In 2010 I organised a group of volunteers to come and build a bronze-age roundhouse in some local woodland. My intention, upon completion, was to use said roundhouse as a base for a community project for people suffering from depression, teaching them new skills, giving them self-worth, improving their social inclusion and social skills, improving biodiversity and so on.
Once I'd got the roundhouse built, the owner of the woods dropped the bombshell that he would probably be selling the woods as he no longer waned them. With this in mind I gave up on the project for the time being, seeing no point in persuing a project on a carpet that could be pulled from under me at any moment, as it were.
The woodland has still not been sold, but I know he still wants to sell it.
This all came back up again when I mentioned the problem to my brother-in-law, who said he would probably be able to borrow enough money (£300,000) to buy the woods on my behalf, if I were able to service the debt.
I have been thinking about running a "glamping" site as part of the project to raise funds and to offer courses and various paid for events. I can also sell timber cut from the woodland. I'm pretty confident that, in this area (near Brighton) I should be able to make more than enough money to pay the rent, albeit with a few months hiatus while I get set up. I have also looked into the various grants available and believe I have a decent chance of getting funding, but I have no idea how much.
I also wish to employ an Occupational Therapist to work alongside me. I have various friends willing to donate their time as volunteers and help me with building, legal stuff and financial stuff.
What I want to know is, what's the best way forward from here? How best to set it all up? As a registered charity? If not, then what? How much money can I expect to raise in grants? Enough to buy the woods? Enough to pay wages for a few months?
Any help or advie gratefully received.
Hi Dan, this sounds more like a social enterprise venture to me than a charity ie you're planning on using the assets of the wood (glamping / timber sales etc) to pay for your charitable works. Have you done any reading about this? UnLtd are very helpful
Hi Dan, I just thought you might want to also take a look at this video course we have in our StudyZone area. It's about setting up a social enterprise - it might answer some of your questions and it also provides some useful links to organisations that could provide some support. There is also a dicussion forum attached to the course where the trainer, Jean Barclay is available for questions. Good luck!