Well, this week has been amazing.
What goes on in the Office?
There have just been so many people in the office that we are processing over 100 share applications a day. There even seems to be a shift pattern happening, we have a group before lunch, some who stay all day and others who join in for the late night
shift. Take today for example; we began with Rob (from Leeds and who is camping at the farm to help in the office until the end of the campaign) and he has spent the whole day just opening the post, then there is Marrie-Anne who has taken the week off work to help in the office, and Sue from Kidderminster who helps in the farm shop (see below).
Mid morning we were joined by Elaine and Bryan, two of our most vaued board members, and they sat in the top room allocating share numbers and processing Interest Free Loan applications.
Slightly later we were joined by Hayley from a nearby village who has been helping to input share data on to the database.
By late afternoon we had been joined by courier John who slips into the office in between drop offs in the area (not sure if his boss knows about this though!). He stuffed envelopes with shares and filed away applications.
This evening we have been joined with Andrew from Stoke, who has been helping in the garden; Charlotte from Wolverhampton who comes every weeekend to help process shares on the database, and Sean from Stoke who processes all our paypal applications.
Amongst all of this Sophie and I are taking phone calls, answering emails, signing certificates, and sorting out all the queries and questions in the office to make sure that all the volunteers are happy
Guys – we could not do this without you…
Money raised – how much and will we do it?
Well, Rob has spent over 8 hours opening the post today. Our Postman dave has to bring a sack to Fordhall for all our letters and today has been a record 167!
To date we are up to about £710,500, after receiving £40,000 in one day. If this carries on we will make the deadline no problem.
However, do not forget that a majority of the money raised is through a Bank Loan of £200,000. Although the Fordhall Community Land Initiative could pay this back, it does not want any unneccessary pressure. Once we secure the farm we need available funds to continue with the adminstration costs (currently covered with an EU Leader + grant) and to be able to seek further funding for the Bunk House and educational resource rooms. So, please do keep the applications coming. All of your support is valued more than you know and your letters really keeps the spirit in the office sprightly as volunteers work 16 hour days to make sure everything is up to date.
We are in todays Farmers Guardian, and this weeks Market Drayton Advertiser, not to mention Telford FM today and BBC Radio Shropshire – who I must say have done us proud. Not only have we been repeated throughout the day on BBC Radio Shropshire, but they are doing an audio diary for the campaign throughout next week. You can follow this on the BBC Shropshire website if you are not local. http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/
We have been amazingly lucky with all the press recently and it has really made the campaign. Please do keep telling anyone and everyone.
It would be sending out such an important message if we can raise the full amount without Bank Loans and without Grants, simply through the power of lots of small people getting together and fighting for a common goal.