Our Special Friends had reason to celebrate yesterday, by reaching a milestone birthday! As with setting up any charity there have been highs and lows. In discussion over tea and cake, Belinda recalled how getting her charity registration was a real achievement, and the idea (which was originally discussed, funnily enough, over tea and cake) became a reality. That was 5 years ago. Lows included thinking we had achieved National Lottery funding until we read the small print and realised our application had actually been declined.
We have come a long way. Over the five-year period we have handled over 1,000 cases. That equates to an average of nearly one case per working day! Our most recent accolade was a visit from Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whose advocacy of our work was overwhelming and we were thrilled when his article was published in the Bury Free Press ‘Our Special Friends is the kind of social prescribing that can make a real difference to a person’s health’.
Our work is ongoing. We are rapidly growing out of the small office from which we operate in Belinda’s family home and are looking to move into larger offices imminently. In order to continue the rate of growth that OSF has maintained over the last five years we need to be in a position to take on more volunteers, take on more staff and build a team to look after our service delivery, our volunteers and manage our strategy into the next 5 years. So, without putting too finer point on it, we NEED funding.
We rely solely on the funds we can raise and so we are delighted to have set up a new Virgin Money Giving account which makes donating to Our Special Friends even easier. Every single donation we receive is hugely valued, as well as your support in our work. If you are in a position to help us by donating, and spreading the word, may we extend our gratitude to you. We keep all our donors informed of our achievements and developments and consider you to be part of our OSF family as we continue to grow!