President’s Report 2022
1. CFS granted charity status and DFR endorsement
I would like to express my gratitude to the committee members, consultants and all our members for taking CFS to this point. CFS is a charity registered with ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission) with Deductible Gift Recipient endorsement by ATO (Australia Tax Office) as of 20 April 2022. CFS has recruited an honorary consultant to help launch some fundraising events in 2023. We are planning to host a Community BBQ at Bunnings Chatswood Warehouse in April during Youth Week.
2. CFS monthly e-Newsletter to promote social connection and mental health
CFS has been publishing a monthly e-Newsletter since May 2020. Monthly subscriptions are around 300. It would not have survived without our members and subscribers’ contributions to the various columns (recipe of the month, book review and subscriber’s corner). New ideas and suggestions are always welcome. All back issues can be accessed here: Newsletter – Community Flower Studio
3. The Petal-it-Forward Campaign
The Petal-it-Forward Campaign was first launched in Nov 2021 when our pop-up stall returned after the 2nd COVID-19 lockdown. It was re-introduced in Aug 2022 at the Daffodil Day Pop-up Stall. Thanks to generous donations by our members, this campaign was continued for the next 3 months. Free bunches matching the theme of the month (RUOK? Day, Mental Health Month and Beat the Christmas Blues) were handed out to our customers to ‘petal-it-forward’. The goal is to spread kindness and share the joy of giving flowers. Donation specifically for the Petal-it-Forward campaign is available on our website.
4. Intergenerational Exchanges – via the CFS Creative Workshops
The participants in the CFS creative workshops are made up of people in the community from a wide age range (from 11 to 65 +). In 2022, young people aged 11 – 25 attended these workshops free and those over 25 paid for the cost of materials. CFS also joined forces with the 1st Balgowlah Scout Group to put together a ‘Climate Action Art Exhibition’ at Balgowlah Stockland Centre. Three young CFS members and 9 Balgowlah Scouts & Cubs curated in the exhibition. CFS also collaborated with Eastwood Chinese Senior Citizen Club to obtain a community grant from Ryde City Council to offer 8 Laughter Yoga sessions for ECSCC members. During the Sept School holidays, 3 young CFS members co-led a Laughter Yoga session with me. They also interviewed some participants to help further improve the program. All these intergenerational exchanges were valuable to foster a stronger community.
5. Challenges in recruiting trainees to the ‘Help-Me-Grow’ Program
Since CFS was awarded a grant by Help St Foundation in June 2021 for the ‘Help-Me-Grow traineeship’, seven 2-hr work experience sessions were offered to young people. Three of them were offered the traineeship but later declined or withdrew their applications for various reasons. In view of the current low unemployment rate making floristry trainees less appealing, the Committee decided to return the funds to Help St Foundation. However, CFS will continue to offer workshop experience and volunteering opportunities to young people through our pop-up stalls. There are 2 high school students volunteering for CFS as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award Program.
6. Seeking future collaborations with other youth-focused organisations
In addition to StreetWork and Willoughby City Council, Naremburn High School, Sahara’s Services, Ku-ring-gai Council, City of Parramatta Council and Rotary Club of Ryde approached CFS to discuss collaborations. These new connections are evidence of recognition of the contributions of CFS in the last three years (see the article on ‘Social Impact and Accountability!’ in the Oct 2022 e-Newsletter). The greatest benefit of collaborating with well-established organisations is to free up time and energy in marketing campaigns and focusing on the content of our program.
7. Overcoming challenges and calling for members’ active participation.
It is OUR story of building CFS from scratch to become a registered charity! You are part of this story of overcoming challenges the COVID-19 forced on us. I would like to thank ALL of you once again for making this happen. Ideas and suggestions to make CFS even better in serving young people facing mental health challenges are always welcome.
|Jan||First Colour-Sand Glass Workshop (online) https://communityflowerstudio.org/a-workshop-was-born/|
|Feb||Sustainable Alternatives for Valentine’s Day Pop-up Stall CFS is a proud sustainable florist.|
|March||Harmony Day Pop-up Stall raised $465 for Humanitarian Work for Ukraine by Red Cross EGM accepted new objectives for CFS: https://communityflowerstudio.org/new-objectives-explained/|
|April||Registered as a charity with ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission); Youth Week – Colour-sand Glass Workshop for StreetWork clients and youth workers|
|May||Mother’s Day Pop-up Stall|
|June||First bilingual succulent terrarium workshop in collaboration with Eastwood Chinese Senior Citizen Club (ECSCC)|
|July||NADIOC Week pop-up stall Social media campaign – Flower of the Day on Facebook & Instagram|
|August||First Shock-Shocked 22 Music Festival – hosting 3 activities (Flower Crown & Tote Bag Workshops as well as photo booths for instant photos) Petal-it-Forward Campaign relaunched at the Daffodil Day Pop-up Stall Climate-Action Mixed-Media Art Workshop with the Balgowlah Scouts|
|Sept||First RUOK Day Pop-up Stall at Maria’s Café at Chatswood, Petal-it-Forward Campaign continued. EMERGE Festival – Sell-out FAME (Floral Arrangements Made Easy) Workshop Intergenerational Exchange – Laughter Yoga Program in collaboration with ECSCC, funded by Ryde City Council|
|Oct||Climate Action Art Exhibition at Balgowlah Stockland Shopping Centre Mental Health Month Pop-up Stall at Willoughby Uniting Church’s Spring Fair. Raised $202 for Syrian refugees. Awarded Deductible Gift Recipient endorsement by Australian Tax Office|
|Nov||Beat the Christmas Blues Pop-up Stalls – petal-it-forward campaign 4 months in a row. Flower Crown for parties Workshop|