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Helping to set up a new charity

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We have just achieved our first year of being a registered charity - and what an exciting year it has been!

Our charity - the Elsie Normington Foundation - was set up to develop a new centre for children and young people in the Highlands with learning disabilities. I decided to develop a new charity after discovering a lack of specialist facilities. Initially, I targeted a range of people with different skills and experience, to ask them if they would like to be Trustees on the Board. This process took some time, as several initially agreed but then dropped out and I had to find others who could commit the time in the longer term. However, I now have an established Board of committed and experienced people to bring governance to the charity.

The constitution was of major importance as we wanted to have charitable status, and after submitting our first draft, we had several conversations with OSCR who were very supportive, making sure we had the right objects in our SCIO's constitution. We received charitable status on 28th May 2013 and were delighted with this validation of our objectives. Initially, we would deliver a community consultation and feasability on our vision to build a specialist play centre, community coffee shop, respite facility and some supported housing on the site. OSCR told us that we would come back to them in the future if we needed to expand our objects. We were very grateful for their support.

On 20th March 2014 we launched our vision in the Eden Court Theatre, with eight Inverness choirs providing the entertainment. We sold 800 tickets and it was a wonderful event. As a result, many people came forward to help with community fundraising. To date we have raised £35,000 and are now ready for the next phase, applying for large grants.

We hope that within the next two years we will raise £4 million and provide a much needed and excellent facility in Inverness.