Goodbye BFRA

BFRA blossoms into new Community Interest Company for Saxmundham
The Brook Farm Residents Association (BFRA) has recently undergone a major step-change, to reflect significant advances since its formation. It has grown into a fully-fledged social enterprise – the Saxmundham Music & Arts CIC (‘SMART’). It now runs as a community interest company, with the social aim of providing music and arts events, primarily for all the residents of Saxmundham. All the directors are volunteers, and all profits are ploughed back into the company to meet its community remit.
The Brook Farm Residents Association (BFRA) was formed in 2004 when the Brook Farm development was still rolling out.
Now that the Brook Farm development of c.600 homes has matured the needs for the objectives diminished. Social events such as the annual BFRA Family Fun Day, grew year-on-year and, in 2014, ‘mutated’ into the annual free summer Sax Music Fest – held on the Memorial field and open to all residents of the area.
As success grew on success, this event – the biggest free social event for everyone in the area – just got bigger and bigger, attracting an audience of over 2,000 in 2017. At the same time, costs began to rise steeply in order to put on a professional show, with workshops, a range of artists, promotion, staging, sound systems, lighting and security. Fundraising became a full time job. Various sponsors have stepped in, e.g. the Lottery, Saxmundham Town Council, Suffolk Coastal District Council and SADCIC. But to put everything on a more business-like and professional footing BFRA as an ‘unincorporated association’ has been dissolved. To help with the formation of the ‘SMART’, and gain more sponsors, Suffolk Coastal District Council awarded BFRA a grant to employ local marketing consultants Bridge Marketing to help with this growth. ‘SMART’ became incorporated on November 24th in 2017. Now all the funds and resources of the old BFRA are being transferred to ‘SMART’, with the aim of the new social enterprise becoming financially self-sustaining by 2021. And, at the same time, the aim is to develop an annual programme of various music and arts events in and around Saxmundham.
“Since setting up BFRA in 2004, and being its first Chairman, I’m very proud of this growing legacy for everyone in Saxmundham. And now, as the last Chairman of BFRA, I’m very happy to that former Chairman of BFRA, Terry Barrow, is to carry on leading the festival operation. I’m sure his tremendous past work, in getting the Sax Music Fest off the ground, will ensure that the new company goes from strength to strength” says Don Tricker, BFRA Chairman.
“We all owe Don Tricker a big vote of thanks for starting BFRA initiative over 13 years ago, when he first moved to Saxmundham, and I wish him well with his other 2 successful ventures – PASTEL CIC and SADCIC” – and not forgetting all of the Brook Farm residents and volunteers who have supported BFRA for the past 13 years, to make it one of the largest paid-up residents association in East Anglia. Without this extra help the BFRA could never have grown and flourished and we look forward to more volunteer support with ‘SMART’.” stated Terry Barrow, MD, Saxmundham Music & Arts CIC.
For further information on ‘SMART’ and the Sax Music Fest, please check www.saxmusicfest.co.uk, and those wishing to enquire about volunteering to join specific roles eg marketing with the ‘SMART’ management or operational support teams, please speak to Terry Barrow on 07771-877454.

Live band

Popular Band Doing Fundraising Gig in Saxmundham 9th December.HWC

Sax Music Fest, the annual free music festival in Saxmundham, has arranged for popular local covers band ‘Handle With Care’ to perform at Saxmundham Town Hall on 9th December to raise funds for the music festival next summer.

The small team behind the successful festival, that will be in its fifth year next year, are delighted to be able to be working with Handle With Care who play a range of popular, well-known material at pubs, clubs, weddings and dinner dances across the region.

Tickets are just £3 in advance or £5 on the door and are available from Crisps on Saxmundham High Street or you can book over the phone through organiser Terry Barrow on 07771 877454.

Terry Barrow, organiser of Sax Music Fest, said: “Get your dancing shoes on and dust off your vocal chords as you can expect to hear an amazing set spanning feel good tunes from the last 6 decades, from the Beatles to the Stereophonics and maybe even a little bit of Quo….There will be something for everyone and it’ll be a great evening.”

Important news about this year’s membership

‘The BFRA is undergoing a significant step-change, to reflect changes since its formation.

The Brook Farm Residents Association (BFRA) was formed in 2004 when the Brook Farm development was still happening. It was formed with 2 objectives in mind:

  • To lobby the developers, and the local authorities, on behalf of the interests and concerns of BFRA members.
  • To provide some social activities for the over 300 paid-up BFRA members to be held ‘onsite’ at the Sax Primary School, as most residents were new to Sax and initially we had a community of strangers.

Now that the Brook Farm development of c.600 homes is relatively mature the need for first objective has diminished. As for the second objective, social events such as the big annual BFRA Family Fun Day run exclusively for BFRA families grew year-on-year and, in 2014, they ‘mutated’ into the annual summer Sax Music Fests – held on the Memorial field, and open to all.

As success grew on success, and this FREE event got bigger and bigger, attracting audiences of over 2,000, costs began to rise steeply in order to put on a professional show, with a workshops, a range of artists, promotion, staging and security. Fundraising became a full time job. Various sponsors have stepped in eg the Lottery, Saxmundham Town Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council.

But to put everything on a more business-like and professional footing BFRA as an ‘unincorporated association’ will be dissolved, with the formation of the ‘Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company’ and an accompanying group of volunteer supporters. All the directors of the Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company will be volunteers. Suffolk Coastal District Council has given BFRA a grant to employ Bridge Marketing consultants to help find more key sponsors.

Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company will be incorporated by the end of November 2017, at which time all the funds and resources of the old BFRA will be transferred to Sax Music & Arts CIC. The aim of the Sax Music & Arts Community Interest Company is to become financially self-sustaining by 2021, whilst looking to develop an annual programme of music and arts events to help raise funds for the Sax Music Fest – the biggest free social event for all, in the area.’

Please support the Tesco ‘Bags Of Help’ fundraising for the Sax Fest 2017.

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We have been selected for funding by Tesco, teaming up with Groundwork, to launch its Bags of Help initiative across England and Wales. The scheme sees three community groups and projects in each of around 200 Tesco regions awarded grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.
Bags of Help offers community groups and projects across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store from 1 to 25 February on who should receive the £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 awards.

Circus in Town!

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Petite Circus are in Town in conjunction with the Friends of the School and Brook Farm Residents Association. Saturday 24th September and Sunday 25th September at Primary School Field. Show times Saturday 3pm and 6pm. Sunday 2pm. Tickets https://www.ticketgun.com/events/circus-petite-3
Refreshments available. Also bookings on 01473 737173 Free Samba drumming lessons on Sunday. Lessons at 11am – 11.45 and 12.15pm – 1pm. Please email terrybfra@btinternet.com or message 07771 877454 Ages 8 – 14yrs.