Welcome to our second newsletter. Much has happened since our last communication with you that we are excited to share!
Most importantly, we are now registered with the Charity Commission and the Friends of Kinsbourne Green Common is officially live! And, we’ve been allocated grant funding of £15,000 by The Harpenden Trust to ensure this valuable local asset stays for everyone to enjoy.
Charity & bank account set up
Our charity registration number is 1205591 and our objectives have been agreed as:
1. To promote for the benefit of the public the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of Kinsbourne Green Common by promoting biological diversity. 2. To provide or assist in the provision of facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation or other leisure time occupation of individuals who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disability, financial hardship or social circumstances with the object of improving their conditions of life.
With the charity registered we have been able to open a bank account with the Co-Op; a good bank for charities.
Which just leaves the final hurdle of registration with HMRC for Gift Aid. This application went in two weeks ago, and they advise up to a 30-day turnaround. As soon as this is in place, we will be able to convert your generous pledges into financial donations.
We’re getting closer to our target fundraising level of £200,000 but we’re not quite there yet!
As mentioned above, we’re delighted that our bid to the Harpenden Trust for £15,000 was successful, and so grateful that a local charity is supporting our local good cause. This has really helped with our fundraising, but we still need just a little more, £20,000 more, to be precise to be sure we have enough to cover the purchase and maintenance and insurance for the first year.
The website is being developed to get us donation ready; we are partnering with a charity donation platform company called Enthuse, so we can collect funds online and get help with Gift Aid. This will avoid the need for cheques and BACS transfers, making life simpler for you and us.
Once HMRC Gift Aid approval is done, we will be taking donations straightaway. This could be in December, but may also slip into early January. Our legal deadline for the land purchase is 31 January, so we don’t have any time to waste in collecting the funds and reclaiming Gift Aid too. This means we will be aiming for all donations to be collected by 14 January 2024.
We would also just ask for anyone donating to enquire if your employer does match funding of any charitable donations made by employees. This could be a fantastic way of boosting our income.
Do you think you can help please?
Could you join the other 60 local residents who have most generously pledged £130,000?
We have over 180 people registered for our newsletter, but we know there are more people than this who enjoy the Common.
Please click here to make a pledge and keep spreading the word about our fundraising to ensure we can meet our target. Share this email with your neighbours, maybe print it off and pop through doors of those who don’t use emails. Share on WhatsApp groups. The more people we can reach the better.
Meet your trustees
We know we are asking you to donate generously to a previously unknown charity and this is a leap of faith! We take this role very seriously and, with the help of our legal team, are setting up the governance and systems to ensure we operate professionally and correctly.
Sue Archer has taken on the lead role as chair – Sue is a chartered surveyor who builds schools and has previously been a governor and trustee of several schools. Alongside her is: Tim Wright, our technical expert who does the IT/website stuff; Kate Sheffield, chair of the Harpenden Rural Parish council; Rachel Fraser, a teacher and Rachel Lee, lives and runs her dog grooming business very close to the Common.
We all share a love of the Common, live nearby and walk our dogs there. For more information on who we are and what skillsets we bring to being a trustee please visit the About Us page.
The trustee roles will rotate over the coming years so please do consider joining us if you are interested. There are loads of volunteering roles needed to be filled too from land management to information management to filing our accounts. We’d also love to hear from people who wish to share their knowledge or learn about improving the biodiversity of the land.
What can you do to help?
Hopefully you’re signed up for newsletters but please do encourage your neighbours to sign up too. Feel free to share our news and contact details widely, and help us reach our financial target by encouraging more pledges.
We always want your feedback and comments. Please email us at: email@example.com
For everything else take a look around at our website. We try to keep it routinely updated with the latest news.
I hope our next newsletter is issued very soon, as it will be announcing our Gift Aid registration, and our readiness to take the financial donations.
But in the meantime, we’d like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and looking forward to 2024 being the year of Kinsbourne Green Common belonging to the charity for the benefit of all local residents!
Best wishes to all,
Chair of Trustees