Tag Archives: grants

And finally…

It’s the end of the day. I’ve just been drinking tea and eating lavender biscuits. It’s not all been this easy of course; I’ve actually had to spend some time pressing computer keys, walk round with a camera, do a bit of thinking and  and make sure the kitchen is tidy for the bread group.


I did have to do a bit of toilet cleaning, but even that isn’t so bad. If I had to do it all day and every day I’d probably grow to resent doing it but a couple of times a week isn’t going to kill me. (Unless I catch typhoid but I don’t really think that’s likely).

Basically, toilet cleaning is nature’s way of telling you that you should have worked harder at school, so it’s hard to feel bad about it, as I definitely should have worked harder at school.

I also had an epiphany on the way to work, which is something that doesn’t happen every day. We were talking about applying for grants (we’ve just been turned down for another one) and I said that the time involved in applying must be between 20-40 hours.  You have to research, think, write, listen to unwanted advice and try to match the project you have in mind to the funding criteria of the funder. This is out of all proportion to the time and effort it takes to print a form letter telling you that you’ve failed.

In truth, I may as well have wasted a week playing Solitaire. I say “wasted”, but it’s a skill, and you need to practice to get better.

Or, as I said to Julia, I may as well have spent the time arranging bag packing or collection sessions at local supermarkets. Even in these depressed days, we should be able to raise a few hundred quid that way. We are currently looking at taking on charitable status, and at that time it might be possible to persuade supermarkets to let us in.

It’s a tough gig – I’ve packed quite a few times (helping fund a junior rugby team to Canada and buying shirts for an entire junior section) and I know that getting volunteers is tough, and getting money is even tougher.

I once packed bags (neatly and efficiently) for a well spoken lady who, at the end, said “I won’t be able to give you anything, of course, because I never put money in open buckets.”

Until that point I hadn’t realised I looked like the sort of man who would steal from children. And I really felt the sting of that “of course”.

As a result I went out and bought a dozen of the proper buckets. You secure the top with  a cable tie, put a label across the join and start packing. People give you money and at the end of the day you go home, cut the cable ties, pull off the stickers and (I you are that way inclined) steal the money from the kids.

The only difference is that you are spending money on buckets and cable ties instead of on the kids.



Bacon encourages thinking

It was a marathon meeting last night – two and a half hours of my life that I will never see again. I swear I could feel my body systems closing down one by one…

This morning I couldn’t actually muster the enthusiasm to get up until Julia suggested that a bacon cob from Gregg’s might be in order. There’s something about a bacon sandwich, whatever the type of bread, that always engages my enthusiasm, despite bacon being so perfectly adapted for getting in the gaps between my teeth.

Gregg’s are quite a charitable organisation, supporting breakfast clubs for schools and giving small grants to local community groups. I like that in an organisation. Although people can do what they like with their money (including keeping it all for themselves) I always think it’s nice to see it spread round in the community.

I’m starting to feel like a session wrestling with grant applications may be in order. It generally ends in nothing but disappointment (so many worthy causes, so little cash!) but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Funny where a bacon cob can take you – from apathy to grant applications in this case. maybe I should make it a regular part of my management technique. If someone can write Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun how long can it be before Management Lessons from a Bacon Roll hits the shelves. If there’s anyone who could do it, it’s probably this man.