Well, here we are at the 2,500th edition of the daily GRIN grants bulletin, not including all the editions that went under the original title of ‘Funding Bricks’. Here’s a brief background:
The GRIN bulletins started well over 12 years ago, originally as a free service. As the bulletins evolved, however, the amount of time required to research and prepare them each day increased significantly. Today we’re circulating information on 2-3 grant schemes daily as well as a website article, which in total take 2-3 hours each evening to put together. Both GRIN members (married couple Dominie and Paul) work for other organisations, which means that each GRIN bulletin has to be prepared the evening before circulation, normally between 6 and 8pm, although when late meetings are scheduled this can often stretch to 11 or 12pm. The website article is usually put together between 3-4am or 7-8am, and somewhere in this schedule we also have to find time to prepare dinner!
What keeps us maintaining this schedule is the knowledge that the bulletins really do result in not-for-profit organisations that are providing fantastic services securing essential funding. Along the way we’ve met some truly wonderful, inspiring people – far too many to mention here, but here’s a few (with apologies if we’ve left anyone out): Mark Powell at Prime Theatre, Fiona Mahoney, Emma Green, Archie and the amazing Reminiscence Learning team, Rebecca Hewitt and Annette Lloyd of The Honest Truth, Clare Jefferis, the amazing Crediton Town Team (you’re our favourites!), Phil Lloyd of Unite – Mid Devon Carers, who has given so much help and advice on our databases, Swift Fundraising, Anne Tattersall, Sue, Rob and Amanda at McQueenie Mullholland (or MCMU, affectionately known in the GRIN household as Man City Man United) and loads more…We’ve also had the good fortune to be provided with regular, high quality, inspirational, thought provoking blogs by Sarah, Steve and Jacqui of Clarity CIC and Emma Beeston of Emma Beeston Consultancy. This is one of our favourite aspects of producing the bulletins and we can’t wait to see what Clarity and Emma come up with each month.
In August 2017 we downsized our house, upsized the garden (from 30ft to 500ft!) and relocated the GRIN office from Tiverton to Great Torrington in order to be closer to Dominie’s work. The cottage is in a wonderful, historic part of Torrington overlooking the Torridge valley and backs onto 365 acres of common land, which is maintained by a fantastic team of local conservators. However, once we’d moved in to the new house we realised the cottage required a complete overhaul and, during the last 12 months we’ve been carefully and sensitively modernising it.
Running the GRIN office from the house during ongoing renovation work has proved challenging, but – apart from a glitch when our hyper-stressful house move took place last year – we’ve kept the bulletins going, even during a week this August when we took a holiday and went away for a few days (we don’t think anyone noticed…). Along our journey we’ve engaged a range of tradespeople, some excellent, others we wouldn’t recommend to our worst enemies. We found an incredibly talented joiner, Lee Buswell, who made a much better kitchen than we’d dare imagine, Gary Richardson, an accomplished handyman with great carpentry skills and a fantastic work ethic, Braddicks, a marvellously traditional furniture store in Bideford with the most marvellous customer care, W H Buckingham, who sorted out our electrics, Torrington’s very own S & G Carpets and Steven Shaddick, a kind builder from Barnstaple who put in a new bathroom after we’d been badly let down by a local ‘tradesman’. Our aim is to get the house finished by this Christmas, a mere 12 months behind schedule. If you’re ever in the Torrington area, please drop by – we love meeting people who are working so hard to improve the lives of others.
Here’s to the next 2,500 GRIN bulletins!
The view from the GRIN office in Great Torrington.