I am sorry at the long ‘silence’ on our website blogs, but the whole of this past year, as for many other charities, has been very difficult to keep on track in particular with our major fundraising programme. Our year of events and bookings had been planned in January/February 2020, but then of course the dreadful worldwide pandemic very quickly meant complete shut down for everyone in every country. Nothing could be done about it, it was what it was. We had to wait, like so many others, to see what would happen. Very thankfully, and our gratitude goes to God too, we were amazingly able to bank a sum of money every single week, which was a miracle in itself. We had many wonderful supporters willing us on by donating items to sell, donating gifts of money, and then the incredible Corinne Cunningham came along making Face Masks for us to sell, and the staggering amount raised from those, over the months of lock down, came to £19,000! It astonished us! As it advanced we had to rope in many other wonderful ladies to help with the turn out as more and more were needed. Then we were amazingly given £10,000 from The Fishmongers Company in London which was absolutely mind blowing! God indeed blessed us during a very lean period for AHoJ, And we thank Him so much for His provision in so many ways. We also profusely thank many others for all the fantastic effort they all put in to keep us going. Thank you all, so very very much.
Where are we now? Many prayers have been said that one day God would overrule and that life as we knew it would return to a level of normality. Well, as I write this out, we are all very much hoping and looking forward to that happening hopefully in three months time. The Vaccination programme against this dreadful virus has been rolling out for sometime now, and although life will most certainly be different in many ways, we will, no doubt, establish our ‘new normal’ and be able to take up the reins of our fundraising programme once again. I have lots of ideas…..so watch this space!!
I am sure some of you must be wondering about our much hoped for and yet very elusive Planning Permission?! Come July this year, 2021, we shall have been waiting for it for two years! It is very frustrating indeed! As it stands today, March 2021, everything so far has been passed, except issues with Oxfordshire County Council Highways. We have been brought to a complete standstill by that department. So what we are now finding we have to do (at added expense) is to bring in an Independent Road Safety Officer to complete an audit as to the safety issues OCC Highways are arguing about with our Design Developers. This will of course add to the increase of time not being able to achieve Planning Permission. Not having that piece of paper in our hands means that we still cannot approach any Trusts or Foundations for grants. For those of you who are reading this, please do pray for a quick, smooth and safe solution, so that we can move on! Many thanks indeed.