It has been one year since Avocados Advocacy CIC was born, since we became incorporated, and in that time we have achieved so much more than we thought possible in our first year. We wanted to share what we have been up to, where we are and where we hope to go. To tell you how we changed our story.
It’s scary taking risks, changing the daily ‘norm’. Moving away and making a change from what you know or the safety of the everyday you are used to, even if you are not that happy with the everyday, or maybe you are super happy with the every day. The job, the friends, the hobbies, the house, whatever the norm you want to change or need to change to make something different for yourself.
What is your dream? What would you like to do with your life this year, next year, or in this moment? A want and a will that’s all you need to start.
We had a dream. We had a vision. But we had no idea how to do it. So we just took it one step at a time... broke it down and dealt with what we had in front of us. Katie got the first set of funding, for Legal advocacy and starting Avocados and we took that and leapt. Leapt to nothing, leapt to an idea, leapt to an unknown.
Giving up our jobs was scary, moving from employed to self-employed, that took a bit of getting used to and with that goes other people’s worry’s, fears and expectations which are shared with us. It is amazing how many people who are friends and family have opinions, their own fears and worries and we had to continue to be sensible and responsible. Other people’s worries and thoughts can make you question and doubt your decision. We had to weigh this up, you can’t not pay mortgages, rents, bills. We had to continue to buy food, kid’s clothes etc. But we took a risk, we had to try and find a way to make it work, it was too important to us not to.
We learnt on the job, how to build a website, how to write a funding plan, how to set up accounts and banking for a business. Researched and decided what type of organisation were we going to be. So many things to learn. Find the people who have the knowledge, the expertise and the will to help. Ask the questions, use the internet. YouTube has the answers to lots of things!
We had some successes, and some losses. We did not get all the funding we applied for. Our bank was wrong for one, we were too risky for another, another we were supporting too wide an age range for their criteria. For some funders we didn’t have enough years, or money behind us. We kept going but we were losing momentum and felt disheartened that we weren’t hitting the mark for so many people. The day we nearly packed it all in, the day we were running out of money to keep ourselves going, and after several rejections, we got the email from The Tudor Trust with 3 years funding, and the key phrase in our letter ‘we believe in you’. It was all we needed to believe we were doing the right thing and we needed to keep going.
We had to share our vision, our goals and dreams. The dream that all people with care experiences should be treated the same as anyone else, that all people with care experiences should know their rights and entitlements and that anyone with care experiences should have support, community and life-long positive relationships.