Love Your Community

This Valentine's Day, I wanted to talk about something a bit different: what I call my "other job".

In October 2016, I went along to the AGM for my daughter's Pre-School, in our village.

As she was getting a bit older, I thought it was about time I started getting back out into the world, and I do love a bit of community giving back...

I sat through various discussions about Pimms stalls at summer fêtes, and bake sales.

And nothing really piqued my interest until the outgoing Chair joked, "and all we need now is a new building!".

I spoke for the first time:

"how much will that cost?"

In April 2017, we launched the Acorn Project, to raise £145k for a new community building that will also house the Pre-School.

Since then, as Project Manager, I have been using my civil service skills for real world good: dynamic leadership, powerful teamwork, solid project management, good meeting practice, sound governance, proper consultation and communication with stakeholders, and effective risk management.

Since training as a coach, I have introduced a whole lot of extra skills, from coaching and mentoring tools to asking the right question and seeing things from multiple perspectives.

And I've been learning a whole lot more besides: poster design, social media skills, event organisation and publicity, and - most of all - how to write a grant application.

Nearly three years and 60 grant applications later:

  • we've raised £120k

  • we've become an amazingly well-oiled events team

  • we've fostered strong community support locally

  • and I've made some fantastic friends among the talented, dedicated women who have worked so hard to get us here.

And we're now nearly there!

Only £25k to go...

So in honour of Valentine's Day, and my forthcoming birthday (this Sunday!), if you would like to show the Acorn Project some love, you can Buy A Brick here:

And as part of my giving back to you, anyone who buys a Brick will be entered into a draw for a free Power Hour (worth £250).

It has been enormously hard work, but it has also been an amazingly rewarding journey.

Fingers crossed we get to the end!

Thank you for your support 😍

Kirsten xx