…… it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”
Little did Charles Dickens suspect he’d give words to express where 8 Lives is right now 😉 We set up 3 years ago as a very small cat rescue (the rescue that is that’s small … not the cats … though some of them are). With help from Voluntary Action Sheffield we established ourselves an an unincorporated charitable body. We couldn’t register to be a ‘proper’ charity as we had less than £5k per annum income … and didn’t expect that to change. We hadn’t bargained for our amazing fundraising team . .. who have now taken us over that registration threshold.
So now we need to register … like it or not. Which we do … and we don’t. It’s amazing to have this amount of funds …. though just to be clear: although we’ve had more than £5K come in this year, most of it has gone straight back out on food /litter and vet bills. It’s wonderful though to be able to offer a rescue space to a cat without too much fear of the financial implications of any health issues s/he has. It meant we could take in people like poor old Molly Mable who was found hiding in the bed a week after her human had died, Puddy a long term ‘stray’ who had been living in someone’s shed for years, fed by a kindly neighbour, and little Sage a stray who was ripping her fur out for reasons initially unknown. Between them … they’ve cost us about £800 at the vet. They’re worth it of course, more than worth it.
Armed with coffee and cake three of us got together a couple of weekends ago to try to make sense of the charity registration process. There was much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Sage would have felt well at home as we tore our hair out trying to work out which forms we needed to fill in and plough our way through the legaleze. Sage however was living the life in her lovely foster home and couldn’t give a cat’s whisker.
This week its starting to come together. We’ve had a meeting with Keith at Voluntary Action Sheffield who was just as amazing and helpful as he was 3 years ago when we were first setting up. There’s still a way go to, forms to be filled, meetings to be had, stuff to be signed … and signatures to be witnessed. The good news is that we now have some idea what we’re doing. I can’t praise organisations like VAS highly enough …. it actually feels like we might be able to do this now.