We this week emailed members with details of the projects in the October £2 pot spend ballot. Here's what it said:
As with the past couple of spends, the pot for this quarter is less than the usual £8,000 – as £5,000 from this and the next few quarters has already been committed to the project to relay the astroturf at the club’s Ralston training ground, which members voted for earlier this year.
However we have recently costed a few projects which we think are suitable uses for the remaining £3,000 and which give you a breadth of choice. When we last surveyed our members over where you wanted your money to go, the top three categories were the club’s youth academy, improving the stadium facilities/matchday experience, and bringing the club and community closer together.
In line with that, we present the following options and ask you to pick your favourite:
Option 1 (youth academy goals) –The work to relay the pitch at Ralston is finally now under way and will be ongoing over the next few weeks. As part of that the club would like to upgrade the near-decade-old goals on the new pitch if they can, and head of youth Allan McManus asked if SMISA members would be willing to fund a set of professional-standard goals. The goals would be moveable, which are more expensive than fixed ones, but which would give our various youth teams flexibility in pitch set-up.
Option 2 (stadium hand-driers) – A suggestion we received a while back from a member was whether SMISA could pay to replace the hand-driers in the stadium, which we are sure many of you will have noticed are of poor quality.
This work has now been costed and the club installed one new test drier (its silver if you want to try it) in the men’s toilets in the West Stand (under W2 and W3), which – although it only blows cold air – is stronger than the existing ones. £3,000 would allow us to replace 20 of the 26 hand-driers around the stadium (£100 per drier plus £1,000 install). The priority would be the ones in the home stands.
Option 3 (SMFC Community Trust – Xmas meal and Fit Fans) – a few years ago the club set up the SMFC Community Trust as a charitable organisation aimed at helping the local community. While the trust has been largely dormant, the club have now hired Gayle Brannigan to get it up and running, and she gave us a proposal for how £3,000 from SMISA’s £2 pot could help two of her projects.
The first is Festive Friends – a free Christmas dinner for local elderly residents who are isolated and might otherwise spend Christmas alone, in the 1877 Club at the stadium on December 25, in partnership with the Salvation Army. Gayle is currently £1,750 short of what she needs to run this event.
The remaining £1,250 would go towards a programme of Football Fans in Training (FFIT) for Saints fans (Link to https://dev.ffit.org.uk/). This is a Scotland-wide scheme intended to promote healthy living and weight loss, targeted at footfall fans, and using club facilities. Our money would go on marketing costs, fitness equipment, coaches tracksuits and FFIT t-shirts for the 40 participants.
Option 4 (none of the above) – This would keep the full £3,000 in the £2 pot, meaning it would be available for future projects if needed.