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Thunderbirds – sorry, I mean 5 Quid for Life – are go!

by on April 9, 2011

TODAY IT GIVES ME GREAT PLEASURE, at long last, to present a summary of 5 Quid for Life’s inaugural meeting, held courtesy of Paula Ann Walker in the delightfully rural surroundings of Woodbridge, Suffolk, a short train journey from Ipswich, back on Saturday 19th March 2011. We used a cunningly devised hat-recognition-system to identify one another at Ipswich Station, where the guard urged us to slow down: “The train won’t go until we’re ready,” he assured us — and so Sam Jenkin, Kate White, Johnathon Tinsley and yours truly met face to face for the first time and boarded the train for the beginning of the journey of a lifetime…

Sam takes up the story:

The inaugural meeting of the 5 Quid For Life Council took place on Saturday, 19 March 2011. A great deal of laughter and work erupted in an environment of high excitement, laden with food, silly hats and Skype.

Present were Phil Groom (founder), Paula Ann Walker (Finance Officer), Johnathon Tinsley (IT Officer), Kate White (Compliance Officer), David Edwards, (Council Member/second IT brain) and Sam Jenkin (Project Manager, aka Chief Bossy Boots). Karita Razell and Karen Bester were sadly unable to make it and David appeared via Skype due to prior dog sitting commitments.

Phil, Paula, Johnathon and Sam were appointed as trustees, with Phil as Chairman. Kate delivered a superb summary of what we needed to agree regarding setup of the charity, which is just as well, as Sam tends to find legal business detail boring and her snoring is not to be experienced at close quarters. The core group of eight is now known as the Advisory Council and the trustees are now known as the Board (this is not an attempt to give ourselves fancy titles but to meet legal requirements).

Lunch is served!

Lunch is served! Paula presents a marvellous spread.

Given that geographical distances are so vast between us, we agreed that meeting attendance could take place via Skype and voting can take place via physical raising of hands at the meeting, email, Skype or any other method of communication where a member of the group may be considered present in that they can hear and be heard via communication equipment. Sadly, those on Skype, although having full voting rights, will not be able to partake of any food as it is still impossible to transmit food through wireless and we don’t think stuffing Paula’s marvellous food down Phil’s laptop would have helped communication.  We are however hoping there will be an app for that soon.

We aim to raise between £5,000 and £10,000 in our first year, with fundraising activities including an Amazon affiliate, an Etsy shop where we will sell hand-made donated craft items, continuing to ask people to donate £5 a month to the charity and a proposed night of entertainment, dramatics and dancing, to follow in 2012.

Bank documents were perused again, a few small amendments were made and subsequent to the meeting, Paula opened the account, details of which are:

Account Name: 5 Quid for Life
Bank: HSBC Woodbridge
Sort Code: 40 47 42
Account No: 2146 8928

Donations can be made over the counter at a local bank by:
Cash – you can pay with cash (notes and coins) which can exchange hands immediately.
Cheque – After clearing, the amount is debited from your bank account (usually within 5 working days.)
Electronic payments can also be made over the counter via Credit or Debit Card. The amount is normally debited from your bank account within 2 working days.

Regular donations can also be made here online, or by setting up an electronic payment via Standing Order or Direct Debit. We hope to have a 5 Quid for Life PayPal account set up shortly.

People who wish to volunteer to help us are asked to please contact Sam on

At this point, a short break was taken in the sun and Paula modeled both Sam’s and Phil’s hats for David.

A media campaign is being put together and this was discussed at the meeting – more details to be announced shortly.

The process for people to apply for financial support has been agreed in broad terms and is being set up, as is the process for approving support applications.  The support we offer will be in the form of a one-off payment to help people with mental health difficulties who have a) lost their benefits, or b) cannot apply for benefit, or c) are in danger of losing their benefit due to the changes being implemented to the benefits system.  Documented evidence for this would need to be shown at application.

It was agreed that we are not, at this time, able to offer advocacy ourselves. However, at the Council’s discretion we may offer extra help and assistance in various and personal ways, including paying for advocacy. We will always bear in the mind the applicants’ situations in extremis and always consider Ali as the inspiration for us. Our scope is crisis support.

5 Quid for Life Inaugural Meeting

5 Quid for Life Inaugural Meeting: From left to right - Standing: Phil Groom, Paula Ann Walker, Kate White; Sitting: Johnathon Tinsley, Sam Jenkin

At this point, Sam was gagging for a ciggie, so we had a passive smoking break (everyone else) and took some photos.

We tucked into a superb trifle as we discussed the complex subject of IT, including data protection issues as this will be of paramount importance when managing sensitive information. It was agreed that no sensitive information will be held or shared online and anything that does contain sensitive information will be kept in a safe and cross-cut shredded when no longer required.

Phil will be responsible for keeping the blog up to date and will call on members of the Council for assistance when necessary. Johnathon will be communicating shortly with everyone on the 5 Quid for Life facebook page and the 200 People group on ways they can help us and he will also be setting up email addresses for Advisory Council members.

We finished up with Kate picking up on anything we had not yet discussed regarding the very necessary business bits and agreed two proposed dates for the next meeting.  After narrowly avoiding booking the Royal wedding weekend (a decision was taken not to crash the wedding as both Phil and Sam would need new hats) it was decided that the next meeting would be held on either 16 April or 5 May (depending on which date the most Council members could attend) and the venue would be London. Sam will subject those present to her cooking skills which are not expected to come near Paula’s. This is called “expectation management”. Paula has set the bar so high that probably only professional board level caterers could be expected to surpass the feast she provided.

Full minutes are available to those who wish to see them and we look forward to communicating shortly and also to the next meeting!


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