It’s been a bit wet out. So, you’re probably reading this just before Yule Ball and just after my first online Ask Me Anything. The idea behind this is to offer a moment for you to bend my ear about what is happening here in Fenland Follies.
These are expected to be quarterly, just after the reporting schedules. I hold a strong view that reporting – at worst, a bane on any officer’s existence – has provide a useful function, including a round up of what is happening, tracking issues, and a source for lessons learned. The end of this month will see the start of the annual round-up, known as the Domesday Report.
Event Support Progress Made
I am pleased to say that the work in making life for our event organisers a lot easier is coming on nicely. Master Yannick’s event planner is in pilot stage, being tested on a couple of events, including the online Kingdom University event next month. This will be able to automate the creation of online event schedules, cur clashes, and a lot of other event support that will allow event teams to get information out to the populace earlier, improving the attractiveness of events.
The Events Council is now up and running with its own email list and is now available for consultation by event organisers and potential event organisers. Many thanks to Master Alexandre, Mistress Ariel, Master Yannick, Viscountess Valda, Lord Wolfram, Lady Pernel, and Lady Alessandra for stepping forth. We would welcome more members from our experienced event organisers to join us, details below.
The crowd-sourcing of venue information is growing apace. At the time of writing, 61 venues are listed. Many thanks indeed to Amy of Osgoldcross for her data entry of over a third of those. We have more to upload, and would appreciate further assistance on this. The google sheet is available for event organisers and seneschals. If you have an event idea, you are more than welcome to drop by for a chat with myself, or one of our officers, can help you design your event.
This dataset will also be reviewed for accessibility by the Accessibility and Inclusion Team. This stage will take time, but the plan is to provide information and reviews up-front of venues from the perspective of our members who need such assistance. Whether this is wheelchair access, lifts, adapted bedrooms and wet-room/bathrooms, safety features and so forth, this will ensure that event organisers will have an understanding of the appropriateness of their proposed venue, in order to avoid forgetfulness or cursory nods to these concerns. Our community needs to ensure it is open to all as much as possible. A checklist for venue scouts is in the works, as part of this activity, and will be made available in the new year.
Many thanks indeed to everyone who contributed their thoughts on the perfect SCA event, I have seen several suggestions that provide food for thought, and in the new year, we hope to wrap these up into a suggestions sheet for potential event organisers.
Further ahead, I am looking at our event support in general, including converting the venue dataset into a searchable map to include other information such as transport routes and times, though this will be a 2023 goal.
The Principality Exchequer and I have been conducting an extensive review of the Financial Policy of the Principality. This has been long overdue, and we have developed a comprehensive overhaul of how the Principality expects finances to be documented and spent legally, openly and fairly.
We have set down the rules regarding the various “pots” (really ringfenced budget lines)within the single Principality account, as well as codify existing practices and interactions with shire exchequers. There is nothing considered radical in the new rules, but anyone handling money by and on behalf of the Principality and its branches needs to be aware that we will be aiming to publish the new policy circa Easter 2023.
On a wider note, I am creating the role of Deputy – Fundraising as part of that overhaul, and am welcoming applications. This is a position that will be shared in support of the Council of the Purse – the Principality’s financial committee. This is to address two major concerns.
Firstly, the expansion of “pots”, coupled with some expensive event losses, and in anticipation of the challenges future events are facing with rising budget costs, means that the Principality Funds are under increasing pressure. Even before COVID, the long-term level of funds has been that of managed reduction.
Secondly, until recently, the primary responsibility of fundraising – particularly for the Principality Travel Fund – has been placed upon the shoulders of the Reigning Couple, as well as often on the organising event staff. Considering the focus, responsibility and time pressures on those few people, having someone to take on the ideas and administration of fundraising will provide a long-term support, stability and concentration on that task on behalf of the Council of the Purse.
I therefore am looking for someone who is happy to organise activities within events and in general, who can support the mechanics of such fundraisers as auctions and raffles, quizzes and other opportunities. Maybe you have supported your local village fete, or jumble sale? We have plenty of larger than life personalities to be the face, but having someone who can sort out the nuts and bolts will be a boon to our Principality. Drop me a line – email@example.com
It has been brought to my attention that we have some unfinished business in terms of providing a sound and complete establishment of the Principality as an entity capable of protecting its volunteers and members, and as such I am commissioning pieces of work to help aid a review of our game-side mechanisms. More will be described in the New Year, but suffice to say, support and protection of our volunteers engaged in keeping this game running is a paramount concern of mine and I wish to be addressing this at the next Parliament. My thanks already to the work and advice already received from Lady Cecily and Master Alexandre.
Our Principality thrives on everyone mucking in and helping out in their own way. We have plenty of opportunities for you, whether you are a Peer of long standing, or a new member, just finding your way in this weird world of pageant and participation. Drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org
Events Council – looking for more of our experienced event organisers to join this advisory body. This is an on-call bank of knowledgeable people who can be approached for planning advice as well as the more strategic thoughts about our events.
Deputy – Fundraising – We are looking for someone who is happy to administrate and support fundraising at events and in general for the Principality. Officially a Deputy of the Seneschal, you will be jointly supporting the Council of the Purse – The Royal Couple, myself, and the Exchequer.
Accessibility and Inclusion Team – an advisory team of the Office of the Seneschal, addressing matters affecting members facing difficulties engaging in our activities due to their circumstances. We are needing more volunteers to help with the workload, as mentioned above, but also in support of future topics of interest.