Thank you to everyone who came to the staff day, the feedback has been wonderful and we are taking your comments on board so that we can continue to make it a great experience. 75 people came (which we think may be a record) and heard that our message for the coming year is love. As teams gathered together and considered how we do this the answers were as diverse as they were precious…Fegans Angels is launched, teams are planning to fit regular socials in their schedules, as well as mini support groups for remote counsellors and a new buddy system for counsellors starting in schools. My highlight of the day was the Area Managers updates which were open, honest, hopeful and expressing gratefulness for their teams. I also loved the opportunity for anointing which was a huge blessing.
Jo, Ann-Marie, Liz and I have been overwhelmed by the response to the events we have been putting on. So much so that we are now actively looking for people who would welcome the chance to share their expertise or experiences with parents who need comfort, reassurance, insights and some top tips. We are being approached to do more of these events and I see them as a key part of Fegans contribution to our community as well as raising the profile of what we do. If you are interested in understanding more about this I would love to share with you how these events work and how you can become part of our team.
We are launching our new fundraising strategy over the coming months. At present the income for parenting and counselling covers their direct costs including salaries, BACP, supervision, training and travel, contributes part of the cost of safeguarding, insurances and the buildings/rent where the counselling takes place, but does not contribute to other central costs. It may surprise you to know that the money we charge goes entirely on delivering the services even in schools based counselling. Included in this income are bursary grants to subsidise the in house counselling and parent support grants. Buttons because of the way they are funded through the local authority early years grant covers all its costs and makes a contribution towards central costs as well. Fegans has some precious donors who already contribute towards central costs, but we need to see this income stream increase. So we are prioritising fundraising to ensure that all the costs associated with safeguarding, HR, Finance and so on are raised by me and Ann-Marie’s team. Please continue to pray for us!
With regard to the sponsored event fundraising strategy I think they need to more than wash its face otherwise the donors are just paying for the team to do “fun” things. The bar above the cost of the event I think needs to be reasonably high.
Jane Williams, her team and I rocked up to Portsmouth last weekend to abseil down the Spinnaker (no, none of us are sure how we ended up doing it either)! It was unfortunately postponed due to bad weather so we will try again in the holidays. Jane is already planning a parachute jump for our next adventure…join us! I commit to join any employee of Fegans on any fundraising activity they organise, as well as doing my own…what’s the worst that could happen?!
A great part of the staff day was talking to many of you about your ideas for Fegans. Please do feed ideas and insights to your Area Managers and Linden…or me if it is a real curve ball! We are always looking to improve what we do and deepen the quality of the services we provide.
As I write Liz Pearce is leading a training course on the effective delivery of children’s therapy. Liz is precious to Fegans and I am sorry to announce that she will be moving on in the summer. However I am thrilled that she will be taking up the CEO post with the Counselling Centre in Tunbridge Wells. We are keen to see how the two organisations could work together in West Kent.
You already know this year has been a wonderful one of growth, but also of challenge. Let us commit to care, love and show each other compassion as we serve the communities we find ourselves in. The calling that we all share is a stunning, life altering one and I am so proud to be part of it with you all. I love hearing from you; your experiences and insights. It is so wonderful to do this as a team, even when we can’t be in the same place together. I pray every blessing of joy and peace on you all.