Croeso Teifi is now a CIO, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with its own Trustees.
At times the journey seemed endless, just to get the necessary permissions to meet our modest goal to host a few Syrian families in Cardigan.
In the last days we passed two important milestones. We became a CIO - a charitable incorporated organisation and we got £10,200 in our bank account. Two months ago we had £7,200. Tomorrow we will have nearly £11,000.
This extraordinary growth in money is due to the enthusiasm and generosity of many people, all local or known to us. There have been no grants or crowd funders yet.
So now we have past these milestones, at last the local authority in Ceredigion can arrange a meeting with us, hopefully to give us their approval, which can be followed by approval from the Home Office. The timing? We depend on others whose timing can be unpredictable, but we hope it will be 2-3 months til we get these approvals and can start seeking the right family or families for Cardigan.
To get this far has involved a lot of work - we now have policies of all kinds, we go to lots of training, even as far as London. We had a trauma awareness training today. We found two sympathetic landlords and we have teams with lead coordinators for every aspect of the work, well almost. There are still a few vacancies if you reading this have some time or skill to give: We are all volunteers and there is always danger of exhaustion, a few people tackling each task will make a great difference.
Email if you can help: firstname.lastname@example.org
And we need to reach another financial milestone to host two families.
We need £18,000 in total. More if it's an extended second family.
On Saturday 24th June, we plan an information coffee morning in a church hall with a little film, this is not to raise funds but to discuss the project, seek ideas for improvements and share our knowledge so far.
If you want to help, please do, but be warned, your enthusiasm can lure you into a lot of work. You may grow skills and knowledge in unexpected areas. You could end up running an auction or meeting with the home office and explaining how they need to do their job, or folding raffle tickets, or learning about mental health, excel or Arabic or listening to the Koran sung in the sunshine.
I am still tired from my late night shift on Saturday where I had to listen to some of the most stunning music in Wales, eat soup, drink wine and do things you wouldn't dare do at a party. [Noson Bara Menyn]
We are part of a wider movement especially in Wales where teams like ours are developing similar schemes in Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Fishguard, Narberth, Haverfordwest. The first community sponsored family in Wales is due in June. They are Kurds, a minority in their country with some great traditions including equality between men and women.
If you're feeling brave or bored or undervalued or generous, come and help us, jump in and swim, the water's bracing but lovely. Do share...