January is renowned for being a bit of a depressing month and 2021 has certainly lived up to that reputation, but we are going to finish the month on a high with a positive update from the boardroom this week.
Firstly, I would like to welcome both Ryan Woolnough and Gavin Jones on to the Board. As mentioned previously, I am keen to develop a new look, progressive board and I am delighted that both have accepted the invitation to be a part of the evolution. They bring great energy and positive actions for which they have consistently delivered on since I became Chairman. More appointments will be made to the board over the coming weeks.
Ryan takes on the role of Head of Media, recognition of the great work he has already done with the website, social media updates and more recently being instrumental in the plans to live stream our FA Trophy tie in December against Torquay United. Ryan brings some much needed youth to the boardroom and I am excited about the direction in which we are heading with our media developments.
Gavin has taken on the running of the club’s Online Shop presence from me and will very soon have his own club email address so that you can contact him directly with enquiries and product suggestions. Gavin has already done a cracking job of promoting the shop across social media helping to generate considerable funds for the club. As our new Head of the Retail, he has been very busy this month with the shop sale whereby if you spend over £50 you get a whopping 25% off over the last few days and with not long left, make sure you get your orders placed before midnight on Sunday 31st January 2021
More good news, and a welcome relief, with great help from our MP Dame Cheryl Gillan, the emergency grants for football at our level has now been clarified and made available to the club this week for the period up to 31st March this year, with a good possibility that more will be available from 1st April until the end of June, which is the time we start to budget for monies coming in from all our sponsors, advertisers and season ticket holders for the next season.
Our application similar to other teams at our level, Step Three, is for a maximum of £27,000 available per club. Any claims will be audited by the Football Foundation and Sport England to make sure that any grants we receive are spent as it is intended. The detail of this is important as we must understand what it is that we can claim for as we are conscious that, with the likelihood of any further football this season diminishing all the time, there will come a time when we have to tackle what to do about potential refunds to those supporters and businesses that kindly backed us this season with sponsorship, advertising and season tickets.
The good news continue with a huge thank you to Paul Clark & Co who are constructing a Perspex roof and sides for our wheelchair supporters area so that they will not need a partner to stand by their side holding an umbrella to keep the elements away from them when using the allotted area in front of the clubhouse. Thank you also to Terry Dyer who has helped massively with the funding for this work.
What next? Ah yes, more good news. Martin Woolnough has arranged for all our stewards, old and new, to attend a free training course on stewarding at Wycombe Wanderers and at the end of the course, when they have passed, they will have a certificate of compliance that they can use if they wish to steward at our games. With this qualification they could then look to do some stewarding away from the club and earn some additional cash for themselves – although we hope they will remain volunteers here at Chesham as well!
What it does mean though, is that we will have an even more professional set-up on a matchday ensuring the safety of our supporters and improving that matchday experience. If you would like to join our stewards on this course, we do have some spaces available. Our good friends Aylesbury United have also nominated volunteers to attend so that they have qualified stewards for their games at The Meadow. All of this will of course have to wait until lockdown restrictions have been lifted and it is safe to do so, but if you would like to attend, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I normally like to finish with some good news, but with so much good news this week I thought I would save the bad news to last. Our club office roof is now desperately needing to be replaced and has been included as an expense in the emergency grant application to get this done as soon as possible – It is starting to resemble a large overhead shower with water coming in from so many different holes! With more bad weather forecast, we need to look at getting this fixed as soon as possible. Any recommendations or companies out there that are willing to quote? Please contact me as we prefer to deal with supporters of our great club first.
Stay Safe – Stay Well