Last years’ AGM report for Membership projected a 2016 membership of 145 joining in 2016 (at an average of 13 per class). The rest of 2016 saw many classes fill to 15. Potential reasons for this increase had been discussed at prior meetings and include the cessation of ‘free’ classes provided by the local DHBs having a likely impact. Many classes in 2017 have continued to run at capacity.
A two year membership is rare, out of the current 163 members only 7 opted for 2 years.
Online Platforms (Facebook and Website)
Kate Drennan has been managing this role since 2011.
Several committee members assist with content for the Facebook page, adding humourous links, educational resources, community news, other Parent Centres’ events and fundraisers, and strategic partner information and special offers. This regular activity ensures ongoing engagement by members (through interaction and sharing posts) and thus, a wider reach for our centre through their Facebook feeds.
The website is mainly accessed for Antenatal information, though the entire site is kept current. The mobile device incompatible platform is probably affecting traffic. We are starting to get more enquiries for Antenatal via phone which may reflect this.
Kate Drennan has been managing this role since 2015.
Classes have been busy with only 3 classes over the last year (April 2016 to March 2017) not being full or over-subscribed. The other centres in the hub (Onewa and Bays North) have a huge impact on how full our classes are. As do the DHB classes. If one centre in the hub fills their class then there is a roll on effect to the other centres in the area. It is not unusual for these local centres to collaborate on who has space available over the particularly busy months to try and find all expecting parents a place on a course. Overall, for the last year, we have had a 100% average Antenatal class subscription rate (based on 12 places per class but allowing for up to 15 couples where required). This is up from an average subscription rate of 94% on the previous year.
ANTENATAL CLASS SUBSCRIPTION FOR CLASSES BEGINNING APRIL 2016 UNTIL CLASSES BEGINNING MARCH 2017
*Note that some classes are oversubscribed as our standard class size is 12 but we will book up to 15 if required.
Moving and Munching Bookings
Sarah Robson who is the key bookings officer (with help from Julie Walker) has managed the booking officer’s role for the Moving and Munching for this past year. The classes have been consistently full with a big push closer to the class dates by personally emailing members with babies that would be the appropriate age and also promoting it on Facebook. Naomi has also been a huge help by pushing the bookings of these classes at her Baby and You classes. We only run four of these classes a year and believe this is more than enough for our centre to run. If we run more we may not get the numbers that we need to fill them. Those attending the classes have given us some very positive feedback at the end of the sessions which is always great to see.
Moving and Munching Hosts
Julie continues to host the 4 moving and munching classes that we run at the Sunnynook Committee Centre in February, May, August and November. We have had full classes for this two day session that is run on Thursday mornings. We have had full or close to full classes for each session completed so this ensures that we cover all our costs and make a small profit. Wendy and Pricilla continue as our tutors for these classes. We give Huggies swimming nappies and pull ups out to these members that attend as well as Wattie’s first food sheets.
We will continue with the four sessions next year as I believe if these numbers were increased we might struggle to get the full classes. We take a max of 12 for this class.
Antenatal Convenor role
Annie reports everything is going well in this role, often receiving really positive email feedback about the course and course instructor which is great.
Sample ordering going well too, although last year order cut off dates used to be listed on the one document received from head office but this year these dates aren't always similar each order period or known in advance for all samples so order cut off dates are now notified via our main email address and the Facebook page, and the document is no longer relevant - although there is a useful calendar on CRIB which includes cut off dates for some of the samples.
Thanks Kate for sending on any relevant emails received and Julie for keeping an eye on the Facebook page for me too. This is important as this year it's also changed in that for most samples if we don't update the order request we're no longer automatically sent the totals of samples we'd entered in the previous order period (like we were last year - it just rolled over) so now if we miss entering by cut off we'd end up with nothing and have to wait until the next order period.
Also I moved to Tauranga a few weeks ago but I'm more than happy to continue with this role from here. Thanks also to Julie and Naomi for agreeing to take on the collating and sending of class feedback forms to head office, as this made more sense rather than sending to me in Tauranga to read and then send on.
Julie and Naomi have been Hosting the Antenatal classes for this past year as a joint role. Tuesday night classes are hosted by Julie and Thursday and weekend classes are hosted by Naomi.
We have as a team have fine-tuned what we do with the class. We have removed the hand out of welcome packs as we felt the information that we were giving out was not of huge benefit but did still have some of the brochures on display for the new members to take if they so wish.
Huggies have advised that they are happy for us to give out extra Huggies products so Nikki now does random Huggies give-aways in the classes at appropriate times.
It was decided also that as Nikki is our only CBE and she works often two nights a week for our centre that we would help her out by running our classes over 6 nights and not the 7 we currently do. We will however start the classes a bit earlier to ensure all information is covered. This will give Nikki a night off every now and then. These changes have been passed onto St Johns so that will also reduce out room hire fee when this starts as we won’t be using the rooms as much as before.
We continue to get amazing feedback at the end of the classes about Nikki and how the class is run and the information that is taught so that is always a positive.
Neeli Govender holds the Marketing role which co-ordinates the distribution of pamphlets and posters that market the benefits of joining the Waitemata Parents Centre.
Medical Practitioners and Midwives in the Waitemata catchment area continue to welcome receiving the promotional material.
Ordering of the brochures proved problematic on two occasions as the on-line ordering form was no longer working properly. Head Office had to be contacted by both telephone and via Facebook, before the orders were successfully placed.
Baby & You Convenor
Everything is running smoothly in this role and Alyssa is happy to continue doing this role from Sydney.
The fees for a couple of our Baby and You speakers have changed as of 2017, as below:
Sarah Smith (Baby Massage) $80 – this was increased from $60
Trish Martin (Infant Feeding and Settling) $85 – no change
Pennie Kennings (Life Changes) $80 – this was increased from $60
Wendy Perera (Child Development) $115 – no change
Little Beat (Infant CPR) $115 – no change
We continue to get slow but steady feedback on our B&Y classes through Survey Monkey questionnaires. After each class a link is sent out to the survey that is specific to the class they have just attended so the feedback we get is relevant to the class (and speaker) they have just attended. The feedback is generally positive.
Baby and You Hosting
Naomi Naera has been the Baby and You Host for 8 and a half years. We are running 11 classes a year at the Sunnynook Community Centre which is a great facility for us. As much as we would love to run more classes the Sunnynook Community Centre is fully booked so would be very difficult to cater for any more. This year the majority of the Speakers requested the starting time to be at 10am instead of 10.30 am. This allows the speaker to have a full 2 hours if need be but if not then it made it easier for me to clear the rooms by 12 noon for the next group hiring the room. We started this new start time March this year and it has made a huge improvement to the course structure and there have been no complaints from the Mums coming half an hour earlier.
The Sunnynook Community Centre have informed me they are looking at closing the area where we offer tea and coffee etc. This is to help with the noise levels in the Sycamore room as other hirers have complained about this room getting too much noise through the kitchen. As of June this year we will stop offering tea, coffee etc at our Baby and You courses in the lead up to this area being permanently closed off.
We are looking into a grant for our new CPR Mannequins, so we are holding off buying them for now to see if we get approved. Once that is sorted then we will look into selling the old mannequins we have as they are not for suitable for CPR and choking demonstrations. Also, in June we are going to have A5-sized evaluations for the ladies to hand in at the end of each class, as speakers would love to hear their feedback immediately after the class rather than a few months after so they are able to assist with any queries/questions.
Overall everything is running smoothly with our Baby and You classes.
Emma Snow has managed the Advertising Convenor role since March 2016. During this period we have had 12-14 advertisers in our printed newsletter. Some of the advertisers have been with us for many years which is great. Plus we have been able to bring on new advertisers throughout the year. The advertising provides our centre with enough funds to cover the print costs and a portion of the postage costs. There is about $617 per printed issue in advertising that we get. At the start of 2017 we began printing our newsletter in full colour which led to our advertising costs increasing slightly. We will offer a 20% discount to advertisers who pay for a full year advertising up front. So far all advertisers have been happy with the increase as they can see the benefit of having the newsletter in colour.
We have paid e-newsletter advertisers with a maximum of three paid advertisers per email. This is 100% profit to our centre since we don’t have any expenses incurred in producing this. If we have all three paid advertisers with us we get $94.50 per email that we send out as profit.
We have three paid advertisers who keep flyers in our Antenatal rooms and Baby & You rooms at a cost of $100 per year. Once again this is 100% profit to our centre as there are no costs incurred to us. A big thanks to our advertisers as their support is very much appreciated
In December of 2015 saw us change the newsletter to full colour- the role seems to be going well having it split, Laura Smyth continues to put together the newsletter while Lorna Cameron and Julie Walker help to collect content to go into the newsletter. Lorna has only recently joined us in this role and has lots of ideas. Laura has focused on streamlining the newsletter and will continue to work on layout this year.
Cherie McClintock has been the eNewsletter editor since February 2014 and stood down from the role in June 2017. Rebecca Frazer will be picking up the role from July 2017.
The eNewsletter is generally sent every 2 months, on alternate months to the printed newsletter. It is used to promote Waitemata Parents Centre courses, committee vacancies and member-only promotions from advertisers. During the year ending March 2017 we sent five enewsletters (April, June, August, October and March) and one special promotion (Shooting Stars October Special). This is was a total of 3,020 emails.
Email open rates are trending down compared to last year. Clicks are an important measure of engagement - the email that had the most opens and clicks was the June eNews, which contained content about winter entertainment for babies and toddlers, as well as advertising.
The subscriber base grew from 482 to 512. We still have approximately70% of who read the emails on their mobiles.
Kiwiparent and Newsletter Distribution
Rebecca Frazer has been responsible for the distribution of the WPC newsletter and Kiwi
Parent Magazine since March 2017. With the bi-monthly publication she liaises with the editor to ensure the newsletter and magazines are collected from the printers, packaged and posted promptly to our current members. Rebecca is looking forward to working with Infoodle for the future ongoing mailouts
Erin O’Hara manages all TENS bookings via email or phone. All bookings are tracked with a spreadsheet to record the person’s name that is hiring the machine, when the machine is due back, and to keep track of all payments for hireage.
The machines are hired regularly over the year, although there are patches in the year that are extra busy when everyone in one antenatal class wants to hire a machine. In general everything is running smoothly and all machines are returned within 4-6 weeks.
All payments are up to date currently, and one machines are currently on hire. Over the year there has been no cost increase and the 1 month hire rate remains at $60 (includes TENS pads).
Issues – Machines are getting older and are harder to use. I do always get better feedback from the people that hire the newer machine. Look into the possibility of purchasing a couple more of the new TENS machines.
Suggestion – consider a price increase for hiring the machines to $70.
The Hospital tours are taken by Gloria and Louise as a shared role with Julie as a backup when necessary. Tours happen 11 times each year. They have been running smoothly. The turnout is always strong and our members enjoy the information they receive from them.
Waitemata Parents Centre