Earlier in the year, a number of charities nominated themselves to work with Me Learning and our Charity project. We are 6 weeks in and I’m extremely excited to share with you our experiences so far!
Chosen by an internal vote, we chose Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project (MFGWP) – a local charity who provide crucial volunteering and educational services to a range of people with learning disabilities, social isolation, as well as children struggling with traditional education; helping people improve their physical and mental health and well-being.
During our first visit to MFGWP, we were warmly welcomed by their talented and caring trustee Susie Howells who immediately invited us for a tour and a homemade lunch with their team and volunteers.
Along with our Head of Customer Experience, Jon Cross, we were shown around the garden, the crops, the renewable energy sources, purpose-built education room, workshop, cooking area and communal areas. We were also given a detailed description about what they do and how they do it.
Our tour got really interesting when we discovered that not only did it turn out that Jon knew one of the founders of the charity, but Susie revealed that her son had been a big part of our helpdesk team for two years before starting his leadership apprenticeship at a local authority. What a small world!
We met the volunteers, mostly regulars, as well as a new visitor just before we were given a delicious lunch made with food from their garden which was supplemented with rice donated by Infinity Foods.
The visit was imperative to understand what has made MFGWP so wonderfully unique and increasingly valuable, as cuts to public services and local day centres threaten to leave vulnerable people without crucial services and support.
Already surviving on a razor thin budget, financial pressures have continued to increase. There have reductions in school budgets and available grants and despite these pressures, MFGWP is determined to keep services inclusive in one of Brighton’s more economically deprived areas.
We talked at length about what we could do to genuinely help the charity. Our aim was to establish tangible outcomes to work towards, rather than promote a pseudo corporate social responsibility.
We agreed on some exciting outcomes which will include:
- Raising funds to help MFGWP continue services. Funding has reduced by 30% from the previous financial year and every pound is critical.
- Create sustainable sources of income. They plan to make some minor changes to their eco-cabin which would allow them to rent it out to other community groups in the area. This will be a great way to supplement income to the charity.
- Providing a day’s safeguarding training tailored to their environment and varying learning abilities. We feel confident this can be achieved and for about £300, it’s something tangible to work towards.
- The website. As lovely and informative as their current one is, a new one has been almost developed twice already with disappointing results. Even the £72 a year hosting fee was a concern. So, if our super savvy tech team can help out here, it’ll make a real difference.
What we’ve done so far and how to get involved….
- First and foremost, by supporting Me Learning, you’re already helping MFGWP ! Every item sold on our website will contribute 50p to the fund.
- We’ve started a collection box in our office(s)!
- We’ve created a Facebook fundraiser for cashless philanthropists https://www.facebook.com/donate/435919447026749/
- We’re gearing up to move offices in the next few months and we’re selling superfluous items like an old sofa for £100
- We’ve planning events and fundraising activities.
We’re spreading the word with content like this, so thank you for reading! If it can inspire one person to set up a small standing order to the charity or fund raise on their behalf, it’ll be beneficial. If you have ideas, want to donate or get involved, please do get in touch below via ‘Contact Us’ Don’t forget every pound count. Your little will make a huge difference.