What keeps you going ? What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Its a question I ask myself quite often and there is no simple answer. Why do we do what we do?
The small team i work with are ace but sometime we do feel like we are constantly sinking. Some days it really is hard to keep our heads above water and to keep going and this week was one of those weeks.
Yet again we had been turned down for funding and it hurts.. I am quite new to this game of funding but my partner in work has 4 years experience and together we have a shed load of evidence, testimonials and need for what we are trying to do. For 4 years they have been battling each year to continue the good work and the chance to improve the community around us. for me it has only been a couple of years looking at funding and I am put off already!
To give you an example of the good work we do ..
This same week as we got turned down for funding we also won an award for ` The most inspiring community group in Cornwall` .. Now to me.. Right there .. That is the reason why we do what we do. We help change lives and we help improve the community around us. This same week we have had approval for an event we plan to hold that will bring 1000+ people together for a lunch and free market ( Share Fair) in our town this summer. An event that will inspire people to join in, enjoy and to learn more about the community they live in.
Back to the funding ..
The funding wasn't going to make us rich, in fact the funding wouldn't have paid us salary, the funding was to expand and enable us to do more in the community over a longer period of time. The money we applied for would have enabled us to rent a long term empty shop in the high street and turn it into a community hub. Something that is well needed in our town since the heart has been ripped out of it when the public buildings got sold off and even the library closed it doors this week after a hundred + years of public use.
Our community is not so different to many others up and down the country but to us , it is the world. Its where we live, its where we play and its where we want our kids to grow up safe and with equal opportunities.
It does have its challenges though and that is mainly one of poverty. Our children cant get access to music due to poverty, healthy eating is one that missed our area and education is failing due to resources being less in our schools. poverty is not only a problem for the young in our community. It effects all and if not address it will be a problem for future generations.
The only increases in our neighborhood are those within the cues at the foodbanks, in drug use and petty crime. Aspiration is a buzz word used on the towns only high school advertising slogan as is, Raising Standards. I question both but that's for another blog, another day.
After we found out that we had been turned down again for funding we did what many other community activists do .. We had a cup of tea, put on our big pants and started another application.
We have the determination, for now, to continue to what we simply love doing. Sadly though, determination wont pay our bills, buy food for my fridge or school shoes for my son.
Lets hope this next application is more successful and please, if you want to give us a hand, if you want to know more, please get in touch or pop in for a coffee and if you know anyone who is good with funding applications then I will even supply cake to go with the coffee .
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