Responding positively to ‘plan b’

Posted in: Blog, by kayleighb2a, on 20th January 2014 | 0 comments

Mark Topley, CEO

I think it was possibly the world’s greatest ever footballer, Pele, that said that even the best team, with the best plan and the best players only proves its quality when it gets on the pitch and the game starts. Because if the opposition scores twice in the first 10 minutes, Plan A needs to be quickly reworked, the team needs to pull a new one together, and respond positively. The aim may not have changed, but the way they are going to get there is suddenly very different.

Just before Christmas Bridge2Aid was the financial equivalent of 2-0 down in the 88th minute of a football match. We needed a response to the unforeseen problems of 2013 that would get us back on track very quickly.

You may know that on Saturday 11th January we launched an urgent appeal through Social Media and the mailing lists of many of our friends to raise at least £50,000 by the end of March.

There are not enough superlatives to describe the response we got from the people that received those first few messages. By Monday morning we had raised over £10,000, and as I type on Monday morning, 20th, we are just short of £20,000 with 39% of our target raised. After 1 week.

We have received donations from people we know, and those we don’t. That, I guess, is the power of social media – our supporters shared with their families who in turn did so with theirs. We’ve had donations from the mothers, brothers and sisters of volunteers who have seen firsthand the effect that being part of the Bridge2Aid family had on their loved ones, and wanted to do something to help. Our team and their families have donated, some gifts have clearly been sacrificial, with one donor saying that this was all they had, but if there was anything left at the end of the month we could have that too…  A community, a family, has pitched in.

What is so clear to me and so humbling is that Bridge2Aid has clearly touched people:

“I was writing a speech about Bridge2Aid as a school project about injustice and I realised that it wasn’t about what I was writing in my book it was about taking action.”

“I have so many amazing memories resulting from my relationship with Bridge2Aid that I probably owe them a lot more than this.”

“From someone who hasn’t done the journey with you yet, but have got my ticket and looking forward to joining up with a great organisation.”

“Hand in hand… anything is possible.”

There is a real sense from these comments, and from the many emails and phone calls of support we’ve received, that Bridge2Aid is ‘our’ charity. For the dental community, there is a strong sense of ownership.

So to bring us back to the football analogy, I am so proud of the team and the community that having met the issues head on (and you can read about how we tackled the bank and grant issue immediately here) we’re now turning things around.

And not just turning things around to survive the current difficulties, but much more importantly, to get back on track with our long term vision.

Bridge2Aid has big plans for the future – to train 20,000 Health Workers to provide relief from crushing dental pain in the next 20 years. Reaching our £50,000 target will get us back on track. Raising more would enable us to get to this enormous goal faster.

Because although 2014 is about stabilising the organisation, additional resources will mean we can confidently commit to even more training in 2015. Our plan is to grow again, if we can secure the funds to do so.

If you have donated already then thank you! You have helped us to get off to a fantastic start. Please continue to share with your friends and family if you can.

If you haven’t donated yet then please do – we have important work to do and it isn’t possible without your help.

As any Man City fan will tell you, being behind in the game, even in the last minutes, does not mean anything if you keep going and believe. [For the non-football fans, you’ve no idea what I am talking about, so watch this.

And I believe (and am hugely encouraged by the numbers of fellow believers that have shown their support in the past 9 days) that not only will we get to our target in time, but that the groundswell of support and momentum we have seen so far will carry us on, and propel us forward to our goal of giving access to emergency dental treatment to 200 million people in the next 20 years.

Please continue to share.

Thank you. 

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