For FECA, 2020 was a year that presented many challenges but equally some highlights. Many of our member organisations’ activities were suspended during the lockdown and we are very conscious of the potential need to support these groups as they seek to re-establish their normal activities.
In terms of the Covid-19 support, I will forever remember the time that our Treasurer identified that he could re-purpose the Fun Run online entry platform to a kitty system to support shopping for shielding residents. The system has processed £10,000 worth of shopping. Something of which FECA is very proud in support of the Covid-19 support groups in Cottenham and Willingham.
We are also proud of the grants that continued through the year including the largest grant that FECA has even given to the Village College towards a new audio-visual system. In total, during 2020/21, grants of just over £8,000 were made.
We suspended membership fees in 2020/21 for our member groups. A very small gesture in recognition of the financial pressures. But our membership is now at 71. That is double the number of members from 5 years ago and reflects the increasing value and profile of FECA in the community. I do hope that your group will renew their membership for 2021/2022. Some groups have taken advantage of the FECA Zoom account for their AGMs and regular meetings – we have renewed the subscription for another year and will continue to make it available to members. I would also like to remind members that the marquee and the mini-golf continue to be available for use.
The editorship of the Fen Edge News undertaken by Adrian Stephens is a more difficult task for each issue when the submitted copy exceeds the space in the magazine. During lockdown, we were unsure as to whether we could continue the Fen Edge News, as members had less to report. However, we went ahead and our members helped out by providing background and insightful articles in place of the more usual meeting notices. We were glad for this support as the publication of this magazine is one of the sources of funding to be ploughed back into the community as member grants.
We also had to cancel the Fen Edge Festival that would have taken place this June. It was just too difficult to make the commitments and plan the event against the backdrop of such uncertainty. There is every hope that the deferral will just be a year and the event will take place in June 2022, with planning starting later this year.
Overall, not a year we will remember with any fondness but FECA remains a very active organisation that is proud of its success in supporting other local organisations, groups and charities.
Lastly, I wish to thank the Management Committee for all their efforts over the past year. The meetings have continued regularly on Zoom and I don’t think we missed a beat. This has also been the first year operating under the new Constitution and this will be first meeting and elections carried out under it.
Chair – Fen Edge Community Association