March Update as promised

We promised to write to you again following our most recent Trustees meetings.  These took place on 7th and 14th of March.

We have been overwhelmed by the words of support and encouragement and very generous giving to the Balsam Family Project.  This has been sufficient for the Trustees to have confidence in continuing to operate and we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to that in whatever way.  We are now ready to receive the donations that were promised and the best method of activating those payments is, for monthly giving, download a Standing Order from our website, fill it in and then take it to your bank. Alternatively for one off gifts you could post a cheque to – Meadow Cottage, Froud’s Yard, Reading Road, Harwell, Oxon, OX11 0LW or for any enquiries email Martin Holden (Administrator) – and he will assist as best he can.  We remain very keen to build a network of small, regular givers as this is a key area of our fundraising which remains quite weak.

In deciding the way ahead the Trustees have sought to identify the unique characteristics of BFP, how we can ensure we focus on those as our principal focus and how we can generate a more stable income base.  We identified our three strongest characteristics as the quality and intensity of training we can provide, the critical importance of the role of Community Family Friends and Balsam as a basis for long term relationships into the wider community, especially, but not exclusively, through churches.

The key elements of our plan for the financial year starting 1 April are:

  • To reduce our short term operating costs by cutting back on the number of paid hours worked until the end of 2016 at least.
  • Instead of running our normal courses in the summer term we will trial a series of 5 one day work-shops as specifically focussed on families that have been through Level 1 and Level 2 courses but who would value ongoing training and nurturing of this sort.
  • Prioritising between now and September the recruitment, training and nurturing of Community Family Friends so that we can offer this support to any families who wish to pick it up.
  • Ensuring that we run two x Level 1 BFC course in the Autumn term with maximum attendance through active recruitment in advance.
  • Relocate our offices to new, rent free accommodation in Didcot ( largely driven by changes in the domestic circumstances of our existing very generous space provider)
  • Stabilising the operation of Family Days given that our current coordinator is due to give birth in September.
  • Developing a wider fundraising strategy with the support of various organisations and individuals who have offered their insights and help since our financial challenge has become more widely known.
  • Recruiting at least two new Trustees.

If as a supporter you would like to be involved in any of these activities; considering becoming a Community Family Friend, volunteering to assist in our BFC crèche or at a Family Day, helping with fundraising or acting as a trustee, then we would love to hear from you.  Please do let us know via email at or speak to Alex on 07799894410.

Thank you once again for all your generosity and encouragement.  It has meant so much to those of us involved in Balsam Family Project, not least the families themselves.
Yours sincerely,
Andrew Haines
Chairman of the Trustees

Alex Walker
Project Manager and Trustee
Alex Hammond

Rob Bennie