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Tuesday 17 February 2009
From the Bath City programme, 14 February 2009

Good afternoon and welcome to the fans, players and officials of Bath City.

Just over a week ago we announced this season’s volunteer ‘party’ but this year it is very different from the previous years’ formats, which had been getting a little bit jaded. Instead, volunteers have been invited to come with us to the Weston-super-Mare game, with free coach travel, entry to the game, a pre-match buffet and drink, and a complimentary programme. Full details of the event will be sent to volunteers who have accepted, but it will be held in a function room at Weston-super-Mare’s ground and, since he is already at the ground, we are hoping that Terry will be able to pop in to say ‘hello’ before the game.

One area where we are gradually getting better is knowing exactly who all our volunteers are and how to contact them. To reduce our central record-keeping, we communicate with many of our volunteers via team leaders, for example for matchday activities such as stewarding, programme selling etc. There are benefits from this approach, because the team leaders are much better placed to keep the records up to date, but it does mean that at any particular moment we don’t know exactly how many volunteers we have in total. My best guess for everyone, including non-matchday volunteers, is about 250. And of them, at the time of writing over 70 have accepted. There are 200 places available and if they aren’t all taken up then volunteers will be able to bring a guest, at a discounted rate.

I’ve said often, but no doubt not often enough, that we owe a massive debt to our volunteers, not only for the money they save us, but because their involvement in so many parts of the club and Trust helps to make our culture stronger and, in my opinion, more welcoming. The event is being sponsored and subsidised by another volunteer, Iain McNay of Cherry Red Records; many thanks, Iain.

On this subject, if you are a volunteer and haven’t received an invitation, please do send an email to volunteer event, or call the office during normal working hours.

I will finish with an update on a couple of projects. First, with luck the refurbished toilets in the main lobby should have re-opened today. I’m sorry the work has taken a little bit longer than we had planned but I think you will find that they are a vast improvement on what was there before.

Second, as part of our response to the ground grading visit just before Christmas, we aim to open a first aid centre at the Tempest End. We are using a portakabin which is being fitted out so as to comply with the ‘Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds’, which sets out various requirements relating to its size, facilities etc. The intention is to locate it as close to the toilet building as practical and for it to be functioning before the end of March.

We were aware that we probably needed to do this, so we applied for planning permission before the ground grading visit and have recently had our proposals reviewed for compliance with safety and buildings regulations, so we think we are nearly there.

The only other requirements from the ground grading visit are to improve some signage and the marking out of the dug outs; these are easily fixed and will be done well before the deadline.

Enjoy the game.