Stretton Focus Volunteers
Our magazine is produced and delivered through our letterboxes every month thanks to the combined efforts of almost 100 unpaid volunteers. In fact, no payments are made throughout the process of writing, publishing, printing and delivering Stretton Focus, other than to our printers WPG. On this page, we take you through the monthly process of our volunteers in producing and delivering our magazine.
All articles and other content are received by midday on the first Monday of the month. These are written by many regular contributors from the churches, the Mayfair Centre, the Town Council, the Library, the Scouts, Stretton Climate Care, Flicks in the Sticks, and many more. Regular contributors also provide Recipe of the Month (‘Heidi’), the cryptic crossword (‘Stan Yelds’), Trivia Corner (Ken Willis) and the Bridgemaster Series. Special mention should be made of Sandra Davies who prepares What’s On every month – probably our most looked-at feature. Our in-house journalist, Christine Williams, usually contributes two or three feature articles, and items from local residents are always welcome. In total, we typically receive about 50 items, all provided by unpaid contributors.
Our Editors’ Team meet to finalise content, page by page, on the first Wednesday of the month. We have four Editors, Clare Paterson, David Lyons, Janet du Cros, and Patricia Thomas, who take it in turns to be Editor-in-Chief each month. We also have a Cover Editor, Geoff Taylor, who is responsible for those wonderful front covers, which are so much a feature of Stretton Focus. Geoff has a network of outstanding photographers willing to donate their photographs, but he also takes many of the cover photographs himself. The Editors’ Team also includes Sandra Davies (What’s On) and Christine Williams (In-House Journalist). Our Chairman, Paul Harding, also sits-in on these meetings each month.
Our Production Team spend the next four or five days professionally laying-out each page with the content selected by the Editors. There are four members of our Production Team. The team lays-out 8-16 pages each and go through a cycle of proof corrections and quality checking before packaging the production files to be sent to our printers. This generally happens over a 7 day period. Our team of ten Proof Readers check every word in the magazine on the second Friday of the month, sending any necessary corrections back to the Production Team to implement. The Proof Readers work every other month in teams of four or five.
On the following Tuesday, the magazine is sent to our printers, Welshpool Printing Group (WPG). During the next ten days, it is printed, bound, packed into bundles of the correct numbers for our distributors, and delivered to several drop-off points around the Stretton Valley on the last Thursday of the month.
Our Distributors (about 60 of them) collect their bundles and deliver the magazines through our letterboxes during the last week of the month. Our subscriptions, the organisation of the delivery rounds, and the distribution of the magazine is coordinated by our Subscriptions Manager (Rounds), Pour Distribution Manager also ensures that our local shops are kept in stock of our magazine for selling to resident non-subscribers and visitors.
We also have several non-resident subscribers living in various locations around the UK and the distribution team ensures that their magazines are posted to them every month. Other important voluntary roles also exist:
Our Advertising Manager, Sara Hewitt, manages and renews advertising contracts of more than 120 advertisers. This is an important source of income for the magazine and enables us to keep the cover price so very low.
Managing our Community Grant Scheme, which awards about 8-10 community grants each year, is a Board Committee comprising John Rowlands, Sandra Davies, Geoff Taylor and Paul Harding.
Our Board of Directors are also all volunteers. They meet four or five times a year and take a strategic overview of all processes, ensure that we make a small profit each year, and look ahead for risks, challenges and opportunities. They are Paul Harding (Chair), John Rowlands (Finance Director), Barrie Raynor, Sandra Davies, Christine Williams, Geoff Taylor, and Andrew Fenton, all of whom are Directors. They are assisted and supported by Sara Hewitt and Chrys Bonds, who are Non-Executive Directors, and Fiona Hunt, who provides essential administrative support to the Board.
We thank all of our volunteers most sincerely. Without their combined efforts, it would not be possible to bring you Stretton Focus every month.
Paul Harding, Chair