We have finished our year of ‘Fourteen’ Funded support and our target was to produce a monthly What’s On guide for potentially isolated and offline residents. To do this we needed to spend time and money updating our website so that writers have a secure place to add their work to be shared with residents digitally and in print. Financially we now must stand on our own feet without relying on funding.
Our new and upgraded website was completed in May in time for the new GDPR regulations which are designed to keep online information, especially personal details, safe. Since then we have seen an increase in ‘traffic’ (people using our website) from around 200 hits per month to 2500; we peaked at 3000 in July due to the Southmead Festival information we published.
The new website is as usable as a simple website can be and acts as our public folder. If for any reason we can’t print, residents can still upload stories to be shared and to be ready for when we next can print. If we cannot print, offline residents can link up with online neighbours who can show them the items, or the items can be printed off at the SCART shop.
We print 2000 paper copies per month to target our potentially isolated and offline residents. The September and October editions were 16 pages and these issues cost just under 17 pence each to print.
We have seen a slight rise in the number of small donations we receive which is fantastic; every penny counts. We have begun to print thank yous for donations on our back page.
Our vision is that every home in Southmead will have a copy of The Mead delivered through the letterbox. This used to happen when the editions were quarterly, but since we have begun to publish monthly we cannot deliver to 5,000 homes as this is too much for Volunteers. Our mission is to find a Volunteer for every street, or every 100 houses, so the load can be divided up and no one Volunteer is overburdened. If you would like to Volunteer to deliver in your own street please do get in touch.
During the last year we have been working on our accounts and banking which has been problematic; we are not at a point yet where they can be handed to a new Treasurer.
Interest in advertising in the printed edition is building well and when our accounting is ready we can recruit an Advertising Volunteer, however we must complete our accounting first as the advertising system relies on a good accounts system.
In the next year we will focus on re-building a strong committee.
We have received excellent feedback about our printed editions over the last year, particularly from residents in sheltered accommodation.
Thank you for your support, and thank you to Fourteen for the funding, and, as we say on the team, “Up the Mead!”