UPDATE – 15 days to go… by Charlotte

Where are we?
Wow. What an amazing rollercoaster this campaign has been. After starting with a vision back in 2004, but having no money and no real idea of how we were going to achieve anything, this project has grown from very small seeds.

And now, after being incorporated only for a little over 6 months we have been able to raise over half a million pounds!! But the fight is not over yet, and we still have about a Quarter of a Million to go…

By Placing Fordhall into community ownership we are showing a united support for farming in this country which works in harmony with nature and our landscape. We are working to reconnect people and children to the world around them and to the food that they eat.

Everyday we are being completely inspired by the support and enthusiasm of all of you. You provide us and all the dedicated volunteers the energy to keep going. It is because of all of you that this project will succeed.

Funds Raised to date from your support
Shares:- £315,500
Interest Free Loans:- £15,000
Donations £25,000
Triodos Loan:- £200,000

Unopened post – about 100 letters over 2 days £????
TOTAL:- £555,500

Grants are unsuccessful:
We were waiting to hear back from GrantScape about our final grant. This was for £450,000 towards the land purchase through a Land Fill Tax Grant. Unfortunately, we found out this morning that it has been declined.
Upcoming Press should provide the final boost:
Saturday Telegraph – June 17th, Weekend Supplement
The Guardian – June 21st, Society Section
Birmingham Post – June 20th
Country Living – June issue
The Ecologist Magazine – This month
and more TV……
Other News:
School Visits
This week has been absolutely crazy and we apologise for not updating this as much as we could do. Yesterday Sophie and i gave our first school visit to Ellison Primary in Stoke, and as you can see the children loved it. We took in a variety of Fordhall grasses and some bugs from the soil. They were able to see how it was the variety of life in the soil that all worked together to provide the variety of grasses on the top, which then provided the balanced diet for our cows and sheep.
Shrewsbury Market
Both Ben and Sophie attended a small farmers market in the centre of Shrewsbury today. After leaving the farm at 7am to go and set up, they were both extremely tired; the weeks late nights trying to catch up on share certificates and cheques is catching up on us all. But they did well and were welcomed by the shoppers as soon as people saw the Fordhall sign. They have just left again to go to the Newport Evening Street Market, to promote the project and the campaign.
Telford ‘Business Referral Organisation’
This morning I was invited to a networking meeting by Ben Coates at Telford FM and I was welcomed with open arms so thank you to everyone there. I arrived at 6.45am and mornings are certainly not my thing, but everyone was very polite and very interested in our fight to save Fordhall Farm. I would like to pass on a huge thanks to Telford FM for all their support and continued coverage and to David Dowell, of Total Maintenance in Telford for sponsoring my breakfast.
Office Help
We have been determined to catch up on the back log of certificates this week and have called upon all resources. Both Sophie and I would like to pass on our sincere thanks to all those who have helped in the office this week – Steve, Jamie, Lauren, Hayley, Dave, Rob, Annie, Lenny, Ineka, Tessa, Lisa, Holly, Helen, Jack, Dave, George, Alec, Lesley, Ben, Joena, Elizabeth, Elaine, Bryan, Charlotte, Andrew, Sean and Ashley – we could not do it without you…
We are just about up to date and we have tun out of certificates so please bare with us as we wait for more to come back from the printers, our very kind and generous District Council – who I might add have been generous enough to send out all 2500 of your newsletters for free.
We are close to getting up to date with the share applications, but please be warned. If you are only buying your shares now, you may not recieve the certificate before the deadline as our priority is to get the money in the bank. We plan to email a receipt when we recieve your cheque. If you are unsure if we have recieved your application then please do let us know.
NB If you purchased your share online around the 21st May you may recieve an email asking to resend you contact details – we had an accident with the computers and have all your payments but no details to go with them.
Talk about nail biting… We are now looking towards some serious fundraising and are asking for Interest Free Loans if people are unsure whether to purchase shares or make a donation. These are repayable after 5 years, completely interest free, but with complete assurance that you will recieve your money back and in the meantime it is going to a good cause.
Thank You for your continued support