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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:11 pm 
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As many of you will be aware, the Edinburgh arts scene has suffered a massive blow due to the bankruptcy of the EUS, the charitable organisation that owned the Roxy Art House and the church which the Forest currently resides in at 3 Bristo Place. The Roxy, which was under direct management of the EUS, has been shut down. The Forest building is up for sale.

For over a decade, The Forest has provided a free arts and events space in an Edinburgh increasingly given to supporting hotel chains, mutliplexes and glass-fronted superstores. We are the only truly autonomous arts and cultural space in Edinburgh and have hosted thousands of free events, exhibitions and straight-up parties, put out acclaimed books and records, given grants and studio space to struggling artists, hosted award-winning theatre programmes and much much more. If you don’t know what we do, or have done, you can look at this website:http://www.theforest.org.uk/

Now, in order to carry on, we plan to raise £500 000, buy the building, and continue doing what we do in Edinburgh's historic centre forever. This means 50 000 of our friends donating £10, or 5000 of our friends donating £100, or a variety of donations large and small combined with a number of fundraisers in Edinburgh and across the UK. This is not unfeasible: Forest has many friends. We've seen you at our parties and in our hot tub with feathers in your hair, we've put out your records, we drank with you at our gallery openings, and we once gave you that grant to fund your Phillipian film programme in Manila. If you’ve ever been to a free event here, or just like the idea of what we do, please donate whatever you can afford.

Currently, we're in the process of putting together a solid business plan to demonstrate how feasible this is. We're also setting up a Just Giving site which will include a graph which grows and grows as the fund does, and plan an open meeting for anyone who wants to get involved within the next couple of weeks. However, in the meantime with the desperate events which have taken place since the Roxy's closure, we wanted to get the word out as soon as possible and start the campaign.

Please, spread the word and donate!

x Forest.

FAQ to follow very shortly. Please post any questions you have below.

Paypal and bank details on the website, here: http://www.theforest.org.uk/

also, if anyone is interested in running a fundraiser gig, please get in touch. The hall can be used for free for this purpose and with bumped up corkage, we can hope to make £500 - £1000 in a night! Wow!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:33 pm 
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and what else can you do to help right now?

Firstly, please consider what Forest means to you. How many workshops, gigs, and art events have you been to? What great parties have you been to for free? Have you met wonderful people here? Was your life made better in any way via Forest? How about your friends? What has Forest given you? Think about this and spread the word: blog, Facebook, email, myspace, twitter. Be honest and passionate. Explain to the world what Forest means to you – tell your relatives and friends, people who love you and will be inclined to support something you care about. We're asking all our friends and families to help out, so please do the same. If you're a band who love the Forest, tell your fans on myspace. Tell them how essential you feel it is to have an open, free, artistic, social place in Edinburgh. We feel we are vital to the city's cultural landscape. We need your help in convincing others that this is true and your personal enthusiasm really can make a difference. Spread the word. Say how you feel! We'll add testimonials on the website too – so write to us with kind/inspiring words.

Second, Forest remains incredibly DIY and non-hierarchical. We want you to be involved in saving your space, even if you don't have much money. How? If you are running events, take donations for Forest at them. If you are inclined, we'll let you borrow our hall for free to have a fundraising event. This could be a gig, fashion show, poetry reading, art auction, banquet, yoga-thon or Hawaiian Themed Cruise ship. Whatever you can imagine. We'll help you collect donations and promote your event, and everybody can have a brilliant time. Donate the corkage charges to Forest and we can make £500 - £1000 in a single night. Not bad! Anyone who wants to do this, get in touch.

Remember, we're all volunteers with other commitments and real-life responsibilities. We can't individually organize an event every week. But Forest is yours and you are brilliant, and you can do one, and you can do another, and among us we can honestly do this.

Third, volunteer. Lots still needs to be done at Forest everyday. Come help the kitchen, help build stuff, paint a mural, clean our toilets. Look around and see if anything in the building can be made better. Then ask to help.

Fourth, hang out. Enjoy the space. Continue to keep Forest a vibrant and exciting place to be. Have lunch with us. Come, drink wine, dance. Play. Have meetings in our space. Bring friends who have never been. Show us off to people. Buying coffee and burritos is still an easy and enjoyable way to help us stay alive.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:10 pm 
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What if worst comes to worse and the building gets sold?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:44 pm 
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I'm not too sure if the Forest would qualify, but is it worth seeing if it is possible to set up an Easyfundraising account, http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/? They provide a free service where folk can shop at over 2,000 online stores but where each purchase generates a cashback donation to the cause you choose to support. There's no extra cost to the shopper, the good cause receives 100% of the donation & the retailer gets the image of giving to charity & a little tax avoidance in the process.

I've raised over £200 in the last three years for the charity I support, which may not seem much but then it is money coming in throughout the year for little if any effort. Some folk might argue it is too materialistic or the like but then the cash is for a worthy cause. Just an idea.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:24 pm 
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Hello
I am not able to organize an entire fundraiser but
my band THE IRRESISTIBLE URGES would play at a benefit if there is one being organized. Send me a message
if one is being planned asap.
Miguel


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:21 am 
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I played a gig tonight and EVERYONE knew about the forest situation so at least the words getting out :)


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:37 pm 
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I would be interested in writing some grants to help raise some of the money needed. If you're interested please contact me on taeone@hotmail.com. I have experience in grant writing.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:04 pm 
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just got this email from an Andrew Foster, law student who's willing to help/ advise us and send us smooches. if anyone thinks it's worth contacting him, his email is at the bottom of the page:

Hello,

My name's Andrew Foster - I landed on your page from the Song, by Toad blog. I'm a fourth-year law student at Edinburgh Uni, and I really appreciate what you guys are doing.

I don't know what you need, but I'm willing to find out, and if helping you is within my reach then I'll do what I can.

I'm not a qualified solicitor, so if you have a better offer I'll understand, but I have solid grades in property law and I've put in a couple of summers with a very good firm, so I'll have friends I can contact once or twice if something is just outside our grasp.

I can't stress enough that I'm not promising I'll be able to help - I just don't know until we work out what you need - but if you think what I've got might be enough then we can make a damn good try. I know you've probably got plenty on your plate, and I know it's not much of an offer, but I'll wait to hear from you whether you think it's worth your while. For the avoidance of doubt, I want to make clear that I wouldn't be asking to get paid.

I guess I'll wait to hear from you when you've had a chance to think about it. Warmest regards, and either way, good luck.

Smooches!

Andrew x
foster_888@hotmail.com

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:22 pm 
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Jane wrote:
Forest remains incredibly DIY and non-hierarchical. We want you to be involved in saving your space, even if you don't have much money.


I almost choked on my porridge when I read that.

Please tell me why myself, or any of the other good people whom you have excluded from the forest should care if it gets shut down for good?

After all the hard work I put in this summer, first all you guys can do is bad mouth me behind my back and then ban me from working there because supposedly I have anger management issues. No, you really have me confused with someone else, and quite honestly as far as that goes I think some of you really need to take a long look at yourselves IMO.

But no, this is not a post where I start whining about that though. I'd just like to get something off my chest. After all that, then you don't respond when I post something requesting the use of some tools for an art project of mine, fair enough maybe you don't have any welding equipment. But I also applied for the job as building manager, and I didn't really expect to get it of course, and again you don't even have the decency to acknowledge my application. And that's not all. I offered to help out as a sound engineer, because I know you need people for this. I have some experience in music, and a degree in physics and several years experience in RF electronics which should really put me in good stead for this job. I attended the course even though I was made to feel unwelcome, I learned a lot form it and I was going to come back and start volunteering until one day when I returned and it was made quite clear that my presence as a volunteer was no longer welcome there. So I think, well who cares. At the very least though I would like some experience at sound engineering but obviously it's not going to happen there, so I put some emails and posts round asking for a copy of the course notes so I could read over them and help myself to understand the workings of a mixing desk so I could use it elsewhere and not one of you can even do that for me.

Hello! I am the guy who spent many hard hours over the the summer up a ladder getting paint stripper in his eyes to make the place look nice, and you can't even take 2 minutes to forward me a set of notes!

The sheer ingratitude you have expressed to me only serves to further reinforce my misanthropic view of the world. I am disappointed, but not at all surprised. I can't wait until the day when I leave this miserable island for mainland europe again.

p.s. My indignation here is not directed at everyone in the forest, but the ones it is will know who they are.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:33 pm 
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Just to address one of your points:

stuart wrote:
so I put some emails and posts round asking for a copy of the course notes so I could read over them and help myself to understand the workings of a mixing desk so I could use it elsewhere and not one of you can even do that for me.


You posted the request (viewtopic.php?f=57&t=8132&view=unread#unread) and 48 hours later replied to say never mind, you'd got a copy.

I don't really think you can complain about not getting a reply in two days. People are busy and stressed out. I saw your post, but I don't have a copy, otherwise I would have replied and I'm sure others would've too if they had copies to hand.

Probably the only person who has it in digital form is Jessy and I don't think she reads the bb very often.

In the end, you got a copy, there's not really a problem, is there?

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Dawnsio 'mlaen i'r gwres prynhawn a rwy'n addo erbyn yfori byddai wedi mynd, hwyl fawr i pawb, hwyl fawr i pawb...


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:44 pm 
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ChaoticReality wrote:
You posted the request (http://theforest.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.ph ... ead#unread) and 48 hours later replied to say never mind, you'd got a copy.
In the end, you got a copy, there's not really a problem, is there?


No I still don't have a copy actually, I said I had arranged to get one but hadn't yet received it at the time. I have been trying to contact many people about this for a while.

I also texted Julie who wrote the notes and she said she would send it when she was back at her PC, but as yet haven't received it so I don't know what happened there. If I don't receive a copy I will ask Jessy, if fact I will text her now.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:47 pm 
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hello stewart.

this is anojing.

the notes are online.

I just serched 'mixer' and found them.

I am on the road at the moment and the mashine I am on has no copy/paste function!

the posts are called 'guide p1' ect.

look them up, and you ken what, pal?

I think you are rude.

thanks!

N


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 2:49 pm 
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oh, and when I get back to Edinburgh. (monday)

I will look up the final guide and print it out for you and present it on a silver platter.

'big love'

N


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 3:09 pm 
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Well at least you have the front to say that to me directly. Hey, I always try to look for the good things in people!

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:14 pm 
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this thread has become somewhat side tracked no? let us digress, the forest, love it and hate it, is just us and we are not perfect therefore we cannot always be what you (plural, inc.myself) want or need. But it itself needs to exist. So the haters have their scapegoat and the lovers have their solace from the rain.
We hate, we love, it hurts, it heals. We can do anything, and should do everything.
Just because one person doesnt fit under the umberella does not mean everyone else should get wet. Unless everyone is naked, because that would be the beginning of a Very Good Party.
Remember the good bits and support us regardless.
The forest is everything it aspires to be as well as all the contradictions. Same as us. Eh.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:05 pm 
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deep we should get you to do a speech outside with some theme music XD


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:19 am 
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Just noticed that Sarah Boyack (Edinburgh Central, Labour) has posted a parliamentary motion about EUS going bankrupt. While the Forest is not mentioned in it, the motion is supposrted by vaious MSPs who might feel generous about donating the cause. They might not, but if you don't ask, you don't get.

The list of supporters is Des McNulty, Malcolm Chisholm, George Foulkes, Robin Harper, Bill Butler, Dr Richard Simpson, Jackie Baillie, Elaine Smith, Jamie Hepburn, Rhona Brankin, Mary Mulligan, Elaine Murray, Pauline McNeill & Marlyn Glen. You can find their contact details here - http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/apps2 ... fault.aspx

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:34 pm 
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I looked up the email addresses. They are:
George.Foulkes.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Des.Direct@scottish.parliament.uk
Malcolm.Chisholm.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Bill.Butler.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Robin.Harper.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Jackie.Baillie.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Sarah.Boyack.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Richard.Simpson.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Elaine.Smith.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Jamie.Hepburn.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Rhona.Brankin.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Mary.Mulligan.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Elaine.Murray.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Pauline.Mcneill.msp@scottish.parliament.uk
Marlyn.Glen.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

I also emailed them with a very brief summary, a request for help and advice, and an invite to visit us in person.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:43 pm 
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I have also emailed two other people/institutions for help and advice. They are:
info [at] rootstock.org.uk, who are a co-operative lender
and Plan B Housing Co-operative ('A new Radical Routes housing cooperative for Manchester' - http://www.planbco-op.blogspot.com)

Rootstock may be able to loan the forest some money. More interestingly, they accept loans of £500 or more. So friends of The Forest might wish to withdraw some savings from the bank and place them with rootstock. rootstock would then loan us the money back; they would be mostly money-neutral but would doing the paperwork for us. This would be a good vehicle for those who would like to pledge money.

Plan B raised cash for the purchase of their building using 'loanstock'. Their situation is similar to ours, so they may have advice.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:10 am 
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Does anyone know how much £££ the liquidators need to raise, and whether the sale of other buildings (ie not 3 Bristo Place) might cover the debts?
If the sale of other buildings cover the EUS debts, what happens then ?
The Herald mentioned the figure of £300 000, but it is not clear whether that is the total debt or just the losses over recent years.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:59 am 
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I read somewhere that total debts are around 4million and that 300,000 was the annual loss over some years. (were the trustees asleep?)

As Bristo and the Roxy were bought at the height of the boom, it is highly unlikely that the creditors will get anything like what settlement paid for them. They both stood empty for a long time before EUS borrowed the money to buy them.

Hi ho.

I suppose the other side is that unless they accept fire sale prices for the properties, those for sale signs could well be up for a long time, and that they will have to settle for a lot less than they are asking. K x

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:29 am 
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Indeed. Were the creditors also asleep? Perhaps they just didn't know that they were lending to a hopelessly indebted organisation.

Another question: assuming that the loan used to purchase 3 Bristo Place was secured on the property (ie a mortgage), are the proceeds of the sale of the property ring-fenced for the mortgage lender? If so, then they will probably wait for a big offer. If not (ie the proceeds are to be shared equally among all creditors) then they'll be much more likely to accept a low offer.

I got a reply from MSP George Foulkes:
Quote:
Sarah Boyack MSP has submitted the following motion which I have signed:

S3M-07310 Sarah Boyack (Edinburgh Central) (Scottish Labour): Edinburgh University Settlement Declares Bankruptcy— That the Parliament notes that Edinburgh University Settlement has ceased operations after running up debts of more than £300,000; is concerned that this will result in 40 members of staff being made redundant and over 200 learners having their courses withdrawn; notes that the majority of these learners are from disadvantaged backgrounds, are disabled or have English as a second language; further notes that Edinburgh University Settlement provided these groups with a range of services including adult and community education, employment and vocational training projects and support for people coping with mental health issues, and urges support from all stakeholders involved in Edinburgh University Settlement to work to ensure that the services provided by the projects are continued to the benefit of users.

Supported by: Des McNulty, Malcolm Chisholm, Rt Hon George Foulkes, Robin Harper, Bill Butler, Dr Richard Simpson, Jackie Baillie, Elaine Smith, Jamie Hepburn, Rhona Brankin, Mary Mulligan, Dr Elaine Murray, Pauline McNeill, Marlyn Glen

Lodged on Monday, November 01, 2010; Current

I also understand that Sarah Boyack will be making further representations, which I will support.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:00 am 
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while there have been posts about and communications with politicians, i thought i'd note the Neighbourhood Partnership system which "including local Councillors representing the Council and representatives from the Police, Health the voluntary sector and the local community, represented by Community Councils."

Forest's is http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/neighbour ... ity-centre . might be worth thinking about somehow? might not.

also, http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/about-nps notes that "We can give small grants of up to £5,000 for local activities that meet local needs. Help us spend this on something that will support your community."

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:35 pm 
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http://thenetworkforsocialchange.org.uk/
has anyone looked at this?
apparently there's a scottish group, Scheihallion... next deadline is february...

also, Oli mentioned this: http://www.apeuk.org/
that if we could put a climate spin on "defending communities" maybe by someone more actively involved in climate campaigning, we might have a chance at some funding there... shannon?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:13 pm 
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milk and scout, both of those now on our growing list of funding sources, thanks.
it seems that the earliest to apply is the february one, so no immediate sources there,
for the city we need to prepare a case. looks good!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:53 pm 
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I really don't think we qualify for APE and frankly, I would prefer to see that money actually used for climate change campaigning. The application isn't too complicated, but is some work considering that we would probably only get a few grand.

Network for Social Change could be a possibility, but the process is a bit complicated. A lot depends on whether you know someone who is a member who can 'champion' the proposal.

Rootstock which was mentioned upthread is the 'ethical investment' project of Radical Routes. It only lends to coops which are full members of Radical Routes.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) tweeted this about an hour ago: the forest café in edinburgh is trying to buy their building....HELP. @guardian piece: http://bit.ly/HELPtheFC

So far 11 people have RT'd it. Hopefully it will help out the fund raising.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 16, 2010 11:52 pm 
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Keni wrote:
Amanda Palmer (@amandapalmer) tweeted this about an hour ago: the forest café in edinburgh is trying to buy their building....HELP. @guardian piece: http://bit.ly/HELPtheFC

So far 11 people have RT'd it. Hopefully it will help out the fund raising.


Haha, not really sure how I feel about that.
''A benefit that is also a liability, or that carries some significant but non-obvious cost or risk.''

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Email I got today:

Hi,

My name is Eystein and I drink coffee fairly regularly in the Forest
as well as helping out with the Free Shop. My church (Old St. Paul's)
is currently taking 'bids' for a grant intended for a local charity
(approx. £2,500). This will be competitive but I want to persuade them
to give it to the Forest. While I think I can muster some good
arguments, do you have any statements or appeals or other materials
that I could use when giving the presentation?

There is one point which might need some consideration, however. A
condition of the grant is that there must be a continued link between
the congregation of Old St. Paul's and the organisation receiving the
money. Obviously, this would be entirely practical and material (i.e.
there would be no expectation that the Forest would become in any way
officially Christian) but I will need some credible ideas when making
the bid. Can you think of any ways in which we might work together?

Good luck...I do hope we can make all this work...

Eystein Thanisch
oyysch@googlemail.com

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 7:13 pm 
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Thanks catalina, I will contact him.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:48 pm 
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thats more like it. :)
love you.x

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