You may have read articles I have written or heard me talk about some of the influence my parents have had on my life and leadership. They were resourceful, hard-working grafters who approached everything in life with positive intention. Whether it was buying a run-down farmhouse (seeing the potential not the problems) or approaching each new meeting or connection with their fellow human beings with enthusiastic openness to anything that might come from a new relationship – whether for their benefit or anyone else’s.
I have been taught to give without expectation of return, recognition or reward, to work hard at the seemingly impossible and to have confidence that all things, even the worst of times, pass eventually. I have learned a courage to hold my nerve, but not be reckless, to listen to my gut, to seek evidence, but not be shackled to proof, to work hard for a just cause and that working together can achieve so much more than working alone. Much of what I value now is down to how I was raised – with love.
But this trip down memory lane is not leading to a sentimental cul-de-sac; I share it with the purpose of contextualising my approach to leadership and explaining why, in balancing between what we, CFG, give and what we receive, we have taken the hard decision to close from Wednesday, 16 December 2020 through to Monday, 11 January 2021.
Since March 2020, CFG has worked tirelessly to ensure that we could continue to provide services direct to our members, leadership in the wider sector and to influence government to recognise the vital role social change organisations play in society.
We know without the work of you (the thousands of charities and social enterprises working to support, love and serve their communities, fight and address inequality and amplify the voices of those so frequently overlooked at the heart of government) social change simply doesn’t happen. To deny the role of charities in making life better is like explaining breathing without referring to lungs!
You will know from our JustGiving fundraising page and the events we have run with the help of generous corporate partners that CFG faces a funding gap.
We have reached the difficult decision that with the return of flexible furloughing we should close down our activities over this quieter time in order to protect the jobs of CFG staff. We know that this tips the balance between serving the sector and saving ourselves and hope that the timing will make the best of a bad situation.
Conscious that life doesn’t neatly perform to our plans, the CFG team have planned meticulously to cover our enquiry mailboxes and pick up requests for help during our period of closure. So please know we will still be here for you. And, of course, our volunteers will also continue to be active (subject to their own seasonal family commitments) too.
So, as we prepare to shut up shop for a short period of time it feels appropriate to remind our CFG family that you can donate using this link. I hope that if you are able to extend even more support to CFG that you will answer our call for help.
I will no doubt meet many of you virtually over the course of our Annual Conference next week, some for the first time, some to refresh well-established connections. I look forward to being enthusiastically open to all opportunities! (If you aren't booked on yet here is still time to get involved!)
The last nine months have tested my courage, my resolve and resilience to work hard, at the seemingly impossible, and to have confidence that all things, even the worst of times, pass eventually. Pass they will, and we will return, stronger in the new year.
Much love and grateful thanks,
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