By Andy Mouncey, Jan 21 2019 02:05PM
So you think it’s hard breaking out of prison? You want to try breaking in.
This is what it takes for a new social enterprise with One Big Idea to get going in our Justice sector – as lived by Andy Mouncey of Run For Your Life CIC www.runforyourlife.org.uk
Timeline To Date
2012 First invitation to a Category C prison. Project pulled pre-start
2013 First short pilot delivered (unpaid) at a Cat D prison
2014-16 More testing – more pilots – still no ££
2016 RFYL Conception
2017 RFYL Community Interest Company incorporation
2018 Doors open – doors close: Repeat. Still no ££
Funding Bids Written & Rejected: 19
Times I’ve Honestly Thought About Quitting: 4
Times My Wife Has Given Me Permission To Quit: 2
Pegs & Holes
You’ll like this: After months of applying to funds who say they support ‘Start Up’ or ‘Scale Up’ - I mean, I’ve now done 4 pilot versions which means I do have SOMETHING to show for my efforts and I really am somewhere beyond the ‘Ideas On A Page’ stage – and being knocked back because I’m told I don’t have anything meaningful to start or scale…(?!) I thought I’d go in the other direction: The Big Ideas funds (that support Starting or Scaling).
And just before Xmas the two latest came back – and you know what’s coming, right?
‘Sorry - your ideas are too well developed…’
All of which lead me to conclude the following:
Either my bid writing really is shit
Or my proposition really is genuinely ground-breaking and might as well have come from Mars - as clearly no one WITH MONEY TO SPEND has yet recognized it as a viable solution
Or I really will have to continue to do this thing on my own time and money until we are faced with re-mortgaging the house or I give up and decide to get a real job
However, given there is no real prospect of this last bit – after 18 years of working for myself I am probably unemployable by now – I’m faced with taking a hard look at the other bits.
Oh well: Remember the ‘two invitations’ goal from the MoJ Speed-Dating event in the previous blog? Well I got ‘em…
If I were you, I would stay away from public sector. Focus on large corporations with established employee get well programs, or at least real incentives in getting their employees healthier! Align yourself with the likes of JustGiving, Vitality too?
That is an alternative for sure. For now i'm still focused on where the screaming need is. Can still put fuel in the car and feed the family - and apparantly Mrs Mouncey says I'm still fun to be with which means I'm in it for a wee while longer at least.