Thursday, 10 February 2011

The Funding Catch-22

So here's the problem: we need about four hundred pounds to pay for our minibus hire. we're using the bus to get us and our bikes out to the Island and then to transport people backwards and forwards to the beginning and end of each stage. it's just a bit too much money for us to pay ourselves. We've paid for our food and our ferry fares and a local company has generously covered the cost of the youth hostel - after the YHA had chopped a bit off the price to allow for the fact that we were doing a charity ride.

Obviously all the sponsorship money we are raising will go directly to First Touch, but we thought maybe a company with relevant interests might be persuaded to give us something towards the running costs. But all the big companies - Mothercare, Evans, Halfords - only give centrally, not locally. They all have specific charities or events which they support exclusively and they don't respond to individual requests. On the other hand the smaller businesses - our lovely local cycle shops - are sympathetic and supportive but have no money to spare. Catch 22!

Does anyone have any ideas?


  1. You've probably already pursued this line, but are there no large-ish independent/family run van hire places near you? I don't know where you're leaving from, but there are places like cvsvanhire in North London which do minibuses and are surely worth an ask. They would probably charge insurance, but they've got lots of vans!

  2. Hi Dorian, thanks for the thought.
    We are using Wandsworth Community Transport, a local scheme for voluntary organisations. Their only charge is an all-in mileage rate (90p) which includes petrol, insurance, breakdown cover and everything else. They don't mind us taking the seats out of the bus to fit bikes in and they provide MiDAS training/qualification for drivers. Also we can do 6am pickups and after midnight drop-offs and the buses are really well maintained.
    I think it might cost about the same in fuel and insurance (if we were able to find a firm which responded) as WCT - and we've already invested in the driver training and booked the vehicle. I feel we are committed to using WCT so we just need to find some money! It may not cost as much as £400 - that was an outside estimate and included £90 for the MiDAS training, which the drivers don't mind paying themselves if it comes down to it.