So today is our 30th blog post!! Yet we are only just getting started on this journey of ours! After National Blog posting month is over our posts shall stop being daily to create more time for more in depth posts!
So today I though I would be a bit reflective on our journey so far, those that know me know I have a tendency to be a little overly self-reflective! But I realised not all of you know our story, our are literal journey! I thought I would share a little about who we are (the team behind all of this) and how we got to where we are right now. Later on I hope to share with you where we hope to go, but today I just want to share where we’ve come from.
So hello to all of you! There are four of us running Andy’s beat, we are each directors of a sector (finance, marketing, operations and human resources) as well as being Board Members and official Trustees. The four of us are Me (Megan) Debbie, Andy’s very amazing Big sister our MD (marketing director), Meg and Hannah.
So how did us four come together? I have known Debbie the longest out of all of us, being that we met when she joined my school in Year 7. So we have been friends 7 great years! Across the years we got increasingly close, I met Andy and became deeply invested in her and her family. The greatest memory I have was when Debbie burst into the changing room at school crying tears of happiness, because her Dad had just told her that Andy had finally (after a year of legalities and unpleasant stuff) been accepted into Penhurst school, an absolutely amazing school for the Disabled in Oxfordshire (which has since sadly shut down) where Andy thrived and really grew in himself as well as getting the chance to play his wonderful music a whole lot more!
We both met Hannah (our marketing director) at camp about 3/4 years ago….the details of how we all became friends are pretty hazy….to the point at which when people ask us how we know each other we no longer really remember we just know that we’ve been good friends for a while now! Hannah is a year older than us and attended a different school however lives in Grove (and now lives next door/across the wall from debbie!) where Debbie lives.
When Year 11 ended and me and Debbie returned from Zambia it was time to go our separate ways 😦 I was attending sixth form in Witney where I live and Debbie was moving on to sixth form in Abingdon…..where she met Meg! Which thus caused a lot of confusion having Debbie’s and her ‘meg’s’ now plural!
And then of course you are aware of the story, the details of which I won’t go into. However I have already told you of how me and Debbie sat in my room and chatted for ours, and even wrote down events and fundraisers that we could do……raising money for something….at that point we weren’t sure what. Debbie then started researching how to formally set up a charity, and then we had our first formal/ very informal (as it involved cake, chatting and sitting in Debbie’s room) board meeting of me, Meg, and Debbie. Things were moving pretty slowly, we had absolutely no idea how to run a charity or set it up, the only knowledge we had was what me and Debbie had learn from our Business Studies A-level. We struggled to think of a name and we couldn’t really see the way forward.
And then Hannah joined our team, and we cemented our team of four. We all sat around a table in Hannah’s garden for about 3 hours of planning, we divided up titles and Job roles and decided on a name, we then designed a logo and decided on the Blog and website. Then it was up to each of us to get on with our jobs!
Our next board meeting we held in a cafe whilst at camp ( the very camp that we met Hannah at 3 years prior and when we had first been introduced to Meg the year before!) the meeting was semi-productive we were all tired from camping a bit tense and things seemed to be moving very very slowly.
Until we got the Blog and website done, the day we launched I was at dinner with friends but I kept refreshing the Facebook page laughing and smiling gleefully as the number of likes kept increasing! That night I think it all truly became real for us, that we could actually do this actually make the impact we so desire to make….with all of your support.
And then our first tambourines adventures!! To Zambia in July and India in september….and where next who knows!! Again if anyone has friends or friends of friends with any contacts with disabled schools or orphanages that we could contact and help out we would love for you to contact us with those details!
And so where are we now?
Well right now we have been selling wristbands, which you have been all buying so thank you!!! I believe we have sold over 600!? Which is insane so thank you! We had also had a number of people fundraise for us. And behind the scenes we have been planning some events which I am not yet at liberty to share but trust me it’s very exciting stuff. We have also been contacting new schools and so on, and forming plans for new campaigns ready to launch soon. We are also looking at the year ahead and the spread of fundraising that we want to do, and a contingency plan! Hannah is very soon leaving to Tanzania for 3 month volunteer trip with Tearfund organisation Go Mad and you can check out her just giving page here (http://www.justgiving.com/hannahellis) We are so excited for all that she is going to experience however we shall miss her dearly! When she returns for me, Meg and Debbie our final A-level exams shall be upon us and then University for all four of us! Both me and Debbie have applied for Business related degrees with Meg wishing to study Human Geography. However Andy’s beat shall still continue and we are currently in the process of putting structures and plans in place to enable us to continue running the charity when we are all dispersed around England, continuing higher education!
So that is just a little more about us, the who behind the what you might say!