Sunday, 29 July 2018

Friends are all you need

This is our INSPIRATIONAL THOUGHT for this week. Friends really are the most wonderful people in the world.

Today I want to seek a bit of advice from my friends. Let me explain.....

When Rebekah left us in May 2017 I hoped we would have fifty people at her funeral. It was a case of standing room only. After any funeral families always invite people to "come back" for tea. ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY people "came back" for tea and cake in our garden.

People who were at the funeral celebration said they had never been to an event quite like it before. Maureen and I conducted the service ourselves, we both wrapped it in our love. friends responded with their love and I smothered it with my sense of humour.

I grieve every day for my darling daughter but I have her cheeky and enigmatic smile with me every moment of every day, we called her our Little Miss Sunshine, she is always with us as is her sunshine smile.

During the first year since she left us we raised more than three thousand pounds for Beck's favourite charity - Ronald McDonald House.

Now, in the second year since we lost her, we are widening Beck's smile to INSPIRE support for lots of good causes. We are using the smile of OurRebekah and the music of Radio Love to launch our efforts into a series of projects starting in October. Actually TWO projects are already operating - support for The Food Bank and Inspiring Love for our NHS.
Joshua Morgan is my right hand man within LET'S INSPIRE, without his friendship and support nothing could be happening.

The car boot sales we have been running over the past four weeks are partly to fund our planning for LET'S INSPIRE and partly to put money into Josh and Mrs Josh's pockets.  That money is part of a third project - Smiles for the homeless and rough sleepers. Seven months ago Josh and Jelena were sleeping in a tent, they have a way to go yet to rebuild their lives but it is the love of friends who are making this possible. 

I know I have played this song a lot on the blog over recent weeks but the words are so important. Please listen to it as I play it again now.

Can I be a bit boring now as I share the accounting for the money generated this month via the car boot sale. Check this bit out then I'll be asking for your advice.

  • Bletchley Irish Centre - we attended 3 events taking a total of £170.90 = average of £56.96 per event
  • MK Bowl - we attended 4 events taking a total of £330.40 - £8 per date for pitch rent = £32 = Net total £298.40 = average of £74.60
If we can attend 8 boot sales, based on what we have achieved in July, we can expect:
Irish Centre - 4th  11th  18th  25th 4 x £56.95 = £227.84
MK Bowl - 5th  12th  19th  26th 4 x £74.60 = £298.40
TOTAL: £526.42

I think we could expect to make more in August than the £526.42 explained above.   How close could we get to £1,000 ?

On Tuesday I will publish the full accounts for July explaining how the money is being spent.

Money to Josh and Jelena is Let's Inspire SMILE
At every sale we promote The Food Bank
At every sale we promote Blood and Organ Donation

To make any money at all at these sales we are relying on FRIENDS giving us "STUFF" to sell.  Friends have been incredibly generous and kind but there has to be a limit to how much the ACTIVE network of friends can give.

Can we widen the network ?

Yesterday's blog had 56 readers. How would you advise we widen the support base to bring in more "STUFF" ?

Here's a thought.  What is your advice here ?

At Saturday's sale I was desperate for a drink and something to nibble. With the weather being a bit iffy there was no catering van on site and if there was I doubt it would sell Pepsi Max and a Mars Bar ? I was desperate for a drink and some sweets.

Profits on canned soft drinks is high, on sweets it is about 15% - I think.  We would have to register within the food
regulations but would it work if we sold these items ?

If we sold drinks and sweets would it bring more customers to our stall and enhance the sale of our "STUFF" ?

We have a collecting box for The Food Bank out at every sale. I did not put this out yesterday as I did not want to get the items in the box soaked by the rain.

How about this for an idea ?  Tell me what you think ?

For every £10 we make at the sale we take some money to buy a tin of love for The Food Bank.

If we do make £526 in August that would be another 56 tins and packets of love.

Another idea....

Last football season we ran a programme where we invited people to sponsor the goals Sheffield Wednesday players scored with the money going to Ronald McDonald House working with Birmingham Childrens Hospital.

Josh and I are working on a series of ideas to support, as part of our LOVE THE NHS project, Birmingham Childrens Hospital, Sheffield Childrens Hospital and Ward Five in Milton Keynes Hospital.

Beck was a Wednesday supporter, I am now a Wednesday Suppporter and secretly I think Josh is as well !

How about every week we take some money from the boot sales to sponsor the boys at Hillsborough scoring goals then send that money to the children in the three hospitals ?

What do you think ?

I think this would make our boot sales a bit more relevant ?  What do you think ?
As I am sure you have noticed I am NOT a fan of councils.  Milton Keynes Council - a sad and filing institution. West Bletchley Parish Council - co-ordinator of the litter capital of Europe. BUT what a wonderful institution Bletchley and Fenny Stratford Town Council is. Staff thjere are being so kind to us as we work to set up Rock and Roll parties at Bletchley Bandstand.

I have talked to Josh about this and he is up for it.  What advice would friends offer ?

At the lovely Irish Centre Boot Sale we stand opposite each week a charity stall run by The Salvation Army. The people running it take their stall to Bletchley Market every Thursday.  I have looked at the pitch prices for Bletchley Market and they are very fair.  We already have all the liability insurance to cover us there. Could we get enough "STUFF" to run a second hand stall there ?

I do not think it would be a good idea to sell cans of drinks and sweets at the market.  Is there anything else we could sell ?  Anything we could buy wholesale at a good enough profit ?

When I was checking out our public liability insurance over the week-end I found we also have employers liability insurance. I did not realise that.

If we developed the stalls across three days a week could we formalise things to give Josh a regular and proper income ?  That's a way off but could we do it ?

As you can see it is the BOOT of my car we use for the sales.  We do need to look towards something a little more practical. We need a small van. Buying something from the boot sale income is, to say the least - VERY AMBITIOUS. Do you think it is an ambition we could realise ?

July's boot sales have been great fun and made £469.30. I really enjoy going to the sales.

In August could we take things to a higher level with money going to 3 childrens' hospitals, buying tins for The Food Bank, covering operational expenses and putting money into Josh's pocket ?

Your advice would be so welcome.  THANKS.

Let me end with something I have also played many times. This is very important to me. I have lived my live this way since I first found the words at freshers day in Oxford way back in 1971 !

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