The Charity process

I realised that the only way I will succeed in achieving my aspirations with ALL the GreekSTRAYS here within my region of Greece, is to work tirelessly and achieve Charity Status.  I know this will be a long process and I am aware that it will not created financial gain in any way quickly.  All of this is going to take time.  Towards the end of 2015, I wrote to many organisations asking for help in how does one go about setting up an animal charity or Non Profit Organisation.  The website is full of information, but I hate having to crawl through pages and pages of information.  It becomes a huge mental overload.  

My breakthrough came through towards the end of March 2016 and it all happened as a result of more searching.  I casually wrote to an International Worldwide Charity, and the day after received a reply.  A comprehensive reply I might add and one which was pretty negative, the CE didn't paint a rosy picture at all.  He laid everything down in a very realistic way.  That didn't deter me at all.  I have passion, determination and want to make a huge success towards my Greek strays.  

Daringly, I replied back to his email and asked whether he would consider helping me.  I added that I would not be offended if he said no.  He replied back and said he would help me.  One will never know how elated I was.  Interestingly though, this particular morning, there was a black cat on a garage roof and even though, I did not know this cat at all (I just love black cats anyway) but this one was just staring and staring at me.  He looked lovely and immediately I thought of Tommy who was lost at Athens airport when we arrived to Greece to start our new life.  The pain and trauma of this experience still haunts me 10 years on.  My special person went one step further.   He invited me to his home in the South of England, for a cup of tea with all the felines.  His partner set up a charity for all the felines within the area. When I saw her website and her activities, this was exactly what I want to achieve for all my strays here in Greece.  It really is uncanny too, because where they operate from is so very close to where we used to live in the UK, with surrounding historic towns and villages.  

The day came when I was on my journey to meet the owners.  Sadly though at the train station in London, all the trains had been cancelled due to a fatatlity at East Croydon train station, someone had decided to commit suicide.  It delayed everything for me this particular morning and would cut my time short in spending time with my people.  Anyway, 2 hours later, I finally arrived and met Alan at the train station.   It was so inspirational to see the way they operated.  They had over 200 rescued cats of all shapes and sizes and with different needs.  Every space in the cottage was filled with cats, cats and more cats.  The outdoor pens were lovely and housed even more cats.  In between all the purring, we managed to squash in and sit among the feline population to discuss more of my needs.  Alan was super and so was his wife. They gave me leaflets, they guided me in to what might work for me and discussed other options for me to consider.  I had to start getting my objectivies on paper.  Alan did promise that he would look at my drafts and advise what was missing, or anything that I needed to add.  I knew I would need help in drafting my charities objectives/governing documents, but it had to be done.  Liz's charity costs over £200,000 to run and this is funded purely on donations.  WOW!  I never for once imagined an animal charity costing so much to run.  

I came away feeling inspired and knew that I could perhaps achieve Charity Status.  I had to start  somewhere.  Alan did say he would help me, so I felt extremely hopeful. So the paperwork commenced.  But as time went by, I got no help and no further communication from Alan.  This did surprise me and I couldn't understand why.   I did everything he suggested and sent for his approval, but this was wasted.  Instead, I wrote to GCWS who in the past have helped me, and continue to help me, with some financial support.  There was a wonderful man by the name of Joe who promised to help.  He had stood down from the charity, but did say he would continue with my application until the day came when I was a registered charity.  The process wasn't easy.  It was difficult because there was a Greek address, which the bank would not accept.  So I just focused on the UK addresses.  Finally after nearly 12 months, I obtained charity status June 2017.  A huge relief.  From that date, my problems started, because I have never been involved in a charity and have so much to learn.  I think I can honestly say, that my charity at the moment is just a one-person operation.  It will be successful, but this will take time to establish.  Has it all been worth the effort? Only time will tell.

Donations are hugely needed for GreekSTRAYS:

PayPal:  elaine1156@gmail.com

Charity Bank:   Lloyds Bank   Sort Code: 30-65-22   Account number: 78074260 

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GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece                           GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece GreekSTRAYS - A UK charity operating in Greece