Any community group will tell you how hard it is to sustain the grand ideas and projects that you dream about.
First you have to come up with the plan and then you have to write grant applications, source sponsors and organise a lot of enthusiastic muscle to make it all happen. And woe betide if you forget to consider how you are going to maintain it all...because that doesn't come cheap either.
In our community, there has been a discussion recently about the funding for positioning Christmas trees on the two roundabouts that bring residents and visitors into the town. When the Town Council determined their coffers wouldn't be able to meet the costs, Denbigh in Bloom was approached to see if we could help. Of course we would have loved to be in a position to help, because nobody wants to be a scrooge at Christmas; but in reality, we just couldn't make it happen. Not for lack of enthusiasm, but just because (sadly) money doesn't grow on trees - or at least not on the ones that we have planted to date.
It takes a lot of preparation and forward thinking to get the funds in place from a variety of sources and whilst we are a pretty organised bunch, we couldn't have foreseen that we'd be asked to plug this particular hole. So we had to say we couldn't assist on this occasion.
That lead us into a quick review and we discovered that in the last three years, we've fundraised over £27,000 to cover the costs of all our investments and projects in Denbigh. WOW! It took us a minute to take that all in... That is a lot of grant applications and hours slogging over a hot laptop keyboard (never mind all the Google searches for suitable funds to apply to.) We don't win them all, so we have to keep plugging away at it.
And so on to 2020...what plans await? And did anyone get the grant application off for it? Oh, and did we mention our Gold and Best Town awards in Wales in Bloom? ;-)