Foggy is on his way back to the UK after having great adventures in Thailand over the Christmas period. Thank you Kat and co for Foggy-sitting. He is off to Cape Town next…squeeeee.
I have news.
I withdrew from the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Programme just before Christmas. It was a very hard decision to make but there are many reasons as to why I couldn’t continue. I had big ideas about what could be achieved for Foggy and our advocacy. The year-long training programme and grant would have opened up many opportunities. However, at the end of the day, setting up ME Foggy Dog as a CIC (Community Interest Company) was still entirely reliant on my brain and my one-pair of hands. Since I created ME Foggy Dog three years ago, wonderful volunteers have come and gone and many M.E peeps have offered to help. However, their health is as unreliable and fluctuating as mine and so, through no fault of their own, the work doesn’t get done and I end up doing it myself. Until I manage to recruit a fit and healthy volunteer who can dedicate time and energy to our cause, Foggy’s adventures will continue as they have done since 2014.
The grant would have been a great help. It would have covered our admin costs, updated our equipment and most importantly – Foggy could have got re-stuffed! The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that he has lost a lot of his puppy fat over the past 3 years.
One aspect of the CIC was that I would have started to earn an income from my Foggy work. I have never earned a single penny from Foggy and this was new territory for me. I will never take a penny from donations and so another dimension had to be added. I had planned on delivering talks to raise awareness of M.E to healthcare/education professionals. I would be paid to deliver those talks. However, I have never been paid for any of my talks and so I think it would have been incredibly difficult to raise an income…despite putting in a lot of hours. I also found out that I would have to pay an accountant £150 a month to do my books as a CIC. I would be working myself into the ground to pay the blooming accountant! That doesn’t make sense to me.
Many of you will have seen my mini videos at the end of SSE training days. I found the training days exhausting. I had to leave every session early as I could feel myself wilting and still had a long journey to get home. The SSE have bent over backwards to accommodate my health needs. They have been honest and said they know nothing about M.E but were happy to learn and adapt to help me. The SSE is a fantastic organisation and I am grateful for their support. However, as I have already said, it is just me, my brain, and my energy levels at the end of the day. Setting up a CIC/charity, is hard work for anyone; for someone with a chronic illness, it is near impossible. I don’t believe in ‘can’t’- and I gave it a go. I needed to see whether I could do it. I now know that whilst I have the necessary passion and drive, my body is saying ‘no way Jose’.
Foggy needs to evolve, otherwise, our campaigning will become stale. I still plan to stop fundraising for the ME Association in July. Hopefully, we will leave on a high by raising £10k…we will see. I now have to think of a plan B. I might support a different M.E charity or maybe I could crowdfund for a specific research project…I don’t know yet. Lots of thinking ahead. Foggy will live on, I just don’t know exactly how at the moment.
I feel like a failure and am so sorry I am unable to grow Foggy and do even more for the M.E Community.
Sally and Foggy (OBVIOUSLY)