The BEST Christmas Present EVER
Well Merry Christmas to us all!!! We have only gone and bloody done it!
Greyhound Gap are now, in time for Christmas, the VERY PROUD OWNERS OF GRINDLESTONE KENNELS!
It is now officially the home of Greyhound Gap forever. Our dogs are safe for life and guaranteed a future and that will hopefully if needed be for generations to come.
It is hard to believe that a little charity that started behind a computer just 14 years ago has come so far and that is down to EVERYONE and I mean literally EVERYONE who has gotten behind us in any way shape or form over the last 14 years, believing in us and our work. Those donating, volunteering, fundraising and even just as simple as sharing.
You are all absolutely AMAZEBALLS!
We have only gone and bloody well done it. 8 months of stress and behind the scenes work and we can now relax just in time for Christmas.
We need to say a huge thank you to our landlord Kevin Carty for allowing us the opportunity to rent with right to buy, Simon Thorrington and Claire Garbett and all the team at Charities Bank who helped us secure our mortgage and to Stephen Percy our wonderful solicitor who has had to put up with more than his share of hassle and agro off us all especially the last 2 weeks whilst we hounded him relentlessly. You are all wonderful and very much appreciated.
So there is nothing else more to say than THANK YOU & MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM THE WHOLE TEAM.
Are you passionate about the welfare of dogs and interested in being involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of greyhounds and lurchers? We are at an exciting point in the development of the charity and need an enthusiastic person to take the lead on the governance and administrative side of the charity.
We currently have 7 Trustees with varying areas of expertise but we need to strengthen the team so that we can take the next step in the development of our ambitious plans.
The main purpose of this role is to ensure that the charity meets all the legal requirements and governance issues as defined by the Charities Act and Charity Commission.
The duties will include dealing with the Trustee Board meetings, agendas, papers, minutes, correspondence and anything associated with these requirements including all legal requirements.
We are looking for someone with experience of this type of role preferably within the charity/not for profit sector although this is not essential. However, we will expect to see the ability to transfer skills to this sector.
There is no specific time commitment expected but the person will be required to attend four Board meetings a year that will be held in Stoke on Trent. This is a day meeting usually from 10 am to 4 pm.
Applicants will be expected to submit a curriculum vitae for consideration. However, interested people are requested to contact one of our Trustees, Rose Marie Edwards on 01256 771819, in the first instance for a preliminary discussion about the charity, the role and the expected level of involvement and time commitment.
We are all passionate about the charity, have a fantastic volunteer base and we are offering an exciting opportunity so look forward to speaking to you if you are interested in our future plans.
If this role is not for you but you have another area of expertise that you would like to use for the future of Gap please call Rose Marie to discuss.
Calendars and Christmas Cards
We are delighted to have so many fabulous items in our online shop and with Christmas approaching we now have our calendars for 2018 and Christmas cards!
There are two amazing A4 wall hanging calendars, both priced at £12 each (inc vat and postage). Both have 14 pages which includes the cover page and back page, have plenty of space for you to write your appointments or reminders, are wire bound with hook for hanging, supplied in a cellophane protective sleeve and will be posted in a cardboard envelope to keep them safe.
The first calendar has been designed exclusively for Greyhound Gap by the amazing Peter Gilmore of Square Dog Design and features absolutely brilliant hound cartoons (March in particular is hilarious!). The second is a beautiful photographic calendar featuring 12 of our long stay hounds, with images expertly captured by talented photographer Will Holdcroft of Stafford Phodoggraphy. A huge thank you to both Peter and Will for their time, help and support.
We have packs Christmas cards, each containing 8 cards which are 125mm x 125mm square and are blank inside for your own greeting. There are 4 beautiful designs with 2 of each design per pack. The designs have been created for Greyhound Gap by talented artist Janet Davies from her fabulous original artworks.
In addition we are lucky enough to have the most stunning "Star of the North" card which has been painted for just for Greyhound Gap by amazing artist Elle Wilson. This gorgeous card is A5 in size, blank in side for your own message and sold singly. It really is beautiful.
Thank you so much to Elle and Janet for their wonderful artworks and continued support. At Gap we are so lucky to have such dedicated, kind and generous supporters.
The calendars and cards are all available now to order via our online shop, happy shopping (oh... and while you are there, check out the collars - utterly gorgeous!)
Help Us Seal The Deal Appeal
Lisa, Gap's founder, launches the "Help Us Seal The Deal Appeal" with the following words...
Dear gawd, please bear with me as this is going to be so long and so rambling and I simply have no idea how to put it all into words. I will start with the exciting bit, I hope as we are you will all be extremely proud of that news, the input over the years you have had and how close we are to the final dream...then I will continue on.
14 years ago I had the mad idea to set up a *co ordination* only rescue. A rescue that would save lives, move those lives to other safe facilities and then continue on happily moving more. Within 12 months that dream clearly showed us it was not that easy and there would need to be another path. Thats when Greyhound Gap in its whole entirety was born.
Fast forward 7 years and the realisation that we had quite the reputation for being one of the front leading welfare organisations in the UK able and willing to deal with the more difficult dogs and with mounting private boarding kennel costs for rehabiliation purposes it became evident our end game needed to be our own property.
Fast forward again to 2015 with private boarding costs amounting to £8000 a month we managed to finally secure a lease on our own premises at a rental of £5000 a month and more excitingly with it the option to purchase. A purchase that would drop that rental from £5000 a month to just £1800 a month in mortgage payments.
However to seal that deal needing a commercial mortgage we needed to raise a vast amount in down payment to be precise 30% of the property cost plus additional for goodwill and to make sure it was a fair price to the vendor our landlord! The amount we were talking was around £240,000 and it makes me extremely pleased to say that with legacies saved and ringfenced and individual donators and fundraisers souly aiming quietly behind the scenes to raise funds for JUST the purchase over the last 8 years we have the money we need in place. That left us needing a loan to secure purchase of £350,000......
NOW THE REALLY EXCITING NEWS:-
(and this is the bit where I get both teary, excited and stressed even typing it because I can not tell you how far from joyous this experience is and how horrific behind the scenes it has all been. At 44 years of age I have felt I am heading for my first stroke and taking the other trustees with us)
WE HAVE BEEN MADE A FORMAL LOAN OFFERED HAVING PROVED OUR WORTH AND HAVE ACCEPTED!!
We are just awaiting a report on title then we are clear to go ahead and purchase! Yes, thats right we are now 95% of the way to reducing our outgoings and securing our dogs future for ever and to allow Greyhound Gap to continue to be here serving the dogs through if necessary future generations once we are all long gone.
Having budgeted and planned for all this for 8 years I do have to laugh when I see random property fundraisers being launched. I thought WE were prepared but nothing and I mean nothing prepares you for the horror of the red tape, the crossing the i's and dotting the t's and the amount of work necessary. The fees now are getting huge. Around £12,000 worth of huge to be fair. Is really is not simple.....
Valuers, surveyors, searches even though they had all been carried out before we took the lease on needed doing again, insurance, indpendant financial advice to satisfy the bank and the charities commission that we are acting in the rescues best interests. The banks solicitors fees which are £4000 our solicitors fees which are £2500 and so much more I could go into BUT it has to be done. The fees are now the only thing that has gone over expected budgeted for costings and the £3500 1% arragement fee could not be factored into the loan either. Its not as simple undertaking this when you are a charity as it is when you are a business!
The plain and simple fact is that no matter how wonderful our supporters are the bank wont just accept that. We have had to prove our worth through business plans, prove that non of our revenue streams are singular and that we work hard to help ourselves.
Not one single penny so far has been taken away from the dogs and once again we want to help ourselves to raise above and beyond with the legal fees so this weekend on Friday 22nd September, six of our wonderful volunteers will be sleeping over with the kennels dogs in the hope to kick start our appeal and in the hope we can start to raise some of the costings back. We are more than alive to the fact that we are heading into Winter a time when fundraising oppurtunities dry up so WE are willing with your help to do anything possible we can to safeguard our reserves.
If you have stuck with me this far thank you! There is so much I could say about how hard we have all worked mainly quietly and frustated behind the scenes on this the last 8 months but we are now on the homeward stretch!
If any of our loyal supporters can think of any other ways to fundraise or is willing to sell cakes at work, hold a carboot for us this weekend or run naked through the streets at this point in time we would be honoured and grateful. Other than that if you can root behind the sofa and put in those lose pound coins again we would be appreciative. I have set up a Just Giving page below.
A couple of months ago people BEGGED me to put up a Just Giving page so that people could help with the purchase by donating small amounts and I held off until the right time. We had a feeling that the fees would end up higher and now is that time and the reason I held off.
In advance once again I cant thank you all enough.
Friday night, as a precursor to the sleepover, we will be holding a curry night at the kennels if anyone would like to join us.