In the end, the worst part is the waiting......
Back in September
we received a message from the Royal Bank of Scotland :
"Congratulations, your project has been approved for CommunityForce 2011."
now we could get going! Lots to do, adding images and videos to the CommunityForce website - everything had to be in place for Sunday 18th... we made it just in time, phew!!
Monday 26th - We had a look at 7am, eager to kick off with a bang. The site wasn't open yet (perhaps they work banking hours?). A couple of hours later, not a bang but a CRASH !!! Obviously the website was overwhelmed as all the supporters for 1000+ projects go online and bring the servers to a grinding halt. By 10.30 they had removed the voting pages, so we thought "Use the phoneline" - we'd been given the 0800 number a couple of weeks before but nobody seemed prepared at the other end, the promise of a callback took 10 days, hmmm, not a great start.
The website settled down and we began to hear reports that many of our supporters were struggling to understand how the voting worked - lots of:
- so, we need to figure out how to help!!
In the meantime, the Peeblesshire News gave us a great write up (here) - Thanks a million!
We sent out a mailshot to 100s of supporters and made up some flyers to hand out - that feels more like it.... be proactive! And, compiled a short video of how to vote, let's be positive it only takes 4 or 5 or 6 minutes - posted that on our Facebook page (here) and YouTube (here).
The website went a bit wonky again producing gibberish rather than the usual happy picture of the Busking day (here). We had added a further step-by-step guide (here) because many supporters were getting in a fizz and upset that they couldn't manage - we didn't want anybody to feel that way! Again, thanks to the Peeblesshire News for continuing to support all the local projects.
"Huge thanks" to Eastgate Theatre, Peebles Library, Victoria Park, Garvald, Ark Housing, Peebles Orchestra, Serenata, The Clef Club, members of Manor Kirk congregation, the teachers and sixth formers at St George's, the hospitals - especially Hay Lodge and St. John's (mighty good effort), Kingsmeadows Catering and all the family and friends who joined in with a genuine Community response. We know almost every single one of our supporters - can't thank you enough!
Noon on Monday 24th, the website just about hung on, getting slower and slower, we had 700+ votes as the deadline approached... then the site was closed - the phone votes will be added and checked for a final total.
How did we do? Well, there are 27 entrants in our area and to be honest every one is a good cause and every one deserves support, help and funding. We can see the impact of cutbacks, in our own circumstances - transport costs soaring, everything is really tight. So, good luck to all - we need it !
....whilst we wait....
and finally, the email everyone had hoped for arrived
We're delighted to inform you that Peebles Players is one of the three projects that received the most votes in your CommunityForce area......"
(in fact it was the second highest total of all). Well done everyone, we can't thank you enough - the award is for £6,275 and that will make such a difference. Thank you.