On Wednesday all the hard work leading up to our event paid off. We raised between £13,000 and £15,000 after all costs. Final counting still to be done.
How did we do it? Well, it came about because of the trust, goodwill and collaboration of so many people. It was a perfect example of how most of us want to contribute and participate in making the world a better place.
We’re fundraising for a very special prison project. The senior management team at HMP Dartmoor are opening the prison to the Centre for Peaceful Solutions to demonstrate how the Dialogue Road Map can change outcomes for prisoners by reducing violence and reoffending ending whilst also transforming Dartmoor into a restorative prison as a model for managing prisons. This is a 2 year undertaking for which we need to raise funds. The potential to showcase the DRM as systemic change model is an opportunity not to be missed.
We need to raise 2 years funding that’s £240,000. We needed to begin somewhere so we decided on a fundraising event.
It started when my friend Marina introduced me to Richard Reynolds, the course director for the Applied Imagination MA course at Central St Martins (CSM) as a visiting lecturer. CSM agreed that we could use their venue for a fundraiser. Then, Ottolenghi agreed to provide food for 100 people as a donation. Our patron Roger Graef put us in touch with Rory Bremner who kindly agreed to donate his time and talent.
With that in place, we found a sponsor, an ethical theatre production company called ProdUse who helped us get started with funds to pay for practical stuff as part of their commitment to social change.
Next, our dear friends Fiona and Stephen committed to taking a couple of tables.
All that was enough to believe we could make it happen.
A team formed and we had a very short time to go through forming, storming, norming and performing, forming relationships while executing to a deadline.
When Caroline Wilding and Daniel Dresden agreed to be our actors donating their time and talent, we were delighted and excited to work with professionals of this standard.
Supporters, friends and people interested in our work started to offer help, buy tickets and come on the journey.
Vicky, friend and former trustee, with help from the Serena Morton Gallery, found renowned artists to paint boxes made by prisoners as auction items.
Dorota and Bobby got friends to donate auction items. Of course, the Amazing Nick Carter did a phenomenal job as auctioneer. Chickenshed Theatre Company agreed to perform and an evening came together.
Hugo Burnand gave us a sneak preview of photographs he took in the prison that will format an exhibition later in the year.
All in all, the whole evening was a collaboration of giving, receiving, trust and cooperation between people who brought different things to the table sharing a vision of social change.
Does life get much better than that?
If you enjoy reading this blog, please consider making a donation to the Centre for Peaceful Solutions. If you think someone else would enjoy reading this blog post, please share it.