Like most charitable organisations, fundraising is a big part of what the Missing Link trustees have to do. At our last meeting, the Treasurer reported that we currently have a balance of £13,737 in our accounts, plus £14,293 held by Sustrans. Our year-end financial report is due to go to the Charity Commission and our accounts for the twelve months to 31.12.17 have been drafted. We are very grateful for all donations and this month a donor has given £100 for a plaque to go up on the path and Sharon Welsh’s carol service raised £280.50. Thank you to anyone who has contributed recently, we really are very grateful.

So why do we need any more money? Our current planned spending includes about £6,500 for a Phase 4 feasibility study, about £5,000 for specialist vegetation clearance and survey work on Phase 2, and about £5,000 for detailed drawings, planning permission and professional fees. This is before we even begin to factor in the practical costs of completing Phase 2 or progressing Phase 3.

The Trustees agree that we really do need to raise some big sums of cash quite quickly. With this in mind we have set several wheels spinning.

Firstly, a very positive meeting with David Warburton, M.P. resulted in some genuine interest and a promise to help in any way that he can. True to his word, David has since provided this quote for our website, “As a devoted cyclist myself I’m enormously keen to support Frome’s Missing Links. There are so many benefits from cycling – not just individual health and fitness, but also the positive impact it has on the environment – and even the local economy. To invest in a better future for all of us, let’s give superb cycling schemes such as Frome’s Missing Links full support and encouragement. I’ll do all I can to see their vision through!” Thank you Mr. Warburton for your kind support.

Other fundraising in the coming months will include a cycling display in the Town Hall and a meeting with FTC’s fundraising advisor. FTC has also adopted the successful FML School Travel Challenge and will run it again this year with advice from us. The event will still be FML branded and FML will receive all of the donations money. We have also commissioned some exciting original sketches from a brilliant local artist, which will be used for some future promotion and publicity events.

Crowdfunding seems to be an easy and popular way to raise cash these days. FML supporters can already donate via the JustGiving link on our website, but there will soon be another way to donate. FML now have one year’s free membership of LocalGiving, which includes free fundraising advice and support. We will be launching an appeal via the Localgiving webpage very soon and a launch event will be held to promote it. Watch this space!

We are also organising a fundraising ceilidh for June, with a large local venue ready to host the event. Look out for tickets very soon!

Finally, if you want to find out about another local cycle path campaign follow this link to the Steam Coast Trail an exciting new series of cycle paths that have benefitted from generous funding and a lot of hard work by volunteers. Dreams can happen!

Richard Ackroyd

Chair, Frome’s Missing Links

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