I’ve had a fairly busy week. Not so much in terms of housework; I’ve been really sluggish and had a constant head-cold feeling which means that my house is very disgusting.
But I did have a meeting with a bank manager and set up a bank account for IADA. We originally wanted to go with another bank more specialised to charities, and we had to jump through a lot of hoops for this. We had to have a trustee meeting and note in the minutes that we were discussing the bank, as well as all sign forms in person, print the constitution, etc etc. I had to send quite a thick envelope at the end.
And after all that, when they did get back to us, they decided to stop offering free charity bank accounts and instead wanted between £6 and £12 a month in order to keep the account open. Obviously, since we are not guaranteed to have that coming in through donations, we couldn’t agree to that. So, it was back to the drawing board for an IADA bank account, despite all the aforementioned hoops.
Then I looked at Lloyds; the previous provider had originally been preferable, because they focus on non-profits, they were definitely free, and you didn’t have to phone anybody.
I originally checked out Lloyds a year or two ago, they had charges and you had to phone them. But this time it seemed you could get a Treasurer’s account without monthly charges, though the phone remained an issue.
I filled out the application online, and at the end, it said I would receive a phone call in the next 3 days to continue setting up. Uh oh.
So I filled in a feedback form explaining why this wouldn’t work. Initially I got a response telling me to use a textphone. 1) That doesn’t work if you’re ringing my existing house number. 2) Textphones cost £300, are being phased out, hardly anybody uses one, and there often isn’t a relay assistant at the other end to actually answer. Having a textphone line for customers is not deaf access.
But surprisingly, another business manager contacted me and managed to get the local manager to agree to meet me so I could apply for the account in person!
After this, there were not hoops. I just showed up for the meeting, the doorway was wide enough for my chair, and the man had taken the initiative to look us up on the Charity Commission and see that we were real, I didn’t have to bring meeting minutes or print constitutions or anything else.
I didn’t even have to get the other two trustees to sign anything, I can just add them as users later! This is so much simpler than what the other place was doing, and I’m not actually surprised they’ve needed to scrap their free service if they were making everything ten times more complicated than it needed to be.
The man did spend some time on the phone, because part of the process unfortunately still requires that (he was filling out the form on his PC that the operator talking to me would have filled out if I had been able to phone them; I could easily have done this myself at home, so I’m really not sure why there’s a middle man, so to speak), and I’m not sure if it’s because he had a super old phone or if it was just a business model, but the interference noise was SO bad and was blasting directly into my ears via my hearing aids.
I do think I might have broken my right hearing aid though because it’s being a bit weird. Wearing them with sunglasses is also much easier than with actual glasses, perhaps because the temples are thinner.
Anyway. After a successful time at the bank, we looked in Paperchase and my sister bought me a nice space-print pencil case I am gonna use for holding general things I might need inside bags (this idea was actually inspired by Beckoi).
We went to Asda and found some strawberry Oreos, then on to the police station. Remember the other week when I wrote about some terrible applicants we’d had? Well now one has actually required police involvement. I won’t go too much into it at this stage, but I will tell you it’s super awkward in there. They don’t seem to have interview rooms any more so you just have list the entire details of your problem and show your printouts, right there at the reception desk while people wait behind you. The woman was very nice to me though.
And then I went into a Dunelm store for the first time, after seeing their products in magazines like Style at Home for years. It was pretty cool in there. I get the feeling that everything is aimed at people who own a three-bedroom semi-detached house, though. Who spends £800 on a two-seater sofa when you can get a huge corner leather one on Amazon for £499? People with too much money, that’s who. Imagine how much more stuff you could afford if you kept buying Aldi-priced stuff with your house-owning income. LOADS.
This is my dream sofa, just FYI. So comfortable. Many naps.
I was honestly really exhausted after that day, had quite a heavy nap, and I am still feeling the bone aching. Especially in my hips on the fucking awful current sofa that we have.
I think I stopped breathing in my sleep last night, although it’s kind of hard to tell, because I was asleep.
I just abruptly awoke and took the biggest, deepest, loudest inhale ever, it felt like my lungs were re-inflating and I was really aware of my heart. The last thing I could remember was getting into bed, not trying to sleep or anything, and I was like “Did I die for a bit, because my mind is totally blank.” I’ve lost consciousness and had fits in my sleep before, but this felt different to that and it was surprisingly scary considering how little actually happened.
I am super stressed right now, and my heart has been acting up a lot, not even just in a POTS way. It’s not even just the reason I had to go to the police in the first place, but also other charity stuff.
I finally got the bank account sorted, and I’m now trying to sort out the JustGiving and the Give as you Live. Which has been a nightmare. JustGiving want you to fill out a Gift Aid form, for which you need an HMRC number reference something thingy. Which I tried to get. The screen showed it to me for two seconds and then autorefreshed to the government gateway login, and I couldn’t get it back. Asking them to send it via email, required having that same damn number, so I’ve had to fill in a help thingy and wait and I am so stressed I could honestly cry. At least they had an online help form and not just a phone number though.
We have exactly £0 as a charity, right now. Hopefully when the JustGiving does get sorted, we can generate one of those “Text [code] to [number] to give £5” thingies and my friends might respond to that.
We don’t take wages for trustee work, or the dog training, so that’s not what we need money for, it’s everything else. The buying the pull-ropes for doors (like the ones Freya uses in my house, but for our applicants), buying wheelchair attachments for dog leads, buying the right kind of lead for the applicant, getting clicker sticks in, office supplies (we can’t even start printing the assistance dog ID booklets until we get a laminator), our first member ID cards will have to be outsourced to a company and they will cost a fair bit each, we need embroidered shirts made for staff, lots of other one-off costs like these, and the routine costs of buying training aids for applicants, and eventually the jackets, when the dogs get that far. I think we’ll need £15,000 this year alone.
Running a charity is bittersweet, because, while you have devoted your time to doing a good thing, and you can sit in your pants in your living room and do it when no proper employer will take you, you aren’t allowed to receive a wage. Which makes total sense of course, because all the money received should go to the charity’s work. But, it would be nice if the government had a wage scheme for people who are trustees without also having a paying job. Because I still need to pay rent and buy things.
I think it was last week that me and Beckoi had a film evening watching some spoopy things. It was fun, hopefully we shall go to the cinema and see spoop on the big screen soon!
My dog’s face.
The worst sofa that has ever sofaed.
My new pencil case fits a pack of Oreos! I would have gotten one from their amazing new dinosaur range, but they were very small.
Attemp at glasses with hearing aids. My hair needs urgent relaxing, DEAR LORD.