The Saint gets the inside scoop on the newly-formed Fellowship of St. Andrews, a non-profit organization wholeheartedly dedicated to the Bubble and everyone in it. Four of the executive members give readers a look into the nascent organization, which, despite its relative youth, is well on its way to becoming an influential part of St. Andrews’ life and development.
First of all, what are your names? What are your roles in the Fellowship?
We are Pat Mathewson (President), Tori Rainbolt (Secretary), Jon Ramsay (Press Officer), and Liv Wall (Co-Head of Marketing).
What is the FSA? When was it founded? What does it stand for? What are its core values?
The Fellowship of St. Andrews is a not-for-profit dedicated to strengthening the unique character of St. Andrews by promoting its shared history and traditions, serving the local community, and engaging a wider body of St Andreans in pursuit of these goals. We were founded in early 2012.
How many members are there in the FSA? To whom is it open?
The Fellowship is made up of an over 200-person volunteer base and 20 ‘fellows’who serve as directors of the organisation. Though we’re about to take on more fellows to meet our growing needs, which is the great position to be in! Additionally, we are supported by numerous partners – other local organizations that work within the local community.
What has the Fellowship achieved so far?
We are proudest of the volunteers, we have had an outstanding turnout and hope to only build on that in the coming year. As far as some of our projects go, we’ve undertaken a restoration of the so-called ‘secret garden’ which sits behind St. Regulus Hall and has been closed off for many years. Additionally, we ran several dramatic tours which were well received by local families and tourists. And most weeks we’ve participated in the efforts of our partners, ranging from poppy collections to constructing gazebos at the local orchard. We also have just launched a website, www.evertoexcel.co.uk, which we hope will spur more people to get involved.
Do you have anything big planned for the near future? In the long run?
We have numerous projects in the works at the moment, including an opening party for the garden, a local business fayre, and a second hand gown market to name a handful. Additionally, we have just named Families First our ‘charity of the year’ and excited to see how that partnership will grow. We have a few surprises up our sleeve for the upcoming year, so watch this space.
Where/when do you meet? How often? What is achieved at the meetings?
We have a weekly general meeting Monday nights, where we discuss our progress on current and upcoming projects. Additionally, we hold smaller meetings thoughout the week to discuss everything from publicity to the nuts and bolts of our events.
How is the Fellowship organized?
We have an handful of administrative positions, much like many of the union societies (treasurer, secretary, etc.). Each of our ‘fellows’ has a unique responsibility, whether it’s one of the aforementioned positions or serving as a project manager. They do this in addition to the same work as our other volunteers; everyone from a first-year volunteer to the President gets their hands dirty.
What would be the characteristic that defines a member of the FSA?
Drive- a love for St. Andrews and a dedication to giving back to our home.
What is the best part of being in the Fellowship?
Being surrounded by people who are passionate about what they believe in.
Photo credit: Sammi McKee