill Gardens
  • Funding: Develop FoWG’s funding strategy and make grant applications
  • Parks: Plant bulbs etc in park, look after the wheat and herb beds. Also organise some of the community events in Windmill Gardens

This year we have several vacancies on the executive group, including some of the officer positions. We have not had a Vice Chair during the last year, and our Secretary moved to a new job in Australia in May, so we are definitely looking to fill these roles.

However, all officer and executive posts are open for new Friends to come forward, so if you want to put yourself forward or nominate someone else for any of the posts please do so.

As well as the executive posts we also need help with the following:

  • Volunteers organiser: To ensure we always have enough volunteers (and cakes!) to allow us to open the windmill, provide tours, teas, and run stalls at Brixton Windmill’s 22 open days, and help organise training new Windmill guides (3 hours a month)
  • Membership secretary: We’re looking for someone to help set up a simple membership system that keeps track of our members and sends out automatic reminders when their membership is due for renewal. At the moment, new members can sign up in person, by post, or online using PayPal, so there will be some ongoing admin work (no more than a couple of hours a month) updating the system with new members and adding names to our mailing list (3 hours a month)
  • PR: To liaise with the local and national press to publicise all events at Brixton Windmill and in Windmill Gardens (3 hours a month)
  • Tour bookings co-ordinator: Visitors to Brixton Windmill who want to go on a full tour currently book online via our website. We use an online booking system called Brown Paper Tickets, so when they book they are automatically sent confirmation and a ticket. We need someone to send reminders to visitors about a week before they visit and to collate the visitor information into a list that we can use to check bookings on the day of the visit (3 hours a month)

If you are interested in any of these roles, please email info@brixtonwindmill.org.uk

The Friends of Windmill Gardens is a charity run by volunteers. Even if you don’t think you can help with the tasks above, there are plenty of other opportunities to get involved, from training as a guide to baking cakes or helping plant bulbs in the park. See here for more details, or come along to the AGM on 26 June!