The St Jerome's AGM was coming up soon and all the trustees would be there. On the agenda was the development plan for the home for the coming year. It was the perfect time to pitch our offer to them. I knew one of the trustees David well so I rang him up one evening. I had been trying to get a chat with him for a while but with both our busy diaries it meant the conversation happened in the week before the AGM. I put the idea to him, emphasizing that whilst our idea was well formed, we were of course completely flexible as to how it might work in practice, and that the trustees would have complete control over how we supported them. I knew they had had problems with previous offers of support, which had turned into vanity projects that didn't place the interests of the children first and foremost. I was keen to ensure we learnt this lesson. The conversation went very well, and David was extremely pleased with what we were offering. He thought it was too good to be true! He said he would take the idea to the AGM on our behalf and report back on the outcome. We provided him with a 1 pager that outlined the scope of the offer, and the benefits to both St Jeromes and to Apacheix. We had a nervous wait following the AGM as we wondered what the outcome would be. I had a call from David a few days after the AGM. It turns out that because of our offer, they were able to discuss at length what their next priority should be for the home and agree upon the scope of the next project. There is no shortage of ideas here, just funding to turn them into reality. David was really excited, the trustees were really excited, and I was over the moon that we could be making such an immediate impact. The trustees had all agreed that the priority should be to put in place an exit strategy for children nearing the end of secondary or college education and making their first steps towards independent living. The new project would be to build a series of apartments that act as a half way house, and that they needed to be complete by the end of 2017. The challenge was set!
Posted in St Jeromes.