Today has been spent inside – weather was dreich and so I put the fire on in my office and while it warmed up I did some cooking for my parents and recently widowed sister in law. The only problem with doing that is I get so hungry!! And yes, I did try a blueberry muffin before the rest went away to their recipients.
Meantime Ian was dealing with the finances of Ripple Retreat – we got a new detailed list of costs and that certainly gets the fundraising brain in gear ready for the year ahead. I had just finished writing up our Fundraising Plan for the next two years with a goal to raised £250k in each year. It means a lot of hard work and building relationships with businesses who might fund raise for us and with us and of course continuing to organise special events.
The first big event of the year for us to be involved with is the Scottish Property Awards – an amazing night organised by teh team at KDMedia. My goodness this team know how to put on an event. 710 guests. My team were brilliant on the night – looking super smart in our white Polo shirts. We got close to £15k in donations and that is just terrific. In addition I was able to speak with several contacts during the evening including the lovely guy who donated the 15000 daffodil bulbs. I was able to show him a photo of the daffodils already blooming. (I wish they weren’t blooming quite yet – it would be so nice if they were out as we had our Open Days at the Retreat but hey, you can’t argue with nature).
The day after an event is always busy – banking the money, taking the volunteers tops to the cleaners, thanking the prize donors, the organisers, sorting the envelopes, writing notes on lessons learnt and how to improve next time. And today I started the prep for the next event at the end of this month. Counting the pens, sorting the envelopes, checking we have enough prizes and they are good enough. (They most certainly are by the way). I have ordered more letter openers and researched a Tombola drum. We used a big box for the envelopes and it wasn’t pretty.
I have been doing some banking online today and checking statements – all these wee jobs take time. The day to day running of a charity is quite a massive job and that is on top of the Ripple Retreat tasks – and they are becoming more and more intense as we get closer to completion. Mostly I feel incredibly positive about all of the above but occasionally I feel overwhelmed by all we do. It’s the variety that can take your breath away – so many questions on so many topics. What is my coping mechanism? Well sometimes I don’t have one. I am not going to sugar coat it – sometimes I get plain grumpy. Mostly though I appreciate my great fortune in being given the gift of this work – to work with others to create something so very beautiful and special, that will be a building we can all be proud of, a building that families staying in it can feel its peace, the love that was involved in its build. Ian and I both feel very very lucky to be able to do this – and most especially after the harsh life lessons of the sudden death of Andrew (my stepson) five years ago and my own cancer treatment 2 years ago. To have come out the other side and have something this special to work on – well my goodness me, that is just wonderful.
Tomorrow is a day for us getting some exercise (the late night event of Thursday meant I slept in today so no swim) and working on our Ripple Retreat Open Days.