So here´s what´s happening! We haven´t forgotten about our wonderful new garden, but we´ve been working behind the scenes to ensure that we get our hand´s in the deep dark soil before too long. We´ve applied to the Energia Get Ireland Growing Fund and have requested the maximum of 2,500 euro (Whether we get it or not.... is another story!!!) I´ve been in touch with the council and have scheduled a meeting for next weekend. We have been assured that the council will level and clear the land, as well as erecting a perimeter fence. We´ve secured the services of a pro bono solicitor who will draw up legal contract between ourselves and the Swimming Pool Committee who manage the land on which we´ll have our garden.... This guy will legalise everything. We´re currently looking at public liability insurance to indemnify all members of the community garden. We are also trying to register as a non for profit charity with the Charities Regulator. Reasons for doing this are as follows. Many former Charlestonians, now living abroad have expressed an interest in donating to the garden and in the interests of transparency, we thought it was important to be registered as a charity. We have opened two bank accounts with AIB, one is a checking account, while the other will be linked to an onlne fundraising account. Having a charitable status will mean that we will not have to pay exorbitant bank charges for online banking..... I nearly fell over when I heard that without charitable status, we´d have to pay in excess of 240 euro a year for online banking. When we set up the account for the Charlestown Organic Garden Committee, we had to name Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. I am now the official Chairperson, Ann Marie O´Neill from Bellaghy is the Secretary while Richella Clarke has accepted the post of Treasurer. I think that when you are dealing with the public, with fundraising issues and monies received and spent, one has to be totally transparent and above board... and while all this legalise is boring and a bit of a ´head-wreck´.... it´s important in the interest of fairness and transparency.
So.... I know we haven´t been in contact in quite some time, we have been working towards making this garden a reality. I will attach a link to the proposed site and if anyone would like to see the rules governing the powers of the committee, I will be delighted to share them. Wonderful to see the wee stretch in the evening.... perks a body up a bit , doesn´t it :)