March... that is exactly what that last month has done... right on by! Feels like only yesterday I was looking out at the snow and feeling optimistic about a significant funding application that would change the landscape for BIRD and for me personally.

Sadly, that application was not successful... which has left me with a whole raft of feelings! You'd think I'd be getting used to the knock-backs by now, but every one of them still irks me! I guess it's inevitable, when you believe so fervently in the benefits and impact, and importance of your work, that you're incredulous every time someone else can't see it! Especially so, when that means you don't get the funding you desperately need!

Despite not getting the 'big one' we have been successful with an application to Islington Council for the Community Chest money distributed by Cripplegate. 5k! Fabulous! It's not the landscape changer we were really hoping for but it is absolutely invaluable to us. £5000 covers our rent for a year with change... So very relived and grateful for that. 

We've also had, over the course of this first quarter, numerous donations from individuals, including an incredible gift of a further 5k! If You'd told me at the start of January that we would raise over 11k in the first quarter, towards running costs I'd have bitten your arm off. Fantastic.

We had hoped to further add to our coffers in April with a spectacular event, showcasing some of the talent we work with, presenting our inspiring values in a creative way, and building  our case for support in your minds with a fabulous live presentation and appeal... But I have to concede that maybe I got carried away after the success of our crowdfunder in thinking we had built our support more extensively than we actually have... So we have quietly pulled that... And kept our powder dry for another day... We were just not selling the tickets in adequate numbers to suggest it would be financially viable let alone successful as a fundraiser.  We will however, look again at making this happen as soon as possible. So watch this space. 

So we soldier on... We have a date now of June for the move into our new space, which is below the XY Apartments on York Way.  This really is the next important milestone for BIRD. It's the first really significant step-change that will see us go from a part time studio space to full time! If you haven't already you can read what exactly this will mean and how important it will be for us here.... And if you'd like to donate to the new studio facility that we started raising for with our crowdfunder last year you can from the same page. (We are still a long way from being able to afford the unit we would like to install. ) June however will not be a moment too soon, as once we have started sessions with everyone who is slated to start with us we will have 25-28 names on our books! There has been real exponential growth this year.

Another exciting development is the pending arrival of some new trustees! We have to dot 'i's and cross 't's but I am very optimistic and looking forward to what these two dynamic women will bring to our board. Hopefully next month I'll be able to announce them officially. We have also been continuing to work hard on the structural aspects of the organisation and further developing our policies and re-examining our constitution, mostly through the untiring efforts of Stephen Richards who was, at our last trustee's meeting, appointed Chairman; which I am thrilled about. A man of greater integrity and diligence you will never find.  We are on the look out for other trustees; so if you think you might have some useful skills and some spare time to offer and would be interested in finding out more do get in touch. Someone with PR skills (particularly with regard to music)  a Music lawyer (specifically) would be very helpful, and of anyone with fundraising or financial skills and experience are worth their weight in chocolate  hobnobs.

 I'm aware this has been less reflective and more newsy this month... I do hope that's not too dull! There have also been many fabulous studio sessions, relationships deepened and some really marvellous examples of how the mentoring side of what we do really works - how the longevity and consistency of the time we spend with our young artists results in me being invited into conversations and aspects of lives that I would never other wise be invited to contribute to. That is, and always will be the greatest privilege of working for BIRD, and is why however irksome the funding application knock-backs might be, I will continue working hard to make them! 

If you would like to help towards the running cost of BIRD you can do so here as a one off or as a monthly gift. Alternatively if you would specifically like to donate towards helping us install our new recording facility you can by donating here. Thank you!