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Dear Club members,
as many of you will know the Club suffered a break in back in September where we lost most of our Grounds Maintenance equipment amongst other things including fertiliser, seed, footballs, bibs and cones. Most of this equipment had been gathered over the 12 years we have been at the new ground and the theft has left us without adequate equipment. Stuart Harwood has managed to keep the pitches in good shape thanks mainly to begging, borrowing and Heath Robinsoning equipment and us paying out for contract work that we normally do ourselves. Whilst the break in has caused us much anxiety the positive spin is that it gives us an opportunity to improve the quality of equipment that will allow us to implement a programme of grounds maintenance that will improve our pitches still further. The alternative is we keep muddling along but with the pitches now over 12 years old we clearly need to up our game to keep them in good condition for the long term with all the benefit that accrues.

After discussions with our landlords, the Beacon Hill Sports Association, we are now in a position to plan for replacement equipment. However, whilst our Treasurer has always ensured we had a back up fund for contingencies it gets us nowhere near what we need. The challenge is twofold:
1. to generate significant funds in a short period for capital equipment and
2. reduce costs through undertaking work ourselves.

This cannot be achieved through the hard work of the usual club stalwarts. Beacon Hill always aims to keep fees to a minimum through good housekeeping and we rarely seek members' support for fund raising. Now, though, is the time for us all to get involved and achieve something that will stand us in good stead for years to come.
So here are some of the areas we are considering:

1 Fundraising: we will dip into our reserves, we are working hard to finalise a grounds improvement grant from the County FA and we hope to receive something from the insurance claim. Stu and Steve Ewers have been in negotiations over reasonable deals for equipment with our local equipment company at Does and we appreciate their support. However, it is likely we will still be at least £5000 short. The Committee will continue to explore other opportunities for grants and be open to further offers of sponsorship and donations.
The above strategies will undoubtedly bring in a significant amount but over the next few months it will also require a sizeable push on fundraising events. I think this is the first time since we have been at the new ground that the Committee have made such a request. Three ideas already in circulation are a quiz night; for the adults, a golf day; and for the youngsters an event at Monkey Puzzle in Maldon. If you can get involved in these or have other ideas then let us know through any of the coaches, managers, link parents or Committee Members.

2 Support for work: We can also keep our costs down through our Members offers of help, advice and support. Anything that saves us paying out for work makes our aim more achievable. The following are some of the areas we are considering and I know a number of people mentioned they were willing to get involve d in the immediate aftermath of the break in back in September and I'd ask them to throw their hats back in the ring:
Security: we need to improve the security of the building with better locks etc as well as considering lighting, cctv, tracker etc.
Insurance: if we plan to up the quality of our equipment we have to do the same with our insurance; advice tips, offers etc would be great.
Maintenance programme: again higher standard equipment deserves good maintenance in the long term.

I'm sure that between us we can pull this off and will set us up for Beacon Hill's Centenary Year celebrations in 2021."
Merf Roberts
BHRFC Chairman


01621 857466



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