Public Meeting – Update

Heathfield & District Bonfire Society – HDBS Open Meeting

Meeting Minutes:

Heathfield & District Bonfire Society – HDBS
Open Meeting held at The Half Moon Pub, Cade Street
Present: – David Shoebridge (Chair), Thomas Keep, Rachel Keep, Halina Keep, Steve Thomas.

Apologies: – Ken Brewster

Guests: – Members of HDBS and public – 11. Plus, Richard Paine. Some new members joined

Introduction: – Welcome. We are two committee members light – Steve and Ken are at a Heathfield and Waldron Parish Council meeting to answer any questions regarding our application for a grant. Committee members were introduced.

Update on progress: – So far, we have eight written invitations from other bonfire societies to march at their events. We also have a verbal invitation from one of the Lewes societies, to be confirmed. We are pleased how welcoming the other societies are. That means that we have something to do this bonfire season, that is our biggest news as well as the fact that more members are joining us and giving positive feedback. One negative comment about the bonfire was the impact on animals, the argument from us was that one well organised event is better than lots of small unregulated bonfires. We are trying to do something for the community and bring them together. A great start for three weeks in to welcoming public to join us.

Out meetings: – We need to be invited to march, we also need to have and show an insurance policy. We want to bring members on board to do something and they can march for the beginning of September at the first bonfire outmeeting at Uckfield.

Roles to fill: –
We encourage active participation.
Membership Secretary – will communicate with members and manage numbers; we do not keep personal data once it is entered on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for data protection purposes (GDPR); the nominated person will be shown the CRM system by Dave
Fund raising – this is a massive task for us and very important, there will be a sub-committee led by Rachel
Torch making – throughout the year (each bonfire society we visit will provide torches, so we will be doing the same)
Making effigies led by Thomas
Child protection
Promotions, PR, Press, emails – keep people interested
Face Book (there are 216 members sharing the message) quick replies
Marketing, articles
Health and Safety

Put yourself forward if you have skills or knowledge in an area outlined above, or if you know anyone who would be suitable for a role. We need lots of help. Please let us know any comments you may have.

Costumes: – Smugglers or Day of the Dead only; jumpers need to be knitted. We will be sending out the pattern and colours soon. We will do everything we can to attend out meetings that we have been invited to. We can still go to out meetings even if not many of us go.

Members event: – We hope to hold a small event just for members before the bonfire season starts, Badge Night.

Art work: – It was suggested to get local school children involved but not effigies – Buxted School was also suggested by a member who teaches there.

Fund raising ideas: – Let us know ideas and what you can do to help organise, and we will consider it at a committee meeting. Crowdfunding site being set up; have a stall at Le Marche. Quiz night at the Half Moon. We want people to be active in the society and enjoy being involved.

Parish Council: – They are very excited and supportive. They backed us for our grant.

Local businesses: -Shop keepers are very supportive. We will be able to put posters up and do some fund raising, we have been told that there will be donations of prizes for things like tombola or as quiz prizes. Waitrose, Tesco’s, Co-op have all been considered.

Website: – This is in progress and imminent for going live.

Facebook: – There will be a page for members only page as well as a public group. We will send out invites.

Questions: – We were asked about the age of juniors, which is 5 – 17, other societies allow all ages. We may reconsider in the future.

Next Members meetings: Tues 7th August, Half Moon Cade Street, 7pm start.