MVP was formed in 2008/2009 by a group of villagers wanting to fulfil some of the requests expressed by the village in the second Parish Plan – more things going on locally for young families, more things going on locally for the older generation, and better communications, for example. You can see the Parish Plan on the SMPC website with the actions we set off to try and do.
Over time the number of initiatives MVP has become involved in increased as the need has become apparent. Some like the newsletter, website, Facebook group, Fun Day, Scarecrow Trail, Lunch club for the elderly, theatre trips to London, visiting theatre in St John’s Hall, children’s pantomime, Spring Clean, and Heartstart courses are still being organised by the MVP today. Some like Santa’s Grotto and Bag2school are still supported by MVP but have now been transferred to other groups. It has always been the intention that once an initiative is successfully up and running that MVP would endeavour to hand it over to another village group to run as their own, either as their fund-raising activity or to promote their own group.
An initiative which has grown year on year is the affiliation of local voluntary groups to MVP: This year there are 41 local groups: PTAs, sports and leisure clubs, scouts and Brownies, charities etc. As affiliated members everyone benefits from a combined pool of goods and services such as poster printing and the borrowing of equipment and skills. All the affiliated groups are invited to and the majority will have a presence at the Fun Day to give them the opportunity to promote themselves and/or raise funds.
MVP committee meetings are open to all and take place on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm in the meeting room at the back of the Methodist Church. There is no process of getting voted onto the committee - if you come along to a meeting, find something you would like to get involved in and come again, then – you are considered part of the committee. Everyone is invited to come and see how we work.
Outside the meetings different members beaver away on different things according to the time and skills they are able to offer. Some offer time and their skills throughout the year on many different projects, while others take a small role doing specific things.
Some of us have been involved since the beginning, others are newer, some have done a few years and left, and some people have come back to the MVP after a break, just as you would expect in any organisation.
On the 10th March we had our AGM and, as is usual at such times, this was an opportunity for people to change their roles and for others to come onboard. You can read the Chairman's Report for last year. Here is the current committee with a few of the things they do for MVP:
Alison Richardson - Fun Day Treasurer since its inception has now returned to that role for MVP as well
Danusia Morsley – Chairman. Also MVP website updates, Heartstart courses, Spring Clean, newsletter editor
Daphne Cooney - Minutes Secretary
David Kilshaw – the chief Admin of our Facebook group
Doug Overett - Vice Chairman, having a little rest from a couple of years of being both chairman and Fun Day project manager but still in charge of this year’s pantomime
John Bull - one of our Quartermasters – looking after two garages of equipment we have amassed: tents, gazebos, bunting, chairs etc which are lent to affiliated groups as well as used by MVP
John Hannawin - Secretary, new to the committee but has been helping us in the background for the whole decade
Julia Meadows– in charge of printing and laminating – As well as all our own printing needs, we produce things like posters for the affiliates
Julie Carter - Affiliates Secretary - liaises with the 41 groups affiliated
Lynn Hannawin – After having been secretary and Scarecrow Trail organiser ever since we started, having a little rest this year
Rebecca Barker – organiser of Lunch Club for the elderly and Theatre Trip group
Natasha O’Brien – organising the next visiting theatre
There also two people who choose not to be on the committee but have regular roles: John Wells our other Facebook admin, and Chris Morsley our other quartermaster. There are many other people who also support MVP on different occasions without being part of the committee; for example, by helping at lunch club, delivering newsletters, manning the bar at village theatre events or creating the scarecrow trail map.
Those with regular roles also help each other with everything we do and also have a role in the Fun Day along with other people who join us just for the Fun Day planning: For example, for Fun Day 2018, Rebecca is project manager, Chris is logistics manager, Julia is organising activities (with Gael Nicholls), Lynn is organising the refreshments tent, John is organising the big inflatable rides, Danusia is sorting out on-the-day volunteers and so on.
If anyone would like to know more about MVP or the Fun Day organisation, please contact the chairman on firstname.lastname@example.org or 01189332620 or any of the other committee members or come along to a meeting – you will be very welcome!